Two villages, one idol in Panvel send harmony message
NAVI MUMBAI: 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-villages-one-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.
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 as we cannot immerse the permanent idol every year. 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.
The Ganpati temple at Chota Khanda village.