Maharashtra’s Directorate Of Tourism Promotes Ganesh Competition Celebrations To Woo Vacationers

Not simply spiritual travellers, however anybody concerned about historical past, tradition, and color are potential guests to the Ganesh pageant within the state.

For the primary time ever, the Directorate of Tourism (DoT), Authorities of Maharashtra, invited journey brokers and media individuals from throughout India to witness the monumental Ganesh Utsav celebrations in Mumbai and Pune, in a bid to weave a touristic narrative across the historical past and tradition surrounding them. They facilitated visits to all the principle Ganesh mandals, and likewise organised particular excursions for native senior residents as a part of this initiative.

Ganesh festival, celebration, india travel
Pune’s first public Ganesh pageant mandal has an immense historic and cultural pull for vacationers. Picture: Priya Pathiyan.

The Pune POV

Pune is all the time thought-about the cultural capital of Maharashtra, and on this go to to the Ganesha celebrations within the metropolis, we obtained to see firsthand precisely why that is so. The festive fervour runs excessive within the oldest elements of Pune, the varied peths (outdated neighbourhoods), which encompass the Shaniwar Wada, as soon as the grand residence of the Peshwas that dominated Pune within the 18th century. Troupes specialsing in conventional dhol tasha and dhol lezim have flourished at the same time as deejays and trendy gear have been coopted into the festivities.

Whereas there’s a Ganesh pandal at nearly each avenue nook, there are some which might be thought-about further particular for varied causes. Some are honored for his or her historic significance, others due to the grand scale they’re constructed on, and plenty of for the actual Ganesha that resides in the principle temple.

Mumbai has comparable ‘celeb’ Ganeshas that everybody eagerly strains as much as see, however what’s distinctive about Pune is that they’ve additionally preserved the tradition of dwell performances on makeshift phases on each different avenue nook to enhance the decorations and devoutness within the pandals. I discovered the extent of performing, costume design, set design, and music fairly outstanding. That such high quality leisure is obtainable without spending a dime comes as a nice shock in a world the place even ‘VIP darshan’ on the pandals instructions a value.

Fond farewells

Pleasure, nonetheless, is free, and nowhere do you’re feeling it wash over you in waves as a lot as on the ritual immersion (visarjan) that takes place on the finish of the 10-day Ganesh pageant. The expertise is each, shifting in addition to filled with monumentally mad rejoicing, as processions of devotees take their beloved deity to the confluence of the Mula & Mutha rivers to bid him a fond farewell, accompanied by all the things from easy and exquisite flower-bedecked carts to gigantic flatbed trailers bearing deejays taking part in their tunes aided by huge audio system and flashing strobe lights.

It’s a celebration that transcends faith and I noticed individuals of many religions and races participating wholeheartedly. This yr, there was additionally a contingent of enthusiastic guests from Thailand, taking lively half in all of the rituals of the Ganesh pageant.

Rashmi Mathur, co-founder of Lucknow-based journey firm Traveloventures, who was a part of the DoT’s contingent of invitees appraising the tourism potential of the Ganesh pageant, believes that this may very well be a brand new circuit that may be offered efficiently to her North Indian clientele. She observes, “Lord Ganesh is equally beloved and worshipped throughout India, so Ganesh Utsav of Maharashtra can be a beautiful two-to-three nights’ itinerary protecting the key pandals, studying concerning the historical past related to it, and witnessing the grand visarjan.”

Prime seven historic pandals so as to add to your Pune Ganesh pageant itinerary

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Shri Kasba Ganpati. Picture: Priya Pathiyan.

Identify: Shri Kasba Ganpati | The place: Kasba Peth | Why: The Shri Kasba Ganpati temple that this pandal is related to was constructed by Jijabai Bhosle, mom of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, in AD 1639. This extremely revered Ganesha additionally enjoys priority and pleasure of place within the immersion procession.

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Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganpati. Picture: Priya Pathiyan.

Identify: Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganpati | The place: Budhwar Peth | Why: This one is connected to the 15th century temple of Goddess Durga, who’s the gram-devi or patron deity of Pune, which makes the Ganesha further particular.

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Guruji Talim Ganpati. Picture: Priya Pathiyan.

Identify: Guruji Talim Ganpati | The place: Laxmi Highway | Why: This is among the oldest Ganesha pandals of Pune and one of many first to evangelise communal concord, because it was began by one Hindu and two Muslim households.

Ganesh festival, pune, maharashtra
Tulshi Baug Ganpati. Picture: Priya Pathiyan.

Identify: Tulshi Baug Ganpati | The place: Budhwar Peth | Why: Established in 1901, this 15-feet-tall idol, the tallest in Pune and the primary one to be product of glass fibre (since 1975), is richly adorned with gold and silver and fantastically sculpted.

Ganesh festival, celebration, india travel
Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati. Pictures: Priya Pathiyan.

Identify: Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati | The place: Budhwar Peth | Why: Began by grieving dad and mom, Dagdusheth Halwai and his spouse Lakshmibai, in reminiscence of their son who died of plague within the late 1800s, this Ganesha idol was particular to the household in addition to the neighbourhood. Over the many years, it has not solely change into one of many largest and most lavish pandals that folks vie to go to, but additionally a hub of social and cultural improvement, offering instructional and monetary help to under-privileged youngsters, micro financing small businessmen, constructing old-age residence, rehabilitating brick-kiln staff, and so on.

Ganesh festival, pune, maharashtra
Kesari Wada Ganpati. Picture: Priya Pathiyan.

Identify: Kesari Wada Ganpati | The place: Narayan Peth | Why: That is the one which made the group Ganesha pageant well-known. Freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak initiated the observe in 1893 by organising the pandal at his personal home. Even at present, though the Ganesha idol has moved from the unique location of Vinchurkar Wada to Kesari Wada, the belief that manages the proceedings embodies the unique ideology of the celebrations bringing group collectively by organising lectures and contests as an alternative of spending all the cash from donations on decorations.

Ganesh festival, pune, maharashtra
Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganpati. Picture: Priya Pathiyan.

Identify: Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganpati | The place: Budhwar Peth | Why: This was the nation’s first public Ganesh mandal, one which Lokmanya Tilak praised in his newspaper Kesari. And, to at the present time, the unique Ganesha idol exists. Very totally different from the benign ones we see elsewhere, this one depicting Ganpati vanquishing a demon, fairly actually, slays! A small however swish museum housed in the identical homestead that hosted freedom fighters brings alive the occasions it was born in.

Ganesh festival, celebration, india travel
The charming museum in Budhwar Peth, Pune, has a fantastic façade, underground getaway tunnels for freedom fighters, a show of weapons snatched from British East India Firm troopers, and this likeness of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak mentioned to have been handcrafted by residence proprietor Bhausaheb Rangari himself.

Learn extra.

6 historical Ganesha temples to go to this Ganesh Chaturthi

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