See you soon, Ganesha: Ganesh Visarjan, Mumbai

Good-byes make you think, they make you realize what you've had, what you've lost, and what you've taken for granted - Unknown

29th September, 2012, Ananth Chaturdashi Day: He has packed His bags and is ready to leave.

The streets are filled with devotees gyrating to songs of celebration and music. The air is suffused in vivacious chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya, Mangal Murti Morya! ...Bappa Bappa Morya... Mangal Murti Morya!

Devoteed dancing while taking Ganpati for Ganesh Visarjan, Mumbai

11 days of festivity has today reached its pinnacle and it’s a big farewell party out there. Today is Anant chaturdashi or Ganpati Visarjan, the final day of Lord Ganesha’s journey on earth. Today, lacs of Ganesha idols will be immersed in lakes, ponds and rivers all over the city. Armed with my little camera, I make my way to the nearby Siddhivinayak temple, through thousands of devotees already out there ensuring that they give their Bappa a grand farewell. Making His way along with me is Ganesha, The Divine traveler, our friend who has today reached the final leg of His journey, better known as the Ganesh Visarjan.

A Huge Ganpati on His way for immersion - Ganesh Visarjan, Mumbai
A Ganesh idol taken on head for Ganesh Visarjan, Mumbai
Lord Ganesha being taken for Immersion

Ganesh Visarjan: A Photo Essay

At the Siddhivinayak Temple:

He assembles in the arena and waits for the final proceedings before the visarjan

Ganesha idols waiting for Ganesh Visarjan in a Ganesh Temple

The diya (lamp) is lit and Ganesh Stuti or Arti (prayer)
is performed with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm for one last time.
His face gets a divine radiance with the flame of the diya glowing clear and bright.

Ganpati Arti being performed before visarjan

Coconuts are broken and He is played Holi with!

Devotees play Gulaal holi with their Lord - Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

His smile, His beauty, His cuteness... His memories are captured

Devotees asking for blessings of Lord Ganpati ahead of Ganesh Visarjan - Mumbai

The atmosphere is charged with devotion.

A devotee in deep prayer ahead of the final ritual of Ganesh Chaturthi festival

Wishes are whispered and His blessings are asked for.

Devotees whispering their wish in the ear of Lord Ganesha ahead of Ganesh Visarjan - Mumbai

All religious paraphernalia are removed, one by one.

All religious paraphernalia are removed before ganesh immersion

The final boarding call - A loud chant of Ganpati Bappa Morya, Mangal Murti Morya...

Ganpati idol being taken for visarjan

... And He is lifted high

Ganpati Visarjan in Mumbai

Some lower their heads while He gleefully passes over them

Ganpati idols being taken for visarjan - Ganesh Chaturthi festival

At the Immersion site: The Artificial Lake at the temple

Devotees look on with eager eyes,

Devotees watching their Ganpati ahead of Ganesh Visarjan - Mumbai

All hearts crying out to their dear friend -- Good Bye... Ganesha

Ganesh Visarjan, Mumbai

Amid chants of Bappa Bappa Morya, Pudchya Varshi Lavkar Ya,
Ganesha takes His flight back home...

Ganesh Visarjan in an artificial lake - Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

These final moments of visarjan are quite heart warming not only for those who have hosted Him in their house for the past few days but also for people like me who have just been a part of the festival from the sidelines.

A small girl watching her Ganpati ahead of Ganesh Visarjan - Mumbai
A little girl in a pensive mood looks on...

But these are also the moments that, I feel, highlight the real essence of the festival. Its in these final few moments that one can see the message He has wished to convey – The Message of love and detachment, of dissolution and creation, of bonding and separation, of patience and of moving on...

As the day gets darker and night falls over, I see the the streets are filled with the same enthusiasm and are still very much alive with all the party and celebrations,

Devotees dancing - Ganesh Chaturthi festival

As I make my way back home amid all these celebrations, A speck of gulaal kisses my cheek...

And I'm suddenly reminded me of a quote by Melina Campos,

Lord ganesh looks on - Ganesh Chaturthi festival

Memories last forever, never do they die.
Friends stay together, never say goodbye.

See you soon, Ganesha!

Post a Comment


  1. Hi Arti
    Ganeshji festival comes every year and it is so much fun and entertainment & brings joy and happiness.It is sad that we have to bid good bye on Visarjan day. Now we have to wait for the next year.
    I happened to be in Salt Lake city(Utah) on 29th. We visited the Ganesji Temple there which is located in a suburb called Jordan. It was really wonderful.Visarjan had already taken place last week :(

  2. Spectacular as always.
    Arti I am here to thank you for understanding me when I was feeling so low. You are a great friend.I am not yet ready for a comeback myself but you will see me here often. Have a beautiful week ahead.

