Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayak Chaturthi is one of the most popular Hindu festivals and is celebrated all over India in the Hindu month of Bhadra (which generally falls between August and September). This colourful festival marks the birthday of the Elephant Headed God, Lord Ganesh. This year, the 10-day long fiesta will begin on the 2nd of September and we have the best places for you to soak in the festivities at:
The passion and excitement of Ganesh Chaturthi are as quintessentially Mumbai as is Bollywood. With the sounds of beating dhols and chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya echoing across the entire city, Ganesh Utsav celebration here remains completely unmatched. This larger than life spectacle has pandals across Mumbai to thematically represent the current social issues that the city faces through tableaux, paintings and decorations. Don’t miss the famous pandals while you are visiting Mumbai during this festival! These are Lalbaugcha Raja, Mumbaicha Raja, Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) and the Siddivinayak Temple.
While Mumbai is quite famous for its Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, Pune isn’t too far behind. The city celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi with pomp and gaiety. Starting with the establishment of idols of Lord Ganesha on the first day to the immersion on the tenth day, the celebration takes place in grandest of manners. Some of most un-missable Ganesh idols in the city are going to be at Kasba Ganpati, Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganpati, Guruji Talim, Tulsi Baug Ganpati and the Kesariwada Ganpati at Kesariwada.
Another Indian Destination that is famous for a grand Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations is Hyderabad. The Ganapathi Navaratri utsavams here start on Vinayaka Chavithi (Ganesh Chaturthi) and ends on Ananta Chaturdashi day with idol immersion. Devotees immerse the idols of Lord Ganesh on the last day of the festival in the Hussain Sagar Lake. Hosting nearly 75,000+ Ganesh pandals in honour of Lord Ganesh throughout the city, Hyderabad also has one of the largest Ganesh idols in the country. Standing at an imposing 61 feet (this year) this Ganesh idol is set up at Khairtabad. Other famous stop-overs where Ganesha idols are established and decorated fascinatingly are Balapur, Kamalanagar Chaitanyapuri, Durgam Cheruvu, Old City (Gowlipura) and New Nagole.
Located in Ratnagiri district on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra, Ganapatipule is a small town that is known to have is one of the most famous pilgrimage centres: The Swayambhu Ganapati Temple. This 400 years old temple becomes the centre of grand activity for the five days celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi when villagers and pilgrims join actively in a procession honouring Lord Ganesha. A taller idol of Lord Ganesha is placed in an ornate palanquin and is carried on the shoulders of the devotees through the village. While the festival is marked by vibrant celebrations, prayers and feasting, the celebrations are incomplete without a circumambulation around the hill behind the temple shaped like Ganapati’s face.
Renowned for its beaches, Goa also has a religious side that cannot be ignored! The Ganesh Utsav holds a special place in the hearts of Goan people. The smallest state of India has many religious cities and villages that worship the Lord, especially Mapusa, which is famous for its temples at Ganeshpuri and Khorlim. There are also various idols of Lord Ganesh in different shapes and sizes well adorned and installed in heavily decorated pandals by various merchant associations and other groups in different parts of Goa.
Despite the rapid modernisation and the urban social culture creeping in, Bangalore still holds onto its cultural and traditional roots. The Bengaluru Ganesh Utsava, organised by Shree Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sangha at the APS College Grounds, Basavanagudi, upholds the rich tradition of India’s culture and heritage. Held every year for close to 5 decades, this major cultural extravaganza of South Bangalore has magnificent presentations of music, dance, drama and art by some of the finest artists of the country. Other popular places to visit are Panchamukha Heramba Ganapati Temple, Shri Jambu Ganapati Temple and Ananth Nagar Ganapati Temple. Do not forget to catch the visarjan rituals at Sankey Tank and Ulsoor Lake.
So what are you waiting for? Witness the best of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at these places mentioned above and let us know about your experiences below! Ganpati Bappa Morya!