Ganesh Utsav is one of India’s most loved and celebrated festivals, marking the birth of Lord Ganesh. Commemorated with immense enthusiasm and devotion across the country, this 10-day festival sees gorgeously decorated pandals, towering idols of Lord Ganesha and 11 days of poojas, bright flowers and mouthwatering delicacies.

Yet to experience the contagious energy that encircles this festival? Now is the time to do so. Oozing of grandeur and splendour, traverse through crowded streets bustling with devotees and festivities. But if you want to make the most of this 11-day festival, why not plan a road trip to any of these cities where you can indulge in some larger-than-life celebrations:

Mumbai

During Ganesh Chaturthi, Mumbai city witnesses celebrations beyond compare. As you swivel through the crowded lanes of Mumbai, holy chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ will melodiously ring in your ears. With more than 6,000 mammoth idols of the deity gracing pandals across the city, the festival is no less than a carnival.

Your compact Ford Figo can make it easy to navigate the narrow lanes, allowing you to pay your respects to Lalbaughcha Raja at the Siddhivinayak Temple and Ganesh Galli. And while you’re at it, make sure to try the delectable modak, a delicious Indian sweet that is offered as prasad to the god.

Goa

Do you even need an excuse to head to Goa? Blessed with beautiful golden beaches, towering lush green palms and heritage architecture, Goa indeed unfurls its divine spirit during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.

Head out in your Ford EcoSport to Mapusa and Marcela, two of the most popular villages to visit during the celebration. If you’re lucky, you might also get the opportunity to witness talented local artists crafting Ganesh idols from recyclable materials like coconut, cane, bamboo, and areca nut. It’s the perfect time to visit this vibrant state and soak in the surreal enthusiasm the festival brings along.

Pune

The city manifests it’s cultural and traditional side by leaving no stone unturned to welcome Lord Ganesh into its hearts and homes.

With a particular emphasis on art, folk music and a celebration of age-old traditions, witness Gowri-Ganesh puja at Pune’s Tusli Baug, Kasba, Tambdi Jogeshwari and Kesariwada. These popular spots make colossal idols and exquisite pandal replicas of famous monuments and temples in the country. Plan a road trip in your Ford Freestyle and stop at the different pandals on your way to indulge in a cultural journey of a lifetime.

Ganapatipule

Standing tall on the Konkan coast of Maharastra is the 400-year-old Swayambhu Ganpati Temple in Ganapatipule near Ratnagiri. It is believed that Lord Ganesh self-manifested (swayambhu) his idol from pure white sand. The prominent Ashta Ganpati temple sees local priests and residents carry a gigantic Ganesh idol on their shoulders to grace the temple and mark the start of the festival.

Wade through the crowded lanes in you Ford Aspire to experience Ganpati celebrations in which not only enthusiastic devotees but Mother Nature herself bows down to welcome the god. Soft waves come with gusto to fall at the feet of the temple while glistening rays of the sun illuminate the exalted idol.

Kanipakam

Nestled in the quaint district of Chittor in Andhra Pradesh is the village of Kanipakam. Chola King -Kulothunga Chola, built the Varasiddhi Vinayaka Temple in Kanipakam in the 11th century. Mysterious and majestic, this temple is home to a rare idol of Lord Ganesh that is believed to grow each year.

Pick you Ford Endeavour to witness the annual Brahmostsavam festival that begins on Vinayaka Chavithi or Ganesh Chaturthi stretches for 21 days. During this time, the Ganesh idol is taken on a procession in different carriages each day as devotees offer prayers with traditional pomp and jubilation. Even residents from the surrounding villages throng the temple of Kanipakam and offer Abhishekam (water springling) with water from their village wells and lakes.

Hyderabad

The Ganapathi Navaratri utsavams in Hyderabad start on Vinayaka Chavithi (Ganesh Chaturthi) and end on Anantha Chaturdashi, the day of Ganesh Immersion. With over 50,000 pandals across the city, Balapur, Kamalanagar Chaitanyapuri, Durgam Cheruvu, Old City (Gowlipura) and New Nagole are the most popular places to partake in these celebrations.

Khairatabad in Hyderabad hosts one of the biggest Ganesh idols in the country. Past celebrations have included a mega laddoo-artwork, which is just as visually spectacular. And while in Hyderabad, don’t forget to visit Hussain Sagar Lake and watch the splendid sight of varying sizes of Ganesh idols being immersed.

Chandausi

This small trading town in Uttar Pradesh organises a gala Ganesha festival that lasts 20-days. The festival is also considered the biggest of its kind in North India.  The celebrations are marked with ceremonious rituals, a play to portray tales of Ganesha, several art competitions for kids and poetry recitation evenings among others. Head to Chandausi over this weekend in you Ford Figo and witness a fair that marks the beginning of the festive season.

A festival that will connect you to the exuberant spirit of devotion in India, Ganesh Chaturthi at these popular places is a must-visit with friends and family. Simply pick a destination of your choice, hop into your Ford car and head out to witness some of the most glorious festivities.

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Driving Ford
Driving Ford is the official blog of Ford India. Established in 1995, Ford in India manufactures and exports automobiles and engines made at its integrated manufacturing facility in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. Ford’s current range of award-winning products in India includes the Ford Mustang, Ford EcoSport, Ford Figo, Ford Aspire, and Ford Endeavour.
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