Here's a List of Places to Visit in Mumbai for Navratri!

Shravan maas or the month of Shravan marks the commencement of festivities in India, celebrated in various forms all across the nation. The following four months are a period of festive glee and merry making in some of the most elaborate jamborees. Ganpati, Navratri, and Diwali are three festivals that hold a special anticipation for many. Even of these three, Navratri is one dear festival, more so because it is the longest festival in the Hindu calendar. Nav meaning nine and ratri meaning night, see extravagant jollification for all the nine days in various manifestations. 

Of all the manifestations, it is the dandiya and Durga pooja that are most evident. And if you thought these were best experienced in Ahmedabad or Kolkata respectively, hold on till you check out what Amchi Mumbai has for you. Here’s a lowdown on how Navratri celebrations in Mumbai unfold along with some of the best places to visit in Mumbai for Navratri. 

Durga Pooja

Not just Bengalis, but Durga Pooja or Pujo (to sound more authentic!) is something the whole world looks forward to! While that might sound a tad too exaggerated, just hop into any of the pandals and you will see a super-Cosmo crowd drooling over delicious khichuri served with tangy sweet tomato chutney, tastiest torkari (mixed vegetables), benguni (my favorite), papad for an exciting crunch and the eternal dearest paayesh (sweet delicacy prepared from rice, milk, sugar and condiments). And this is just what a usual day, starting from Panchami or the fifth day of Navratri till Navami or the ninth day looks like. Night draws a beautifully contemporary avatar with food stalls serving delicious egg rolls, kathi rolls, and a whole lot of Indo-Chinese delicacies, among an endless list of bona fide Bengali desserts. Ummmm.. chamcham, sandesh, mishti doi, roshogullas, kalojams; trust me, the list is endless! 

That’s that for food. Coming to the actual celebrations, the five days give you an opportunity to witness delightful customs. The highlight of my many reminiscences, I am half Bong by the way, is the incredible Dhunachi dance. Dancing around a dhaki or the one playing drums, with a huge incense burner in hand, as if in a state of nirvana is the most beautiful sight of beautiful Bengali women dressed in lovely Baluchari Sarees and of course, the trademark been or red bindi! 

You can be a part of this five-day celebration by visiting these most popular Durga Puja pandals in Mumbai mentioned below. Or just go “pandal hopping” for the ultimate, fulfilling experience of this festival honouring Shakti or the female force! If possible try attending a pushpanjali in the morning which can turn out to be one divine revelation.

 

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Most Popular Durga Puja Pandals in Mumbai

1. Powai Bengali Welfare Association

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Highlight: This association is one of the largest and oldest Bengali associations of the city. The pandal is known for its larger than life replicas. Almost 10 lakh visitors are noted to visit it every Durga Puja. 

Address: 6-D, Orchard Ave, MHADA Colony 19, Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400076

2. Balkanji Bari

 

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Highlight: Celebrity spotting at Durga puja at its best! The puja at Balkanji Bari is hosted by the entire Mukherjee clan. Indeed, a lot of celebrity friends coming to worship the deity. Counted as a must on every list of places to visit in Mumbai for Navratri. 

Address: 25, Juhu Road, GOI Staff Colony, Santacruz West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400054

3. Bengal Club, Shivaji Park

Image Source: Youtube.com

Highlight: In its 82nd year this year, the Bengal Club is another very old association of Bombay. The dhunachi dances here are considered to be some of the most elaborate ones. This is a must visit place in Mumbai during Navratri celebrations.

Address: Veer Savarkar Marg, Shivaji Park, Dadar West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400028

4. Lokhandwala Durgotsav

Image Source: Baishampayan Ghose/Flickr

Highlight: The Durga Puja here is also referred to as Abhijit’s Pujo. Abhijit, the popular Bollywood Music Director. The pandal also features celebrity performances. Being located in Andheri, you are certain to spot quite a few celebrities here. 

Address: B-702, Maharana Pratap Rd, Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400102

5. North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga Puja Samiti

Image Source: Wikipedia

Highlight: It is known fact how celebrities like Kajol, Tanuja and Rani Mukerji participate in Durga Puja festivities in all their galore. The North Bombay Sarbojanin Durga Puja Samiti is where you might just end up being served bhog by one of them! 

