The Pune Festival, held in the months of August-September
during Ganesh Mahotsav, is the biggest festival
in the city of Pune. Beginning on the day of the
installation of idols of Elephant headed Lord Ganesha,
one of the most loved deities of the Hindus, it
goes on till the immersion of the Lord's idols on
the tenth day. He is worshipped all throughout this
period and is called Ganapati Pooja or Ganesh Mahotsav.
period marks the celebrations in Pune with
tourists all over the country and the world
coming to attend this event.
The MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development
Corporation) organizes this festival which has
events like classical dance and music recitals,
a Film and drama festival, automobile rallies
and some traditional sports. The maestros and
stalwarts of their respective events give performances.
festival has grown bigger and bigger every
year with a number of politicians, filmstars
and noted celebrities patronising it..
Mahotsav meanwhile is celebrated with great
pomp and show, evident by the hundreds and thousands
of Mandals set up in every
nook and corner of the city with blaring music and
enthusiastic supporters. On the final day processions
totaling upto thousands and lakhs march to the river
banks of Mula and Mutha to immerse Lord Ganeshas
idols chanting Ganapati
Bappa Morya..Pudhchya Varshi Laukar Yaa.
The roots of this festival go to pre-independence
times when national Pune leader Bal
Gangadhar Tilak initiated this kind of celebrations
done together to successfully instigate national
integrity and spirit to fuel the independence struggle.
Today for the outsider the Pune Festival and the
Ganapati Mahotsav have become synonymous.