  3. Such a wonderful, colorful festival for Lord Ganesha! I have really enjoyed your captures and descriptions, Arti! Thanks for sharing another terrific photo journey to your country!! Have a great week!

  4. I have so enjoyed your posts/photos of the celebration of Lord Ganesha's journey home! A wonderful look at your country and one of its celebrations! Thanks for sharing, Arti! Have a great week!

  5. It sounds very interesting for me. There are many joys and happiness.

  6. So special Arti! I so regret we don't have Ganesha here. But i have a tiny one - a present from my oga teacher. Have a super start to your week!

  7. Your photo journal tells a story of celebration and devotion. Nicely done, Arti!

  8. This looks like a wonderful time of spiritual devotion. Lovely.

  9. Yes, you are right never say good bye for Ganesha because he never leave and always stay inside of our heart.

    I'm feel sad after the visarjan celebration end, when i saw a lot of ganesha statue broke and leave in the beach alone :(

    I know it's just symbolization of immersion but it's more good if we treat our friends in a respect and good way :)

    Anyway great picture essay Arti ..

  10. You have captured the vibes of ganesh visarjan so beautifully...every click is so heartwarming...I love the click where you have captured the girl give a kiss to ganesha.The divine love that sparks in our hearts when ganesha is with us at home can touch all hearts indeed.

  11. Lovely adieu to the Ganpati Bappa:) It is only the clogging of roads that is nightmarish!

  12. Wonderful. I expected to be in Mumbai during Ganesh Chaturthi this year but instead landed in Kerala. Here Goddess Bhagawati (Durga) reigns.

  13. Bidding farewell..and that too to Bappa or ma durga.its always very sad moment, but i just wish and hope that people celebrate it in a ecofriendly way..

  14. its always sad during the visarjan day - but still there is a happiness and bright hope to welcome our beloved ganapati bappa next year- i can so relate my mood to that pensive moody girl in your post - but must say you have captured moments awesomely

  15. Wonderful photos, I can smell the smells and feel the excitement in the air.

  16. @Arti Truly Beautiful photos and Great post.Thank you so much for the post. We saw Ganesh Chaturthi Festival of Mumbai thrugh your blog.
    ~Ganapati Bappa Mourya~
    Have a nice week.

  17. I love your photos, Arti. There is so much love and enthusiasm for this deity in your country. May this love last a lifetime!

  18. I knew about Ganeshji festival in your post of last year. How time flies. And I think his face is charming whenever I see him.
    Have a great week!

  19. Hi Arti,
    Now I understand the framed handiwork you gave me is Ganesha! Actually it might be a perfect timing for me to ask him "for knowledge and wisdom" to take worries into my stride now. He is looking at me gently on the display shelf:)

  20. Fantastic views from a far country. I am greeting

  21. It was lovely to go around with the pics as If I was virtually there.
    You all must have a great time during this 11 day period.
    Just curious to know if all the Ganeshas are visarjit in Sea and Rivers, it must have contaminated water there ?

  22. "Memories last forever." I agree. that's why i prefer to collect memories rather than material things.

  23. Lovely to read about your experience of visarjan day. I finally made it to Girgaum Chowpatty for it this year! It was awe inspiring.

  24. Time flies fast.

    Before goodbye being said out, the festival comes back again.

  25. Beautiful photos of the Ganesh Visarjan celebration and I enjoyed your descriptions. Great post!

  26. This is the beauty of India. We have many festivals with deep rooted historic importance and religious beliefs. Especially the 2nd half of the year - Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussehra, Diwali, Eid and Christmas.. Let the festivities continue.. :)

  27. @R Ramakrishnan The reason for the Visarjan might have been because the Visarjans start taking place from the second day itself after the arrival namely One and a half day, 3rd, 5th,7th and the 11th day. Still, the experience must have been wonderful, thanks for sharing a part of it. :)

    @Kavita Hey Kavita, Glad to see you after a long time. Take your time, take care and remember, you are missed :)

    @Renu @Mareta I agree completely, and the awareness regarding all these things is only increasing with each passing year… or so I believe.

    @Sarah Yes, and see… time has started to tick again and it’s just a matter of a year when we will have all the festivities and celebrations back in our midst. I was thinking about you when I did this festival series. I remember you telling me how fond you are of the elephant God when we had met :)

    @cosmos A kind hearted soul like you, I am sure He has already heard you out :)

    @Abhishek Bharadwaj Not all are immersed in seas and rivers, many of them do it at homes in an ecofriendly manner. Some others immerse them in artificial lakes and ponds set up by the BMC at various places. It does lead to contamination which is a very sorry story associated with this festival.

