Ganesh Chaturthi, Instagrammed

I have been using Instagram a lot lately and decided to document Ganesh Charurthi using the mobile app. Although I haven’t really uploaded many photographs on my Instagram account, I think I can use the app for some mini projects in the future. The possibilities are there, I just need to doggedly pursue them. Here are some images from clicked from the cellphone only. I had clicked more images yesterday around Chowpatty, but will upload them on some other day. So here goes…
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Gauri poojan

Had been to my native place last week for the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Now while Ganesh Chaturthi has been featured on this blog before, i thought of showcasing another tradition that is celebrated during the Ganpati festival. It’s called Gauri poojan. It starts on the third day of Ganesh Chaturthi and ends by the fifth day. To read about the significance of the festival read this

Back in the days, Gauri was represented by a small kalash or an image of Gauri, but nowadays you have elaborate idols made from fibre which look realistic. A walk down the Lalbaug market in Mumbai will present you with many variations of this design.

Take Care,

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,

PhotoSay 2 : Ganpati Visarjan – A Visual Treat!

>>Mayuravar Baisoni (Riding on a Peacock)

The Ganpati immersions took place last Sunday, thereby ending the Ganesh celebrations for this year. The day is completely chaotic for devotees as they take their idols for immersion, but at Girgaum Chowpatty i noticed that there was a definite method to the madness. Inspite of people being in huge numbers, the crowd management was top class. Idols of all sizes could be seen and devotees in varied colors of the gulal were dancing to the Nasik Dhols. Some Mandals had a separate van which just contained the huge speakers that were belting out typical Bollywood Ganpati Visarjan songs like “Tujhko apna jalwa dikhana hi hoga, Agle baras aana hai aana hi hoga” from SRK’s verison of Don and the ‘Vaastav’ aarti amongst others. Luckily it wasnt pouring during late afternoon as it was earlier in the day, giving me a comparitively better lighting condition to shoot in.

>>A Palkiwala Ganesh

>>Ganesha befriends a Dragon!

>> Ninja Ganesh

>>The Divine Lord
>> Home Idols being taken for immersions

>>Warrior Ganesha
>> A Delighted Ganesh Devotee

>> Rang De Gulal

>> Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Yaa!! (Come early, next year)

Take Care


Shree Ganesh – PhotoSays!!

Ganpati Bappa Moriya!! Seems like the mantra is in the air, announcing the on going Ganesh Chaturthi. Its said that the elephant headed God is remembered before starting a new chapter in life. This blog has completed half century, and what better timing could i have asked for. It wasnt planned to finish off 50 posts in this month, but i guess it was destined.

So after having completed 50 here, i need to move onto bigger things. That dosent mean i am going to cease to use this space. Just that i want to start off with a new concept on this blog which i have titled PhotoSays!! Its basically a mix of Photograph + Essay = PhotoSay!
I had been toying with the idea for a long time, to do photo essays. Its basically going to be about one aspect presented in the form of multiple photographs on this blog. I plan to put up atleast one PhotoSay a month. That ways i can add some value to the blog, give variety to it and hopefully get more hits:D

With Ganesh Chaturthi going on, i decided to do a photo essay on the workshops that make these huge idols before the actual festival, than just going ahead and shooting the idols when the festival is on. I had went to the workshop thats organised by Mr. Khatu at Parel Rly Quarters. Its a huge place, making idols of all sizes.

Getting Started
The process starts off with the unpainted Ganesh idol being given a base coat of the paint. The artist here is just going to spray paint the idol with a spray painter with a thin nozzle.

Final Touches
The Ganesh idol seen alongside was being given a final touch by the artists. The regal stance of the idol is what attracted me towards it.

Opening the Eye
This is a crucial part of entire process. There are special artists to open the Ganesha’s eyes, as the hand has to remain rock steady when painting the eye. One mistake and its a disaster.

I believe the eye is the most beautiful part of the entire idol. This is just one of the beautiful eyes i came across.

The Feet
The painting was not yet complete, but i just couldnt resist clicking the feet.

Putting up a few Ganesh idols i came across in the workshop. I am just showing three here as i have many more shots and it is confusing to select the better ones:D

Peacock is generally considered to be the vahana of Kartikeyan, Ganesh’s brother, so i was pleasantly surprised to see a Ganesh on top of a peacock. This idol was a definite crowd puller.

So with that i would like to conclude the first installment of my PhotoSay! Actually i started with this project a bit late, so i couldnt really get the whole process from scratch to the complete idol. But this trip to the Ganpati workshop was a great learning lesson. Hopefully, next year i will do a full blown post on the entire idol making process. Till then,

Take Care


Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to one and all!! Ganpati Bappa Moriya!!