City's oldest pandal- Keshavji Naik Chawl completes 125 years of Ganesh Festival


  • City's oldest pandal- Keshavji Naik Chawl completes 125 years of Ganesh Festival
  • City's oldest pandal- Keshavji Naik Chawl completes 125 years of Ganesh Festival
  • City's oldest pandal- Keshavji Naik Chawl completes 125 years of Ganesh Festival
  • City's oldest pandal- Keshavji Naik Chawl completes 125 years of Ganesh Festival
  • City's oldest pandal- Keshavji Naik Chawl completes 125 years of Ganesh Festival
  • City's oldest pandal- Keshavji Naik Chawl completes 125 years of Ganesh Festival
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Mumbai is no exception when it comes to the Ganpati celebrations. The city where the best idols like Lalbaughcha Raja, GSB Mandal, Ganesh Galli stand out. However, in this bustling city, there's one more pandal which is famous for its history. It is situated in the alleys of humble area Girgaum. Keshavji Naik Chawl, which is the oldest chawl in the city, has been celebrating the festival in the same tradition and manner since 1893. 

And this year, they will be completing 125 years too. As per the reports, this is the only chawl where freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak paid a visit and delivered the speech, in the year 1901, owing to its popularity for its simplicity. Shree Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Sanstha (SGS) has been nurturing the morals and values suggested by Tilak who asked the community to celebrate the festival to promote the unity.


What makes this pandal different from others is their traditional welcome to Bappa i.e. in a palkhi on the first day of Ganpati, where they play dhol-tasha and the people who carry the palkhi avoid wearing footwear.

We do not play loud music and DJ. Instead, we will carry our religious events i.e. Pravachan where experts recite sacred verses from Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, Kirtan- which a narrator recites the stories from Vedas which is blended with poetry and music and Sahasravartan where devotees recite ‘The Atharvshirsha’ one thousand times and last but not the least, ‘Ganeshyaga’ where priests chant Atharvashirsha and prescribed things are offered as an oblation to the sacrificial fire. We will conduct 10 days events and will have some knowledge related games for children, in the late evening.  
Vinod Satpute, Trustee, SGS


These religious events have been taking place for the more than 12 decades. Several eminent scholars and vedic pundits like Nizampurkarbuwa, Abhyankarshastri, Godseshastr, Ram Keshav Ranade have delivered discourses which have enthralled the audience.

In 1992, the KNS and SGS celebrated the centenary year in a grand way. They enacted the freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak’s visit by roping in Pune’s actor who portrayed the Tilak’s role and how he paid a visit to KNS and delivered the speech.

Mumbai Live spoke to 90-year-old Kusum Gogate who recalled the re-enacted scene saying she was thrilled to see the Tilak act live.

It was mesmerizing. The actor who portrayed the role of Tilak had come in a horse cart, the way Tilak had come in 1901. Not just that, there were other side actors who were dressed as Britishers and were walking along with the horse cart. It was so real that when the actor went back to Pune, he was showered with garlands and praises.
Kusum Sadashiv Gogate, member, SGS


She added that even now, no man is allowed to touch the deity. They have to hand over the garlands or flowers they have brought, to the member who is authorised to perform the ceremony. The ones who wear the sacred thread after having undergone the ‘upanayana’ ceremony are only allowed near the idol.


The KNC has always been visited by many celebrities and political leaders. Late Shiv Sena President Bal Thackeray too had delivered the speech at KNC and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar had also sought blessings many years back.


The Keshavji Naik Chawl (KNC) is a set of five one-story buildings and each comprises of two/three room tenements sharing with a common passage. Well-known Marathi Poet Shri "Keshavsut", Freedom Fighter Shri S.M. Joshi, First Chief Minister of then Mumbai State Shri B.G. Kher are some of the eminent personalities who resided in KNC.

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