Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi Festival is unique in the world. Mumbai celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi with more fervor and devotion than anywhere in the world.
It is estimated that 200,000 Ganesh Murtis (Idols) are worshiped during Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi. Of these 190,000 Ganesh Murtis are brought home by individual households and the balance 10,000 by registered Ganesh Mandals. What makes Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi special is that most neighborhoods have their “Sarvajanik” (Public/Collective) Ganesha Idol and local residents participate enthusiastically in this Hindu Festival. Nowhere in the world is Ganesh Festival celebrated on the scale that is done in Mumbai.
Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi 2020 During COVID 19
As with everything else, COVID 19 has impacted Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi 2020. This is a brief description of how Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Guidelines for Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi 2020
- For 2020, Home Ganesh Murtis should have a maximum height of 2 feet and Sarvajanik Ganesh Idols placed in Ganpati Mandap/Pandal should not be taller than 4 feet.
- Mumbai residents are encouraged to bring home eco-friendly Ganesh Murtis, made of Shadu clay.
- Residents with Home Ganpatis should consider performing Ganpati Visarjan either next year or during Ganesh Jayanti (Maghi Ganesh Festival) 2021, which is on 15 February 2021.
- Ideally, Ganesh Murti Visarjan should be done at home itself. In case this is not possible, then Ganesh Visarjan for home Ganpati Murtis should be done in artificial lakes/ponds and not in the sea or natural lakes.
- Perform Ganesh Visarjan Puja at home itself. Do not perform it at the artificial pond/lake during the time of immersion. Children and Senior Citizens should not be part of Ganesh Visarjan procession.
- All people taking part in the Ganpati Murti installation, Ganesh Visarjan, and Volunteering in Ganesh Mandap should take the usual COVID 19 precautions. People must wear a face mask, must wash/sanitise their hands, and must follow social distancing norms.
- Mumbai Ganesh Mandals must sanitize their Ganesh Pandal/Mandap at least 3 times a day. They must provide sanitizers and ensure social distancing.
- Due to financial hardship caused by Coronavirus pandemic, Mumbai Ganesh Mandals are requested to not take donations or gifts from devotees.
- Prasad, flowers, and other prayer offerings will not be allowed. BMC will not give permission for temporary flower and prasad stalls around Ganesh Pandals.
How Are Big Mandals Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in 2020
Some of Mumbai’s largest and most famous Ganesh Mandals have decided to either cancel or tone down or postpone Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in 2020. This is to ensure the safety of devotees during the Coronavirus Pandemic. “Maghi Ganesh Chaturthi” is on 15 February 2021. Some Ganesh Mandals have decided to postpone the usual celebrations to that Ganesh Chaturthi.
“Maghi Ganesh Chaturthi” or “Ganesh Jayanti” is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesh. Since this festival falls in the Hindu Calendar Month of Magha, and during the Shukla phase of the moon, this festival is also known as “Magha Shukla Chaturthi” and “Varad Chaturthi”.
- 21 Ganesh Mandals in Khetwadi and GSB Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal (Wadala), has decided to postpone celebrations to Maghi Ganesh Chaturthi starting from 15 February 2021.
- There will be no Lalbaughcha Raja Ganesh Idol in 2020. Instead, there will only be a 4 feet Ganesh Murti. Organizers of Lalbaugcha Raja will hold blood donation camps. Lalbaugcha Raja live darshan will be available online.
- Chinchpoklicha Chintamani, which is in its 101st year, has decided to cancel celebrations. Instead of the large 22 feet Ganesh Murti, the organizers will only install a small silver, Ganesh Idol. The organizers of Chinchpoklicha Chintamani will organize blood camps, COVID 19 tests, donation of medical equipment and other COVID related activities.
- As they do every year, this year too GSB Seva Mandal will keep their Ganesh Idol for 5 days, from 22 August 2020 to 26 August 2020. But the celebrations will be subdued. The whole range of Pooja’s will not be conducted. The Ganesh Idol and Pandal will be live-streamed throughout the day. Devotees can book Pujas online.
- Ganesh Gulli “Mumbaicha Raja” Ganesh Murti will be a 4 feet eco-friendly idol. Further, Mumbaicha Raja will be immersed in an artificial pond and not at Chowpatty beach.
