Ganesh Chaturthi, this year-round, will be observed on Saturday, August 22. Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is the most significant Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Ganesh, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Mumbai around this time opens a land of Mandals with idols of Ganpati from all shapes and sizes. And it is the usual time of the year when the words ‘Ganpati Bappa’ gets an instant response of ‘Morya’ from every corner of Mumbai city.
For over months before Ganesh Chaturthi arrives, the idols and pandals that artists, sculptors, volunteers, and vendors work for the 10-day long larger than life celebrations. Recreating forts, palaces, and placing Ganpati idols in astounding garments has become the competition that everyone in the city awaits.
Freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was the one who began Ganeshotsav celebrations in Maharashtra in the year 1901.
Pandals to look around during Ganesh Chaturthi
Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, Lal Baug
Which is considered to be the wish-fulfilling Ganpati, devotees end up waiting in queue for days to get a glimpse of the most renowned Lalbaughcha Raja.
Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti, Andheri
The puja here started by the workers of the Golden Tobacco Company, Tata Special Steel, and Excel Industries Ltd in 1975 when they pledged that if the long strike of the companies ended, they’d keep the idol for 16 days. This place is a hub for celebrity-spotting during Ganesh Chaturthi.
Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Seva Mandal, King’s Circle
Mumbai – Siddhivinayak
Many shouldn’t miss out on Ganesh Chaturthi and its celebrations at Siddhivinayak. The temple is situated in Prabhadevi, near Dadar in Mumbai.
The 2020 Ganesh Utsav
Only due to Pandemic this time around Ganesh Chaturthi wouldn’t be with the same enthusiasm.
Keeping in mind the rising cases of coronavirus in India, the state government has issued guidelines for Ganesh Chaturthi this year.
The Maharashtra government made it mandatory for all the Mandals to take prior permission from the concerned municipality or local authority for Ganeshotsav celebrations. The government has issued the maximum idol height at 4 feet, also for the idols that come home cannot be more than 2 feet.
With over 1.13 lakh COVID-19 cases and about 6,3000 deaths, Mumbai is one of the worst-hit cities affected by the Pandemic in the country. Over 6,000 cities have been sealed, and many have been demarcated as containment zones.
According to the Unlock 3 guidelines, the center has not permitted any huge gatherings concerning religious, political, cultural activities till August 31. According to which the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation highlighted that Ganesh manuals located in any COVID-19 containment zones around the city would have to conduct idol immersions inside their pandals.
The same set of rules for the people who bring idols and set them up in their homes fall under the containment zones. The daily aartis will also not include any crowd and are asked to follow the noise pollution norms.
Usually, around this time, Mumbai’s seashores are surrounded by crowds from different corners to see Ganesh idols immersed inside water. Strict actions will be taken if there are any violations. The BMC appealed to the citizens of the city to celebrate the festival.
Guidelines across Pune, Karnataka, Delhi, Goa, Telangana have also been issued for Ganesh Chaturthi. From no large gathering to no fireworks. As the instructions are highly required, it does lack the usual zest.
There’s nothing special than a handful of modaks to eat during Ganesh Utsav. The rituals of tidying up the house before welcoming Ganesha back are somethings that wouldn’t be changing even this year-round.
From breathtaking dhols to sad goodbyes. As the Ganesh season might close in by the 10th day and the series of significant feasts might come to an end, the hearts of Ganesh Chaturthi will always repeat, ‘Ganapati Bappa Morya, Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Ya.’