Address: Tulip Star Hotel, Vaikunthlal Mehta Rd, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400049

Other must-see pandals for Durga Puja Mumbai 2017 include:

  • Ramakrishna Mission
  • Vashi, Sector 15
  • Bombay Durgabari Samiti
  • Kalbadevi Durga Pandal
  • Chembur Durga Pooja, Chembur Naka

Dandiya Events That Are Must Visit in 2017

Monikered as the Sunburn Festival of Gujaratis, Navratri and dandiya have largely contributed to the being of people of this ethnicity. This is one time of the year when youngsters can stay out for as long as they want without any questioning. This fact has several other improvisations of details too, which we shall keep discreet! There is so much excitement attached to dandiya, garba and Navratri that it is often considered the official dance festival of the nation! 

The essence of this activity is lots of dancing and eating at the many food stalls dotting the venues. It is here that you will get to hear to most amusing improvisations of old, Bollywood classics clubbed with Gujarati chartbusters that you cannot help grooving to. If possible, don’t miss out on a venue holding a performance of the Dandiya Queen- Flaguni Pathak. I would say dandiya is one of the best sensory delights you will get to witness during Navratri. There is the incredibly confounding music, orgasmic food of parichaat, bajra ka halwa, churma and the likes that will act as fuel to keep you dancing through the night and then there are the flamboyant, extremely colourful attires of Ghagras or Chaniya-choli and Kafni Pyjamas & Kediyu; it certainly is an alluring riot! 

While you can indulge in a little jig at almost every lane and crossing, to encounter a larger than life experience you can visit one of the many venues holding special dandiya events in Mumbai. We have listed the best below. Most of these venues require a ticket or pass. Some even have seasonal passes that let you in for all the days the event is being held; you can opt for a daily pass too. 

1. Pushpanjali Gardens

Image Source: Sheetal Saini/Flickr

Highlight: This event held in Borivali can accommodate as many as 30,000 people. Thus, one of the biggest Borivali can accommodate as many as 30,000 people. Thus, one of the biggest dandiya celebrations in town. Not surprisingly one of the best places to visit in Mumbai for Navratri. 

Address: Paranjape Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Borivali West, Paranjape Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Borivali West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400091

2. Kutchi Ground

 

Image Source: Sheetal Saini/Flickr

Highlight: Some of the best performers grace this venue. For the past eighteen years, the dynamic duo of Preety and Pinky have been performing popular Preety and Pinky have been performing popular dandiya chartbusters along with some Bollywood numbers. 

Address: Near Aura hotel, Link Road, Borivali West, Borivali West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400092 

3. Naidu Club Kora Kendra

Image Source: Sheetal Saini/Flickr

Highlight: With a free entrance for families of those serving in the defence sector, the Naidu Club Kora Kendra is one of the oldest venues for holding Naidu Club Kora Kendra is one of the oldest venues for holding dandiya events. An estimated of 2 lakh fanatics visit this event every year. 

Address: RM Bhattad Rd, Haridas Nagar, Borivali West, Bhattad Rd, Haridas Nagar, Borivali West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400092

4. Police Hockey Parade Ground, Ghatkopar

Image Source: Sheetal Saini/Flickr

Highlight: Organized by the Gujaratis living in Ghatkopar, the event held here is one of the biggest in the city. 

Address: Police Hockey Ground, Shanti Path, Ghatkopar East, Shanti Path, Ghatkopar East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400075

5. Nav Raag Navratri

Image Source: Youtube.com

Highlight: A one of its kind place, the Nav Raag Navratri caters to a larger perspective of community. It is not just limited to Gujarati culture programs, but the association has a fabulous multi-culture array of performances. 

Address: Chitrakoot grounds, Chitrakoot grounds, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Other venues to check out for Dandiya events in Mumbai 2017-

  • Shree Fort Leuva Patidar Mitra Mandal
  • Dome Raas Garba Raas Garba
  • Shri Raghukul Mahila Mandal
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Stadium National Sports Club of India
  • Chitrakoot Grounds

This list of places to visit in Mumbai for Navratri is certain to bequeath you with that characteristic festive vibe. Choose your pick for either of the celebrations or go all out and bask in the elements of both, you are certain to have a great time!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SEEMA NANDE SEEMA NANDE

A deep-dyed Piscean, Seema is a dreamer. This extends to the fact that she is seldom in another world of her's or dreaming of the place she would rather be. A wild-child at heart and a keen observer otherwise, Seema's free-spirited psyche is eternally quenching for new experiences. There is no poison for her as restorative as Life, she is the one who will give you the cliched 'I-am-high-on-life', should you offer her a drink. She gets hungover on the feel of a new place, food and conversations with strangers! All this adding to the way she feels and writes!

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