During the 11 days of Ganapati, the murthy is brought into our homes and the divine spirit invited to reside and bless us all. During these days, we treat Ganapati as a valued guest and shower him with the best of flowers, fruits and delicious foods. Friends and relatives visit in awe at the divine presence. At festivals end, we bid farewell and the material form is immersed into a water body so as not to soil it. Bidding farewell to our divine visitor is called visarjan. In villages, Ganapati is dunked in the home or community well, or nearby lake or river. In Mumbai, the murthys are carried with pomp and celebration, with much dancing to one of many beaches and immersed in the waters.
Even arriving at the immersion site can be a long affair with devotees thronging the streets to offer last minute seva (devotional offerings). The GSB Wadala Muth Ganapati crawls in a slow procession and is immersed at the Shivaji Park beach. Above: Enroute to Shivaji park, devotees are offering one of innumerable pujas. (All pics in this post were shot by photographer Amol Kamat – Thank you Amol for letting me post these here).
One of the last aartis on the streets of Mumbai.
Mumbai’s legendary Lalbaug cha Raja takes to the water around daybreak of the next morning. Here, Amol was perched off a boat in the waters off Chowpatty Beach to share these immemorable pics with us.