You still have a chance to travel to India with Namarupa, and here’s a taste

The steady but sure preparations for our late December Yatra to Southern Indian continue. On Friday, I gave my new camera a test run — by catching the Los Angeles fly-over of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Plus, we continue to read, read and read.


Namarupa, which is leading the journey to festivals and temples across Southern India (and which is co-published by Eddie Stern), still appears to be open to a few more people jumping aboard. Here’s the info.

If you need more convincing, the Namarupa blog on Friday highlighted the best Ganesh Chaturthi festivals near Mumbai — which is the last stop on this year’s Yatra:

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular festivals in Maharashtra. This is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur all over the state and especially in the capital, that is, Mumbai. People celebrate this ten days period with great splendour. For enjoying Ganesha Puja Mumbai is one of the finest places. The whole city is given a new colour and people are in a festive mood. Here are a few most popular Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in Mumbai.

And here is where the blog directs you:

Lalbaugcha Raja

This place has seen some of the most famous Ganesha idols of all times. This place is in Chinchpokhli; Mumbai is filled with a huge number of devotees from all round the country. People come with a belief that this great God will fulfill all their wishes. There are two lines here, one for the devotees in general and the other for the people who had made a wish. The Ganesha mandap over here is open all day long since 10 in the morning. People stand in long queues for as long as 18-20 hours. This Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in Mumbai is extremely popular and if you want to enjoy the festival to the full then you must visit this place.

Mumbaicha Raja

This is also among one of the most popular Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Mumbai. There are two reasons for it to attract so much crowd and being so popular. One is that it one of the oldest places in Mumbai for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. And the other one being that every year it replicates any one popular destination of India for the decorations. This is a major attraction for pilgrims all over during Ganesh Chaturthi. And also, you do not have to wait much long in queues to give a test of your devotion. And even the idol is so replete with decorations that it falls among the list of must visits in the city.

The Gsb Seva Mandal’s Ganpati

This is one of the richest Ganesha idols in Mumbai. It is said that this idol is adorned with more than a 50 kilograms of gold jewellery. And to add to it there are also cultural functions organized here during the festive occasion. People flood in thousands over here during Ganesh Chaturthi just to have a glimpse of the idol. The clay idol is made extremely attractive every year. The best part of this mandap happens to be the fact that there is a system of walkway here and hence you do not have to wait in queues for long hours.

The Andhericha Raja

This Ganesha mandap in Mumbai is near the Andheri station and the idol here is immensely popular. People come here for a visit during Ganesh Chaturthi as the idol is said to be replete with powers. What makes this place attractive is its unique theme decoration every year.

The Khetwadi Ghanraj

Last but not the least, another of the place that falls in the must visits list in the city of joy and celebration during this festive season is the Khetwadi Ghanraj. This place has seen some of the highest statues of the time, some as long as 40 feet high. You also find it decked with a lot of diamonds and gold.

I would describe this Yatra as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the interconnectedness of faith and life in India, except Namarupa has been doing these trips annually. But we think this one looks especially awesome. And this particular highlight obviously delights one of us.

Ashtanga practice is included, by the way.

Update: Eddie’s Broome St. Temple has highlighted this event, which also seems to act as an inducement to join.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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