Ganesh Chaturthi 2018: Pune's most popular 'Manacha Ganpati' that you must visit

Sep 15, 2018, 13:50 IST | mid-day online desk

The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi was started on a modest note by freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1893 in Pune. The city is celebrating 126 years of the festival in a grand way and you shouldn't miss the celebrations

Ganesh Chaturthi 2018: Pune's most popular 'Manacha Ganpati' that you must visit
The Kasaba Ganpati has the honour of being the first 'Manache Ganpati' among all idols in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations will be a fun fare for 11 days until the immersion of Ganesh idols that will take place on September 23. Ganesh Chaturthi was started by the revolutionary Lokmanya Tilak in Pune on a large scale way back in 1893. This year, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations enter its 126th year in the city of Pune. Every city in Maharashtra has its own style of celebrating the Ganesh festival. However, Pune being the pioneer of the 'Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav' has the most unique flavour of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. These top five mandals are also known as 'Manacha Ganpati' in Pune. These mandals also have the honour of being the forefront among other idols during the Ganpati immersion procession. The ordedr takes place in a meticulous manner for the past 124 years and never changes. So, make the most of your long weekend and head to Maharashtra's cultural capital to celebrate the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.

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Shri Kasba Ganpati Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal:

Kasba Ganpati is also known as city's first deity. The Kasba Ganpati Mandal was established way back in 1893 when Lord Ganesha was recognised as a Gram Daivat or the presiding deity of a village, in this case, Punawadi. Thus, the Kasba temple befittingly earned the title of being 'Manacha' Pahila Ganpati or the most revered Ganpati in Pune. The Kasba Ganpati is given the first preference for the Ganpati idols immersion. The locals believe that it was Jijabai Bhosale, Shivaji's mother, who commissioned the Kasba temple.

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Tambdi Jogeshwari Temple:

The Tambdi Jogeshwari Temple was constructed in the 15th century. The temple gets its name from the idol of Lord Ganesha being red in colour (tambdi). It is located in the Jogeshwari lane of Budhwar Peth in Pune. Historical records reveal that the Peshwas used to seek blessings from the Tambdi Jogeshwari Temple goddess before embarking on a new mission. Every year, the Ganesh idol of the Tambdi Jogeshwari Temple mandal is immersed and a new replica is made for the following year. DM Gulunjkar is a well-known artist from Pune who has sculpted the idol since its beginning. This legacy is now carried forward by the fourth generation of the Gulunjkar family.

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Guruji Talim Ganpati Mandal:

Also known as the third 'Manacha Ganpati', the Guruji Talim Ganpati was constructed in 1887. It stands out for being the first ever Ganpati mandal started by two Hindu and Muslim families in Pune. The mandal played a key role in spreading the message of communal harmony since its inception. That’s why the mandal was given the third place in the immersion procession and is well known as the third 'Manacha Ganpati' in the city. What’s special about it? Well, more than 10kgs of gold are used to decorate the temple’s idol. Last year during the 125th celebrations of Ganeshotsav in the city, Sunil Shendkar had created a mythology-inspired mandir and a silver chariot for the Ganpati idol to be seated on it.

Tulshi Baug Ganpati:

Tulshi Baug Ganpati mandal was set up in the year 1975. The Ganpati idol over here is coated with 125kg of silver. Standing tall at 15ft, this is the largest Ganpati idol in Pune. The mandal pays immense respect to the women who help bring revenue to Tulshi Baug market that is located over here. For the immersion of Tulsi Baug Ganpati, a chariot with a large garud (eagle) made of flowers was used last year to carry the idol. Due to the religious importance that Tulshi Baug has, the mandal is placed fourth in the Ganpati immersion process and is considered as the fourth ‘Manacha Ganpati’ in Pune.

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Kesari Wada Ganpati Mandal:

The Kesari Wada Ganpati Mandal was founded by none other than freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak in 1893. It is one of the most respected Ganpati mandals in the city. The mandal is unique as it has two huge Ganpati idols along with an idol of Lokmanya Tilak. The paintings in the mandal depict scenes from the life of Lokmanya Tilak. Like the first two Ganpati's, Kasaba and Tambdi Jogeshwari, the Kesari Wada Ganpati also has the honour of a palkhi (palanquin). Many people claim that initially, the Kesari Wada Ganpati was third in the procession but later on it moved to fifth to make way for Guruji Talim and Tulshibaug.

Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Mandal, Jilbya Maruti Ganpati Mandir, Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganpati are few of the popular Ganpati's that you should definitely visit on your trip to Pune.

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