Get an inside look at one of Maharashtra’s most popular religious festivals.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10 day Hindu festival in honour of the elephant headed god Ganesh, the remover of obstacles and god of wisdom.
Families and communities install a clay statue of the god in their home or a communal space and honour the god each day, at times led by a priest, with a variety of rituals. At the end they lead a procession with the statue to a body of water and immerse him. The immersion
represents sending the god home along with the troubles of man and everyone prays that he will come again early the following year.
We’re going to look at this festival from all angles. We’ll start by understanding the different ways the festival is celebrated in Dharavi by visiting the homes of families from various regions of India. Next, we’ll learn the history of the festival’s modern form by a visit
to the community that started it. Finally we’ll witness the immersion at the most famous location: Chowpatty Beach.
Note: This tour can easily be combined with our afternoon Dharavi Tour.
We’ll start by visiting a public pandal (temporary shrine) in Khumbharwada, the pottery colony in Dharavi.
Next, we’ll visit multiple families in Dharavi from different regions and see the variations in the celebrations across different regions of India.
The First Ganesh Festival
To better understand Ganesh Chaturthi in its modern form, we will visit the society that started it. A local activist, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, devised the communal celebration of the festival as a way to circumvent the curfew imposed by the British.
We’ll stop for some food at our favourite Chowpatty street food stalls. Sev Puri, Pav Bhaji and Kulfi are a must!
The grand finale. After several days of offerings and prayers, families and communities bring their Ganesh to Chowpatty for a final pooja (prayer) and immersion. (Note: it will only be this crowded on the final day)