A List of Popular Ganesh Pandals in Mumbai during Ganesh Chaturthi 2008

There are thousands of Ganesh Pandals in Mumbai during the Ganeshotsava festival. Each mandal tries to outsmart the other by bringing in fresh ideas to the pandals. Lord Ganesha is represented differently in each pandal. It is impossible to say which one is the best but there a few pandals that get attraction due to devotion, simplicity, tradition, history and innovative ideas.

Update:- Popular Ganesh Pandals 2009 in Mumbai

Here is a list of Ganapati pandals in Mumbai during Vinayaka Chaturthi 2008. Please note that the list is not based on any criteria.

Keshavji Naik Ganpati at Girgaum is the oldest Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandal in Mumbai Located at Tilak Times Keshavji Naik Chawl, Girgaum, the history of the mandal dates back to the first Sarvajanik Ganesh festival in Maharashtra in 1893. The 2.5 feet idol here is noted for its simplicity. There is no much fanfare but mandal still keeps the tradition of Sarvajanik Ganesh festival call given by Lokmanya Tilak.

Lalbaugcha Raja in Parel is undoubtedly the most popular Ganesh pandal in Mumbai and attracts around 1.5 million devotees during the 10-day festival. It is believed that by praying to the Lalbaugcha Raja one’s wishes will be fulfilled. The main attraction here is a simple idol but with a golden crown, golden bracelets and other gold ornaments.

GSB Seva Mandal Wadala is the richest mandal in Mumbai and is noted for eco-friendly celebrations. The huge clay idol is richly adorned with 60 kilograms of gold and 175 kilograms of silver. The golden crown on the idol weighs around 22 kg. There are several different pujas that take place during the 10-day festival.

Huge Clay idol at 1st Khattar Gully in Thakurdwar – This pandal is a classic example of eco-friendly Ganesh celebrations in Mumbai. The 12-feet idol is made of Shadu matti or clay and is colored with watercolor. The pandal has been following this tradition for two decades.

Parliament House at Mahakali Mandal in Andheri: A replica of Indian Parliament (80x60 ft) is the theme used by Mahakali Mandal in Andheri. It is designed by Manoj Govekar. Lord Ganesha sits on the Speaker’s chair here and visitors can sit in the Viewers gallery and offer prayers to Ganesha.

Six-armed Shubhdrishti Ganesha in Tulsiwadi, Tardeo – The Ganesh idols of this mandal has won several best idols awards. This year the Ganesh idol is based on the Shubhdrishti Ganesha in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. It is also one of the richest pandals in Mumbai and the idols are studded with ornaments.

Ganesha Stands on Hibiscus Flower: This unique 24-foot idol is made by Balagopal mandal in Chira Bazar. The main theme here is a local redevelopment issue.

Ram Avatar Idol in Khetwadi 11th Lane: This huge 27-foot-tall idol is a major attraction in this area which has numerous Ganesh idols. It is the children who are the majority of the visitors here due to theme - Lord Hanuman fighting Gabbar Singh of Sholay.

Dabbawallah Tiffin Theme at Mahalaxmi: Famous sculptor Manoj Govekar has designed this pandal and it is drawing huge crowds. The pandal is modeled on the Dabbawallah Tiffin.

Wish fulfilling Andhericha Raja at Azad Nagar mandal at Veera Desai Road – This is a unique pandal as the Ganesh idol here is sponsored by devotees. In fact most decorative in the pandal are contributed the devotees from around the world. The immersion or Visarjan ceremony of this pandal is extended beyond the usual date and is performed on Sankashti day. There is a widespread belief that one’s wishes are fulfilled by praying here.

Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, Ganesh Galli – This popular mandal in heart of Mumbai has a history of more than 75 years and is noted for unique idols based on Hindu Puranas and Epics. This year a standing giant Ganesh idol is seen stopping a demon lifting the Shivling.