Bappa has left us and the city’s energy seems to have dipped. This year, Ganeshotsav was celebrated with pomp, grandeur and responsibility. In this feature of 10 images, see the journey of the Ganapati idol right from the start till the immersion procession in the end.
The first image shows a sculptor painting a Ganapati idol and bringing it to life by moulding and shaping it in different sizes. It is the sculptor that gives the idol its god-like expressions with his or her designs. The idols are prepared three months in advance before the festival start
In the second image, a family is seen carrying Bappa to their home. Several households and mandals set up a space to comfortably seat the idol. This also the marks the beginning of the festivities in the city.
In order to welcome the idols from the five Manache Ganapati temples, huge crowds from all over the city, gathered around the Peth areas in the third image. There were several young men and women playing in different dhol tasha pathaks as different mandals brought out their idols.
The prayers started early in the morning and the priests adorned the idol with jewellery and flowers. The fourth image was taken at the Shreemant Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati temple as the sthapana was being done.
Dhol tasha pathaks involve a number of people that come from different backgrounds and a varying age. The fifth image (main pic above) depicts how a young child is immersed in playing the Taal or a pair of clashing cymbals to welcome Bappa.
The sixth image shows a man dancing with the flag. This dance is highly significant in the Maharashtrian culture as it is performed even on Gudi Padwa, the new year. It upholds the orange flag that represents the glory of the Maratha empire. As the city engages in the festival, several mandals are set up around different nooks and corners. Puneites visited different mandals and the seventh image depicts two devotees clicking a selfie in front of the Guruji Talim mandal.
From the eighth image begins the journey of the immersion procession. A family packs themselves in a van and sit alongside Bappa to head to a river body and immerse the idol on a cloudy day.
The city is on a standstill as several people are out on the streets to bid Bappa adieu. The ninth image shows the idol from the Kasba Ganapati mandal leading procession on the day of the visarjan.
The final image is that of a group of people, drenched in the rain and smeared in gulal, truly depicting the mood of the festival, immersing the Ganapati idol in an artificial tank that is constructed next to Bhide pool.
And thus, with this ends yet another year of the city playing host to its beloved elephant-headed god. Until next year, Puneites eagerly await the arrival of Bappa to immerse themselves in the joy of Ganeshotsav yet again.
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