Ganesha and Modak Trail
|   Sep 12, 2016
Ganesha and Modak Trail

Ganpati Bappa Morya! 

It’s that time of the year when the 10-day Ganeshotsav festival grips Pune in its fervor and splendor. Beautifully decorated pandals are gracing every nook and corner, festive lights are illuminating the streets and the rhythmic beats of dhol coupled with devotional songs are resonating through the air.

Amidst all the pomp and festivities, we have scouted the city for you to embark on an exciting Ganeshotsav trail with your children. We bring you the most iconic temples as well innovative Ganesha idols to visit, and also new modak flavours to dive into this year!

Shrimant Dagduseth Halwai

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Devotees come from far and near to visit the Dagduseth Halwai temple which is home to the country’s one of the most revered Ganesha idols. Over the last few years, this temple has become a landmark on Pune’s Ganesh Chaturthi celebration map owing to its lavish replicas of India’s popular heritage monuments.

This year, the trust has recreated Mahapalipuram temple from South India. Children and adults alike will surely be spellbound to see the 7.5 feet tall idol of Ganesha adorned in the stunning jewellery worth of lakhs sitting proudly amidst the spectacular display of art and glittering lights.

Manache Ganpati

Manache Pach (Respected Five) temples namely Kasba Ganpati, Tambdi Jogeshwari, Guruji Talim, Tulsibaug Ganpati and Kesari Wada, are considered to be the most prominent of all, owing to their rich history and religious significance as well as having the honor of chronologically leading the idol immersion procession on the last day. Punekars believe that their Ganeshotsav celebrations are incomplete without visiting these five places.  

Kasba Ganpati at Kasba Peth, the oldest and residing deity of Pune, gets the first honour in Manache Ganpati. The temple is known for organizing various social and cultural events such as blood donation camp, women empowerment activities, social awareness plays and children’s dance and music programmes. This year, Kasba Ganpati is spreading awareness among Punekars to keep our city clean.

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While you are at Kasba Ganpati, you can also take your children to Pune’s famous historical monuments namely Shaniwarwada and Lal Mahal, which are situated within a short distance from there. Another recommended activity here is taking a walk through Tambat Ali, a small alley famous for its tambar (copper) artifacts. Here, children can witness the live workshops of coppersmiths and how they use their craftsmanship and tools to breathe life into copper sheets.

Tambadi Jogeshwari Ganpati at Budhwar Peth holds the second Ganpati of honour and mainly known for its Ganesha idol resembling African elephants and seated in a silver palanquin.

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Guruji Talim Ganpati at Ganpati Chowk holds the third rank of honour and considered a symbol of communal brotherhood and harmony. The idol here depicts Ganesha seated on a mouse, his vehicle mounted on a lotus.

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Tulsibaug Ganpati at Tulsibaug is a huge 15 ft tall idol is made of fiber glass and holds the fourth rank of honour. This century old statue is decked up in more than 100 kgs of silver ornaments.

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Kesariwada Ganpati at Narayanpeth was established by Lokmanya Tilak in 1893 and now holds the fifth rank of honour. The main idol is housed in a small alcove in the courtyard. Another Ganesha idol made of metal is placed right behind the main idol, followed by a brass statue of Lokmanya Tilak. If you will look around, you will notice a beautiful painting depicting events from Tilak’s life. The decorations here usually kept a low key affair every year, however the focus remains mainly on organizing socio-cultural activities and contests for kids.

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Another reason of taking your kids here is to learn about the historical significance of Kesariwada, take a round of the wada library that keeps old newspapers and publications telling stories of Independence struggle and also browse through the autobiographies of Tilak, Gandhiji and other prominent historical legends. Tilak museum is one more attraction here, where you can find memorabilia and a glimpse into the life of Tilak.

In case you wish to join an organized or customized tour to Manache Pach temples, you can contact Mr Jayesh from The Western Routes at +91 90110 40773.

Mandai Ganpati

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Situated in Mandai, the vegetable market in the old part of Pune, the 121 year old Mandai Ganpati is famous because of its unique idol of Ganesha with trunk on his right side and lying in half posture on a swing along with Sharda. Another notable feature of this Gajanan-Sharda idol is that it is made of paper pulp and cloth pieces, earning its popularity as one of the oldest eco-friendly idol ever. Hence, it will make an excellent case study for your children to bring home the importance of recycling in our eco-system. Mandai Ganpati witnesses a huge influx of devotees across all age groups as it is believed that all your wishes are granted here.

