World ? Asia ? India ? Mumbai

Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

Maharashtra Ganesh Chaturthi, Mumbai. Photo courtesy of India Tourism Office

1 Sep 2009 (annual)
The ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi Festival celebrates the birthday of elephant-headed god Ganesh. On the festival's final day, thousands of processions converge on Mumbai's beaches to immerse holy idols in the sea, accompanied by drum beats, devotional songs and dancing.
In Mumbai, preparations begin months in advance, and Ganesh is fervently worshipped for ten days, culminating in this ritual. Some of the Ganesh idols are so enormous that the pilgrims and devotees actually need trucks to take them down to the water.

So much money is invested in the construction of these giant stone idols that some of them are rumoured to be backed by investments from shady illegal operations - the Indian mafia. Just make sure you're careful whose feet you step on, or you might find a 15-ton Ganesh stepping on yours...
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