While majority of Punekars are still spending time with their beloved Bappa at home, the streets are getting busier. Wait for Gauri Visarjan to happen, and you will find crowds everywhere. Meanwhile, make sure to not miss out on these seven Pandals:
1. Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai, Budhwar Peth:
This goes without saying. With every year, the beautiful Ganesh idol seems to glow more. The Pandal gleams in the dark and it’s a sight worth seeing. With an aim to spread the message of national integration, this trust has recreated the famous temple of Mahabalipuram. The trustee members say that the replica is almost 40% similar to the original Mahabalipuram. The preparations began three months ago. Gold and glitter, this Pandal must definitely be on your bucket list.
2. Shrimant Bhau Rangari, Budhwar Peth:
We all know that it was Lokmanya Tilak who started Ganesh Festival in Pune. But history has different things to say. Bhausaheb Javale, also known as Bhau Rangari was the one who proposed the idea of Ganeshotsav to Tilak. Bhau Rangari Ganpati Trust celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. You’ll get to do a tour of Bhau’s wada, and take a glimpse into the historic ammunition and secret escapes from the time of India’s freedom struggle. This historical wada, which is more of a museum now, has young welcoming volunteers who patiently guide you through. Also, the trust is known to not collect any donations for the festival.
3. Kesariwada Ganpati, Narayan Peth:
Kesariwada Ganpati happens to be the 5th most respected Ganpati of Pune. Like every year, this year too, the trust is holding a series of exciting events. Saturday evening will have Radio Jockeys coming down for a fun filled chat with the youth. Other than that, musicals will also take place on Monday and Tuesday at Kesariwada. So if you are looking to a non-crazy, yet fun filled evening, be sure to visit this place. Since seating is limited, try to arrive before 6:30 PM.
4. Hatti Ganpati, Sadashiv Peth:
Hatti Ganpati is known for its tableaus. This year, this trust goes back to the time of freedom struggle. It roars about Tilak’s purpose behind starting Ganeshotsav. Right from Savitribai Phule to Netaji Bose, from Shivaji to Gandhi, this presentation gives a strong message of religious tolerance, women’s empowerment and unity. Tip: Your kids should not miss out on this one.
5. Chhatrapati Rajaram Ganpati, Sadashiv Peth:
A two minutes’ walk from Hatti Ganpati, this Pandal has by far the best replica of any monument. They have recreated the famous pilgrimage of Jejuri, and for those of you who have already been to Jejuri, will definitely get the real feel. We suggest you visit this soonest, ‘coz given the efforts this Pandal has put in decorations, it’s gonna be crazily crowded. Tip: Visit post sunset to enjoy the glitter.
6. Hirabaug Mitra Mandal, Shukrawar Peth:
Do you enjoy instrumental music? If yes, then take a moment to enjoy the instrumental fountain show at Hirabaug.
7. Sane Guruji Tarun Mitra Mandal, Lokmanya Nagar:
A massive 51 ft. statue of Shri Swami Samartha is created at this Pandal. Although it has no stories to tell or no show to present, this statue is worth a quick visit.
Other than Peth areas, a lot of Pandals in the other parts of the city have live shows, where the actors showcase different stories from the city. Yes, it’s gonna be crowded. No, it’s definitely not gonna be boring. Make sure you take at least one round across the town.