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Lord Ganesha Festival, Mumbai

Witness Exuberance of Faith at Lord Ganesha Festival

Location: Mumbai
Dates: September 5, 2016
Highlights: Passionate exhibition of Hindu faith in worship of elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, Colorful and boisterous processions to immerse the statues of Lord Ganesha in the sea

That Mumbai is the hub of Bollywood (Indian Hindi film industry) is widely known across the world. What is relatively less prominent is the fact that this city's culture, ethos, and real life often matches up to the reel life shown in Hindi movies in terms of color, excitement, and fervor. And nowhere is that color, excitement, and fervor more visible than in the celebrations of the Lord Ganesh festival in August.

Lord Ganesh, who is revered by Hindus across India and around the world, is one of the distinguishable Hindu deities identified with his elephant head. He is believed to be the eliminator of obstacles and harbinger of good fortune. The 11-day celebrations of Lord Ganesha festival, called 'Ganesh Chaturthi' in Hindi, are scheduled to kick off from 29 August this year. And like each year, the festivities promise to be one of the most spectacular socio-cultural exhibitions of a Hindu way of life in India.

Within the city, the prominent locations to witness the festivities are the Siddhivinayak temple situated in the central suburb of Prabhadevi. The temple serves as a place of worship for thousands of people each day, and is simply thronged by devotees during the festival. The sheer magnitude of the festivities is explained by the fact that nearly 10,000 large statues of Lord Ganesh are put up at various spots in the city. The devotion and faith also exudes in a big way from the homes of the people who install statutes of Ganesha on their properties.

On the final day of the festival, these colorful statues are escorted through the streets and lanes of Mumbai with an exuberance and spirit witnessing which is simply not be missed. It is not unusual to be swayed by the sheer emotion and passion that fill the air as the processions make their way to the point where the statues are immersed in sea or other water bodies. It is said that over 150,000 statues are immersed in the water each year.

So if you are someone who is not unnerved by the sight of boisterous crowds owning the soul of city in pursuit of their faith, the Lord Ganesha festival is bound be an experience that you will happily recall for a lifetime.