Ganesh Utsav is here, and while you are busy pandal hopping around town, check out these seven spots, known for their creative murtis and festive flavour
Girgaum, Kamat Chawl Thakurdwar
Celebrating the festival for the last 122 years, simplicity is key for Kamat Chawl residents. And they are happy to share tales from the forgotten pages of history and freedom struggle. Here, they do not follow the concept of themed decor and celebrate the festival in an absolute traditional manner. The idol is made of eco-friendly material called shadu. Following the spirit of why the festival was started in the first place, the pandal is built by the residents and each one volunteers to manage the space and the stage area.
Khetwadi, Tulsi Building Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal
This is the 75th year of the pandal and, like each year, the Ganesh idol is made up of different things, mostly edible. For instance, dry fruits, cereal and pluses, chikki, and stationery and diamond have been used. This year's focus is on kids and the theme is Disneyworld. The idol is made of Cadbury chocolate and the children cannot wait to see their favourite sweet take the shape of their favourite deity.
Malad, Shree Sai Darshan Mitra Mandal
For the last 11 years, this eco-friendly Ganesha has been a hit with devotees. Made from paper and cardboard, the organisers use various concepts including football erasers, pencils and cars. This year, Bappa is giving a shout out to nostalgia as the idol is made of old coins of 1 paise, 10 paise and 20 paise. The mandal's focus is to create awareness and education, especially about global warming.
Ghatkopar, S G Barve Nagar Sarvajanik Ganeshostav Mandal
Since 1966, the pandal's idols, one large and one small, have been luring devotees to this suburb. This year's theme is a dreamy fusion of a golden pillared palace, the religious oeuvre of Om Ganapataya namah and the galaxy. A daily bhandara of rice, dal, chole, bhaji, papad, pickles and gulab jamun feeds a thousand people. A blood donation drive along with free blood test and blood group check is done during the 10 day period.
Fort, Fort Vibhag Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav Mandal
Celebrated since 1956, this is one of the biggest fully centralised pandals in the city. This year, they have invited special artists from Rajasthan to create a palace setting. Their finesse and specially crafted artwork adds to the grandeur of the pandal. While you are here, you can easily spot a celeb or two. The maha aarti, especially for the police department, is scheduled for tomorrow.
Thane, Narvir Tanaji Mitra Mandal
For the last 38 years, this pandal has been not only known for its large murti and grand themes but also for reaching out to those in need, especially in rural areas. Bappa will happily rest in the grand Rajasthani Palace and overlook the tasks the members of the mandal will take up. Medical camps and a beautifully curated cultural programme that will see participants sing, dance and create beautiful flower arrangements and rangolis are in store for the Utsav.
Tilak Nagar, Sahyadri Krida Mandal
For the last 41 years, this pandal has been dedicatedly putting up themes on social awareness. This year, their theme is 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan' and will include artworks illustrating places from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, highlighting important destinations like the Himalayas and Madurai's Meenakshi Temple. These will be interspersed with reproductions of the metro, rail space research, army personnel and agricultural families to show how they co-exist to form an integral part of society.
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