MB Maps: Lalbaug
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A working-class neighbourhood that was home to many mills and mill workers, Lalbaug is now ground zero for Mumbai’s transformation from a city of chawls into a concrete jungle of high-rises. Every year, Lalbaug undergoes a different kind of transformation when it becomes the bustling centre of the Ganesh festival, which this year runs until September 22.
Lalbaugcha Raja Mumbai’s most popular (and opulent) Ganpati mandal. It’s said he will grant any wish asked of him; he even got the Ambedkar Road flyover rebuilt! Lengthy waits are part of the season’s biggest spectacle. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Road. Enter from the south gate; queue 1 to 5 hours. Visit www.lalbaugcharaja.com.
Chivda Gully Plenty of the eponymous savoury snack plus modaks of all flavours from Rs50/kg. There’s even a dargah, which houses the tomb of Sayyed Chand Shah. Nearby in Tavaripada is the dargah of his elder brother Lal Shah, the fourteenth-century Muslim saint after whom Lalbaug is believed to have got its name. The lane is also home to Hanuman Theatre, the former hub of the Marathi folk theatre form of tamasha. Lalbaug Industrial Estate, north entrance.
General Store There’s no sign or name but this shop has more items for fire-worship than you can shake a sandalwood stick at (from Rs5; Rs1,600/kg). Proprietor Mr. Poria manufactures his own brand of decorative lights (Rs50/box of 100). Next to M. J. Wadia Fire Temple, Hilla Towers, Dr. S. S. Rao Marg.
Suvidhinath Jain Mandir This temple’s psychedelic exterior is one of a kind. Check out its reflection in the disco-ball above the Ganpati statue opposite. Gandhi lectured here. Dr. S. S. Rao Marg.
Ganesh-gully-cha Raja Not bigger, but usually taller than its more famous counterpart, this standing Ganpati is reached via a vast themed pavilion (bedecked in past years with a spinning sudarshan chakra). Ganesh Gully.
Chamunda Devi Mandir An impressive plaster gopuram and nandi assembled into a mocked-up, mini Mysore-temple. Ganesh Gully, opposite Ganesh-gully-cha Raja exit.
Ladu Samrat Frequented for Maharashtrian snacks like kothambir vadi and sweets including (of course) ladoos. Shop No. 7, Ranveer Sadan, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marg. 2471 0163
Bharatmata Cinema The hub of Marathi cinema in Mumbai since 1940. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marg. 2470 0673.Tags: Bharatmata Cinema, Chivda Gully, Ganesh Gully, Ganesh-gully-cha Raja, Hanuman Theatre, Ladu Samrat, Lal Shah, Lalbaug, Lalbaugcha Raja, Maps, MB Maps, Nowroz Baug, Sayyed Chand Shah, Special Top Story, Suvidhinath Jain Mandir, Tavaripada