Madrasi Ganpati

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A South Indian Ganesha located in Rasta Peth area of the city would fascinate the younger lot for its origin. It is said that this idol is a natural occurrence and has formed on its own from a rock. They will find it difficult to believe how a rock metamorphosed itself into a carving holding perfect resemblance to Ganesha!

Hathi Ganpati

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As the name suggests, this Ganesha idol located at Sadashiv Peth is seated on an elephant and is holding a trishul in his hands aiming to kill a tiger. This one would surely capture the fancy of tiny tots and toddlers! This mandal is also famous for its innovative décor sets sourced from different parts of the country.

Birla Ganpati

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Shree Mangalmurti Morya Ganpati Temple is a must visit if you are travelling via NH4 on your way to Lonavala hill station. Located near Somatane toll plaza, this temple attracts visitors for its 72 feet tall metallic idol built by the Birla family. The main idol itself is 54 feet high placed on a 45 feet wide 18 foot pedestal. Kids will experience a mini adventure here as they climb 179 steps to reach the idol. Another fascinating fact likely to interest children is that all structural dimensions of this idol add up to the number 9!

Browse through our guide to kid-friendly activities in Lonavala here.

Paddy Art Ganpati

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This has been inspired from ‘paddy art’, an annual festival celebrated in a rice growing belt in Japan. The city based amateur botanist Shrikant Ingalhalikar has created a 40m long reclining image of Ganesha on a rice field near Donje Phata on Sinhagad Road. It is a mesmerizing blend of geometry, graphics, engineering and agriculture using black and green leaves. A high rise platform has been constructed for the visitors to get a view. The site will be open for visitors till December.

Snow Ganpati

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Snow Park at Adlabs Imagica is showcasing a Ganpati statue made from snow. Book a ticket to Imagica right now! Or else, Ganpati will melt away soon!

Sporty Ganpati

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Decathlon Sports located in Wagholi has created Ganpati made from all sporty stuff, mainly parts of a bicycle. It can’t get more creative than this!

Rajaram Mandal

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Rajaram Mandal near Vijay Theatre at Laxmi Road is celebrating the 125th year by creating a 65 ft high beautiful replica of Jejuri Fort, one of the most popular pilgrimages of Maharashtra. This one, like Dagduseth Temple, should be ideally visited during the evening hours to soak in its true majestic glory.


A science themed tableaux by Shaniwar Peth Mehunpura Sarvajanik Trust. It revolves around Swayam – the satellite launched into space by the students of the College of Engineering, Pune. There is also a slide show about this satellite and a working model depicting the satellite shooting off into the space.

A Ganpati idol made from 1300 plastic bottles by the Fine Arts students of Vikhe Patil Memorial School.

A 12 ft structure of India Gate made from biscuits accompanied by the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a yoga pose. This one is the brainchild of Grahak Peth Sevak Ganesh Utsav Pandal.

Th 8 ft Ganpati idol made from re-usable construction material and equipments is hosted by Narayan Peth Sanyukt Prasad Mitra Mandal. The PVC pipes form the hands, a water tank denotes the stomach and safety helmet acts as the head. The idea behind this theme is to spread awareness about safe practices in construction industry post the tragic death of 9 labourers recently on a Balewadi construction site.

Useful tips

The best time to visit these temples is early morning hours to avoid serpentine queues. However, the real grandeur and décor comes alive only amidst evening lights.

All Ganesha temples would be heavily crowded around this time, hence keep your children close to you or better still, hold their hands all the time to ensure their maximum safety.

Walking shoes are advisable.

Find out what security arrangements have been made by the organizers for public.

Keep emergency numbers handy.

We are sure your family must have worked up an appetite after this trail, So, why not feast on these mouthwatering modaks!

Havmor: A pure milk modak ice cream made from dried coconut, almonds, pistachio and almonds.

Kaka Halwai: Chocolate modak with chocolate, condensed milk and biscuit crumbs filling.

Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale: Cashew nut & jaggery modak or Strawberry modak stuffed with strawberry crush, nutmeg powder and cardamom.

Rumaani Eatery: Sizzling ukadicha modak with ice cream.

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