Pune: This year during the Ganesh festival, there are a few Ganesh mandals that will be celebrating Quasquicentennial - 125 years of their existence in the city.
When the entire world is moving forward at rather a faster pace, these mandals are keeping the over century old traditions alive and will be celebrating this year’s Ganesh Utsav with a difference. These mandals will be erecting huge pandals by putting up replicas of popular places in the country, which cherish rich history.
Among them, the royal themes like Mysore Palace, Rajasthan Palace theme, etc, will be there. Besides, these mandals will be also donating money to the flood victims of Kerala through CM’s Kerala relief fund.
Akhil Mandai Mandal, which is among the ‘five manache Ganapatis,’ will be completing 125 years this year.
Annasaheb Thorat, President of Akhil Mandai Mandal, said, “On the occasion of completion of the 125th year, we are having a replica of Rajasthan Palace and detailed work will be done to give a fine look to the palace, which will be of 60X80 feet. Also, there will be elephants decorated in typically Rajasthani style and the walls will be painted depicting Rajasthani culture.”
Apart from the Akhil Mandai Mandal, the other prominent mandals have been taking up social programmes around the year on completion of the 125th year.
Girija Potphode, Vice-President of Twashta Kasar, said, “Being the first woman vice-president of the mandal and on completion of the 125th year, the programmes arranged for Ganapati celebration will be all women-centric. Similarly, throughout the year, we have taken several social programmes for orphan children and NGOs in the city.”
“The theme for this year is the replica of Mahabalipuram temple of Tamil Nadu and the temple is being made using plywood. It is of 35X70 feet in height and breadth. On September 11, the replica of the temple will be open for the public from 10 am to 10 pm. Also, we have already donated Rs 25 lakh for the flood victims of Kerala,” Potphode said.
Mandar Paralikar, Executive President of Nene Ghat Mandal, said, “This year, our mandal will be completing 125 years and on the occasion, we have already taken social programmes all around the year. The theme for this year will be Mysore Mahal (palace) and it will be 16 to 17 feet in height and 20 feet in breadth. We will be celebrating the festival in traditional ways where there will be cultural festivals organised for the devotees.”
Ravi Pathare, Treasurer of Vinchurkar Wada Sarvajanik Vishwastha Mandal, said, “Despite completing 125 years, there will be no special decoration. The wada has historical significance as it was built by Sardar Vinchurkar, who served in the Peshwa Darbar. Vinchurkar wada had witnessed the country’s Independence struggle. Kesari, the newspaper edited by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, was launched at the wada in January 1881. The city’s first community Ganapati puja was also performed at the wada in 1894.”
“The Ganesh idol will be decorated in a simple way and cultural programmes will be held,” Pathare said.