Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganesh Utsav celebrates the birthday of Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and prosperity. Celebrations are held throughout India and this is one of the highlights of the year for tourists visiting the country. In communities all over India, life-like clay models of Lord Ganesha are made a few months prior to the festival and during the build-up to his birthday the statues are placed in elaborately decorated tents, where the locals come to pay homage and leave gifts. For ten days the statues - which vary in size from a few inches tall to massive - are worshipped in this way until on the 11th day they are carried in procession, accompanied by singing, dancing and general merriment, to be ritually submerged in a nearby river or sea. The huge procession in Mumbai, that culminates in the statue, or murti, of Ganesha being submerged in the Arabian Sea at Chowpatty Beach, is probably the largest and most famous of these celebrations. The complex of tents set up around the huge model of Ganesh in Mumbai host performances, craft and food stalls, free health centres and all sorts of other entertainments to celebrate the festival, which is a great favorite with locals and foreigners alike.
Venue: Throughout the streets and on Chowpatty Beach
Date: 9 September 2013