- Parelcha Raja (Nare Park) will have a 3 Feet Ganesh Idol and immersion will be done in an artificial pond and not in the sea.
Ganesh Chaturthi Dates In 2020. Ganpati Visarjan Date
Ganesh Chaturthi 2020 Start Date: 22 August 2020. This is the date that households bring Ganesh Murtis to their homes. Ganesh Mandals formally unveil their idols and general public can come to worship. As per the Hindu Calendar, this day is Shukla Chaturthi (fourth day of the Waxing Moon) in the month of Bhadrapada.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2020 Day 2: 23 August, 2020. Many individual households keep their Ganpati Murtis for one and a half days. These idols are immersed on the second day of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2020 Day 3: 24 August, 2020. Individual households usually do the Ganpati Visarjan (Immersion) on this day. Generally, Ganesh Visarjan is done on odd days after the start of the festival (3rd, 5th, 7th day).
Ganesh Chaturthi 2020 Day 5: 26 August, 2020. Gauri Visarjan Day. The idol of Lord Ganesh’s Mother, Goddess Parvati (also called “Gauri”), is worshipped during Ganesh Chaturthi. Many Mumbai Ganesh Mandals have a small idol of Goddess Parvati. The fifth day is known as Gauri Visarjan (Immersion) Day. GSB Seva Mandal Ganesh, which is the richest Ganesh in Mumbai, is immersed on this day.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2020 Day 7: 28 September, 2020. Ganesh Visarjan.
Ganesh Chaturthi 2020 Ganpati Visarjan Date (End Date): 1 September 2020. As per the Hindu calendar, the last day of Ganesh Chaturthi is on “Anant Chaturdashi”. Most big and small Mumbai Ganesh Murtis are Immersed (“Visarjan”) in water on this day. According to myth, Lord Ganesha leaves for his heavenly home of Mount Kailash. In Telegu Ganesh Visarjan is called “Vinayaka Nimarjana” and in Kannada it is called “Ganesha Visarjane”.
Famous Ganesh Murtis In Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi
This is a list of some of the Best and Most Famous Ganesh Murtis (Idols) and Ganesh Mandals in Mumbai:
- GSB Seva Mandal: Mumbai’s (and the World’s) Richest Ganesh Mandal. This Ganpati is managed by the Gowd Saraswat Brahman community. This is among the more eco-friendly Ganpati Idols during Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi. GSB Seva Mandal Ganesh Visarjan happens after 5 days.
- Lalbaugcha Raja: “Lalbaugcha Raja” is Mumbai’s most famous and most visited Ganesh Murti. Basic design of Mumbai’s most famous Ganesh Idol has not changed; what changes every year are its ornaments and alter design. 10 to 15 lakh devotees visit Lalbaugcha Raja, so expect a long wait in line for “Darshan” (offering of prayer). This Ganesh idol has been in Mumbai since 1934. Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandal manages this famous Mumbai Ganpati. The reason Lalbaugcha Raja is famous throughout the world is because devotees belief it fulfills their wishes and also many celebrities visit it during Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi.
- Mumbaicha Raja: Ganesh Galli, Lalbaug, Ganesh Idol is Mumbai Cha Raja. This Ganesh Mandal puts a lot of effort to create a beautiful structure (“Ganesh Pandal”) for this famous Ganpati. “Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal” manages the Ganesh Gali Ganpati.
- Khetwadi 12th Lane: Popularly known as “Khetwadicha Ganraj”. This tall, royal Ganesh resides in a beautiful palatial set. It is among the better Ganesh Pandals during Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi. The organisers are “12th Khetwadi Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal”.
- Mumbaicha Maharaja (Khetwadi 11th Lane): This is a creative Ganesh Murti whose design changes every year. Some years it has amazing sets and some years the set can be mediocre. Famous Mumbai Murtikar (Sculptor), late Vijay Khatu, used to make this amazing Ganesh Murti. Organisers of Galli 11 Ganesh are “Mumbai Cha Maharaja Sarvajanik GaneshOtsav Mandal”.
- Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani: Established in 1920, it is among the oldest Ganesh Mandals in Mumbai. Chinchpoklicha Chintamani is usually the first big Ganesh Murti to leave the workshop for the Ganesh Mandap near Chinchpokli station. In that sense Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani kicks off Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi Festival (“Ganesh Utsav”). This famous Mumbai Ganpati is managed by “Chinchpokli Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal”.
