Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Yaa

Anant Chaturdashi, the final day of the Ganesh Chaturthi is when you will hear this chant everywhere in Mumbai. After rejoicing for 11 days of the festival, it is finally time to bid adieu to the elephant headed lord. It is a bitter-sweet experience, as the last 11 days there is something or the other to look forward to everyday – pandaal hopping throughout the night, late night snacking, catching up with old friends whom i otherwise do not get to meet this regularly, family get togethers, MODAKS (nuff said:P) and the overall religious element in the air.
As a tradition i have been shooting Ganesh Visarjan (immersion) since the past three years at Girgaum chowpatty, but this year was particularly challenging thanks to the rains which never seemed to stop. I haven’t encountered rains in the last three years on Visarjan day. Have always too lazy to compile a blog post since 2008 of the Visarjan day, thanks to the post-Ganesh Chaturthi blues. Trying to change that this year. So presenting a few scenes from the Visarjan day at Girgaum below.

Beginning with the Lalbaugcha Raja, which i came across while returning home for my society’s Ganesh Visarjan. I was quite lucky to come opposite the same path as the procession. Have heard stories of people waiting in 20 hour long queues to get a glimpse of the King, but sadly i do not have that kind of patience. Just like the 11 days where people throng to get darshan, the Visarjan procession of the Lalbaugcha Raja starts off around 9am and the immersion finally happens around 6-7am the next day. The distance between Lalbaug and Girgaum Chowpatty – around 7km. But it is expected as the sea of humanity surrounding the idol, is insane. The idol passes through a lot of non-Hindu areas (such as the one from where the image was made), but the crowd never seems to dissipate. I saw people from all castes eagerly waiting to get just a glimpse of the revered lord, and the roar that went up as people saw the idol was deafening.
My society’s Ganesh idol. I simply love the detailing in the eyes.  Not meaning to boast, but have to yet see an idol with that kind of detailing in the eyes.

This was probably the smallest Ganesh murti i have ever seen. It was barely taller than my index finger  and could easily fit in the palm of my hand. Offlate, eco-friendly idols have been gaining a lot of prominence. 

Two devotees who were single-handedly carrying the idol for the immersion. This is quite a rare sight as each idol is accompanied by friends, family members. But then, at Girgaum, you are never really short of people on Visarjan day:) 

The bridge becomes a perfect spot for the media guys to report from. Of course, permission here is not granted unless you have a Press card. I had one, but passed it. But it is funny in a way to see the sheer discrepancy in the density of people below the bridge and those on it.
While one idol had the five-headed Naga surrounding it, another one was using the Nagas as  a chariot.

This Ganesh idol did remind us all of the wonderful World Cup 2011 victory. Sad that those same cricketers are facing all kinds of abuse now that they have performed badly in one series.  

This is one idol that left me quite impressed. Reason: closely observe where the idol is resting. 

These are the strong hands that keep the trolley on which the tall Ganesh idols rest in control when the idol has to pass any slope on a road.
Approaching the beach for the immersions.

This the sea of humanity on witnesses on the beach. And my camera has captured a very small  sector of a huge scene. 

My Friend Ganesh: Pudhchya varshi lavkar ya
This is a post on the Ganesh Visarjan from three years back : Ganesh Visrjan 2008
Take Care,

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