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Ganesh Chaturthi 2022: Ganpati Festival to return to Mumbai after 2 years, know about Preps, Pandal themes & more

Ganesh Chaturthi 2022: It’s that time of year when the air is filled with chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya.’ Mumbai is gearing up to celebrate the Ganapati festival with all of its charm and grandeur after two years of celebrations that were ruined by restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic. The Maharashtra government, which is recognised for its grand Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, has decided not to force any restrictions on Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations beginning August 31.

Due to the Covid outbreak over the last two years, the former Uddhav Thackeray government limited the height of idols to four feet. The Shinde-led government, on the other hand, has lifted the height restrictions on idols and allowed processions.

Also Read: Ganesh Chaturthi 2022: Most famous temples of Ganpati Bappa to visit

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has formed an expert committee to draught a policy for eco-friendly festival celebrations involving the immersion of idols in natural bodies. According to reports, the six-member committee has been asked to suggest alternative materials to Plaster of Paris (PoP) for creating eco-friendly idols and to submit its report within three months.

Dates of Ganpati Festival

The Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganpati festival starts on Ganesha Chaturthi, the fourth day of the fortnight, and ends on Anant Chaturdashi, the fourteenth day of the fortnight, according to the lunar calendar. This year’s celebrations start on August 31 and end on September 9. While most public pandals witness the festival for the entire 11 days, many people bring in Ganpati for one and a half days, three days, five days, and seven days.

No Limitation for Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra this Year

The Maharashtra government, led by Eknath Shinde, announced last month that it would not impose any restrictions on Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations beginning August 31. In addition, the state has lifted the height restrictions on idols and permitted processions.

Additionally, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde gave the state’s administration instructions to fix the roads that Ganesh idol processions will travel on. He requested that toll fees be dismissed for pilgrims travelling from Mumbai to Konkan, and he also instructed the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation to run enough buses throughout the festival.

“We could not celebrate the festival in the last two years owing to Covid-19 as there were several restrictions. But this year, we have decided to celebrate it without any restrictions. Considering this, we have issued directives to the police and the district administration to ensure it is celebrated smoothly and social harmony is maintained,” Shinde said after the meeting.

Themes & Famous Ganpati Pandals of Mumbai this Year

Ganpati is Mumbai’s most renowned and anticipated festival, with grand iconic pandals themed for the 11-day celebrations transforming the entire state into a work of art.

Lalbaugcharaja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal of Lalbaug: Lalbaugcharaja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal of Lalbaug is one of Mumbai’s most well-known pandals. Lalbaugcha Raja (King of Lalbaug) was founded in 1934 and is undoubtedly the most renowned and largest Ganesh statue in Mumbai, as well as the most visited. Lalbaugcha Raja mandal will build a replica of Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir this year.

The pandal attracts an average of 1.5 million visitors per day, with devotees sometimes waiting for more than 24 hours to catch a glimpse of Lalbaugcha Raja.

Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Seva Mandal at the King’s Circle area: The King Circle at GSB is known for its gold Ganesha and traditional celebrations in which they perform rituals in the traditional manner, allowing devotees to participate in religious activities only after they wear specific clothing.

The Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Seva Mandal in Mumbai’s King’s Circle area, known as Mumbai’s ‘richest’ Ganesh pandal, has undoubtedly taken an insurance cover of a record Rs 316.40 crore.

Also Read: Ganesh Chaturthi 2022: Know About Date, Shubh Muhurat And Importance

GSB’s Ganesh idol is traditionally decorated with gold and other precious material ornaments for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, which start on August 31. New India Assurance has provided insurance to the mandal for a variety of risks. The Rs 31.97 crore risk insurance cover includes gold, silver, and jewellery. Personal accident insurance is worth Rs 263 crore and covers volunteers, priests, cooks, footwear stall workers, valet parking personnel, and security guards.

Mumbaicharaja, Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, Ganesh Galli: This is Lalbaug’s oldest mandal, located just a few lanes ahead from the Lalbaugcha Raja.

Founded in 1928 by mill workers, the pandal is recognised for its unique new themes each year, which are often replicas of famous Indian locations. This year, the committee members intend to recreate Varanasi’s famous Kashi Vishwanath temple as a pandal.

Andhericharaja, Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti, Andheri: Andhericharaja, or the King of Andheri, was founded in 1966 and is also one of Mumbai’s most well-known Ganpati shrines. This year, the Andheri mandal has chosen to forgo the usual temple theme decor and create a replica of the Laxmi Vilas Palace in Vadodara, Gujarat, according to a mid-day.com report.

“The Laxmi Vilas Palace was constructed by a prominent Maratha family in Vadodara. We thought of making this beautiful palace as decor this year as not many are aware of it. People should explore this palace as the historic importance is not known to many,” Uday Salian, a spokesperson for Andhericha Raja, the Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti, was quoted as stating.

214 Special Trains by IRCTC for Ganesh Chaturthi 2022

The Indian Railways has decided to operate 214 Ganpati Special Trains as the country prepares to celebrate Ganeshotsav. Last month, Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted: “Ganpati Bappa Morya. 214 trains planned for the ensuing Ganpati Festival 2022.” The festival’s 74 trains have been announced by Central Railway.

Every year, thousands of people from Mumbai and its satellite cities travel to Konkan for Ganesh Chaturthi. As a result, Konkan-bound trains are extremely congested at this time of year. Konkan and Mumbai are linked because the mega-city has a sizable Maharashtrian population.

Ganesh Pandal’s Guided Tour in Mumbai & Pune

According to reports, the Maharashtra government’s tourism department is planning guided tours of renowned Ganpati pandals in Mumbai and Pune.

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According to a report on deccanherald.com, the Directorate of Tourism (DoT) will organise escorted tours in collaboration with registered tourists’ guides beginning on Ganesh Chaturthi. According to the report, devotees and tourists in Mumbai will be taken to Fort cha Raja in the Fort area, Keshavji Naik Chawl Ganpati in Girgaon, Lalbaugcha Raja of Ganesh Galli in Lalbaug, and the GSB Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samiti in Wadala as part of this initiative.

Tourists will also have the opportunity to participate in a ‘Ganesh idol-making workshop’ in Parel, where they will be able to make their own idols. The Mumbai tour will cost Rs 850 for Indians and Rs 1,600 for foreigners (per person) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., while the Pune tour will cost Rs 350 and Rs 550 for Indians and foreigners, respectively, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., according to the report.

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