Go on pandal hopping with Hyderabad’s must-visit Ganesha Chaturthi celebration spots
The places are known for Laddu Auctions, massive idols and immersion sights
Hyderabad is one of the cities that witnesses a fervent passion for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The city becomes a perfect spot to revel in sweets and traditional thalis, as well as for pandal-hopping. It houses some of the biggest, most sustainable and unique statues of Lord Ganesha. This year, as you decide to immerse in celebrations for the 11-day festival beginning on August 31, head to these places:
Biggest idol at Khairatabad
Ask anyone around, and you’d hear that the best place to visit during the festival is Khairatabad. The place is famous for making the largest, most expensive and glorious idol of Lord Ganesha across the state of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. This year, the statue stands at a massive height of 50 ft and weighs around 6,000 kg! For the first time, it is made of organic clay and is painted in eco-friendly colors. It looks ethereally beautiful with five faces of the deity sculpted by Odisha-based chief sculptor Joga Rao and his team. This Ganesha pandal is also known for the huge ladoo that weights around 50-500 kg every year and is distributed as prasad to the devotees after the idol immersion in Hussain Sagar. Expect a lot of upbeat music of dhols, dance songs, devotional chants and fun at the festival at this must-visit pandal.
Cinematic touch at Begum Bazaar
Hyderabad is known to get creative with Ganesha idols every year. In the past years, we’ve seen Pub-G Ganesh, cricketer shaped as Ganesha idol and many such moldings. This year, keeping up with its creative streak, the Bartan Bazaar in Begum Bazaar area of Old City is having a unique statue of Ganesha inspired by cinema. The idol is reportedly inspired by the character of Jogendra played by notable actor Rana Daggubati in the film, Nene Raju Nene Mantri. Makes for an interesting watch!
The famous Laddu auction at Balapur
The Balapur Ganesha pandal is the oldest in Hyderabad and leads the Vinayaka procession in the city. It’s famous for its Laddu Auction that started in 1994 and continues till date, barring 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. The auction is held with much fanfare with the participation of prominent figures - from celebrities, politicians, industrialists to common folk who take part to get the Laddu that is said to bring goodwill and prosperity. The proceeds raised in the auction are then used in welfare activities like flood relief and school development. Expect an exciting tussle during the auction!
Tank Bund’s famous Nimajjanam
Tank Bund brings the whole city together on the idol immersion day celebrated on the last day of the festival (to be held on September 9 this year). The entire stretch of Necklace Road and nearby areas are expected to be jam-packed with devotees and people swarming the road, which becomes a picture-perfect sight for photographers to catch a glimpse of reverence and devotion. Traffic is cleared and all the idols from Ganesha pandals are brought to the biggest lake in Hyderabad at Hussain Sagar. This farewell to the Lord Of Wisdom is a must-see spectacle of passion, frenzy and adulation.
Apart from these, one may also check out the Durgam Cheruvu cable bridge, New Nagole, and Chaitanyapuri that are decked up with pandals and processions.