Ganesh Chaturthi Pune 2022 | First Day Celebrations in Pune Old City

Ganesh Chaturthi took place in Pune in 2022 after a gap of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I was in the city on an unplanned trip and decided to spend the first half of the day on the streets and be a part of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. 

As the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is specially significant because the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations actually started here.


History of Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Pune are legendary and the present day public celebrations go back to the era of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. After India's first war of independence against the British in 1857, they enacted tough new laws which prevented assembly of people to basically prevent spread and thoughts. In 1893, Bal Gangadhar Tilak found a way to circumvent another such law which specifically targeted the Hindus. Since the law didn't cover religious gatherings, he decided to organise Ganesh Chaturthi as a public event to both worship God as well as a place to meet people and exchange ideas. 

Since then the festival has grown into a huge public event not just in Pune, but also in other cities of Maharashtra, especially Mumbai. The celebrations go on for ten days, but the first and the last days are the most important and the biggest in terms of scale. 

The main Five Ganpati pandal

Now there are hundreds of Ganesha idols which are part of the procession and celebrations, but there are five main ones which are the most important and most prestigious. These top five are known as Manache Ganpati.
  1. Kasba Ganpati
  2. Tambadi Jogeshwari Ganpati
  3. Guruji Talim Ganapati
  4. Tulshibagh Ganpati
  5. Kesariwada Ganpati

Where to see the procession in Pune?

The best place to see the procession will be in the old city, and on Laxmi Road. I would recommend going in your bike or an auto (don't take a car as parking there won't be possible), park at a good spot on the Laxmi Road and then walk to Samadhan Chowk. You can then walk from there in different directions as the procession typically takes a sort-of circular route. Go early in the morning - it would be good to reach by 7.30 and you can be around till noon. The celebrations also take place in the evening so you can always go back and enjoy once again.

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