Celebrating community

Updated: 25 November, 2019 11:59 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

A three-day festival spearheaded by Panchgani's public and private institutions features exhibitions, food stalls, a kite festival and treasure hunt

A drum roll at the I Love Panchgani festival in 2017
A drum roll at the I Love Panchgani festival in 2017

Often called the Switzerland of India, Panchgani was discovered by Lord John Chesson in 1860. It's name arose post his survey of the five villages in the locality: Godavali, Amral, Dhandeghar, Khingar and Taighat.

What used to be a retirement destination for the British has grown to become not only one of the country's most popular hill stations but also an epicentre for education with its boarding schools. This weekend, it will host the fourth edition of I Love Panchgani Festival, a community-driven initiative to promote tourism and boost the local economy.

Celebrating community

The three-day celebration features a wide range of events. It kicks off with performances by students from schools all around the hill station and ends with a raffle contest. It took a whole village to pull off the festival.

"The agenda has always been to unite the town. We also have a walking plaza that will feature food stalls serving delicacies like biryani, kebabs, appams, and chaat as well as strawberry cream and juice. It's safe to say that none of the locals eat home-cooked food for three days since all of them are involved here," says Shivaji Shinde, vice president, The Panchgani Charitable Trust, who is helming the event.

Shivaji Shinde
Shivaji Shinde

New additions to this edition include a vintage car exhibit, a folk art display comprising rangoli and wood carvings, and a treasure hunt, too.

"The cars have come from Kolhapur and will be on display in the club area. For the hunt, participants have to come in their cars and bikes and collect clues from us. This gives them the opportunity to travel all around the place and in turn, they click selfies of the spots which promotes the hill station," Shinde explains.

While attendees get to see kites soaring in the sky at the Bollywood-famous Table Land, another highlight of the occasion is a mallakhamb event featuring young gymnasts performing aerial yoga. "We are organising a special batch of Tug-of-War for women," he adds. Either way, this sounds like a good excuse to run to the hills.

On November 29 to December 1, 10 am onwards A
At Panchgani. (Multiple venues).
Log on to ilovepanchgani.in

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First Published: 25 November, 2019 09:17 IST

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