Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mumbai Ganpati Pandal - Sarvajanik Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha

Through the mouse ears, Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha, Ganesh Pandal Hopping, Mumbai

I will whisper secrets in your ears,
just nod yes and be silent ~ Rumi

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Sarvajanik Fortcha Icchapurti Raja (Wish-fulfilling Ganesha situated in Fort area, Mumbai):

The other day, I was reading an article titled 'The Top Ganpati Pandals in Mumbai' on the web. As I browsed through the entries, I found the regulars featured in the list: Lalbaugcha Raja, Ganesh Galli, GSB Mandal Ganpati, etc. but the one that caught my eye also inspired me to hop over and meet not one, not two but 42 Ganeshas not only from India but from all over the world!

Famous Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha, Ganesh Pandal Hopping, Mumbai

 Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesh at Fort had summoned me in!

Entering in, the artwork was extravagant right from the word go. On the side walls of the pandal gate are stories from the puranas related to various Gods and Goddesses in the Hindu mythology. You can see musical instruments like the veena and the tabla along with Lord Natraja at the top signifying the spirit of melody and music that is so close to Ganesha's heart.

The Fortcha Ganesha Mandal is not only one of the top mandals in Mumbai but also one that has a long legacy attached to it. The inception of the mandal dates back to the pre-independence era, when Lokmanya Tilak had initiated the festival to unite people under the pretext of bhakti, devotion, decoration and music. Since then, the mandal has come a long way - this year stepping into its 60th, it pays homage to the great personalities of Lokmanya Tilak and Shivaji Maharaj at the entrance.

Magnificient palace of Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha, Ganesh Pandal Hopping, Mumbai

The queue to meet the King of Fort, Fortcha Raja is huge and I am in a dilemma.

Should I stand, should I leave?

A voice within eggs me on and I am in. It takes me around 2 hours waiting in the queue on a weekday but for the sights and the sounds I witnessed all along, it unravels to be a time well spent. 

I am saying hello to 42 Ganeshas from various temples, some known, some unknown, some seen, many unseen, housed in one place... it is like a a little fantasy land, like stepping into the unknown world I have always visualized in my dreams.


I get a glimpse of ancient Ganesha temples from the interiors of Maharashtra like Fadke Wadi Ganpati, Girgaun and Dolya Ganpati - names never heard of. There is Mysore, Madurai, Orissa as also Ganeshas from China, Japan, Rome and Cambodia - all vying for my curious attention. The intricate motifs add to the splendiferous beauty strewn all around.

Ganeshas from different countries at Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha, Ganesh Pandal Hopping, Mumbai


Different Ganeshas at Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha, Ganesh Pandal Hopping, MumbaiVivid Ganeshas installed at Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha, Ganesh Pandal Hopping, Mumbai


You pass the 8 important Ganesha deities of Maharashtra - The Ashtvinayaks, lined up on both sides of the stairs leading you to the main palatial hall housing the Fortcha Ganesha.


Along the way, is a bhajan mandali, a group of artistes and musicians that sing melodious songs to up the devotional tempo of the air.

Bhajan Mandli at Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha, Ganesh Pandal Hopping, Mumbai

The main hall of the pandal housing the Fortcha Ganesha is where a beautiful thematic 9 feet idol of wish-fulfilling Ganesha sits like a maharaja lovingly attending to His subjects.

Stunning spplendour of palatial Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha, Ganesh Pandal Hopping, Mumbai

It's a huge fort-cum-castle erected lavishly conceptualised by Ravi Surve, one of the organisers and an ardent devotee Himself. What is impressive is that the everything is constructed out of eco-friendly materials, one that glitters in dazzling chandeliers hanging from the aesthetically pleasing ceiling, the alluring 9 foot tall Icchapurti Ganesha adorned in 60 kgs pure gold and an assembly of 42 differently styled Ganeshas from the world over.

Crowds at Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha, Ganesh Pandal Hopping, Mumbai

They say, He is the Icchapurti Ganpati... He shall fulfil all your wishes,

But the thing is, when I finally stand in front of Him,

Grand idol of Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha, Ganesh Pandal Hopping, Mumbai

... I forget everything ...

Beautifully decorated Fortcha Icchapurti Ganesha, Ganesh Pandal Hopping, Mumbai

Stop the words now.
Open the window in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out.
~ Rumi.

Traveller tips, FAQ's and other information:

Location of Fortcha Raja: Ballard Estate, Near Fort GPO, Fort, Mumbai.
Nearest Railway Station: Churchgate (Western line) and CST (Central line).
Best time to visit Fortcha Raj: During the day. As it tends to get crowded in the evenings and the weekends.



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12 comments:

  1. Delightful read and so informative post...

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  2. Beautiful like the other posts on Ganesha .

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  3. wowo beautiful pics .. thank you for sharing


    Bikram's

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  4. Really "I forget everything" feeling. :-)

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  5. Wonderful darshan, and I really liked the idea that they have displayed idols of other famous Ganeshas from different places..

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  6. Wonderful Post depicting the Great Pictures of God Lord Ganapati.. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Amazing photos, Great to visit Mumbai Ganpati Pandal's through your posts. Thank you :)
    Ganapati Bappa Morya _()_

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  8. Lovely Pictures. This was a nice virtual tour of Ganapati Puja. Thanx

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  9. Thank you for sharing the informative blog. It is indeed wonderful to read and useful. Read hanuman chalisa.

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