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The Kasba Ganapati refers to both a particular idol of the god Ganapati in Pune, India, as well as to the temple built around the idol. The Kasba Ganapati is the presiding deity (gramadevata) of Pune.
The temple was commissioned by Jijabai, after Dadoji Konddeo reported to her that an idol of Ganapati had been found in Pune. The idol's status as the premier idol in Pune was decided by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
In the year 1630. The Royal Queen Jijabai Bhosale arrived in Pune with her son Shivaji. Shivaji was disturbed by the pathetic plight of the mavals, at a very young age. At the age of 12, he vowed to liberate the mavals from the mughal powers. Around this time, along with other seven families, Thakar Family migrated to Pune from Indi, Vijapur District. Vinayak Bhatt Thakar also carried his Family deity, Lord Gajanan along with him. All these families settled near River bank around the current place of Kasba Ganapati Temple which was close to the residence of Jijabai. Jijabai perceived this as an auspicious moment and promptly decided to build a temple, which is popularly known as the Kasba Ganpati Mandir.
Since then, Pune is also known as the city of Ganesh. The Peshwas were ardent followers of Lord Ganesh. During their regime Shaniwarwada has witnessed grand celebrations for Lord Ganesh.
In 1893, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the great freedom fighter and Cub of India, initiated the now famous Ganesh Festival. His intention was to gather people sharing similar ideas and exchange thoughts to deal with the British ruler. He started celebrating Ganesh Festival from his own house Kesari Wada. Due to his influencing personality and initiative, everyone started celebrating this festival and thus it became a public festival in 1893.
There was rivalry among the various mandals regarding the privilege of immersing the idol on the last day of the Ganpati festival. Bal Gangadhar Tilak resolved the rivalry and declared the privilege of immersion to Shri Kasba Ganpati, as it is the local deity of Pune.
Till 1925, Shri Kasba Ganpati Mandal celebrated the festival within the premises of the temple and from 1926 it is celebrated in an enclosed mandap. Presently, the ten days of the festival is a platform to display ones talents through various cultural programs thus allowing a large number of devotees to participate in the celebrations. On the last day, Shri Kasba Ganpati plays the leading role during the immersion procession. For more information on Immersion Procession.
- "Kasba Ganpati". Retrieved 10 April 2010.
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