- Parelcha Raja: The Nare Park (Parel) Ganesh statue is one of the more creative Ganpati murtis during Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi. It is always interesting to see the new Parelcha Raja (Nare Park) Ganpati every year. Parelcha Raja is managed by “Parel Vibhag Sarvajanik Geneshutsav Mandal”.
- Khambatta Lane Khetwadi: This is another creative Ganesh Moorti whose design changes every year. The Ganesh Pandal is usually quite modest, but the tall, imaginative Ganesh Idol more than makes up for it. This Ganesh is also known as “Khetwadicha Raja”. “Khambata Road Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal” is the Khanbatta Lane Mandal.
- Fort Icchapurti: Every year Fort Icchapurti Ganesh Murti is housed in a beautifully designed set (Ganesh Pandal). This famous, wish fulfilling Ganesh Murti is located near CST Station (VT Station) in Fort.
- Chandanwadi (Chira Bazaar): Located near Marine Lines the Chandanwadi – Chira Bazaar Ganesh Murti is usually a tall and interesting idol. This creative Mumbai Ganesh is managed by “Akhil Chandanwadi Sarvajanik Ganeshustav Mandal”.
- Tulsiwadi Cha Maharaja: The design of this tall Ganesh statue changes every year. Tulsiwadicha Maharaja usually has a very creative look. Tulsiwadicha Maharaja is managed by “Tulsiwadi Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal”.
- Dongricha Raja: Started in 1939, this is among the older Ganesh Mandal in Mumbai. The shape and design of this Ganpati statue does not change a lot. “Chinch Bunder Dongri Sarvajanik Ganeshutsav Mandal” is the organiser of “Dongri Cha Raja” Ganesh.
- Rangari Badak Chawl: “Ladka Lambodar Ganpati” is the name given to the Rangari Badak Chawl Ganesh Murti. This Ganpati has been in existance since 1938. Some years this idol can be quite different and interesting. Rangari Badak is located at Kalachowki (near Cotton Green Station), which is one Kilometer from Lalbaghcha Raja. Organiser of the “Ladka Lambodar Ganpati” is “Rangari Badak Chawl Ganpati Mandal”.
- Navsala Pavnara Andheri Cha Raja: This is the only large Mumbai Ganesh Murti whose Visarjan (Immersion) happens after 14 days. The design of this 8.5 feet Ganesh Murti does not change. Andhericha Raja usually has a beautiful Ganesh Pandal (“Mandap”, temporary structure). Since Andhericha Raja is considered to be a wish fulfilling Ganpati, it is called “Navsala Pavnara”. Andhericha Raja Ganesh is managed by “Anand Nagar Sarvajanik Geneshutsav Mandal”.
- Upnagarcha Raja: This Borivali Ganpati is among the more famous Idols in the Western suburbs of Mumbai. This Ganesha usually has a beautiful Ganpati Pandal.
- Vile Parle Cha Peshwa: Since 2008, this Mandal has installed a large eco-friendly Ganesh Murti. In 2006 a young volunteer named Derek Jadhav presented this Ganesh Mandal with a 3 feet eco-friendly Idol and requested that Vile Parlecha Peshwa too should be eco-friendly. The Mandal rejected his idea. When Derek tragically passed away in a train accident, the Mandal decided to fulfill his wishes and ever since has installed an environmentally friendly Ganesh Idol.
- Sahyadri Krida Mandal Ganesh: Located at Tilak Nagar (Chembur). This Mandal usually puts up an interesting Ganesh “Pandal” (stage housing the Ganesh Idol).
Map of Famous Ganesh Idols in Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi
One of Mumbai’s most famous Ganesh Temple is the Siddhi Vinayak Temple at Prabhadevi. Please view this link for more information on Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple in Mumbai.
Which Ganpati Murti to visit in Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi?
Tips for devotees to be able to see many large and famous Mumbai Ganesh idols in a limited time:
- Visit Girgaum Chowpatty on the final Ganesh Visarjan day. Many of the best Ganesh Idols from South and Central Mumbai come here for Immersion. There are hundreds of thousands of people on the beach on Ganpati Visarjan and there is a festive atmosphere. Despite the large number of visitors, the entire operation (arrival, immersion and departure) is smoothly done.
