For the first time in 127 years, Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati to hold Ganeshotsav within temple premises
In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati, set up by the Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Public Ganpati Trust and Suvarnayug Tarun Mandal will for the first time hold the 10-day celebrations within the temple premises instead of their traditional location at the Kotwal Chawdi, near Dutt Mandir.
The decision was announced after a meeting between Ganesh mandals, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the Pune police.
The decision was taken by the trustees of the mandal in the interest of the health of thousands of devotees who visit the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati during Ganeshostav.
“To curtail the spread of Covid-19 during the festival which draws more than 20 lakh devotees every year, and to continue with the public sentiment for the celebration of Lord Ganesha, we have decided to celebrate the 10-day festival within the temple premises. This is the first time that we have broken the 127-year tradition. There will be no processions on both the first and the immersion day,” said Ashok Godse, president of Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Public Ganpati Trust.
The trust is celebrating its 128th year and is looking at strengthening their online darshan services. The trust has also arranged for online prayers, darshan of Lord Ganesha through the trust’s website, app, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts. Devotees will be able to avail live darshan of Lord Ganesha at the following portals www.dagdushethganpati.com, http://bit.ly/Dagdusheth-Live, iOS: http://bit.ly/Dagdusheth_iphone_App.
“We are also in talks with the police to maintain social distancing and a protocol for those who visit the temple for mukh darshan. When we celebrated 100 years of Ganesha with online seva, we had 7.5 crore devotees who performed their puja,’ said Mahesh Suryavanshi, a trustee of the mandal.
The popular draw for devotees and the main attraction of the festival at the Dagdusheth Ganpati is the recitation of Atharvashirsha by women and school children, however, both the recitations have been cancelled for 2020.
The trustees have appealed that all other religious rituals be conducted online.
“Devotees will be able to avail darshan of bappa from outside via LED screens that will put up at Belbaug chowk and Budhwar chowk. We will also not accept garlands, flowers or coconuts,” added Hemant Rasne, a trustee of the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati mandal.
Pune mayor Murlidhar Mohal who was present at the interaction said, “Pune has around 5 lakh Ganapatis for visarjan which includes both mandal as well as home idols. This year, the PMC will not be building any ‘hauds’ for visarjan and I appeal to everyone to have their Ganpati immersion at home while the mandal will hold it within their mandal premises.”
There are 50 mandals in the city who have agreed to hold Ganesha celebrations within their temples which include Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganpati Trust, which is celebrating its 129th year.
“The trust has organized their first online cultural festival for Ganesha devotees from all over the world, on the official website of Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganpati Trust, Pune www.shrimantbhausahebrangariganpati.com,” said Puneet Balan, festival chief of Shrimant Bhausaheb Rangari Ganpati Trust.
This cultural festival will see participation from singers including Shankar Mahadevan, Rahul Deshpande, Pt. Vijay Ghate, Rakesh Chaurasia, while mayor Muralidhar Mohol, co-commissioner of police will interact through interviews with Ravindra Shiswe and musicians Ajay-Atul.