With silver lamps dated at 1870 and the makhar (throne) more than 50 years old, the Adarkar family brought home their Ganesh idol on Thursday for the 94th year in a row.
Since 1917, the Lokhandwala-based family has ensured that the decorations of the small dais that the idol graces remains the same. It ensures that they get a replica of the idol bought by their ancestors in Adari, a village near Goa.
The tradition of bringing home the elephant God during the ten-day festival was the outcome of a family vow that was taken in 1916. “There were no girl children in the family and my great grandfather, Padmanabh Adarkar, had prayed to the lord to help him. When my grandmother was born, the custom began in our village, Adari,” said Tej Adarkar, 18. “While the idol used to weigh more then 30 kilograms; over the years, we have taken our own liberties to prepare a lighter idol without changing its appearance,” added Tej.
Tej’s mother, Kirti, ensures that the rituals and customs are followed every year. The idol was immersed at the Versova beach on Friday, the second day of the festival. The two days that the God graces the Adarkar home see relatives flying down from around the globe. “We have relatives flying down from London, America and Africa just to take part in the festivities. We start planning many months in advance,” said Kirti.
With the celebrations planned on such a grand scale, food is of great importance.
The Adarkars prepare not just two different varieties of home-made modaks, but also a special dish made out of 21 vegetables to be served to the deity.