- The 15 lanes of Khetwadi are home to over 15 large Ganesh Idols. Khetwadi has the highest concentration of famous Ganesh Murtis during Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi. “Khetwadi Cha Ganraj” (Khetwadi Lane 12), “Khetwadi Cha Raja” (Khambatta Lane) and “Mumbai Cha Maharaja” (Khetwadi Lane 11) are the standout Ganesh Mandals. Do also visit the nearby “Kumbharwadyacha Ganraj” and “Kumbharwadyacha Maharaja”.
- The oldest and most famous Ganesh Idols in Mumbai can be found in Central Mumbai from Chinchpokli (“Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani”) to Lalbaug (“Lalbaugcha Raja”, “Mumbaicha Raja – Ganesh Galli”) to Parel (Parelcha Raja – Nare Park”). Wait time for Darshan at Lalbaugcha Raja can be hours.
- Fort area, especially near VT station, has wonderful Ganesh Murtis. “Fort Icchapurti” and “Fortcha Raja” are two famous Ganesh Murtis in this area.
- Other areas in Mumbai which have a large collection of large Ganesh Idols are Vile Parle, Kamatipura, Girgaon, Dongri, Chandanwadi – Chira Bazaar, Andheri, Malvani, Borivali and Mira Road – Bhayander.
- Central Railway Workshop at Parel (East) is where many of Mumbai’s most famous Ganesh Murtis are made. This large workshop is on the Parel-Dadar main road near ITC Grand Central Hotel. Mumbai’s most famous Murtikars (Sculptors) hire space in the Railway workshop 2-3 months before Ganpati Festival. An ideal time to visit is 2 weeks before Ganesh Chaturthi, on Saturday and Sunday. This is when many of Mumbai’s famous Ganpati Idols are ready and leave the workshop for their final destination.
- A good time to visit the large Ganesh Idols is on the first day of Ganesh Chaturthi. Crowds are less because many people are busy with either their own Ganpati Murtis or are visiting friends or relatives who have installed Ganpati idols in their homes. Pre-noon has fewer crowds, which tend to build up in later afternoon and evening. Weekends tend to be busy.
- How to visit Lalbaugcha Raja without waiting in line? In case one is unable to spend time in queue to visit “Lalbaugcha Raja”, one can gain Darshan on the last day of Visarjan. On the afternoon of the last day of Ganesh Visarjan, “Lalbaugcha Raja” Murti is taken out around Lalbagh area. This is so that the residents of Lalbaug can offer their final Darshan (Prayer). This is also the organizers way of thanking the residents of Lalbaug. After this, “Lalbaugcha Raja” Ganesh Murti slowly proceeds to Girgaon Chowpatty where it is finally immersed in the Arabian Sea at around 6:00 am. The “Lalbaghcha Raja” Ganesh Idol goes through Chinchpokli, Byculla Station, Nagpada, Gol Deval, Opera House and Chowpatty. One can catch a glimpse of this famous Mumbai Ganesh Murti at any of these places on this route. Click on this link for Route and Map of Lalbaugcha Raja Visarjan at Girgaon Chowpatty.
Ganesh Puja During GaneshUtsav, Types of Ganesh Pooja
- Most large Ganesh Pandals organize at least two Ganesh Puja or Ganesh Aarti per day.
- It is believed that Lord Ganesha was born at noon. Usually there is a Ganesh Puja around noon and one in the evening.
- In addition to the daily Ganpati Puja, special Ganesh Pooja is held when the Ganpati Murti is installed (“Ganesh Sthapna”, “Ganesh Pratishthapan”, “Ganesh Avahan”) and during Ganpati Visarjan. Large Ganpati Mandals like the Lalbaugcha Raja perform “Prana Pratishtha” (“Pratishthapana”) Ganesh Puja where statues of Lord Ganesha’s feet are washed and worshipped at the time of formal inauguration of the Ganesh Murti.
