Sardar Krishnaji Kashinath alias Nansaheb Khajgiwale gave the Ganesh festival the
form of public celebrations. He had witnessed the public celebrations of this festival
in Gwalior in 1892 which inspired him to start something similar in Pune. Thus in
1893, Shri Khajgiwale, Shri Ghotawadekar and Shri Bhau Rangari were the first three
mandals to start public celebrations of Ganesh festival. Ganesh festival celebrated
prior to this was limited to the individual families. The credit of giving Ganesh
festival the form of a public movement so that all the educated, none educated,
young and old should participate in the national movement goes to Lokmanya Tilak.
Tilak encouraged the Melas and also gave a new dimension to the Ganapati
immersion procession. Tilak achieved the objectives of giving proper direction to
the enthusiasm of the youth, to praise the artists and to educate the people. Slowly
the Ganesh festival assumed the nature of public celebration outside Pune also.
In the pre independence period the festival proved to be a very good medium to cultivate
awareness among the masses and unite them. This helped in intensifying the freedom
struggle. But in the post independence era the festival has become more entertainment
oriented. The main motive of bringing about social awareness seems to have been
lost. Still there is a ray of hope because there are some mandals who still remember
that they do have a social obligation.
Established in 1893 at Kasba peth, Pune is the first Ganpati of honor in Pune.
Since 1894, mandal is being in the first place in the procession. The Kasba Ganpati
Utsav is celebrated without use of 'Gulal'. Shivaji Maharaja's mother Jijabai had
put up the statue of Ganesh. On her behalf Dadoji Kondadev had put on a tent in
front of the statue of Ganesh.
Established in 1893 in Budhwar peth Tambdi Jogeshwari is the Second Ganpati of Honor
in Pune. Tambdi Jogeshwari was one of the early established Ganesh Mandals. The
Mandal has already completed its 100 years. The idol resembles an elephants. Various
functions are organized during the festival by the Mandal. Many people take part
in these events keeping social interest in mind. Many people attend the Aarti to
Established in 1887 at Ganpati Chowk, Laxmi Road, Guruji Talim is the third Ganpati
of Honor in Pune. The Mandal was established in 1887. This was the first mandal
in Pune to celebrate its 100 years. The expenditure of the festival is very rearly
collected from the public, it is mostly collected by the members of the mandal.
Thus mandal existed even before the Ganesh festival had started.
Established in 1887 at Tulsi Bagh Ram Mandir, Off Laxmi Road. Tulsi Bagh Ganpati
is the fourth Ganpati of honor in Pune. Peculiarity of this mandal is the Ganesh
idol is a new one every year. The size of the idol is about 13 feet in height. The
idol is of fiber glass and the mandal is the pioneer in such kind of idol making. The
mandal is in its centenary year, in 2002 it completed its 100 years. Throughout
the year the mandal is busy celebrating various festivals.
Kesari Wada Ganapati
Established in 1887 at Narayan Peth, Tilakwada. Kesari Wada is the Fifth Ganpati
of Honor in Pune. The mandal organizes various functions on various festivals throughout
the year. Lokmanya Tilak had established the idol of Ganesh for this mandal in the
year 1893. Every year famous artists perform in shows organized by the mandal.
Shrimanta Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh Festival
The 107 year old Shrimanta Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh Festival is the jewel in the
crown of Maharashtra’s long history of community Ganesh festival. It is distinguished
by its endeavour to uphold Maharashtra’s cultural heritage. This famous temple of
Pune is known as Dagdu Halwai Datta Mandir. Devotees residing in Pune and around
often visit this temple and offer their prayers. Everyday Poojas are performed twice.
Shrimanta Dagdusheth Halwai was very famous sweet trader of the past era. He was
a very virtuous and righteous man. Shree Datta Mandir placed in budhwar peth, Pune
was their residential Building. During those times in the outbreak of plague Shrimanta
Dagdusheth lost his son. Due to this episode he himself and his wife were very depressed
and disturbed. During the same time his Guruji Shree Madhavnath maharaja consoled
him and advised him to make two idols of God Shree Datta Maharaja and Shree Ganapati.
And asked him to worship them and to take care of them like his own son. In future
just as offspring brings radiance to his father’s name these idols would do the
same for him. And as per his guruji’s advice he made two idols of Shree Datta maharaj
and Shree Ganapati, and this very idol is the first idol, now this idol is placed
in Aakara Maruti Temple, Shukrawar peth, this idol is worshiped everyday with detailed
rituals and rites. Lokmanya Tilak installed this idol. And at that moment Shrimanta
Dagdusheth Halwai, Baburao Godse, Bhausaheb Rangari, Shree Morappasheth Ghadve,
Narayanrao Bajiwale a.k.a Jadhav, Narayanrao Bhujbal, Ramrao Butler, Ganpatrao Vithuji,
Sardar Paranjape, Shivrampant Paranjape, Gopalrao Raikar, Narayanrao Darode and
many such people from different spectra were present on this auspicious occasion.
And with all the faith and devotion this auspicious tradition was started with the
blessings from all these great people. In the year 1894 Lokmanya Tilak started the
Public Ganesh Festival. In the year 1896-second idol of Shrimanta Dagdusheth Halwai
Ganapati was ready and this was celebrated in the festival. During the same period
Shrimanta Dagdusheth expired. But the locals and his immediate social workers carried
the tradition of Public Ganesh Festival forward. In that era Shree Dagdusheth Halwai
bahuli haud was renowned as public ganapati. This festival was organized and managed
by Suvarnayug Youth Club. This idol is instilled at the temple in Pithashree old
age Home, Baburao Godse Kondwa. In the year 1896 the idol got a bit tattered and
in the year 1967 they celebrated Amrut jubilee of the Ganapati Bappa. And on these
basis instantaneously Head of Suvarnayug Youth Club Shree Pratap Godse, Digambar
Rasne, Raghu Kedari, Shankar Suryavanshi, Chandrakant Darode, Umaji Kedari, Prahaladsheth
Sharma, Ramakant Vasant Kodre, Kanta Rasne, Dattaray Kedari, Ulhas Shegde, Uttam
Gavde, etc activist decided to make a new idol and for that purpose they appointed
famous sculptor from Karnataka Shree Shilpi. They asked him to make a small idol
from mud and that was shown to the workers using the projector by Shree Balasaheb
Paranjape and got the approval of his co-workers about the similarity of the new
idol with old. Once approved the work on large idol was started. After completing
the idol Shree Shilpi offered his prayers to Lord Ganesh on the banks of Sangam
River on the day of eclipse. He worshiped Lord Ganesha till the end of the eclipse.
He also worshiped the Shree Ganesh Yantra and after that he conducted the rites
on the place where he made the idol and with all the devotion he worshipped the
Shree Yantar and implanted it the belly of Shree Ganesh. It is said that one must
worship Lord Ganesha with all the devotion and faith and must carry all the rites
and rituals regularly. Till date this tradition is followed with all the sincerity
and so this Ganapati Bappa blesses everyone. Thus, this beautiful idol of Shree
Ganesh fulfilling the vows of his worshipers is present in this temple.