PUNE: The city welcomed its favourite deity Ganpati with fervour as Maharashtra’s most loved festival began with dhol-tasha performances, processions and rain across the city on Friday.
All Ganesh mandals that were ready for their first processions of the festival were greeted with rainfall during the day. However, people braved the rains to welcome their beloved ‘Bappa’. Along with the five ‘Manache Ganpati’, the processions of Shrimant Dagdusheth Ganpati, Bhau Rangari Ganpati, Mandai Ganpati and subsequently other mandals, were held with dhol-tasha pathaks and bands.
Although the number of people in the processions was lower than usual due to rain, the excitement was the same. People danced to the beats of dhol and tasha, while the best of the pathaks performed for popular mandals in the city. Along with dhol-tasha pathaks, mandals also had lezim pathaks, brass bands and displays of ancient traditional warfare tactics like talwarbaji and dandpatta. People were seen pushing each other to get a glimpse of their Bappa, trying to click photographs and selfies with Ganesh idols.
Along with the sarvajanik Ganeshotsav, the festival is popularly celebrated in households too. Families were carrying idols chanting ‘Ganpati Bappa Moraya’.
Cultural programmes were organised at popular Ganesh pandals in the evening. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited Manache Ganpati and Shrimant Dagdusheth Ganpati.