With the dahi handis getting higher this year, organisers of dahi handis in Thane have pulled out all stops to outdo each other.
Leading the pack were legislators Jitendra Awhad from NCP and Pratap Sarnaik from Shiv Sena who announced a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh each for the mandal that makes a 10-tier human pyramid.
However, no group managed to touch the 10 figure.
The Jai Jawan Mitr Mandal from Jogeshwari broke Awhad's Sangharsh Mandal handi at Panchpakhadi by making a nine-tier pyramid and won
Rs 15 lakh. In 2008, the group had made a nine-level pyramid at Sarnaik's Sanskruti Yuva Pratishthan.
"It feels good to come back after a year. We were not able to make pyramids last year because of swine flu. This year, too, many of our boys were suffering from malaria. But we overcame all obstacles and made a nine-tier pyramid," said Sandeep Dhawle of the mandal.
This year again, Spanish castellers (Spanish counterparts of govindas) displayed their pyramid-making skills at Awhad's Sangharsh Mandal.
The handi sponsored by Sarnaik was broken by the Mazagaon Tadwadi group which made an eight-tier pyramid. They won gold coins worth Rs 2 lakh.
The glamour quotient added to the fun at most dahi handis.
While Congress' Ravi Phatak had actors Jackie Shroff and Suniel Shetty egging on the Govindas, Sarnaik had invited actors Prachi Desai and Aftab Shivdasani. Awhad had more than 10 parliamentarians at his function, while Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's grandson Aditya Thackeray, MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar and world
champion shooter Tejaswini Sawant participated in the celebrations with Sarnaik.
"I have never been part of a dahi handi celebration. I am ecstatic to see such grand celebrations," said Sawant.