The Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav (Festival) of Pune which was introduced by Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak in 1893 is now celebrating its 125th year. The ganeshotsav of Pune is very popular not only in Maharashtra but all over India and is also acknowledged all over the globe due to its various Highlights. Kasba Ganapati is known as the “Gramdaivat” of Pune while Tambdi Jogeshwari is known as the “Gramdevata” of Pune. Lokmanya Tilak himself had given the Honor of Manacha Dusara Ganapati to Tambdi Jogeshwari Ganeshotsav Mandal as it is the “Gramdevata” from the very beginning of the utsav. i.e. in 1893. Our Mandal is celebrating the Ganesh Festival from 1893 in a traditional and most disciplined manner. Its history and main features are mentioned below.
Since 1893 i.e. pre independence days of the country, many musical groups (known as “Mela”) had participated in the utsav. These Melas used to start their shows in front of Tambdi Jogeshwari (Gramdevata). Mela was variety entertainment programs through which guidance was given to people for freedom fighting. During this tenure i.e. from 1893 till 1940 participation in festival was mainly from family members of Bendre & Ghorpadkar family who were trustees of Jogeshwari Devasthan along with other citizens from the area surrounding Jogeshwari Mandir.
Every year the Ganesh idol of the mandal is immersed and a new replica is made. An interesting point to note about the Ganesh Idol is its sculptor Shri. D.M Gulunkar, a well known artist from Pune who has sculpted the idol as is right from the beginning.This legacy is now carried forward by the 4th generation of the Gulunjkar family. Another feature of Ganesh idol is that the face of the idol is in resemblance of the African Elephant. The beauty and liveliness of the Ganesh idol grows brighter during the Ganeshotsav. We indeed feel that it comes to Life and watches over us.
After 1940, local citizens around the Jogeshwari Temple joined the Bendre and Ghorpadkar family to celebrate Ganeshotsav and it included families of Jejurikar Bros, Bodas Bros, Mimicry Artist Shri.Bhonde Thakurdesai, Advocate Gupte, Painter Bedekar, Chavan Bros, Wagh Bros. Shamsingh Pardeshi, Kulkarni and sons, Buva Icecreamwale, Ganpatrao Shevale, Rambhau Gokhale etc. During the next tenure i.e. 1940 to 1969 program of Melas was overtaken by musical concerts and famous artists like Hirabai Badodekar, Saraswati Rane, Sureshbabu Mane, Suresh Haldankar, Basavraj Rajguru, Jyostna Bhole, etc. who given their performances.
Thereafter since 1969, a new generation of volunteers took active part in the mandal. This includes Sarvashri G.B. Datar, Samak Bros., Gadgil Bros., Parundekar Bros. Tikhe Bros., Khangaonkar Bros. Sidhaye Bros., Gokhale Bros., Wakde Bros., Kulkarni Bros., Tikar Bros., Virendra Patankar, Pimputkar Bros., Suresh Lavalekar, Bal Mahadik, Ulhas Karyekar, Rambhau Neurgaonkar, Anant Deshpande, Bapu Soman, Prakash Bhonde, Bodas Bros etc.
From the year 1992 the youngsters like sarvashri Rajabhau Tikar, Prasad Kulkarni, Saurabh Dhadphale, Prasad Patwardhan, Kedar Karmarkar, Raju Bawdekar, Abhijit Thakur, Vinit Ekbote, Atul Kulkarni, Borgaonkar Bros. Deshpande family, Avinash Sabne etc. joined the mandal as active karyakartas for celebrating the Ganeshotsav. A female members of the above mentioned volunteers’ family have also participated actively. We are pleased to mention that due to overwhelming response and devoted support from the all above, the face and pattern of Ganeshotsav of mandal has become wider, social and glamorous after 1969 and it continues to grow till date.
From 1969 noted singers like Sarvashri Jitendra Abhisheki, Ramdas Kamath, Sau. Jaymala Shiledar, Kirti Shiledar have performed the musical recitals as well as Swaranand group have presented patriotic songs of Veer Savarkar in the Ganeshotsav of Mandal. The Mandal has installed one metal and wooden Devhara for the Ganesh idol. During the utsav the spiritual programs like Ganeshyag, Shrisuktapathan etc. are being conducted regularly.
The Pranpratishthapana(Installation) of Shri Ganesh idol was used to be made within the limits of north gate of the Mandir till the year 2000 and the devotees would have the “Darshan” of the idol in front of this gate. However this space was inadequate. Considering this mandal decided to use the of space on road at north gate of mandir and Pranpratishthapana(Installation) of Shri Ganesh idol was started from the year 2001. This change has facilitated the devotees to have “Darshan” of Shri Ganesh more easily.
The Mandal has had the privilege to have received the prestigious Palkhi from Sardar Natu of the Peshwe regime for the immersion procession till the centenary year of celebration. In the centenary year i.e. 1992 the mandal has made a Silver Palkhi for Shri Ganesh and in subsequent years the following silver ornaments were prepared by mandal.
The main feature of the Mandal is that it has voluntarily restricted the area of collection of Ganeshotsav vargani(donation) i.e. Appa Balwant Chowk to Budhwar chowk to Nagarkar Talim chowk for the traders, shopkeepers and for citizens from the area of Jogeshwari road, Pharaskhana road, Vedpathshala path. No compulsion is made for the collection of vargani. It is our pleasure that people/devotees/well wishers contribute for vargani voluntarily in the mandap itself during the festival period. On this background mandal have discontinued demand of vargani from devotees and vargani is now collected in mandap during the festival.
After 2007 mandal has decided to install the Ganesh Idol in the new Silver Devara. The total cost for the new Silver Devara was estimated to Rs.16.50 lakhs approximately which included 55kg of silver as per the rates prevailing in the year 2008, Rs. 1lakh for wooden work and Rs. 2 lakhs for carving work. During the period January 2009 to July 2010, the wooden devara was completed. Members, devotees and donors have contributed for the silver required for devara whole heartily.We are pleased to inform that since last year the Ganesh Idol is getting installed in new Silver Devara in this year. Mandal is thankful to all those who have contributed to the Silver Devara.
Lastly we are pleased to mention that since the initiation, till date the mandal is truly following the motive of the festival on the ground of which Shri. Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak started this pleasant & famous festival.