Best Places To Experience Ganesh Chaturthi In India: A Guide To Go Pandal Hopping 

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The 10-day long Ganesh Utsav has begun and almost every state in India is decked up to welcome Lord Ganesha. For those of you still wondering where to soak in the festivities, here's a list of places in India, where you can witness the best of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.

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Photo of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by Gunjan Upreti

The passion and excitement with which Ganesh Utsav is celebrated in Mumbai remains unmatched. During Ganpati, the festive spirit takes over with the sounds of beating dhols and chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya echoing across the entire city. As the 10-day long festival unfolds in the city of dreams, life as you know it seems to pause. If you happen to be in the city during Ganesh Utsav, here are the best pandals in Mumbai you should visit.

Lalbaughcha Raja

Lalbaugcha Raja is one of the most famous and revered Ganpati Darshans of the country. It draws an impressive crowd of believers every year.

G.S.B Seva Mandal

This Ganpati pandal is believed to be richest mandal in the city. This year, the mandal has got an insurance cover worth Rs 300 crore for the idol adorned with 68kg of gold and 315kg of silver.

Photo of Pune, Maharashtra, India by Gunjan Upreti

Though Mumbai is pretty darn famous for its Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, Pune isn’t too far behind. The city always makes elaborate arrangements for the festival. It is believed that during the reign of the Peshwas, who considered the elephant-headed god as their patron deity, Ganesh worship engulfed Pune.

Among hundreds of Ganpati pandals in Pune, Shri Kasba Ganpati Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganapati Mandal, Guruji Talim Ganpati, Tulshi Baug Ganpati Mandal, Kesariwada Ganeshotsav Trust, and Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Trust are the most famous.

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Photo of Hyderabad, Telangana, India by Gunjan Upreti

It's not Mumbai, not Pune, but Hyderabad that has the largest Ganesh idol in the country. The idol, which is completed over four months, is set up at Khairtabad in Hyderabad. If you happen to be in Hyderabad on the 11th day of the festival, head right to Hussain Sagar Lake to watch the procession and final 'visarjan'. It's a sight that will take your breath away!

Photo of Goa, India by Gunjan Upreti

Renowned for its beaches and hipster culture, there's a religious side to Goa, which most of us choose to ignore. The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi holds a special significance in almost all the religious cities and villages of Goa, specially Mapusa, which is famous for its temples at Ganeshpuri and Khorlim as well as the local association, who also worship the lord with great fervour.

Credits: Bengaluru Ganesh Utsava

Photo of Bangalore, Karnataka, India by Gunjan Upreti

The Bengaluru Ganesh Utsava, which is organised by Shree Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sangha at the APS College Grounds, Basavanagudi, for close to 5 decades, is a major cultural festival of South Bangalore. Since the time of its commencement, the grandeur, style and elegance of The Bengaluru Ganesh Utsava has been unparalleled. Year after year, over 1 million people gather at the Utsava to celebrate the cultural extravaganza over a period of 11 days. Eminent musicians, theatre groups and ballet troupes from all across the country have graced the Utsava with their presence and riveting performances.

Delhi has never had a commanding deity or a festival which is wholly owned by the city, but being a cosmopolitan city and a melting pot of different cultures, it has embraced different aspects of various cultures through the people who live here, no matter where they come from. From Durga Puja to Ganesh Chaturthi, Delhi wholeheartedly celebrates all the major festivals.

The most famous Ganesha pandal is the Vinayak Temple in Sarojini Nagar which holds special ceremonial Pujas. Among others, you can visit DDA mini stadium at Laxmi Nagar, Netaji Subhash Place grounds, and Madhuban Chowk in Rohini.

Here's wishing you guys a very happy Ganesh Chaturthi!