About Shri Kasba Ganpati Mandal, Pune
Shri Kasba Ganpati is the deity and the first honored Ganpati in Pune. King Shivaji Maharaj installed Shri Kasba Ganpati in the 16th century while the great freedom fighter of India and the man of the century Lokmanya Bal Tilak initiated Ganpati festival in the social manner from Shri Kasba Ganpati Mandal in 1893. Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak initiated Ganpati festival in the social manner with an intention to bring like-minded people together to share ideas and exchange thoughts on freeing India from the British regime.
Celebrating the post-centenary silver jubilee year, Shri Kasba Ganpati Mandal celebrates the Ganpati Festival with the unique tradition and great fanfare every year.
Shri Kasba Ganpati Mandal contains many facts including some of the following:
Unique Immersion Procession
The immersion procession of Shri Kasba Ganpati is unique in many ways. Shri Kasba Ganpati is the first Ganpati to be immersed in Pune city. The Mayor along with the Commissioner of Pune offer prayers to the idol of Lord Ganpati after which the immersion process of Lord Ganesh starts in the city and continues for the whole day. It is customary to fill the air with colored powder called 'gulal'. The mandal dissuades the use of gulal as it is hazardous to health. The immersion procession of Shri Kasba Ganpati also includes different groups who show their talent and skills.
All the other mandals follow Shri Kasba Ganpati. People from far and wide along with the volunteers of Kasba Ganpati take an active part in the immersion process. During the immersion process, Lord Ganesh is placed in a Palkhi. The palkhi is made up of silver and the devotees carry it on their shoulders. During the entire procession, the Palkhi halts at each square to allow devotees to offer prayers and to have a glimpse of Lord Ganesh. The mandals perform traditional dances, mythological plays, and play music, to appease the Lord. The immersion procession concludes at the banks of river Mula that is approximately 10 km from Shri Kasba Ganpati Mandir. At the concluding point of the procession, the Mayor of Pune, along with the Commissioner of Pune welcome Shri Kasba Ganpati and address the devotees present. The Mandal volunteers along with the trustees celebrate this auspicious moment by dancing amidst chants of 'Ganpati Bappa Morya. Phudchya Varshi Laukar Ya' (requesting the Lord to arrive early the next year) and proceed towards the riverbank to complete the immersion rituals.
Social Activities Shri Kasba Gnapati Mandal is performing many social activities throughout the year through its social wing, Shri Kasba Ganpati Samajik Sanstha. The social activities include adopting students that are financially challenged, vividh-gundarshan, relief to earthquake and tsunami-affected people, organizing blood donation camps, organizing Art of Living Foundation's various courses, and so on. Currently, Mandal is actively working on improving the life of Khandobawadi villagers by doing many groundbreaking work, such as constructing an overhead water tank of one lakh liter, setting up water ATM that can be used for drinking water, setting up library, setting up a gym for youths, donating saris to women, taking special efforts to include the village in the Jalayukt Shivar Yojana, and so on.