The city is eagerly preparing for this year’s Ganeshotsav. The streets are filled with people shopping for jewellery, clothes, decorations, sweets and much more. There is a small vendor selling festive items at every nook and cranny.
Puneites will celebrate this year’s Ganeshotsav with even more pomp and glory as the city’s most respected Shreemant Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple is celebrating 125 years of the festival.
Just before Mandai, a grand pandal is being erected by the temple. The design is elaborate and there are more than 100 people working to bring it to its full glory. The pandal is filled with colourful elements. The ceiling is decorated with intricate mandalas. The pillars have a beautiful design of peacocks and Vishnu etched on them.
“Every year, we pick a theme. Last year, we decided to build the pandal like the Shore temple in Mahabalipuram. This year, the theme is of Brahmanaspati. It is entirely imaginary. We have been working on it since May. Brahmanaspati represents Ganapati, the lord who has all the qualities.
The pandal is open for everyone and we always strive towards national integration,” explains Mahesh Suryavanshi, trustee of Shreemant Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple.
Apart from this, to commemorate 125 years of Ganeshotsav, this temple has been organising several programmes. But, the most important initiative of theirs is their tree plantation drive. “We will begin to plan trees all along the Wari route. We plan to plant 50 lakh trees in five years on every highway of Maharashtra. These trees will not just be planted but will also be protected. There will be a drip irrigation system where ever possible or a water tank to monitor the watering,” says Suryavanshi.
On Independence Day, then plan to honour 125 women from the Indian army who have lost their family. “Sharad Pawar will be present at the occasion. We will be paying our respects to these women by giving them a saree and a memento. 100 of the women are from the army while 25 of them are coming from Naxalite areas where their husbands, sons or brothers served in the police.”
This is going to be a memorable celebration as two of the city’s most revered temples – Shree Kasba Ganapati and Shreemant Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati are celebrating 125 years.
For Puneites, this Ganeshotsav will truly be memorable…
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