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Ganpati Gele Gavala... Ganesh Visarjan

18th September, 2013 - Ananth Chaturdashi (Last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival):

"Ganpati Gele Gavala, Chain Padena Amhala!"

[Rough translation: Lord Ganesh departs to His village, We all feel uneasy.]

Loud chants like these pierce the dark of the night as drum beats vibrate and firecrackers boom in the air. It seems like an entire city of Mumbai has taken to the streets. Hordes of people - more young than old - are all my eyes can see. There is jostling and shoving, there are celebrations, songs, dancing, revelry and a lot of merrymaking, everyone is on the move; so many things just a blur.

This is the last day of the annual Ganesh Chaturthi festival and one can see emotions running high; Our Beloved Bappa is all set to bid GoodBye.

On the streets of Mumbai:

At regular intervals, huge trucks, rickshaws and cars carrying varying-sized idols of Lord Ganesha make an appearance. Some pilgrims stand at the sidewalk and observe him passing by while others rush to capture His final glimpse in their lens for one last time.

A Ganesha idol being taken for Ganesh Visarjan in car, Mumbai
A Huge Ganesha idol being taken for Ganesh Visarjan in rickshaw, Mumbai
A Huge Ganesha idol being taken for Ganpati Visarjan, Mumbai
A Ganesha idol being taken for Ganesh Visarjan in Mumbai
Ganesha Goes Home

He seems living, breathing... stretching out His hands in full as an act of His blessing and benevolence.

A Ganesha idol being taken for Ganesh Visarjan in Mumbai
Ganesha Blesses All

At the Ganesh Visarjan lake (immersion site): He sits down for the final rituals; the diya lamps igniting the devotional atmosphere, the arti or the devotional hymns pitching the solemn tempo and the prayer claps raising the barometer of faith.

Ganesha prayers before Ganesh Visarjan, Mumbai
Final Ganpati arti before Ganesh Visarjan, Mumbai
Ganesha prayers before Ganesh Visarjan, Mumbai
Ganpati arti just prior to Ganesh Visarjan, Mumbai
Light of the divine: The Ganesha Arti

As someone who has been a guest for some 11 days now, Bappa knows all about you. Remember our Ganpati pandal hopping? (And, of course, our bribe of large modaks!!!) Your joys and sorrows are His joys and sorrows now. Yet, He is never tired to hear your woes out. It’s that time when you can fast track that one wish of yours for one last time. And, Yes. He fulfills. Never ever disappoints.

Prayers whispered in Ganesha's ears before Ganesh Visarjan, Mumbai
Hear my prayers, Deva!

All the religious paraphernalia is removed, slowly but surely. A member dear member of the family is about to depart. It’s a test of true love. A lesson in non attachment: If you truly love, it never disappears. It stays in the soul. Forever.

Ganesha, the Teacher

And then... like a little baby, a precious treasure... He is lovingly carried to the final visarjan (immersion) site with utmost care and highest respect. Eyes are moist, mood somber, cries of goodbye – Loud.

Ganpati being carries for Ganesh Visarjan in an artificial lake in Mumbai
A clay Ganesha being carried for Ganesh Visarjan in an artificial lake in Mumbai
Ganesha taken for Ganesh Visarjan in an artificial lake in Mumbai
Farewell Time...

Ineffable feelings of deep tender affection dissolve the boundaries of ritualistic idol worship;

Devotees bidding Bappa Goodbye, at an artificial Visarjan lake in Mumbai
Devotees bid Bappa Goodbye, at an artificial Visarjan lake in Mumbai
Goodbye, Ganesha

Instead, a new relationship is born... A relationship that promises to guide you through, through the passage of time.

Ganesh Visarjan taking place in an artificial lake in Mumbai

A relationship that is hard to forget... even harder to let go. It’s a relationship that grows stronger... year after year. With every passing year.

Goodbye’s are not forever, are not the end;
it simply means I’ll miss you until we meet again. ~ Unknown

Ganesh Visarjan in an artificial lake in a local temple in Mumbai

"Ganpati Bappa Morya,
Pudchya Varshi Lavkarya!"

