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Friday, 22 August 2014 - 6:54pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Westcoast residents gear up for Ganesh Chaturthi with pandals having much to offer

The biggest Ganesh Chaturthi attraction in the western suburbs is the Andhericha Raja at Veera Desai Road. The pandal organisers are known for introducing innovative themes for their pandal every year. This year too, they have a special theme; they have planned to replicate Tipu Sultan's magnificent Mysore palace. The 4,500 sq. ft pandal is being designed by artists Dharmesh Shah and Raju Sawla and the eight-and-a-half feet idol is scheduled to arrive on Saturday.

The speciality of the Bal Gopal Mitra Mandal in Vile Parle is that since the last seven years, the Ganesha idols and the decorations have been created using eco-friendly materials. 'Peshwa' is a tag that goes well with their idol as the manner in which they orchestrate the entire festival is grand. Apart from the eco-friendly decorators and their 14ft idol, there's another aspect, which is just as unique—the social message imparted through the event. The decorations at the pandal are built around various socially-conscious ideas that appeal to the masses. This year too, the organisers have a special message to share, but we will have to wait until the D-day arrives, as the organisers are not willing to disclose it yet.

The 15-year-old Sham Nirmal Mitra Mandal at Narsing Lane, Malad (W), is popular for its interestingly themed Ganesha idols. Every year, the mandal brings a plain Ganesha idol, which the volunteers (including children) decorate. The themes for the previous years include materials like shells, walnuts, Cadbury Gems, popcorn, Kurkure, tea-coffee-sugar, Polo mints, marbles, Mumbai bhel, dry fruits, among several others. The idol is decked up with such fun material, and is done entirely by the volunteers, without any professional help. This year, the theme for Ganesha Chaturthi is 'sports' and the mandal plans to use approximately 4,000 miniature-sized decorations, which include cricket bats, footballs, tennis rackets, etc.

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