- Some Ganesh Mandals follow a 16 step Ganesh prayer ritual (“Ganesh Puja Vidhi”) for installing their Ganpati Idol. This 16 step Ganesh Pooja is called “Shodashopachara Puja”. The 16 step Ganesh Puja starts like all Hindu ceremonies with the invoking of Lord Ganesh’s name. This is followed by installation of the Ganesh Murti (“Pratishthapana”), flower offering (“Samarpan”), feet washing, offering Ganesh scented water, drinking water, followed by bath with water and a mixture of milk, ghee, honey, sugar, oil, yogurt. After the bath the Ganesh idol is dressed in new clothes and the holy thread (“Yagyopaveet”) is tied. Next the Ganesh idol is offered perfume, food, flower garlands, incense, diya (earthen oil lamp), sandalwood paste, coconuts, pan, betel nuts and gifts. This ceremony finally ends with a Ganesh Puja or Ganesh Chaturthi Aarti. Some Mandals also organise Ganesh Chaturthi Katha. Ganpati Stotra differs from Mandal to Mandal.
- On the GSB Seva Mandal website there is a list of Ganesh Pujas that the Ganesh Mandal conducts during the Ganpati Festival. These Ganesh Pujas include “Prana Pratishtha”, “Nirmalya Visarjan”, “Ashtottarashata Ganahoma”, “Sahasra Modak Havan”, “Bhagirathi Abhishek”, “Modak Naivedya”, “Madhyanha Pooja” (followed by Annadana Seva, Maha Santarpana and Sahasra Bhojana Seva), Mood Ganesh Pooja, Maha Mood Ganapati Puja, Deeparadhana Puja, Ranga Ganesh Puja, Flower Puja, Rutra Puja, “Samuhik Prarthana” and Ganpati Visarjan Puja. Devotees can book these Ganesh Pooja online.
Ganesh Food And Prasad Served In Ganesh Chaturthi
“Modak” is the most popular food associated with Ganesh Chaturthi. Also called “Ukadiche Modak”, Modak is a steamed, sweet dumpling with jaggery and coconut filling. Modak is thought to be Lord Ganesh’s favourite sweet food.
Other food items associated with Ganpati include Ladoos, Puffed Rice, Bananas and Durva Grass (Bermuda Grass).
Devotes fasting on Ganesh Chaturthi can eat Sabudana (Tapioca or Sago) Khichdi, Sabudana Vada, Sabudana Kheer, Til Ladoos (Sesame Ladoos), Rajgiri Ladoos, Rajgiri Sheera (Halwa), Curd Rice, Banana Wafers, Potato Fries/Wafers, Singhada (Buckwheat) Fries, Sweet Potatoes, Thalipeeth (Paratha from mix-grains), Bhagar and Ampty.
Why is Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated?
Ganesh Chaturthi is the celebration of the birthday of Lord Ganesh. As per the Hindu calendar Lord Ganesh was born in “Bhaadrapada” on “Shukla Chaturthi” (fourth day of the waxing moon). As per legend Ganesha was born at noon.
Lord Ganesh is the Hindu God of Good Luck, Prosperity, Knowledge, New Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles. This is why Hindus seek his blessings before starting a new venture.
As per Hindu mythology, one day Ganesha’s mother, Goddess Parvati, wanted to take bath. Since there was no one to protect her, she created Lord Ganesh out of sandalwood and turmeric paste. While Parvati was bathing, Lord Shiva came to visit her. Lord Ganesh stood his guard and refused to let Shiva enter Goddess Parvati’s room. This angered Lord Shiva. Shiva was unaware that his wife, Goddess Parvati, had created Lord Ganesh and that he was his son. In his anger he cut off Ganesh’s head. When Goddess Parvati saw her headless son she flew into a rage and took on the form of “Adishakti”, a powerful being who can destroy the entire universe. Realizing his mistake, Lord Shiva made amends by replacing a dead baby elephant’s head with Ganesh’s head. Lord Shiva also granted Lord Ganesh a boon that people will invoke Lord Ganesh before starting any new activity.
NOTE: In addition to Ganesh Chaturthi, states of Maharashtra and Goa also celebrate “Ganesh Jayanti” as the birthday of Lord Ganesh. This day falls in the Hindu month of “Maagha” on “Shukla Chaturthi” (fourth day of the waxing moon). Ganesh Jayanti is usually celebrated in end January or February.
History of Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations
Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak is credited with starting the community/public (“Sarvajanik”) Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. In the late 19th century British government imposed a ban on more than 20 people assembling. This was to prevent social unrest and protest against British rule. Religious gatherings were exempted from these rules.
