With the mighty king coming adobe in a couple of hours, there’s a lot to know about him. Well, this is not one of those articles; but, it’s about various Ganpati pandals in Mumbai that are considered as iconic by Mumbaikars.
Mumbai is one of the four major metropolitan cities in India. Since it’s a metropolitan, there are several communities in the city and with different communities, and all of them have different traditions and festivals.
Mumbai is a city of people, and this city witnesses the colours of all the festivals: green, red, yellow, orange, black, white and saffron. With tremendous tolerance to all the festivals and the noise it carries, Mumbai doesn’t witness any festival like Ganpati. The birth of Lord Ganesha is celebrated across the whole city with love, care, happiness and utmost devotion. The reason for this is mythological; Lord Ganesha was told that before starting any deed, people will first pray to him, and then, start off with the rituals.
Lord Ganesha visits us every year for a period of 10 days. And, during these 10 days, the look and feel of Mumbai is colourful with tons of energy in the city.
In this article, I’ll be mentioning various Ganpati pandals in Mumbai that have the significance of its own on the people residing and working in the suburbs. So, let’s start with the list.
To start off with, here is the first and most Ganpati Pandal in the mighty city of Mumbai. Every year, over thousands of people from across the world, come to receipt their prayers for wellness and blessing to this pandal.
The location of Lalbaugcha Raja is perfect for the commute of millions of Mumbaikars who truly believe that their faith in God shall bear fruits over the course of the entire year. The significance of this pandal is that it’s the richest non-profit committee for Lord Ganesha in Mumbai.
The pandal is in an open ground, where a 30-feet idol of Lord Ganesha is sculpted every year from the scratch. The sculpture of Lord Ganesha is theme-based and usually, the theme revolves around an animal. The decoration compliments Ganpati and the results are majestically beautiful.
Location: The location is accessible from two stations on the Central Line of Mumbai Local: Chinchpokli and Currey Road. There are no directions, although several volunteers direct gate through various gate numbers leading to the entries to the pandal.
Best Time to Visit: As mentioned earlier, the festival lasts for 10 long days and the best time to visit is on the 8th day; and, even on the 8th day the visit is recommended during the afternoon or midnight. The pandal stays open 24-hours.
The pandal of Mumbaicha Raja is next to Lalbaugcha Raja. Quite often it creates confusion between the two. To be honest, even I have been delusional about it. Although it’s right next to Lalbaugcha Raja, the distance is quite far, almost half a kilometre, perhaps, more.
But, the people on the street are similar to that of Lalbaugcha Raja with everyone mingling in devotion, as if their prayers are like a conversation with His Almighty.
The pandal of Mumbaicha Raja has all the similar features of Lalbaugcha Raja or any other Ganpati pandal on this list. But, the uniqueness is that; although it’s geographically close to Lalbaugcha Raja, it has its own identity and people do devotee their faith to this King.
Location: The location is convenient from Currey Road Station. It’s hardly a 10-minute walk from the central line railway station.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is on the 6th day at around 10 in the night. The rush is much less and you can pray in a bit of solace.
G.S.B. Seva Mandal
Right after Lalbaug, G.S.B. Seva Mandal in Matunga is the second richest non-profit committee for Ganpati Bappa in Mumbai.
The idol is majorly carved from Gold and Silver with various jewels and gemstones that are beautifully incorporated in the carving of the sculpture. The value of this mighty statue of Lord Ganesha is one that attracts devotees and tourists in Mumbai for 10 days without a break.
Apart from commercial fact, G.S.B. Seva Mandal’s Ganpati is one of the most prestigious pandals in Mumbai. There are hundreds of Mumbaikars who wait day and night in a queue to pray.
Location: The nearest railway station is King Circle Station in Matunga. The pandal is under the King Circle Flyover.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is on the fourth day of the 10 day festival. Highly appropriate hour of the day is in the evening at 4 o’clock.
Khetwadi No. 12 is the address of the pandal. Khetwadi is an area in South Mumbai where there are multiple lanes, and these lanes go by their numbers, and every lane has its own Ganpati pandal.
The iconic one amongst Mumbai is the Ganpati pandal in lane no. 12. The reason for popularity amongst Mumbaikars is the magnificent décor and the liveliness of the volunteers. The staffs who work day and night for these 10 days have a charm on their face in spite of the tiredness. One of the probable reasons for this happiness and glow could be their devotion to the community, city and the Almighty.
