Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meeting Ganesha: Mumbai Ganpati Pandal Hopping

The current scenario here is such that if I walk around for say half an hour on foot from one place to another, I can easily peep into a dozen odd pandals set up for Lord Ganesha in the various adjoining localities.

The place I'm talking about is Mumbai - the place that celebrates the Ganesh Chaturthi festival with the most enthusiastic fervor in all of India, the place that gives you a chance to shed all your inhibitions and meet the Lord one on one, the same place where I have lived all my life. Thus, this is something that I love to do, to visit some pandals in my neighborhood, pay my respects and ask for His blessings, year after year.

Meeting Ganesha: Mumbai Ganpati Pandal Hopping

My mom tells me, The ‘Lord of knowledge and wisdom’, ‘The Remover of obstacles’ can hear our words provided they are wrapped in folds of devotion, distance no bar. So, keep aside all your work for a few moments and and join me as I hop into some of the Mumbai Pandals in my neighborhood! Let's meet our very own friendly neighborhood Ganesha!

Ganesh Pandal decorated with flowers and plants in Mumbai

A large Ganpati idol  in Mumbai Pandal decorated with coconuts, fruits and flowers

Ganesh Pandal decorated with flowers and jewellary in Mumbai

Ganpati pandal decorated during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival

Small idols of Lord Ganesha in Ganpati pandals

Huge Ganesh idol in a Mumbai pandal

Huge Ganesh idol in a Mumbai Sarvajanik Ganpati Pandal

An ashtavinayak thematic pandal during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival

Huge Ganpati Idol in Pandal decorated beautifully

While I see Him all the year around in temples and at home but meeting Him in pandals, is something different - its more personal... something that can be felt once you are there. Definitely cant be said for all, but the atmosphere in some of these pandals is really peaceful.

With the soft melody of the devotional chants lingering in the room, the smell of the incense sticks wafting through the air, the muted lighting making it more individual... its in these quiet and calm moments that help you establish a direct communion with the God, that you can actually sense His presence...

As I stare at His large life like demeanor for a few moments... A conversation between me and my mother plays in my mind...

Ganpati idol  in Mumbai Pandal decorated with coconuts, fruits and flowers

"Ask Him for knowledge and wisdom, Beta."
"But why not give him all my worries, Ma?"
"Because dear, once you will have the gift of knowledge and wisdom...
all your worries will automatically vanish away"

There is certain logic in my mom’s words...
There is a rooted trust, belief and conviction in my heart...
There is a hint of assurance in His gaze...

And together... I can sense them creating Magic...

Ganpati idol decorated with flowers in a pandal of a society

Magic that I hope,
shall make me be a better person tomorrow...

II Ganpati Bappa Morya II

--> From the Year 2012:



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53 comments:

  1. Hey Arti, I guess I'm first time here. I went to Baroda (Gujarat) recently and they've these huge celebration of Ganesha with hundreds and thousands of Ganesh Idols all around the city. They've one very beautiful in king's palace.

    Seems we share one common passion - spiritual travelling.

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  2. Such lovely pandels Arti - I can see that they create an atmosphere of intimacy and devotion. Your Mother is a very wise woman! PS I attempted to comment on your former post last night but was unable. I really enjoyed the photos.

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  3. I love your colorful post for the day, Arti!! I loved meeting all of your Ganeshas!! Hope you're having a great week!

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  4. Indian festivals are always unique, really. I'm looking forward to go back to India, thinking about spending a month in an ashram to learn some yoga and come out a whole new person ;)

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  5. So lovely Arti! Yay Ganeshal ,ove and blessings!

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  6. Very unique and interesting. They are quite different from ours.

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  7. Oh wow..that's so colorful, interesting and fascinating to see! And very decorative too..I thought your mom's answer is very wise, and makes so much sense.

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  8. Hi Arti,

    Thanks for sharing this post, and was great to find out more about, meeting Ganesha.
    Such great advice with the conversation between you and your Mother: of having the gift of knowledge and wisdom, worries will vanish away.

    Happy week
    Carolyn

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  9. I enjoyed this Arti. Nice to experience the positive aspects of your culture with your blog.

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  10. Ganesha look happy with a lot of flower and nice pandals. I can see the smile on his face.
    Thank's for the ganesha pandals tour Arti, amazing picture :)

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  11. Beautiful captures! Loved the conversation between you and your mother. So true!

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  12. Incredibly fascinating & colourful Ganeshas. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures.

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  13. Pandal hopping during festive time is a bliss to see so much creativity on display! Thanks Arti!

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  14. Thank you for letting me take part in your beautiful and Holy celebration.

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  15. Arti: May you enjoy peace, happiness and gratitude today and all the days of your life.

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  16. Its hard not to see a Ganpati, if you are living in Mumbai :)
    From my home to the bus stop (0.5km distance), I get to see 4 pandals

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  17. "Because dear, once you will have the gift of knowledge and wisdom...
    all your worries will automatically vanish away".....learning from your mom a wonderful piece of thought and feeling the peace and tranquility of faith and goodness from your post...

