“Where to go during Diwali 2022, Reach the famous lantern market of Mumbai. LJ Road Kandil Galli (Or Gully as referred to) of Mahim is a dedicated lantern market, Located at Lady Jamshedji Road near Citylight also accessible from Matunga station (Both in the West). Read on for more details like How to reach, Timings (Best Time to visit), Types of Kandil, and more..”
Speciality of This Lantern Market Lane
Between Mahim and Matunga on the west side of the railway station, near citylight cinema is this LJ road lane (The ‘Kawli Wadi street’) ready with stall and lantern collection 4 days prior to the 10 days of Mumbai’s Diwali festival start.
Ask anyone locally about ‘Kandil Galli’ and he will easily direct you to this colorful lantern market of Mumbai. Kindly note that the word Galli and Gully are Hindi language variations that refer to ‘lane’.
There is also another lane here called ‘Kadri Wadi’ known for making lanterns who are specialized in making huge Kandil only. They make huge Kandil ranging from 3.5 square feet to 12 feet big for political parties around Maharashtra state. Keep a note that, Both of them are separate lanes near each other. At Kadri wadi, lantern making is done for the last 50 years.
The cost of these lanterns is typically calculated on the square feet, i.e if it is 5 Feet then it will approximately cost Rs.5,000 (i.e Rs.1000 per square foot). Rates changes from time to time considering other factors too.
Let’s check out this beautiful video coverage
Few Pictures & Video Courtesy: Loksatta Live (Pratiksha Choukekar).
This particular lane is very famous during the Diwali festival as it is one of the very few locations in the city dedicated to selling Kandils in such a huge variety ranging from Rs.100 to Rs.5000. Kawli wadi chawl has about 90 residents and about 70 of them are in the lantern business for more than 50 to 60 Years now.
For decades, shop owners and workers here work hard days and nights prior to Diwali to make their living and earn the best in these few days. They are already famous for their creativity in lantern making. Of varied shapes and sizes, colors, and artwork, one cannot go back upset from this lane with the budget he has.
One more event in the past that made this lane famous and got highlighted in various newspapers was the purchase of Lantern by the legendary singer ‘Lata Mangeshkar’.
Mahim lantern market is not limited to selling Kandils only, One can find complete lanes, shops, and pavements with superb collections of other Diwali products like ready Rangoli kits, Rangoli Colours, and Geru, Colourful lighting series which are common view outside every other house window of the building.
Other decorative like artificial flowers, Electronic Battery Operated Diya, Stickers printed like ‘Happy Diwali’ and ‘Shub Labh’ etc can also be seen.
Diwali & Kandil Galli Connection
The year 2022 is pro mobile era when a click online brings Diwali Kandil & Varieties of LED Lights and Diyas to doorsteps, But just a decade or 2 back When we use to look out for Kandils, They use to be commonly sold star-shaped with tiny holes with a space to insert bulb which looked great at night. With time, creativity explored and now Lanterns are of various shapes and sizes available. Some of the shapes seen in the Mumbai lantern market both eco-friendly, plastic, bamboo stick, and Chinese material used are Square, Hexagon, and Octagon, Fish-shaped and the authentic Indian Lantern (‘Lalten’ in Hindi) shapes, patterns made up of papers, plastic and threads too.
Few are specially designed LED lanterns. LJ Road Kandil Galli (Also called ‘Gulli’) Matunga has all that Handmade and Chinese lanterns you can demand single or in bulk (Wholesale).
For a perfect choice for coming festival 2022, It is recommended to visit this place post 6 Pm till late night for all these days. Since it will be November and at about 6:30 it will be sunset, One can capture fantastic photographs of hundreds of lit Kandil at these street shops. It also helps purchasers as one can actually see how it looks when hundreds of them are lit together. Little bargain possible here, But still bargain is a speciality skill in Mumbai.
If you are ready to shell out some handsome amount (i.e between Rs.2000 to Rs.5000), Exclusively made (Single piece) candles are available here for sale. One can easily see those huge specially made Kandils while walking on this street. They are kept in a special display lit post evening.
At this lantern market, Workers start the preparations long before the Diwali season (Or say immediately after the Ganesh festival gets over). There are a few who take 1 complete week to 8 days leave from their regular job to give enough time to their home business that goes for a limited period and needs enough manpower. Small kids, teens, and adults in every home help their family business for these few days by making beautiful lanterns.
All these 70 to 75 vendors stay in 100 to 150 square feet room in Chawl system and the biggest challenge they face is to secure Kandils from damage and the quantity to fill in this limited space where they stay and have their day to day activities too.
They have to make thousands of lanterns to be sold at various shops inside this market. Local authorities (BMC) give only 10 days’ permission to all the vendors, allowing sales on this street and pavement. So those 10 days are only focused on sales and nothing else. On Diwali day (The last day of the festival), All the business dealers at LJ road start wrapping up their deals as the festival is over.
Kandil Galli Address: Kawli Wadi, Lady Jamshedji Road, City Light, Mahim, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400016.