In 1892, Bhausaheb Laxman Javale (Bhausaheb Rangari), started the first community Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in Pune. In 1893, Lokmanya Tilak wrote about this public celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi in his newspaper, “Kesari”. In the past Pune used to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi during Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s rule.
The following year in 1893, Lokmanya Tilak urged his followers to hold “Savajanik” (public) celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. He used these large public gathering to unite the community and protest against the British. The public (“Sarvajanik”) “Ganeshutsav” (Ganesh Festival) celebration is the reason that Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi is world famous.
Keshavji Naik Chawl in Girgaum (Khadilkar Road) was among the first to have a Public (“Sarvajanik”) Ganesh Chaturthi celebration (“Ganeshutsav”) in Mumbai in 1893. “Shree Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Sanstha” manages the Keshavji Naik Chawl Ganpati. It is the oldest Ganesh Mandal in Mumbai. In recent years this Ganpati Mandal (Organizer) installs small eco-friendly clay Ganesh Murti.
What Are Mumbai Ganesh Mandals And What Do They Do?
Mumbai Ganesh Festival is a “Sarvojanik” (Community/Public) celebration. The entire local community celebrates this festival. Volunteers from the community help with all aspects of Ganesh Chaturthi, which includes purchase of Ganesh Murti, decoration of the Ganesh Pandal, arrival of the Ganpati Murti, daily prayers (Ganesh Puja), crowd management and Ganpati Visarjan (Immersion).
Many localities in Mumbai have their local Ganesh Mandals. These are registered organizations that manage Ganesh Chaturthi in their locality. During Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi the Municipal Corporation (BMC) grants special permission to these Ganpati Mandals to set up temporary structures (“Pandals”) on public spaces, such as roads, parks, etc.
Mumbai’s Ganesh Mandals get funds from individuals, local businesses and in some cases political parties.
Mumbai Ganeshutsav (Ganesh Festival) Sequence Of Events
- Few months before Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesh Mandals finalize the design of their Ganpati Murti (Idol) and place their order with Ganesh Sculptors (“Murtikars”). Ganesh Set (“Pandal”) design is also finalized.
- For the larger Ganesh Idols, construction of the temporary stage (“Ganesh Pandal”) that houses the Ganesh Murti starts a month before Ganesh Chaturthi.
- “ChinchpokliCha Chintamani” is usually the first big Ganesh Idol that is brought to the Pandal. “Chinchpokli Cha Chintamani” is usually installed a month before Ganesh Chaturthi. Most big Ganesh Moortis are installed two to three weeks before Ganesh Chaturthi.
- During Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi organizers perform Ganesh Puja twice a day. Many Ganesh Mandals perform social service during Ganesh Chaturthi. Examples of this are free medical camps, food for devotees, free clothes for the needy, distribution of books and stationary, etc.
- On the day of Ganpati Visarjan, Ganesh Murtis are sent-off with great fanfare. Mumbai’s most famous Ganesh Murti, “Lalbaugcha Raja” leaves for Visarjan in the afternoon. “Lalbaug Cha Raja” idol is first taken around Lalbaug so that local residents can have a final “Darshan” (worship). Then Lalbaghcha Raja proceeds slowly towards Girgaum, Chowpatty beach. The actual Lalbaugcha Raja Visarjan happens in the early hours (around 6:00 am) of the next day.
Mumbai Ganesh Murti (Idol). Are they Eco-Friendly?
Most large Ganesh Murtis are made of Plaster Of Paris (POP). This material is used since it can be molded and shaped into complex structures. This helps create innovative Ganesh statues.
Unfortunately Plaster of Paris is not environmentally friendly. During Ganpati Visarjan, Ganesh idols are immersed in the Mumbai Sea, Lakes and water bodies. Sadly this causes water pollution.
Another major source of environmental pollution is the material used for decorating Ganesh Pandals (temporary stage/structure where the idol is kept). Thermocol is a popular choice of material; sadly it is not eco-friendly.
There have been repeated pleas to switch to more eco-friendly options such as clay. Clay dissolves easily in water. Unfortunately it is difficult to use clay for large Ganesh Murtis because it cannot be shaped properly. Ganesh Murti made of Shaadu Clay are heavier and more brittle as compared to POP statues.
