Lord Ganesha, the God of wisdom and prosperity has been worshipped from the Vedic times. Every religious ceremony we start with the blessings of Lord Ganesha.
BalGangadharTilak initiated the concept of “SarvajanikGaneshotsav” and mobilized people through public Ganesh Festival.

Pune being the birthplace of Ganesh Festival, now celebrated all over India, has its own unique way of celebrating this festival which you will rarely find anywhere else. Here are some unique traditions of the Ganesh Festival or Ganeshotsavthat you should not miss in Pune.

1.The five ManacheGanpati: – The oldest and most respected and honoredGanpati idols in Pune

Pune is a very traditional city and very protective and proud of its customs and traditions. And the five ManacheGanapatiare one of its most revered traditions. Let us get to know each of these five ManacheGanpati.

  1. KasabaGanapti – कसबागणपती (मानाचापहिला)
  2. 2.TambdiJogeshwari – तांबडीजोगेशवरी (मानाचादूसरागणपती)
  3. 3. GurujiTalim – गुरुजीतालीम (मानाचातिसरागणपती)
  4. 4. TulshibaugGanapati – तुळशीबागगणपती (मानाचाचौथा)
  5. 5. KesariwadaGanapati – केसरीवाडागणपती (मानाचापाचवा)

2. DholThashapathak:- Dhol Tasha Pathak is the second unique tradition associated with the Ganeshotsav in Pune.

The dhol is a mangalvadya. Dholtasha is very unique set of musical instruments (drums) for they bring discipline to the music used during the Ganeshotsav.  The founder of JnanaPrabodhinischool, V.V. (Appaji) Pendse came up with idea of having a special class to promote this bit of musical culture of Maharashtra and retain the folk art form. He also added it to the school curriculum in 1964.

The very first JnanaPrabhodini school boys Pathak (band) was formed with instruments, like barchi (hand cymbal), dhol, Tasha (a form of kettle drum) and lezim.

The ManacheGanpatimandalsbegan inviting thesedholtashapathaks to play during the ‘visarjan’ procession.
Since then the dholtashapathakshave become synonymous withGaneshotsav.

3. Ganeshotsav walk: A rare Ganesh Festival Walk, started four years ago, has now become an annual tradition that takes participants on a walk through the heart of the city to visit all five ManacheGanapati one by one as well as other mandals like DagadushetHalwai etc. It has became so popular that people from other countries as well as other parts of India and who are curious to know about the history traditions and the significance of Ganeshotsav are going on this walk.

4.UkadicheModak( SteamedModak ): Ukadichemodak is the iconic dish of Ganeshotsav. For Punekars Ganesh festival and ukadichemodak are one and the same.