Ganpati festival around the corner and the excitement can be felt in the air. Walking across a span of close to ten kilometers with munchies in hand devotees visit the ‘Manache Paach‘ (honored five) public ganesha pandals.
The Manache Paach Ganesh pandals are :
- Kasba Ganpati
- Tambdi Jogeshwari
- Guruji Taalim
The immersion process is always in the above sequence as it has been for years in order to respect and legendary ranks of public honor.
In the year 1630, Jijabai Bhosale (mother of Chhatrapati Shivaji) arrived in Pune with her then infant son. Around this time, along with other seven families, the Thakar Family migrated to Pune from Indi, Vijapur District. Shri Vinayak Bhatt Thakar also carried his Family deity, Lord Gajanan along with him. All these families settled near River bank around the current place of Kasba Ganapati Temple which was close to the residence of Jijabai. Jijabai perceived this as an auspicious moment and promptly decided to build a temple, which is popularly known as the Kasba Ganpati Mandir.
This is the very first honored Ganapati in Pune and during the visarjan process, this Kasba Ganapati as at the head of the procession. It is only after the immersion of this Ganesha idol other idols respectfully proceed with immersing their own idols. The Kasba Ganpati idol is placed on a decorated silver paalkhi (palanquin) with hundreds of Dhol Tasha players march infront of the Ganesha to bid it one of the most pompous adieus in the state. Amongst the drummers one can see young girls and guys playing the Lezim (Lezium). Lezim dancers carry a small musical instrument with jingling cymbals called the Lezim, after which the dance form is named.This dance is named after a wooden idiophone to which thin metal discs are fitted which produce a jingling sound and the dancers use this while dancing on the rhythm of the drums.
The second most honored Ganpati of Pune as set out by Lokmanya Tilak, believed to be the lord of the land (gram daivat) of Pune. Apparently, the idol self-originated in the year 1545 AD. This Ganesha idol is made from ‘shadu clay’ an eco friendly material traditionally by the Gulunkar family. Tambdi Jogeshwari is the local godess in Pune who is worshipped by locals.
On the day of immersion this Ganesha idol is carried in a traditional 13kg Silver palanquin decorated with flowers.
Location: Jogeshwari Lane, Tulshibaug, Budhwar Peth, Budhwar Peth, Pune, Maharashtra 411030, India
The third honored Ganesha of Pune dates back to the year 1887. Interestingly, this Ganesha was initiated by the families of Bhi ku Shinde and Ustaad Nalban to spread peace and happiness. One finds this Ganesha located at the ever bustling junction of Laxmi road in the internal bylanes (peth) of the old city of Pune. Appropriately matched to the area in which it sits, the idol is decorated with gold ornaments giving an eleysian perspective to the already finely carved expressions of the clay idol.
Location: 184, Laxmi Rd, Tulshibaug, Budhwar Peth, Pune, Maharashtra 411002, India
This is the fourth honored Ganesha of Pune and follows the sequence to the immersion spot behind the first three Ganeshas listed above. This Ganesha was established in 1901. Standing over 15feet tall the beauty of this idol lies in its breathtaking decoration. Sporting a huge and finely decorated crown the idol sits tall in an open pandal right in the middle of Tulshibaug which happens to be a street shoppers fav destination. The idol is decorated by artist D.S. Khatavkar with ornaments that weigh more than 90 kg and the idol itself is made of glass fiber.
Location : Tulshibaug, Budhwar Peth, Pune.
This is the Fifth of the Manache Paach Ganeshas. The simplicity and beauty of the idols sitting in the middle of the calmness of the ‘wada’ (a small fortified establishment that housed a couple of families) is breathtaking. Geographically slightly away from the other idols the Kesariwada Ganesha has two idols sitting in a line not more than three feet in height. During immersion, Kesariwada used to be fourth in queue but later started following Tulshibaug and now is the fifth revered mandal in Pune.
For immersion procession, the idol is kept in an attractive palkhi donated by Patwardhan family from Miraj. Since the Palkhi is very old, it is carried in a tractor and people throng to touch the feet of the idol.
Location: Kesariwada, Pune.
Apart from the Top Five Ganeshas of Honor (Manache Ganpati) the favorite attractions are the Dagdusheth Ganpati mandal, Mandai Ganpati, Babu Genu Ganpati, Jilbya Maruti, Bhau Rangari etc. The immersion procession adds immense fervor to the entire festival with traditional instruments, folk dances, martial arts display, rangolis make their presence felt and add vibrance to the already colorful atmosphere. Road blocks and unavailability of public transport could mean you may end up walking a longer route and farther distance than expected.
Points to Remember:
- Carry only necessary items like water, snacks etc. Avoid wearing heavy jewelry or expensive accesories.
- Carry your camera but also carry rain cover for it as Pune during this time of the year witnesses decent rainfall.
- Look for a vantage point and stay put for sometime. Processions will pass by providing enough entertainment throughout the day.
- Processions start around 10 am and reaching early will always play advantageous.
- Avoid bringing infants or toddlers to the crowded areas.
- Avoid indulging in alcohol or any other forms of intoxication.
- Have lots of fun, learn traditions and spread awareness.
- Incase of any emergency do not panic and look for the best escape route as you seat yourself.