Post a Comment


  1. You do have a way of making us feel as if we're there. I can almost feel the energy of the crowds and the mixed joy and sorrow.

  2. Wonderful set of pictures! I would have thought that there would have been pictures in all directions.

    My pictures from the market are all from Melbourne - but in a part of city called Camberwell.

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  3. Very emotional ...can't write anything, but I can feel and can experience the divine feelings only.

  4. Wow what a post. He is the dearest member of every family.

  5. Wonderfully captured!

    For me the best pic is the child whispering into the ears of DEVA.

  6. What a lovely lovely tradition.

  7. Mumbai's popular festival came and left! :)Everything went fine as far as managing the festival is concerned for the administrators. Great management.

  8. Sad to see Ganapati being submerged. Happy that He will reappear again next year. Arti I love your extensive coverage and beautiful images of Ganesha. Nice post.

  9. That relationship must be great. I learned a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I remember these rites from your posts in previous years - always a time of emotion, love, and celebration. I like what you've said about non attachment, Arti - so true.

  11. A nice post to write about Lord Ganesh.

  12. beautiful journey through pics

  13. Your series evokes emotion and deep felt tradition. Really nice!

  14. Arti, now you can follow me at

  15. Await return of Ganpati next year, after bidding goodbye this year! Beautiful pictures Arti:)

  16. Ganpati Bappa morya,pudhchya varshi lavkar ya...
    Beautiful pictures :)
    I also went there on 5th day of Ganeshotsav for 5 days Ganpati Visarjan. (link -

  17. Loved the pictures, it took us on a tour to do Ganesh Visarjana!!! Loved it!

  18. Great Captures..Ganpati ji of all Shape and Size and the joyous moment for all the people.. :)

  19. Excellent blend of narration and Photography

  20. Excellent blend of Narration and Photography. Have you ever seen Immersion of Devi durga in Kolkata? Much to the same.

    1. No, never got a chance Pradip. But would definitely love to (and I hope I can) experience this beautiful tradition also someday.

  21. The post is more like a tour through Ganpati Visarjan
    Regards :)

  22. The Visarjan Pictures Are Looking Awesome. it Seems Like I was there In Mumbai at The Time Of VISARJAN...

  23. I really love looking at your photos Arti.

  24. Beautifully Described...! :)

  25. great photos, perfect moments captured Hats off !

  26. My Dearest Arti dear,
    Hope you're doing good. Coming at your blog is always a pleasure... your welcoming words and beautiful clicks makes me happy :-)
    Hope to talk to you soon...
    Lots of love!

  27. Just love it.
    Ganapati Bappa Morya

  28. "if you truly love, it never disappears, it stays in your soul forever!"- ah, so true, very well said, Arti, love the thoughts.

  29. Thanks for the experience of Mumbai. I am not due for another big vacation until another decade, so I will have Mumbai on the next destination's list.

  30. As always so beautifully written that I've come away feeling as if I was there.

  31. A very nice account Arti,i have seen the whole festivities through your eyes-thank you.

  32. the spirit and enthusiasm of Ganesh Chaturthi has been captured beautifully by you...nice post

  33. Missed it this year since I am not in India. Thanks for the virtual tour Arti ! :)

  34. beautifully captuerd festival photos...

    thanks arti

  35. One of most beautiful and lively festivals in India. Beautiful shots!

  36. Beautifully written and supportive photos make sure that we get every detail of this colorful festival.


  37. Hello, Arti.

     The encounter with your work is my pleasure.
     Thank you for visit.

     The prayer for all peace.
     I wish You all the best.

    Have a good weekend. From Japan, ruma ❃

  38. Indeed "If you truly love, it never disappears. It stays in the soul. Forever." -once again thank you for taking me to your world through your beautiful narration and powerful photos, ♥

  39. lovely photographs .. telling a story of their own

  40. Nice candid pictures.
    This year comparatively there were lesser pandals and based on that the decibel level was low.

  41. Superb.. I also enjoyed your other posts on this subject..

  42. Beautifully written. I love the symbolism associated with this festival. How the immersion of the physical thing is not goodbye, but the birth of something new.


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