People around the city and particularly, Khetwadi, wait all year long for this pandal to set up and start working the same a couple of months prior to Ganesh Chaturthi. The decoration of this Ganpati pandal is colourful and funky. It does complement the festival, but, at the same time gives a touch of modernism.
Location: Khetwadi, lane no. 12. The nearest railway station is Grant Road and it’s hardly a 5-minute walk from the east side.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is on the 7th day at 10 o’clock in the night. The pandal stays open for 24 hours and there are devotees in the queue through the entire night, yet, the least public can be found is at the strike of 10 in the clock.
Dukescha Raja in Chembur is now more commonly referred to as Chemburcha Raja. Dukes now renamed to PepsiCo. Ltd has its production unit set up in Govandi area of Chembur. This factory has an iconic pandal set up by its employees with the assistance of finance from the global giant: PepsiCo. Along with the workers, their families also assist in the process of planning and execution of this pandal.
Chemburcha Raja is widely known for the variety of décor that creative employees of PepsiCo. deliver. Apart from the workers and their families, hundreds of Mumbaikars worship Chemburcha Raja for peace of mind; and satisfaction of the soul.
As Duke’s pandal is one of the only Ganpati in Mumbai which is set up by workers, it’s often referred to as Common-Man’s Ganpati. People strive day and night for the welfare and prosperity of their families; and, with a little faith, their hard work pays off. Sometimes, it’s just about saying thank you to God rather than requesting.
Location: Duke’s Ganpati is at Shivaji Maharaj Statue near the R.K. Studios in Chembur. It’s one of the most easily accessible pandals in Mumbai by road. The nearest station is Govandi station. Although you might want to hire an auto-rickshaw from the station, it’s approximately 1 kilometre.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is on a weekend when the staffs are not in huge numbers and devotion can be put forward in peace.
Andhericha Raja on Veera Desai Road is iconic for many reasons, some of them are, the décor of the pandal is eccentric, the idol is magnificent and every year a lot of celebrities visit this pandal for Ganpati Bappa’s blessings.
This pandal features in the media many times for its décor and excellent queue management. There isn’t anything extraordinary ordinary about the queue management; it’s just that the volunteers give their sweat and blood for the best experience of a devotee whilst he/she is praying for their requests and asking for forgiveness.
Location: Veera Desai Road, Andheri (W). The nearest railway station is Andheri, however, it’s more than 2.5 kilometres from Andheri station. Nonetheless, it’s hardly a 5-minute walk from Azad Nagar Metro Station.
Best Time to Visit: Unlike all the other pandals, the best time to visit is slightly different than others on this list. I personally recommend visiting this Ganpati pandal in Mumbai in the day-time on a weekday.
South Mumbai has a lot of creatively quirky pandals. The reason for this could be either the people residing in this area are highly devoted or they want to continue the legacy their forefathers started decades ago. Nonetheless, I’m grateful that every year we get to witness some of the most enthralling idols of Lord Ganesha. One of them is in Marine Lines, Chandanwadicha Raja.
The iconic feature of this pandal is the huge set in a very limited space. It allows only the set up of the pandal as well as the arrival of Ganpati Bappa. Still, the décor is fantabulous and queue management by the volunteers is exceptional.
The reason for this pandal to mention on this list is that it resembles each and every Mumbaikar. We know how to make the most of the availability in a weirdly sensible manner. In other words, Mumbaikars know how to make the most of what we have, be happy with it and share the happiness amongst the citizens of this mighty city.
Location: Chira Bazaar Junction. The nearest railway station is Marine Lines. Do not bother hiring a cab; it’s hardly a 200 metres-walk.
Best Time to Visit: The best hour to visit is in the evening at 5 o’clock. The queue is relatively short and the pace is quick. The least public is on the 8th and 9th day of the festival.
So, this is the point where the list of Ganpati Pandals in Mumbai ends. Although there are a few points to keep in mind, do read them. They might be helpful.
Points to Keep in Mind:
- Do not go by vehicle. The parking area shall be around 2 km from the pandal entrance.
- There are many roadblocks during these 10 days.
- Do not carry any valuables.
- Lastly, be patient. The queues are long, and it shall take a good amount of time for you to see the most devoted Ganpati in Mumbai.
- If you want, do carry some food with yourself; because these streets of Mumbai will make you hungry.
If you know of any other Ganpati pandals in Mumbai, which has an impact on Mumbai or Mumbaikars; then do let us know in the comments below.