The pomp and show, the dhol and extravagant pandals, the dancing to the beats on the streets, delicious food and the electrifying energy – everything comes together to create the massive Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Since Ganesh Chaturthi is on a long weekend, it gives you the perfect opportunity to travel to one of these locations and be part of this celebrations.
Celebrate Ganesh Chaturti at the Lalbaugh cha Raja pandal in Mumbai: Mumbai vouches for celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in the best possible way. Mumbaikars are fun-loving and needless to say, they make Ganesh Chaturthi a spectacular affair. Despite a few blocked roads and heavy traffic, it’s definitely worth witnessing. The local trains make travelling easy in the city if someone wants to avoid the traffic. And if one is up for it, Pune is a few hours away and celebrations are as big as Mumbai there as well.
Experience the holy atmosphere at a temple in Bangalore: The celebrations in Bangalore are more muted and traditional. While there are a few pandals that organize the puja, the real essence here lies in the temples. Make a trip to Panchamukha Heramba Ganapati Temple, Shri Jambu Ganapati Temple and Ananthanagar Ganapati Temple and enjoy the peace and serenity of the puja following the traditional local culture. The visarjan is a beautiful sight and you can head out to Sankey Tank or Ulsoor Lake to be a part of it.
Feel the music at Goa: While imagining a religious side to the party hotspot might be difficult, Goa has an extremely traditional approach to Ganesh Chaturthi. The puja conducted by the Hindu community here is extravagant. However, what stands out is the use of musical instruments like Shamel and Ghumot during the procession.
See the world’s largest Ganesh idol at Hyderabad: Hyderabad has the biggest Ganesh idol in the whole world and if not for anything, travelling to Hyderabad would be worth it just to view this mammoth creation by man. The idol is set up at Khairtabad and the construction takes about 3 to 4 months. To catch the visarjan (immersion) of the idols, visit Hussain Sagar Lake on the 11th day of the festival.
Go natural at Thiruvananthapuram: Thiruvananthapuram is one of the few locations across the country that constructs idols in an eco-friendly manner by using clay and milk. When in Trivandrum, you must follow the procession from Ganapati Temple to Shanghumukham Beach. Local artists and dancers perform with the procession till the idols are immersed in the sea. It is indeed a sight to see.
Celebrate on the beach at Chennai: Chennai’s celebrations might not be at a scale as huge as Mumbai but nevertheless, the locals set up pandals across the city for the celebrations. If you are in Chennai for the season, you must go to Marina beach to see the beautiful statues and witness the fun celebrations.