Insightful and poignant eyes, a tusk which almost seems to make him grin, the Tulsi Baug Ganpati is a fine-cut gem in Pune’s historical treasury! Fourth in the manache Ganpati list, this Elephant God is bathed in silver and gold; true richness for our truly loved Lord! If I’m to speak for myself, I’ll boldly exclaim that Tulsi Baug Ganpati has moved me to tears. The sheer enormity and beauty of his magnificence is enough to make me close my eyes and mutter a silent prayer.
Tulsi Baug Ganpati was established in 1901. A time period where publicly portraying our faith in our culture was considered an act of revolution.
Located in quite possibly the most crowded marketplace and area in the city, Tulsi Baug Ganpati, it seems, was a metaphorical display of faith within diversity. We are a religious country, not to mention, extremely sentimental; undoubtedly, the Ganeshotsav pioneered by Lokmanya Tilak was instrumental in bringing out one voice from several mouths.
As much as Tulsi Baug Ganpati is worshipped for the faith and devotion, the idol in itself is pure art- 15 feet tall, and made of fiber glass, Tulsi Baug Ganpati stands tall, making us feel humble and awed.
Tulsi Baug Mandal was also the first Mandal to adopt a fiber glass idol. Every year, they sculpt a new idol, a new fiber glass idol to be precise. Hear this, the idol is adorned in almost 80 kilos of pure silver! A noteworthy artist named D. S. Khataokar has been responsible for decorating our beloved Tulsi Baug Ganpati over the years!
Tulsi Baug Mandal is also renowned for the innovative and creative displays during Ganeshotsav. During visarjan, Tulsi Baug Ganpati is a sight to see on Laxmi Road. With the idol being so tall, devotees can see its arrival on Laxmi Road from a distance, and how it soothes them!
There is something irrevocably humbling about how the idol makes you feel. Apart from the local wondrous myths about how the Ganpati has cured people of their problems, the Ganpati has an extremely soothing effect for all the patrons in Tulsi Baug. Maybe it’s a psychological effect of being in such a crowded marketplace, but the serenity of Tulsi Baug Ganpati is not to be doubted.
A diverse city like Pune will always be noted for its culture and most importantly, its people. However, a few rare aspects of this city will always make it feel like it’s ‘ours’. Tulsi Baug Ganpati is an important part of our city, an important part of us. Maybe the Ganpati is a testament of our belief that there will always be immense beauty in traditions and culture!