Ganpatipule is a small town located in Ratnagiri district on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra. The temple of Ganpatipule becomes the centre of grand activity for the five day celebration of Ganesha Chaturthi when villagers and pilgrims join actively in a procession honouring Ganapati. A tall idol is placed in an ornate palanquin and carried on the shoulders of the devotees. The Swayambhu Ganapati Temple is one of the most famous pilgrimage centres.
Tip: Booking in advance has to be done for weekends and during the festive season.
Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated with pomp and gaiety, especially in Pune. Head to Kasbapeth to have a darshan of Kasba Ganapati, the patron deity of Pune. Kasba Ganapati leads the immersion procession on the last day of the festivities. Saras Baug is another must visit temple in Pune. Shreemant Dagduseth Halwai Ganpati is another popular Ganesha shrine.
Tip: The most famous attraction of Pune is the Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Mandir. Don’t miss it.
Mumbai becomes very lively during the festival with devotional songs, dances and pandals thematically representing the current social issues that the city faces through tableaux, paintings and decorations. While you are in Mumbai, head to the Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Samiti Mandal at Wadala to have a darshan of the richest Ganesha in Mumbai. Your trip would be incomplete without a visit to Lalbaughcha Raja.
Interestingly, Lalbaugcha Raja is not a shrine but a community organised festival. Huge crowds come to visit Lord Ganesha and at times it takes over 20 hours to reach the idol.
Tip: Don’t miss visiting the Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple
Diveagar (Dive Agar) is a locale in Shrivardhan Taluka, Raigad district in Maharashtra. The main festivals celebrated in Diveagar are Janmashtami and Ganesha Chaturthi.
Tip: You must visit the 300-year-old Suvarna Ganesh Temple that houses a pure gold idol of Lord Ganesha.
Head to popular Ganesha temples - Panchamukha Heramba Ganapati Temple, Shri Jambu Ganapati Temple and Ananthanagar Ganapati Temple. Catch the immersion spectacle at Sankey Tank and Ulsoor Lake.
Locals in Margao and Panjim, among other places in Goa organise traditional pujas. What’s unique to Goa is the use of instruments like Shamel and Ghumot, played during processions.
One of the largest Ganesha idols in the world is set up at Khairtabad in Hyderabad. It takes weeks to get it ready. If you are in Hyderabad on the eleventh day of the festival, head right to Hussain Sagar Lake to watch the procession and the final visarjan.
Follow the procession from the Ganapati temple to Shanghumukham Beach and you’ll be in awe.
Local artists and dancers with a variety of instruments dance throughout the way till the idol is immersed in the sea. Trivandrum is one of the few places that make eco-friendly Ganesha idols using clay and milk.
Celebrations in Chennai might not be on the same scale as Mumbai, but they are a treat to watch nevertheless.
Across Chennai, locals set up Ganesha statues and the celebrations at Marina Beach are a must-see. Every city has its own specialmagic and if you have the time and the energy, you can savour it all.