Ganesh Chaturthi is the most important cultural event of Pune. Among other famous Hindu festivals, Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular festivals celebrated, not only in Maharashtra but in India as well. However, Pune has its own unique traditions to celebrate this festival.
Pune is the birth place of Ganesh festival. People here come together and celebrate Ganeshotsav with utmost devotion. This year, Pune’s sarvajanik Ganeshotsav is celebrating its 125th year. It was in the year 1893 when Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak started sarvajanik Ganeshotsav.
Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak started this concept and mobilised people through Ganesh festival. The motive was to unite people and fight against the British regime. Through this festival large number of people came together, and it also became a source of political awakening against the British government.
Some of the most special sarvajanik Ganeshotsav’s celebrated in Pune are:-
Kasba Ganapati: Located in Kasba Peth, the Kasba Ganpati is known as the ‘Gramdaivat’ of Pune. This is the first honoured sarvajanik Ganapati of Pune. It is believed that the Ganesh Idol was found near the house of Vinayak Thakar, which was close to Chhatrapati Shivaji’s mother’s home. The temple was built by Shivaji Maharaj and Jijabai Bhosale in the year 1639, and named it Kasba Ganpati. Every year the Ganeshotsav is celebrated with a unique tradition. The welcoming rituals of Lord Ganesh begin with a new idol of Lord Ganesh placed in a palkhi (palanquin) made of silver and carried by the devotees, on their shoulders. The immersion process is led by Kasba Ganpati.
Tambdi Jogeshwari: The Ganeshotsav celebrated at Tambdi Jogeshwari temple is the second most honoured Ganpati of Pune. The Tambdi Jogeshwari temple of Goddess Durga was built by Trimbak Bendre in around 1545 AD. In 1636, Chhatrapati Shivaji and his mother ploughed the land in front of the temple and marked the new beginning of Pune.
Guruji Taalim: In the year 1887 the Ganapati of Guruji Taalim was established by a Hindu and a Muslim family of Bhiku Shinde and Ustaad Nalban. This is the third most honoured Ganapati of Pune. The idol is decorated with gold ornaments giving an ethereal touch. Guruji Taalim pandal is situated on Laxmi road. The Guruji Taalim Ganeshotsav symbolises the Hindu-Muslim unity of Pune. It is believed that this mandal was established even before Tilak started the sarvajanik Ganeshotsav.
Tulshibaug Ganapati: Around 15 feet high, the idol of Lord Ganesh sits right in the middle of the famous Tulshibaug market of Pune. This is the first sarvajanik Ganeshotsav to make a fibre glass idol of Ganpati, and every year a new 15-feet tall idol is created. The sarvajanik Ganeshotsav celebrations were started here by Sardar Krishnaji Kashinath in 1893. This is the fourth most honoured Ganapati of Pune.
Kesari Wada Ganpati: The Kesari Wada is considered as one of the most respected Ganesh Mandals of the city. The Kesari Trust is revered as the fifth most honoured Ganapati in the city. Since its inception in 1893, the Kesari Trust’s Ganesh festival used to be organised at Vinchurkar Wada off Kumthekar Road which was the residence of Tilak. In 1905, the venue of the festival was shifted to Gaikwad Wada, presently known as the Kesari Wada.
If you come to Pune during the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi, your Pune darshan will be incomplete unless you visit and get the blessings of the most popular Dagdusheth Ganesh. Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati have their own rich and heart touching story.
Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati has a story about Dagdusheth Halwai, who was a famous sweet trader and lost his son during the outbreak of plague. Dagdusheth Halwai and his wife were very depressed.
During these tough times, Guruji Shri Madhavnath Maharaj advised him to make two idols, one of Lord Datta Maharaj and another of Lord Ganesha, and asked him to worship them and to take care of the idols like he would take care of his son. It was way back in 1893 when Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak introduced the public celebration of Ganesh festival, and Dagdusheth Halwai came forward and started the festival. He later established the Halwai Ganapati Trust. The mandal is known for its attractive idol, and the first idol was installed by the hands of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Tilak who played an important role in fighting for freedom of our country was a good friend of Dagdusheth Halwai who later became a rich businessman.
The idol of Ganpati is so beautiful and the ears of Ganesh idol are made or solid gold. The total weight of gold that is being used to decorate the Lord Ganesh is approximately eight kilograms. The idol of this temple is considered to be very lively and it is said that the wishes of the people come true.


September 5th, 2017

Posted In: art & culture

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