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Mumbai's richest, biggest and famous Ganpatis

Last updated on: September 09, 2013 12:42 IST

Lalbaugcha Raja

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One of the biggest festivals in the country, Ganeshotsav attracts visitors from across the country to see the offerings of some of the most creative and famous Ganesh pandals. We bring you the richest, biggest and famous Ganesh pandals from Mumbai.

Lalbaugcha Raja

Where:
 Lalbaug, Mumbai

Famous for: It is known to fulfil your wishes

The history: In 1932, a temporary but prime market place in the Peru Chawl area of Lalbaug was shut down by the government. The fishermen and vendors who lost their livelihood decided to pray to Ganesha to help them with a permanent place to do business. Thanks to the efforts of a few councillors in the area, a new market was constructed in the same place 

In celebration, the localites formed the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal in Lalbaug in 1934.

Since Ganesha fulfilled the wish (navas) of the fishermen and vendors, the Lalbaug Ganpati also came to be known as 'the wish-fulfilling one.'

The first Ganesh idol was incepted on September 12, 1934. Since then, the mandal is thronged with visitors throughout the 10 days of the festival.

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Photographs: Afsar Dayatar/Rediff.com

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Girgaoncha Raja

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Girgaoncha Raja

Where: Girgaon, Mumbai

Famous for: It's the tallest, eco-friendly idol made of clay

The history: In 1928, Ramchandra Tendulkar, who was the Mandal's treasurer at that time, started the Ganesh Utsav in the Nikadvari Lane. The speciality of the Ganesh idol at Girgaon is that it is one of the few idols in the state that is made out of clay.

Unlike the regular idols which are made out of Plaster of Paris, the Girgaoncha Raja is made of Shadu clay, a special type of clay which is imported from West Bengal and is also used to make Durga idols for the Durga pooja.

Another tradition here is that since the last 85 years, the Patkar family is in charge of making the idols, which are peculiarly over 20 feet in height every year.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

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Mumbaicha Raja

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Mumbaicha Raja

Where: Ganesh Galli, Mumbai

Famous for: Oldest Ganesh pandal in the city

The history: One of the oldest known Ganesh pandals in the state, the Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, Ganesh Galli started the festival in 1928 to inspire people to fight for their rights in the pre-independence era. Throughout the 10 days of the festival, after the evening pooja, the organisers would host plays like the Ramayana and Mahabharata and screen regional movies to raise awareness about India's rich culture and various art forms. 

In the year 1977, the pandal entered its 50th year and to celebrate the occasion, erected a 22 ft idol, which went on to become the first biggest Ganesh idol in the whole of Maharashtra. While the record was subsequently broken by Khetwadicha Raja in the year 2000, the organisers have ensured to keep the idol well over 20 ft since then. This is despite the BMC issuing a warning to restrict the height of idols to 18 feet.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

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Khetwadicha Ganraj

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Khetwadicha Ganraj

Where: Lane 12, Khetwadi, Mumbai

Famous for: They made the tallest ever Ganesh idol in Maharashtra

The history: When the Khetwadi Mandal was incepted in 1959, it had humble beginnings. However, in 1984, the members of the Mandal started collecting one rupee coins as donation towards their dream of making the largest Ganpati in the state.

With each passing year, the height of the Ganesh idol rose from 28 to 35 feet high. In the year 2000, the Khetwadi Mandal fulfilled their long cherished dream and created history. They made the highest idol of Ganesha -- a whopping 40 feet high statue replete in Parshuram Avtar, which is claimed to be the highest idol of Ganesh in the Indian history. 

Since then, there has been no looking back for them.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

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GSB Samaj Ganeshotsav

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GSB Samaj Ganeshotsav

Where: Ram Mandir, Wadala

Famous for: Adorned in a 22 karat gold-plated throne and precious jewels, it's the richest Ganesh idol in the city

The history: The Goud Saraswat Brahmin Samaj started the festival in 1955 with the sole aim of uniting the Goud Saraswat Brahmin community in Mumbai. Over the years, it is said to have answered the prayers of lakhs of people from different communities which went on to attract visitors from various parts of Mumbai. While some of them rewarded in cash, others donated gold and coins to the deity. In the year 2011, the GSB Samaj sought an insurance cover of Rs 222 crore for the idol. Needless to say, the GSB Samaj Ganesha is known to be the richest deity in the city.

 

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

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Bhandarkarcha Raja

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Bhandarkarcha Raja

Where: Bhandarkar Road, Matunga East, Mumbai

Famous for: Provides food to over 20,000 people through the festival

The history: In 1962, a few residents from Bhandarkar Road area came together to start the festival and promote a social cause. Unlike the other Ganesh pandals which collect money from locals and residents for the festival, the Bhandarkar Road Sarvajanik Seva Samiti works in peculiar way.

"We don't go door to door collecting money. Whatever money comes through donations is used to make the idol. Even the jewels and throne are not owned by the mandal. There are some noble people who have agreed to contribute to it. After the festival, they take it with them and provide it again the following year," informs Rajendra Verma, a committee member who has taken leave from work to look into the arrangements.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

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Andhericha Raja

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Andhericha Raja

Where: Andheri, Mumbai

Famous for: Besides fulfilling people's wishes, the pandal is known to replicate larger-than-life themes every year

The history: About 47 years ago, a few factory workers had moved from Lalbaug area of Mumbai to settle in the western area of Andheri, Mumbai next to their respective factories -- the Golden Tobacco Company, Tata Special Steel and Excel Industries Ltd.

These people, missed visiting and celebrating the Ganesh festival in Lalbaug and hence started the Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samitee in 1966 with the festive aim in mind.

Over the years, it has replicated various themes in its pandal which include famous temples like the Akshardham, Somnath, Mangueshi and Saras Baug.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

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