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  18. Thanks for taking all of us into the pandal hopping along with you..

    M smiling for correcting my error silently..thanks a lot..after i posted i realized it..

    'Ganpati Bappa Morya'- :)

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  19. beautiful pictures I so want to do that pandal hop for sure ..

    Can i come over :)

    Bikram's

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  20. This ganesh chathurthi I was busy shifting my residence and missed all the fun. Liked the virtual tour of Ganesha pandal.

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  21. Beautiful pictures and so colourful. And such words of wisdom from your mom.

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  22. Ahhh.... one day I shall visit India and see all this with my very own eyes! Wonderful pictures, I want to learn more!

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  23. @Arti Just come to your blog and saw your new post. Thank you so much for sharing awesome photos & post.
    ~ Ganapati Bappa Moraya~

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  24. Words of wisdom from your mom and I wish I can be in Mumbai during these festivities. Thanks for the visual tour. I agree with you that pandals are more personal. :)

    Enjoy your festive season:)

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  25. I so love the wisdom shared by your mom Arti, so true, and so glad to meet all your Ganeshas, may all the obstacles in your way have been removed, and with wisdom, indeed, you have the strength to overcome those obstacles.

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  26. Great sights!
    I will be pandal hopping soon for Durga Puja. :)

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  27. Amazing creativity and color combination on display! The design of Ganpati idols, the pandals, the color combinations are absolutely fanstastic. :)

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  28. wonderful, Arti!!! i missed out seeing a lot of ganeshas this year.. making up seeing ur blog!

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  29. Hi Arti, these are great photos, and the colors are so festive!

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  30. Beautiful pictures with few but lovely words of commentary to go with.

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  31. amazing and beautiful captures :):)

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  32. china ho ya korea ... ganpati bappa moryaaaa !!!!

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  33. Amazingly Beautiful Captures of Ganesha :-). He looks so divine. Totally in awe. Thank you so much for sharing these photos Arti :-). I'm going to share the link with my Mom, who is now abroad and missed out the festivities here. She is sure going to love it. :-)

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  34. I have been in Mumbai for 2 years...really enjoyed Ganesh Chaturthi there....kind of made up the the Durga Puja's that i missed....

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  35. beautiful pics and the post!

    thanks for the visual delight i had and for making me see Mumbai's Ganesh chaturthi festivities..!

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  36. Your words have recreated the magic for us Arti. Lovely! Do you know in Chennai they started making innovative Ganesha idols like one playing cricket or sitting in front of a pc :) Is it the same in Mumbai?

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  37. Amazing array of ganapatis. The songs, the prasad and the festivities make it so wonderful. You caught it all perfectly.

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  38. @Jaish I'm pretty sure Mumbai must be having some of these innovative ones too. Unfortunately, I could travel no further than my own locality this season and here, I could spot nothing different of these sorts. :(

    @Ashwini I'm so glad that these pictures will help your mom enjoy the festivities. Thanks for sharing the links with her. :)

    Thanks everyone for your kind appreciations. Will conclude the series soon with the conclusion of the festival. :)

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  39. Thansk for the wonderful tour, Arti. Beautiful blog...now its time for us to go pandal-hopping. Durga pujas are round the corner...:)
    I am waiting for your concluding part/ And what your Mom said about the worries...is so true! Great insight indeed...
    I am sorry for being late.

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  40. wonderful deepak..aapne mumbai ka jhalak dhikhaya :)

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  41. what a moving post. I really like your mom Arti. That you were impacted deeply by this experience is evident in your words. beautiful.
    happy day to you Arti. thanks for sharing this.

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  42. What a sweet post. That conversation between mommy and daughter was so lovely. :)
    Pandal hopping sounds like such an interesting thing to do during the season. It must be so much fun to go around and see how each one is done, right? I'm so glad you get to do this and we get to see this through you.
    I could almost hear the chants and smell the incense.
    Love this post!

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  43. All captures are so good and colorful...

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  44. .•°♫♪♪
    Bom fim de semana!
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil
    彡♪♫°¸.•♫°`

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  45. Arti,
    The words of your mother are great and full of wisdom.
    In flickering candle light, people exchange heart to heart talk with Ganesha.
    How peaceful and magical the pandals are! Ganesha has so merciful eyes.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    keiko

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  46. Thank you, Arti, for taking us along pandal hopping with you. Ganeshas are so colorful and fascinating. I don’t seem to have enough knowledge and wisdom because I still have worries.... though they are small. Wish you happy days ahead.

    Yoko

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  47. A beautiful post about a beautiful festival. Hope Lord Ganesha blesses us all. Thank you for this wonderful post, Arti. :)

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  48. Lovely pictures..! I guess, Ganeshji is special for students too :D

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  49. hi, pics look good. hope, I attend one

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  50. Who needs Ganesha when you have such a wise mother? :)

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