    @Angeli Same here. Nothing can replace memories… they are for, forever to treasure.

  28. So the yatra with a difference has come to a superb end! Great Arti!

  29. Beautuful collection of ganesh visarjan festival photos


  30. lovely capture and description!!

    rituals are the same in Nagpur, but the scale is definitely massive in Mumbai and no one can beat that....we also have a "gopalakaala" which is a mixed prasad from all households of the area on the visarjan makes the visarjan all the more splecial!

  31. Beautiful. I have seen kids feeling sad and crying during this final occasion.

  32. What a fantastic celebration and event!

  33. Wonderful shots of the festivities.

  34. Ganpati Bappa Maurya !

    Asche bochor abar hobe !!!

  35. Beautiful pictures, especially one of the little girl looking on!

  36. Ah! I can almost feel all that energy. :)

  37. Hi Arti,

    I enjoyed your post of the Ganesh Visarjan Festival.
    Looks like a lot of fun and your photographs are lovely.
    Thanks for sharing and always great to see a little, of your world.

    Happy rest of the week

  38. The beautiful celebration for Lord Ganesh is over until next year. I'm sure the next day is a letdown after this fabulous celebration.

    The pictures are beautiful -- from them I have an idea what it would be like to be there. Thank you for sharing!

  39. Lovely captures Arti.
    In Bangalore, at Ulsoor lake there were more than 1 lakh immersions, not to mention other lakes.

  40. Energetic Blog Post!

    It is interactive and interesting. I liked all pics you have posted here.

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    I would like to invite you as a guest blogger. It would be our pleasure to have you on as a guest blogger for

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  41. Pictures are worth thousands of words, it’s nice to see the attention to detail from your end. ganpati bappa morya From it's all about humanity

  42. thank you so much to bring this yatra among us, the great devotees of the divine power :)

  43. This word's been much abused but I have to use it here... AWESOME it is. What fervour Ganapati inspires.. amazing indeed.

  44. It was my first time to witness a proper Maharashtriyan Ganesh Utsav. Amazing !

  45. The last picture is so beautiful..! I loved the title,very friendly, very todayish. Thank you for this virtual tour :D

  46. Very nice photos. Remembered Ganesh Chaturthi celebration at my mother's place.

  47. "The Message of love and detachment, of dissolution and creation, of bonding and separation, of patience and of moving on..."--I so love your thoughts on this Arti, indeed, never say goodbye, see you soon again, Ganesha, next year in your post here :) love the joyful celebration and the pensive moving on photos you'va captured Arti.

  48. see you soon Ganesha,:-) as always you captured and narrated a wonderful festivity with your heart warming words and expressive that pensive shot of the little girl :-) happy weekend on your side of the world....

  49. Wonderful post once again. Last Picture was awesome


  50. Wow, this looks like quite the celebration! Nice shots of the festivities. :D

  51. wow!! beautiful images n wonderful writing!!

    we landed up in Pushkar on the ganapati visarjan day and had as uch a spiritually up lifting experience watching the floats and idols , the energy the dance....

  52. Beautiful pictures and crisp captions! Mumbai gets transformed into this magical place during the Ganesh visarjan much more than even Diwali or Holi! Its unbelievable! Gulaal, ranti dancers, the loud music, nashik dhol, prasad, aarti, puja, flowers, everything is just Wow! And if it rains then nothing like it! Nice coverage!

  53. Brings back memories from the last year's mega post compilation you did!

    Yes, Ganesha will be back year after year...

    I would suggest why not you do a post on nature friendly ganesha idols from mumbai, as you get a large audience, it may well serve a purpose!

  54. @Santosh Thank you for the suggestion. Appreciate it. :) I had thought about it too but its hard to get relevant matter for the same. Will surely keep this in mind next year.

  55. My dear friend, thanks a lot for sharing this. Can't stop looking at these photos.

  56. just 2 words .. beautiful post

  57. I've always wanted to be a part of it but living in Himachal so far I can only watch it on TV or in the movies !!!
    A beautiful depiction of the event !!
    Will someday surely try to be there on this day !!!

    Happy Blogging !!!

  58. It always amazes how we humans are capable of investing so much hope in abstract forms like god. And to give it form, we invent religion, customs, rituals, festivals. I am not discrediting the practice. I myself am a believer (reluctant one though). But the euphoria simply overwhelms me. I guess we do need something to survive by. Ganpati bappa morya!

  59. Its always feel awesome when i recall the night of ganesh visarjan in mumbai that remind me when i see your photographs, its really awesome photographs

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