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The 10 day Ganapati festival in Maharashtra starts on the Vinayaga Chaturthi Day when the public welcome the Lord in a grand manner. Here is a report on how Ganapati was welcomed in Pune.
The foot-tapping rhythm of drums, tasha' and cymbals and chants of Ganapati Bappa Morya resounded throughout the city on Saturday the 11th Sep 2010 as Puneites welcomed Lord Ganapati into their homes, societies and mandals on the first day of the Ganesh festival.
The festivities started in the morning with the processions and consecration of the five important Ganapatis, Kasba Ganapati, Tambdi Jogeshwari, Guruji Talim, Tulshibaug and Kesariwada. Students from 20 countries, giving the message of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world is one family), participated in the procession of Kasba Ganapati, which was also accompanied by the Prabhat brass band and a team of drummers of the Samartha Pratishthan.
The Tambdi Jogeshwari procession was accompanied by Nagara players, New Gandharva brass band and drummers of Shivmudra. The drummers of Shivgarjana, attired in white salwar-kurtas and red bandhani phetas, accompanying Guruji Talim mandal, caught the eye with their performance.
When the procession reached Bajirao road, there was an impromptu jugalbandi' between the Shivgarjana team and the Samartha Pratishthan team accompanying the Jilbya Maruti mandal. This interesting duel continued for about 20 minutes before both the mandals moved ahead, mindful of the traffic jam on Bajirao road and Laxmi road.
The consecration of the famous Dagdusheth Ganapati took place at 11 am and devotees thronged the pandal for the darshan' of the jewellery-decked idol.
As the day progressed and consecration of household Ganapatis was completed, members of other public Ganesh mandals started preparations for their processions in the respective areas. trucks decorated with flowers were kept ready along with brass band teams and drummers to welcome the god of wisdom.
Children and adults alike were dressed in finery and flocking to buy the best Ganesh idol. Women in colourful sarees were busy minding the durva,' aarti thaali' and all the accessories required to welcome the deity home.
The city streets wore a crowded look till late in the evening as the processions of smaller mandals continued. Areas near the Pune municipal corporation and Sarasbaug were particularly crowded as many idol makers had put up their stalls at these places.