Durga Puja is one of the most awaited festivals for Bengalis and if you’ve ever had a Bengali friend, you must have witnessed the crazy levels of excitement they have for Durga Puja. Bengalis and even non-Bengalis wait for Durga Puja every year and go pandal-hopping to seek the blessings of Durga and enjoy a yummy bhog served at the stalls at the pandals. While the frenzy is much higher in Kolkata, Mumbai too has its fair share of Durga Puja pandals that attract commoners as well as Bollywood celebrities. We list the top seven Durga Puja pandals in Mumbai that you must visit.
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This is one of the most popular Durga Puja pandals in the city and is headed by Bollywood singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya. This is the 21st year of its existence and it is going to be bigger than ever. The unveiling of the idol will take place on October 5, Wednesday in the evening and the visarjan or immersion will take place on October 12. The pandal is one of the most visited one and people flock from different parts of the city to pay their respects. Apart from the food stalls, there will be events and entertainment performances lined up during the seven-day event. This pandal gets a great deal of sponsors and there are likely to be stalls of different brands. Nevertheless, you can offer anjali if you don’t want to be involved in the commercial aspect of the pandal.
Where: Lokhandwala Durga Puja Ground, Andheri West, Mumbai
When: October 5, 8 pm. October 6, 7.30 pm. October 7-11, 7.30 pm onwards. October 12, 6 pm.
North Bombay Durga Puja
Another celebrity-studded Durga Puja pandal, North Bombay Durga Puja has also been around for a few years and Kajol is one of the celebs who usually pays a visit here. She even serves bhog at times. This year, the pandal opens on October 6 in the evening and the visarjan will take place on October 11. There will be cultural programme every evening from October 7 to 10 the details of which aren’t out yet. On the last day, there will be sindoor utsav at 4 pm which is the last ritual before the immersion. In this, married Bengali women apply sindoor or vermillion first on Durga’s idol and then on other married women wishing them luck for their marital life. The significance of the ritual is to bid goodbye to Durga after five days. It is believed that Durga comes home during Durga Puja and leaves for her in-laws’ home on the last day hence she is offered special sweets and adorned with sindoor.
Where: Tulip Star Hotel, Vaikunthlal Mehta Road, Juhu, Mumbai
When: October 6-7, 7 pm. October 8-11, 9 am onwards.
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Powai Sarvajanin Durgotsav
Celebrating its 11th year this time around, the Powai Sarvajanin Durgotsav is organized by Powai Bengali Welfare Association. The pandal strives to be as eco-friendly as possible by using biodegradable substances and reducing the use of plastic. The organizers also distribute saplings during the durgotsav. Powai’s pandal is also thronged by a few celebs and there are entertainment programs lined up by popular artists as well as children of Hiranandani Gardens. The line-up of this year’s performers is not out yet but one of the most popular things at this pandal is the Dhunuchi Dance competition.
Where: Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai
When: October 6-11
Bengal Club Puja
It may not be the biggest pandal in the city but Bengal Club Puja at Shivaji Park is a popular ones. Many non-Bengalis also flock to this pandal for the yummy food it offers that offers dishes of chicken, mutton and the lip-smacking Bengali sweets. Not just this, there are stalls that sell jewellery, sarees and other accessories that women may want to buy on this special occasion. Details of this year’s pujo isn’t out yet online but it sure is going to be a big affair with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnaivs expected to visit this pandal.
Where: Veer Savarkar Marg, Shivaji Park, Mumbai
Malad West Sarbojanin Dugotsav 2016
Started a couple of years ago by the Maitree Cultural Club, Malad West Sarbojanin Durgotsav will be having a pandal this year too. There are several cultural activities planned for all the five days of the event like drawing competition for kids, Bangla drama, Bengali folk music and dance performances and more. The inauguration of the pandal will happen on October 6 and the festivities will go on until October 10. Anondo Melo will also be in place starting October 6.
Where: Swagat Park, Opppsite Goregaon Sports Club, Link Road, Malad West, Mumbai
When: October 6-11
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Krishti Sharodotsab 2016
This 12-year-old organization has been conducting Durga Puja functions that are similar to how the festival is celebrated in Kolkata. Krishti’s pandal will be open to the public on October 6 and even after the immersion on October 11, there will be gatherings throughout this month. Cultural programs include performances by Shibani Kashyap and singers from Bangla Sa Re Ga Ma Pa among others. Devotees can also look forward to bhog, pushpanjali and sindoor boron. The visarjan will take place at Juhu Beach.
Where: Lokhandwala Township, Kandivli East, Mumbai
When: October 6, 6.30 pm. October 7-11, 9 am.
Chembur Durga Puja Association
One of the oldest Durga Puja associations, CDPA is currently in its 62nd year of celebrating the festival. Every year, the pandal follows a new theme and designs it accordingly. While last year it replicated Mumbai’s BMC headquarters, this year, the pandal is going to be a grand one with a huge chandelier in the centre. Every year, this pandal sees at least 1.5 lakh devotees pay a visit here and this year the number could be even higher. Apart from aarti, bhog and other traditional rituals, this Chembur Durga Puja Association is also known for its food court and kids’ entertainment area. There will also be cultural performances on all the days.
Where: Chembur High School Ground, Swami Vivekananda Chowk, Chembur Naka, Mumbai
When: October 6, 7.30 pm. October 7-11, 8 am.
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