The good news is that individuals, who usually purchase small Ganpati Idol buyers, have started buying statues made of eco-friendly material. Clay used for making Ganesh Murti is called “Shadu” in Maharashtra.
Are Ganesh Idols made of clay eco-friendly? Sadly even Ganesh Murtis made of clay have some issues. They take 3-4 weeks to dissolve, unlike Papier Mache (Paper) Ganesh Idols that take only a few days. POP Ganesh Murtis take 3-4 months to fully dissolve. Most Ganesh Idols (Clay, Paper and POP) are painted with synthetic paints that are not eco-friendly. Some Ganesh Sculptors have started using natural paints. Like the POP Murtis, the Clay Ganesh Idols too make the water murky when they dissolve. This prevents sunlight from entering the water, which in turn has a negative impact on fishes and the flora and fauna living in the water. Reduced sunlight leads to reduced oxygen which is harmful to sea life.
Tamil Nadu has banned the use of Plaster of Paris. Tamil Nadu Ganpati Idols are made of Clay, Papier-Mache and Coconuts. Lord Ganesh is popularly called “Vinayaka” and “Pillayar” in Tamil Nadu. Goa is another state where the use of POP for Ganesh statues is banned.
Famous Mumbai Ganesh Murtikars (Idol Makers)
This is a list of some of the famous Ganesh Idol Makers (“Murtikars”) in Mumbai.
- Rajan Zad (Rajan Jhad)
- Kunal Patil
- Raju Shinde
- Krunal Patil
- Rajan Khatu
- Ramesh Ravle
- Raju Shinde
- Anil Baing
- Digambar Manikar and Rajesh Manikar
- Vijay Khatu, who died in 2018, was one of Mumbai’s most famous Ganesh Murtikars. Many of Mumbai’s most famous Ganesh Idols, such as “Mumbaicha Maharaja”, “Chandanwadi Cha Raja”, “Upanagra Cha Raja” were designed and made by him.
Mumbai Ganpati Visarjan Route and Location
Please visit this page for detailed information on Mumbai Ganesh Visarjan Route, Location and Map
This article has information on the Main Ganesh Visarjan (Immersion) places in Mumbai.
Most Ganesh Mandals in South and Central Mumbai prefer to immerse their Ganesh Murtis in Girgaum Chowpatty. Special arrangements are made for Ganpati Visarjan. Hundreds of thousands of devotees come to Chowpatty for Visarjan. Despite the large number of people and Ganesh Idols, it is a smooth operation.
Large Ganpati Murtis wait in line to be taken to the sea. A final Ganesh Pooja and Aarti are done on the sea shore. Devotees and volunteers drag the Ganesh Idols on wheeled platforms to boats. These boats take the Ganpati Murti deeper into the sea, where they are immersed in the sea.
Mumbai Police, BMC personnel, Coast Guard and thousands of volunteers ensure a smooth flow of people, Ganesh processions and traffic. It’s a wonder to see how a large operation like this works smoothly.
In Mumbai Ganpati Visarjan is done in 27 artificial and 71 natural ponds and water bodies.
The Visarjan for Mumbai’s most visited Ganesh Murti, “Lalbaugcha Raja” starts in the afternoon. After doing a round of lalbagh area, so that local residents can offer their final prayers, the organizers get the idol ready for immersion. The final immersion happens at Girgaum Chowpatty at 6:00 am on the next morning. This is a link to Lalbaughcha Raja Visarjan Route from Lalbaug To Girgaon Chowpatty.
Ganesh Chaturthi in India
Ganesh Chaturthi is mainly celebrated in Western, Southern and Central India. Public celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi mainly takes place in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana. In Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Ganesh Chaturthi tends to be a private festival.
Ganesh Chaturthi in Tamil Nadu is known as “Vinayaka Chaturthi”, “Vinayagar Chaturthi” and “Pillayar Chaturthi”. In Kerela, Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as “Vinayaka Chaturthi” and “Lamboodhara Piranalu”. Ganesh Chaturthi in Karnataka is also called “Ganesh Habba”, “Vinayaka Chaturthi” and “Vinayaka Chavithi”. In the Konkan area of Maharashtra, it is also called “Ganesh Chavath”. In Telengana and AP, Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as “Vinayaka Chavithi”.
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