Ganesh Chaturthi is only 7 days away. The city is gearing up for the biggest festival in the whole year. For an outsider, the celebrations remind us strongly of our own Durga Puja, a time when each and every one joins in the revelry. There is no bar on cast or creed, colour or race, rich or poor. With the arrival of Lord Ganesha, the devotees find a reason to sing, dance, revel and welcome good fortune in their homes.
The festival has gained international popularity largely as a cultural subject, for great photography as well as an experience of a lifetime. A person who has danced in a Nakara procession at least once in their lives can vouch for that. India is extremely rich in preserving its heritage, traditions and are damn right serious about their festivals. We take our festivals very seriously and never let go of a chance to get dressed and enjoy with millions of people on the streets.
A subject of curiosity, Ganeshotsav attracts tourists from all over the world to come to Maharashtra during the nine-day festival and experience it for themselves. If you look at the works of culture photographers like Richard Anson, you already know that Indian festivals are all about colours. Ganesh Chaturthi is no different! See for yourself.
When it comes to arranging things better for international tourists, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has come forward with an initiative this year. With an aim to celebrate and promote the majestic Ganesh festival amongst travellers, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in association with Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has made special arrangements for International Tourists at Girgaum Chowpatty in Mumbai. A pavilion with the capacity of more than 300 has been set up at for the venue for tourists to observe and participate in the spirit and cultural fervour of Maharashtra.
Looking at the overwhelming response received in 2017 during the Ganesh Festival, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) are offering amenities like online registration facility, clean drinking water, mobile toilets, bus transport and refreshments.
With this alliance, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) aims to make Ganeshotsav an international event. Tourists can study and participate in various aspects of Indian culture and rituals. They also get to experience the 126-year-old heritage of Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav.
Commenting on the occasion, Shri Jaykumar Rawal, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra said, “It is a pleasure to showcase the best of Maharashtra’s rich culture and tradition. The distinct pavilion has been set up for overseas travellers to perceive our beloved deity Ganesha. The pavilion will include amenities like clean drinking water, mobile toilets, bus transport along with refreshment. Tourists can see the Ganapati idols from all over the city at Girgaum Chowpatty which will certainly showcase the transformation in the celebrations over the years.”
Shri Vijay Kumar Gautam (IAS), Principal Secretary, Tourism, Government of Maharashtra added, “The objective is to position this festival on the global map, so we are inviting international tourists to participate through MCGM registration facilities for the Ganesh festival. We have made a separate pandal for the International tourists at Girgaum Chowpatty. The tourists can catch a glimpse of the Ganpati idols from across the city. I am certain that the festival will attract a large number of International visitors in the state of Maharashtra.”
Commenting on the occasion, Shri Suhas Diwase, Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) said, “Ganeshotsav is a festival that has always brought individuals from different cultures and communities together. Tourists from diverse countries come to experience the Ganesh Darshan Tour of MTDC every year. We are happy to associate with MCGM to accommodate International tourists and give them an experience of one of the most popular festivals in the state.”
This only means that in 2018, more expats and international travellers can witness the fervour of Ganesh Chaturthi and Visarjan with better facilities. It is a great stride towards making a great experience out of the most popular festival of Maharashtra.