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Online events to e-darshans: Navratri mandals in Pune gear up for festival

Hindustan Times, Pune | ByDheeraj Bengrut
Oct 12, 2020 04:25 PM IST

There are more than 3,000 small and big Navratri mandals in Pune city, who organise various programmes throughout the nine days

The nine-day Navratri festival will begin from October 17 and preparations are already underway in the city. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic there won’t be any grand celebrations or Garbha Dandiya nights, however, Navratri mandals and temples are planning to host various programmes through online platforms and arrange e-darshans of idols.

Earlier during Ganeshotsav, mandals and the state government together decided to reduce the celebrations and keep it simple, Navratri mandals and temples too have decided to subdue the celebrations to avoid crowds. The sarvajanik (community) mandals in the city will arrange online darshan of goddess idols for public in view of the pandemic.

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“We all are aware of the current Covid-19 situation and considering that we have cancelled our Navratri festival programmes. Over the last 25 years, we had been celebrating it in a traditional and grand manner. It is our 26th year this year and we are not going to celebrate it in a grand manner. If the state government gives permission to reopen temples before the Navratri festival, we will make proper arrangements for devotees to come and take darshan. If not, we will install a huge LED screen near the Devi temple and people can take darshan there by following social distancing norms.

Also, we are planning to have online programmes for nine days, we have more than 250 different programmes recorded over the last 25 years at our festival and that will be shown on our social media platforms,” said corporator Aba Bagul, who is the founder president of Pune Navratri Mahotsav programme held every year in Sahakarnagar.

There are more than 3,000 small and big Navratri mandals in Pune city, who organise various programmes throughout the nine days. Also, garbha-dandiya nights are organised by the mandals at private grounds, lawns and halls, which will stand cancelled this year. Garba is a popular folk dance and is performed with passion and fervour during the Navratri festival.

Another Navratri mandal president Santosh Saswade, said, “Our Navratri mandal is a small one in Shukrawar peth area. The residents from our colony celebrate the festival in a traditional way. This year, we have decided to contribute the festival amount which we used to donate every year to purchase medical equipment for government hospital employees. Through this, we will try to contribute to the Covid warriors.”

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