Your Guide to Ganesh Chaturthi and the Best 5 Puja Mandals in Mumbai

Holiday in Mumbai, a vivacious city and the commercial capital of India, is always a welcoming thing. If you are visiting the city during Ganesh Chaturthi, which this year is falling on 9th September, then this blog may help you out:

Festivities in Mumbai-a personal experience

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the biggest and the grandest celebrations in Mumbai. It is no exaggeration to call it a spiritual street party of a sort. Here is the Ganesh festival become what it is in Mumbai. If history is to be believed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, the great Maratha ruler had introduced Ganesh Chaturthi festivities for promotion of culture. While in 1893, it was Lokmanya Tilak, an important freedom fighter who turned it into a planned public event. He wanted to bring people of all casts together for building unity against the British rule.

 Today, apart from public celebrations, personal festivities also take place in most of the households of Mumbai. Families from all income groups bring the Lord's idol into their homes, worship him and take care of him. The preparation of the idol by the artists starts around 3 months prior to the festival. Aarti is done two times in a day-morning and evening and Prasad is given to all in attendance. On the last day of the festival, the idols of Lord, amidst a lively procession with music and dancing and chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya is immersed in the ocean, to visit the city again next year.

Mythological relevance of Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesha Chaturthi is the festival celebrated on the birthday (re-birth) of Ganesha, the son of God Shiva and Goddess Parvati. On this day, Lord Shiva had made a declaration that apart from Shiva, Parvati and Vishnu, Lakshmi; Ganesha would be considered as superior to all the gods. Lord Ganesh is worshipped as the one who is remover of obstacles, is the god of wisdom, good fortune and prosperity. He is worshipped in all Hindu households before any auspicious task.  Also known as Ganeshutsav, this 10-day long festival is celebrated according to the Hindu calendar, in the month of Bhaadrapada, which begins on the Shukla Chaturthi (4th day of the waxing moon period). The date generally is between August 19th and September 20th. The end day is on Anant Chaturdashi (14th day of the waxing moon period).

Here are the best 5 Puja Mandals in Mumbai that are worth visiting:

1. Lalbaug cha Raja- It is no exaggeration to call the Lalbaugcha Raja, King of Lalbaug, the most popular Ganesh idol in Mumbai. Founded way back in 1934, this Mandal attracts a crazy number of devotees.

Location (Central Mumbai): GD Ambedkar Road, Lalbaug

2. Ganesh Galli Mumbai Cha Raja - Quite near to the Lalbaugcha Raja, the Mumbaicha Raja, is also a very popular Mandal, famous for its new lavish theme, every year.

Location (Central Mumbai): Ganesh Galli (Lane), Lalbaug

3. Khetwadi Ganraj- Khetwadi Ganraj, an award- winning Mandal, it was founded in 1959 but became famous in 2000 for the highest idol of Ganesha, ever made in the history of India. It is famous for its beautiful Ganesha statues.

Location (South Mumbai): 12th Lane Kehetwadi, Girgaum

4. GSB Seva Kings Circle - Also known as Mumbai's gold Ganesh, the GSB Seva Ganesh mandal is known for being the richest one in the city. Founded in 1954 by the Gowd Saraswat Brahmin community from Karnataka, its idol is adorned with 60 kilos of real gold jewelry.

Location (Central Mumbai): G.S.B. Sports Club Ground, Near S.N.D.T. Women's College, R.A. Kidwai Road, King's Circle, Matunga

5. Andheri cha Raja -The importance of the Andheri cha Raja is similar to the people of Mumbai suburbs like the importance of the Lalbaugcha Raja is to the people of South Mumbai. It was founded in 1966 by the workers of Excel Industries Ltd, the Tobacco company and Tata Special Steel.

Location (Western Mumbai Suburbs): Veera Desai Road, Azad Nagar, Andheri

Accommodations during Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

Following are the best accommodations during the festival. Take a pick as per your liking:

Hotels Near Lalbaugcha RajaITC Grand CentralHotel Shantidoot, Hotel Avon Ruby
Hotels near Ganesh Galli Mumbaicha Raja - Hotel Grant, Hotel Pals, Hotel Balwas
Hotels near Khetwadi Ganraj Girgaum - Hotel R.K, Hotel Madhavashram
Hotels near GSB Seva Kings Circle -   Bawa Regency, Ramee Guestline
Hotels near Andhericha Raja - Hotel Cruz Royale , Hotel Midland, HotelClassic, Hotel Accord


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