Ganesh 2018, a preview

The excitement has begun. The ten days of Ganapati begins on Thursday the 13th, 2018, but the big Ganesh’s have already reached their pandals.

These are pictures of the small ones, the family Ganesh’s, taken by Chitra Uttamsing, mostly from workshops in Vasai.






In the last picture, an artist works on the Ganesh. By now these statues will have reached their new homes, some for a short while and some for the full ten days.

More to come. Enjoy.



Just published – Monsoons and Mayflowers

Take a look at my latest book, Monsoons and Mayflowers, an unusual look at life, nature and the seasons in Mumbai city.

monsoons sm

Available as an ebook –

These endearing and delightful sketches will give you a most unusual look at the life of a big city.

Have you always wanted to know how not to talk crow, or how to think like a dog or walk into a wall of grass? Have you secretly desired to experience Mumbai’s most beautiful visitors or hide under a table with your whole family? If you pit a squirrel against the education system who will win? Don’t worry, it has a happy ending.

Here is a whole world of lonely Black Kites, dissatisfied visitors, telepathic dogs, giggling Peepals, lucky black cats, gaudy birds, a soundwave of sparrows, independent minded trees and cats who hate the rain. And much more.

Enter at your own risk. Take this journey into a world you did not dream existed.

The biggest and the best

First, of course, the most famous of them all, Lalbagh. One million devotees visit Lalbagh cha Raja every day. This year the theme is very different.

The large eyed owl behind his throne is the vahan of Laxmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity.

Here is the Lalbagh Ganesh exiting the beautifully decorated gate on his way to the immersion. Both the photos are by Adil and sent in by Chitra Uttamsingh.


This is a close up of the towering 14 foot Ganesh amid the sea of people. Notice the very large eyes of the owl which forms the back of his throne.


Another very major Ganesh is from Khetwadi 12th road. This is the most visited of all the Khetwadi pandals. The Ganesh towers above and is usually among the best of Mumbai. The following photos are all taken by Brijesh Raj.


Another major Ganapati is from Chandanwadi, a huge, impressive standing figure dancing on a tortoise.


Another major statue comes from Ganesh Galli, near Lalbagh. This year the 60 foot gate was made to look like the Badrinath temple. This Ganesh is 20 feet tall and stands on a lotus.


The Tulsiwadi Ganesh changes every year. This year its an interesting and very different grey purple.


The most famous Tejukaya Ganesh, one of the most famous.


The Giants from Khetwadi

Today I cover the big ones, from all the all important Khetwadi lanes.

Thanks to Brijesh Raj and Kashmira Shaw, here is a tour of the lanes and the giants of 2016, some of the most famous statures of Mumbai. Mumbai Ganesh is just not complete unless you see these beauties from Khetwadi.

Khetwadi 3rd cross lane. A tall dancing Ganesh standing on a mountain holding a mace, Hanuman style.


Khetwadi, 3rd lane. A towering Ganesh on a throne. Notice the tiny mouse on the bottom left. Mice are almost non existent this year.


This magnificent obstacle removing, Khetwadi cha Vighnaharta is seated on a chariot drawn by two flying peacocks. Khetwadi, 2nd and 3rd lane.


Khetwadi 4th lane. A sweet and smiling Ganesh on an elaborate throne. I dont see a mouse at all. Perhaps it was not in the picture.


Khetwadi, 5th lane. Ganesh in the midst of battle, destroying the demon and his horse, which is symbolic of destroying obstacles and problems so that life becomes smooth.


Khetwadi, 7th lane. A huge standing Ganesh in a war like pose, many handed, fully armed and riding a lion. Note the prayerful mouse on the bottom right.


Khetwadi 8th lane. Lots of warrrior Ganesh this year. This one is  going to war, riding on a figure which is half lion and half man.


Khetwadi 8th lane. An unusual Ganesh this year, standing and looking over his shoulder. Or is he looking in a mirror?


Khetwadi 9th lane. A Durga style Ganesh, accompanied by a friendly looking tiger and a mouse. In the larger tableau there is a towering goddess Kali and several other figures.


Khetwadi, 10th lane. A kindly Ganesh sitting on a throne, with a very cute mouse looking adoringly up at him.


The last Ganesh in this series, the one from Khetwadi, 11th lane. This one is known as the Mumbai cha Maharaja. Very different, this one has many arms, each holding a weapon, dancing on his mouse who is sitting on the muscular arm of another half bull and half man.


Finally, also from Khetwadi, a small one from one of the buildings. Brilliant, golden and framed by a shining sun, this one seemed right to end today’s series.

Return tomorrow or subscribe. More to come.