2 vil­lages, one idol in Pan­vel send har­mony mes­sage

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

While al­most ev­ery house­hold and dif­fer­ent man­dals in the city are cel­e­brat­ing Ganeshot­sav with their in­di­vid­ual idols, res­i­dents of Chota Khanda and Motha Khanda vil­lages near Pan­vel have been ob­serv­ing the fes­ti­val with the same Gan­pati idol for al­most a cen­tury.

They have been fol­low­ing the con­cept of “two-vil­lagesone-Gan­pati” since time im­memo­rial.

Fol­low­ing their age-old tra­di­tion, the res­i­dents cel­e­brate the fes­ti­val at the Gan­pati tem­ple of Chota Khanda vil­lage ev­ery year for one-and-a-half days. Apart from their own res­i­dents, the fes­ti­val at­tracts a large num­ber of devo­tees from the en­tire area of Pan­vel. A puja be­ing per­formed be­fore im­mers­ing an idol at Vashi on Fri­day.

Jayant Bha­gat, 44, a res­i­dent of Chota Khanda vil­lage, said, “Like other man­daps of the city, we don’t buy a Gan­pati idol for wor­ship­ing ev­ery year. We have a per­ma­nent Gan­pati idol in our tem­ple, which is made of stone and is be­lieved to be dis­cov­ered from the land of this vil­lage years ago.”

“Since then, no fam­ily of the vil­lages has pre­pared a Pratistha­pana in their houses. All of us get to­gether at the tem­ple to cel­e­brate the fes­ti­val with great fer­vor. Ev­ery house­hold vol­un­tar­ily con­trib­utes and we don’t have any hard and fast rule for that,” he added.

Naresh Mha­tre a res­i­dent of Motha Khanda vil­lage said, “Even the new com­ers of the vil­lage like our tra­di­tion so much that they give up their old habit of cel­e­brat­ing sep­a­rately at their houses. And those, who have mi­grated to other places, come ev­ery year to cel­e­brate with us. Apart from usual rit­u­als, we or­gan­ise bha­jan and kir­tana (hymns) events, cul­tural pro­grammes and ballya dance com­pe­ti­tion on the oc­ca­sion. All the vil­lagers take part in the com­pe­ti­tions with great en­thu­si­asm.

“Af­ter the cel­e­bra­tion of one­and-a-half days, we im­merse gar­lands, flow­ers and other ma­te­ri­als used for wor­ship­ing in a nearby pond. Ev­ery­body ir­re­spec­tive of their so­cial, po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic back­ground take part in the im­mer­sion rit­ual,” he said.

“Apart from the spir­i­tual as­pect, the fes­ti­val also cre­ates a strong bond of love and brother­hood among the vil­lagers and that is the only bless­ing we ask from Lord Gane­sha,” he said.

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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