“This Diwali, Reach the famous lantern market of Mumbai. LJ Road Kandil Galli (Gali / Gully as referred) of Mahim is a dedicated lantern market, Located at Lady Jamshedji Road near Citylight also accessible from Matunga station (Both in West). Read on for more details like How to reach, Timings (Best Time to visit), Types of Kandil and more..”
Between Mahim and Matunga on west side of railway station, near citylight cinema is this LJ road lane (The ‘Kawli Wadi street’) ready with stall and lantern collection 4 days prior the 10 days of Mumbai’s Diwali festival start. Ask anyone locally about ‘Kandil Galli’ and he will easily direct you to this colourful lantern market of Mumbai. Kindly Note that the word Galli, Gali and Gully are Hindi variations and 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 gaint kandil’s ranging from 3.5 square feet to 12 feet big for political parties around Maharashtra state. Keep a note that, Both of them are seprate lane near to each other. At Kadri wadi lantern making is done since last 50 years.
Cost of this lanterns is typically calculated on the square feet, i.e if it is 5 Feet then it will approximately cost about Rs.5,000 (i.e Rs.1000 per square feet). Rates changes from time to time considering other factors too.
Let’s checkout this beautiful video coverage
Few Pictures & Video Courtesy : Loksatta Live (Pratiksha Choukekar).
This particular lane is very famous during Diwali festival as it is one of the very few locations in city dedicated selling kandils in such a huge and varieties ranging from Rs.100 to Rs.5000. Kawli wadi chawl has about 90 residents and about 70 of them are in lantern business since more than 50 to 60 Years now.
Since decades, shop owners and workers here work hard days and nights prior to Diwali to make their living and earning best in these few days. They are already famous for their creativity in lantern making. Of varied shapes and size, colours and artwork, one cannot go back upset from this lane with the budget he has.
One more event in past 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 whole lane, 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 building.
Let’s have a look at some more Pictures before proceeding
Other decorative like artificial flowers, Electronic Battery Operated Diya, Stickers printed like ‘Happy Diwali’ and ‘Shub Labh’ etc can also be seen.
A decade or 2 back, When we use to look out for Kandils, It use to be a 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 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 matunga has all that Handmade and Chinese lanterns you can demand for single or in bulk (Wholesale).
For a perfect choice, It is recommended to visit Mahim kandil galli post 6 Pm till late night for all these days. Since it will be November and about 6:30 it will be sunset, One can capture fantastic photographs of hundreds of lit kandils at these street shops. It also helps purchasers as once 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 out to shell-out some handsome amount (i.e between Rs.2000 to Rs.5000), Exclusively made (Single piece) kandils are available here for sale. One can easy 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 starts the preparations long before Diwali season (Or say immediately after Ganesh festival gets over). There are 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 limited period and need enough man power. Small kids, teens and adults in every home helps their family business for these few days making beautiful lanterns.
All these 70 to 75 vendors stay in 100 to 150 square feet room in chawl system and 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) gives only 10 days permission to all the vendors, allowing sale on this street and pavement. So those 10 days are only focused on sale and nothing else. On Diwali day (Last day of festival), All the business dealers at LJ road starts wrapping up their deals as the festival is over.
Kandil Galli Address : Kawli Wadi, Lady Jamshedji Road, City Light, Mahim, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400016.