The 10-day-long Ganeshotsav or Ganesh festival is the best time of the year to be in Mumbai and experience the zest Mumbai city.
And while you do Pandal-hopping during these 10 days, you can’t miss these 5 mandals.
Lalbaugcha Raja (King of Lalbaug) is by far the most favorite idol for devotees.
This Ganesh mandal was founded in 1934, and has grown to be the most visited one in the city during Ganapati festival. Since 1935, The Kambli family, has been making the idol.
Famous crowd puller Ganesh Idol every year has very high number of devotees with spiritual belief that whatever is asked in front of this idol gets fulfilled. If you want to see the lengths people are prepared to go to for devotion, the Lalbaugcha Raja is the idol to visit. It draws an average of 1.5 million people a day.
Huge crowd dies just to have a glimpse of Lalbaug Ganesh idol during those 10 days and most on last 10th day of immersion at girgaum chowpatty.
There are two main lines to see the idol: a general line, and line for those wanting to make a vow or get a wish fulfilled (navas). The navas line takes devotees right to the idol’s feet, whereas the general line offers viewing (darshan) from a distance of around 10 meters away.
Until recently, it was common for the navas line to stretch snake-like for over five kilometers and the waiting time would be at least seven hours. However, in recent years, the organizer has started to manage devotees better.
Although the line still stretches for two kilometers at times, it’s more orderly and moves much faster.
The shops at and around Lalbaug Mandal location are open for 24 hours for these ten days. Shops have things to sell like pictures of lalbaugcha ganesh, Some spiritual threads, colorful powders, CD’s and Videos, and others things like foods and eateries.
The trust Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal (LRSGM) who runs this mandal has collected the record breaking donation of Rs.20 crores in cash and gold even when gold price was high (2010 and 2011).
Maharashtra Tourism runs air conditioned bus tours to visit popular Ganesh mandals in Mumbai, including the Lalbaugcha Raja. By special arrangement, guests won’t be required to wait in line to see the idol.
Location: Lalbaug market, GD Ambedkar Road, Lalbaug (central Mumbai).
Nearest Railway Station: Walking distance from Lower Parel, Curry Road, and Chinchpolki stations.
More information is available from the Lalbaugcha Raja website.
Ganesh Galli Mumbaicha Raja
The Mumbaicha Raja, in Ganesh Galli (Lane), is located only a couple of lanes away from the Lalbaugcha Raja and is also very popular.
The mandal is well known for its lavish new themes every year, often a replica of a famous place in India. It was formed for the benefit of the mill workers in 1928, making it the oldest one in the area. Importantly, the use of Plaster of Paris has been reduced this year to prevent pollution.
Location: Ganesh Galli (Lane), Lalbaug (central Mumbai).
Nearest Railway Station: Chinchpokli, Curry Road, and Lower Parel railway stations are close by.
More information is available from the Mumbaicha Raja website.
GSB Seva Kings Circle
The Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Seva Mandal in King’s Circle is touted to be the richest Mandal in the city.
Yes, that’s pure gold it’s adorned with more than 60 kilograms of it.
It was founded by the Gowd Saraswat Brahmin community from Karnataka in 1954. They’ve prospered in Mumbai, and as a mark of respect to the city they conduct various social programs along with a grand celebration of the Ganesh festival.
The idol is always an eco-friendly one, made out of clay. The mandal is also distinctive because there’s none of the usual recorded music there. Instead, traditional Indian musical instruments used in south Indian temples are played.
Location: G.S.B. Sports Club Ground, Near S.N.D.T. Women’s College, R.A. Kidwai Road, King’s Circle, Matunga (central Mumbai).
Nearest Railway Station: Kings Circle on the Harbour Line and Matunga on the Central Line.
More information is available from the GSB Seva Mandal website.
The award-winning Khetwadi Ganraj is considered to be one of the most spectacular Ganesh idols in Mumbai. The mandal was established in 1959 but found fame in 2000, when it made the highest Ganesh idol in Indian history, standing 40 feet tall. The idol is decked out in real gold jewelry. One year, it was even studded with real diamonds.
The main attraction of this mandals is the unique concept and theme in the tamboo (where idol is kept) for all these 10 days. The lighting and decoration is what made this galli so famous. Khetwadi is also in the list of top ganesh mandals for getting heighten idols up to 12 feet, since last 23 years.
An added attraction when visiting the Khetwadi Ganraj is that there’s a Ganesh idol in almost every lane in the area — so you can actualy do Ganesh mandals hopping.
Location: 12th Lane Kehetwadi, Girgaum (south Mumbai).
Nearest Railway Station: The nearest stations are Charni Road and Sandhurst Road.
More information is available from the Khetwadi Ganraj website.
The Andhericha Raja is to the Mumbai suburbs what the Lalbaugcha Raja is to south Mumbai. The mandal was established in 1966 by the workers of the Tobacco company, Tata Special Steel and Excel Industries Ltd, who moved from Lalbaug to be closer to their factories.
The mandal also usually has a novel theme and other attractions.
Location: Veera Desai Road, Azad Nagar, Andheri West (western Mumbai suburbs).
Nearest Railway Station: Andheri.
More information is available from the Andhericha Raja website.
Other Popular Ganesh Mandals in Mumbai
Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani
Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani mandal is just a few footsteps away from Lalbaug Cha Raja and is located in the same area. It is one of the oldest Ganesha mandal in Mumbai.
In 2014 while carrying the lord Ganesha idol to the Mandal it was broken due to potholes on the road but the team fixed it and made a new idol in 16 hours.
This is one of the tallest Ganesh idol with around 22 feet height in mumbai. The face of Ganesh jee remains same for the idol of this mandal but the theme and posture changes.
I wish you all happy Ganesh festival.
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