Pune’s Dagdusheth Ganpati will wear a 9.5-kg gold crown
Ashok Godse, president of the Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati Trust speaks to HT about the preparations for the Ganesh festivalUpdated: Aug 22, 2017 10:23 IST
Ashok Godse, president of the Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati Trust, and director Suvarnayug Sahakari Bank, used to work in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for 14 years and was president Suvarnayug tarun mandal.
What is the theme this year for the decoration of the Ganpati?
It is a replica of Brahmanaspati temple this year. This temple is a shrine of an abstract deity of Brahma in the Veda. It finds mention in Rugveda and in the ancient Mudgal texts dedicated to Ganesha.
What kind of architecture does it have? Who has designed and executed it?
This temple has architectural influences from the Nagara style of the Himalayas, Dravidian and Vesara style of the Vindhyas. The temple was created under the guidance of Dr Shrikant Pradhan of Deccan College and Swanand Pund Maharaj, who is an expert in ancient Mudgal texts. Accordingly, the weapons of Ganesha—trident, lotus, shell—have been made as per the description in Mudgal texts and installed in the temple. Also, elephants, peacocks, cows adorn the pillars of the temple. Then, there is a special attraction of chandeliers made as per the Brahmanaspati style. The temple will be illuminated with 1.25 lakh pearl coloured lights, besides the modern lighting spectacle. Architect Vivek Khatavkar and his team created the temple, while Waikar brothers have done the lighting.
What is the size of this replica?
The Brahmanaspati temple is 111 feet in length and 90 feet wide with a height of 90 feet. Also, the temple has a spectacular sanctum sanctorum measuring 36 feet in diameter under the huge dome, which cost the trust ₹60 lakh.
What are the other attractions this year?
On Saturday, August 26, on the occasion of Rishipanchami, 25,000 women will recite Atharvashirsha together at 6 am. In the evening, the Warkaris will do archana of Ganesha at 10 pm. Atharvashirsha will be recited everyday from August 26 to September 4 at 5 am wherein students of different schools will take part each day.
Will there be any other attraction?
Yes, this year, the idol will wear newly crafted jewellery made out of 40-kg gold which was received as donation from devotees over the years, to celebrate 125 years of the Ganesh festival. It will be a tribute to all the devotees who have showered their prayers and donated wholeheartedly. A 9.5-kg crown will also be a major attraction. The jewellery will be crafted by PN Gadgil and Sons with goldsmiths from Maharashtra, Bengal and Karnataka, who have been working on it for last five months.
What kind of measures have been taken for security of the devotees during the festival?
We have taken an insurance of Rs.50 crore for the devotees from Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Camp areas, who would be visiting the Dagdusheth Ganpati during the festival. This insurance covers any terrorist attack and accident during the visit to the temple. Also, we have installed 150 CCTV cameras around the areas such as Faraskhana chowk, Babu Genu Ganapati, Dagdusheth Duttamandir and city post area.Besides these 150 cameras, the permanent cameras would also be working as usual. Also, the trust has deployed private security of 250 personnel over and above the deployment of the police force.