35th Pune Festival To Begin From September 22

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PUNE: The Pune Festival, a celebration of culture, music, dance, and art, is preparing to commemorate its 35th year, a remarkable milestone. 

The event is scheduled to commence on September 22, 2023, at 5:00 pm, at the Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch in Swargate, Pune, and will be graced by the presence of the distinguished Maharashtra Governor, Ramesh Bais, alongside other notable dignitaries.

Over the years, the Pune Festival has evolved into one of the country’s most renowned cultural extravaganzas, inspired by Lokmanya Tilak’s vision of the Ganeshotsav festival as a platform to celebrate culture. This year’s edition promises a diverse array of events, offering something for everyone. Renowned actress and dancer Hema Malini (MP), the festival’s patron, will grace the occasion with her performance of Ganesh Vandana and the ballet ‘Ganga.’ This performance marks her 30th year of participation in the festival and symbolizes her enduring commitment to its cause.

The Pune Festival is a true reflection of cultural diversity, featuring musical nights, dance dramas, instrumental performances, sporting events, and a celebration of Pune’s vibrant heritage. Notable highlights include ‘Ganga’ Ballet by Hema Malini, a mesmerizing musical night by playback singer Sonu Nigam, an All India Mushaira, Janata Raja – a depiction of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s life, and the ‘Miss Pune Festival’ competition at Shri Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch. The Pune Festival has persevered through interruptions due to health crises, such as swine flu and COVID-19, over the course of its 32-year history.

Its resilience in the face of challenges is a testament to its importance and the unity it fosters within the community. This year’s festival holds a special significance as it recognizes Hema Malini’s remarkable contribution and achievements. The opening ceremony will also bestow the Lifetime Achievement Award upon renowned Orthopedic specialist Dr. KH Sancheti. Additionally, the festival will honor Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandals celebrating their centenary year, including the ‘Khadak Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal’ and ‘Shri Trishund Mayureshwar Ganpati Vijay Mandal Trust.’

The festival’s inauguration will include traditional rituals, classical music, dance performances, and a Shahanai recital, culminating in the lighting of the lamp and rhythmic Dhol Tasha beats. Hindustani Karnataki classical singer Nandini Gujar will present a mesmerizing Ganesh Stuti, and Hema Malini (MP) will perform the Ganesh Vandana. The ceremony will conclude with a captivating conch instrument performance by Nitin Mahajan’s Keshav Shankhanad group.

The Pune Festival Committee Dekars, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, and the Department of Tourism, Government of India, collaborate to make this event possible. 

All festival events are open to the public, and there is no entry fee. As the 35th Pune Festival unfolds, it embodies the spirit of cultural enrichment and unity that continues to inspire and uplift countless individuals. It is a tribute to Lokmanya Tilak’s vision and a testament to the enduring power of culture to bring people together in celebration and harmony.

 Madhupriya Dhanwate

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