Mumbai’s Inked Devotion: Ganpati Tattoos Symbolizing Faith and Spirituality


With the auspicious festival of Ganesh Chaturthi in the city, Mumbai has seen a rise in the number of Ganpati-related tattoos. “The excitement among youngsters to get Ganesha tattoos, big or small, during this festive season is tremendous. People choose religious tattoos to connect with the divine and maintain a positive outlook. These tattoos are considered symbols of good luck and success by most,” says tattoo artist Vikas Malani.
Mumbaikars are getting Ganpati tattoos of different sizes and placements that are personalized with creative touches or symbols that are meaningful to their lives and beliefs. Hemangi Gada, the art design specialist, has been keen to get a symbolic representation of the elephant-headed God on her arm for months, and she will get it done on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. She says, “I have planned an inked connection to the divine with a medium-sized tattoo on my upper arm depicting Lord Ganesha. I had always wanted a tattoo and this, andting it done.”
Cheen this year, Maheshwari, a Kathak dancer and an avid traveler, got a Ganesha tattoo recently, which holds a special meaning for her. “My tattoo is a simple Ganesha with a red tilak, symbolizing women’s power (my mom’s bindi). I chose this tattoo because it reminds me to believe in Bappa and everything will be fine. Ganesha is also called Vighnaharta. Many obstacles come and go in life, even those that I thought were impossible to overcome, but I left everything for Him to sort, and my faith has increased daily, and my tattoo reminds me of this.”
Simplistic tattoos also hold deep meaning for the one getting inked. Ritik Sharma, a fashion consultant based in Worli, got a tattoo representing Ganesha and Om. His love for the tattoo is evident when he says, “My Ganesha tattoo is not merely an expression but a profound symbol representing spirituality, strength, and devotion. The intricate design, vibrant color, and meticulous details of the elephant head symbolize wisdom and intelligence; for me, it is a source of inspiration. For me, my Ganpati tattoo acts as a compass guiding me through life’s journey.”
Tattoo artists feel that the trend of adorning one’s body with artistic representations of one’s faith or spirituality has evolved into a fashionable statement, and requests for such tattoos precede most festivals. “One of my clients opted for a Ganpati shlok in Devanagari script. The mantra’ Vakratunda Mahakay…’ can be tattooed in many ways, whether written or in a circle around a symbol of Ganpati,” says a tattoo artist based in the suburbs.
People in their 20s-30s like tattoos with images, symbols, and sacred words to express love and reverence for their favorite Ganpati. Shiva, Krishna, Cross, and Om tattoos on the upper arm, forearm, or shoulder are trendy. However, another tattoo artist says that the elephant-headed deity and the symbol of Om are what many ask for during this festive season.
Ganesha tattoos are usually available in different styles, each with unique appeal and symbolism.
“I have also done realistic tattoos of Lord Ganesha, focusing on intricate facial features and expressions,” adds Vikas. However, some prefer a minimalist design with clean lines and basic outlines.

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