Tilak commenced Ganesh festival celebrations in Belgaum after Pune
Lokmanya Tilak was fighting against the British rule and wanted something to be done publicly which would get people together which will eventually help in the freedom struggle.
In 1905, Tilak commenced the idea of celebrating the Ganesh Festival on a Public basis(Sarvajanik). Since then, the same is followed even now all over.
Tilak was here in Belgaum in 1905 and he himself laid the first bamboo pillar of the pandal and ever since then the the legacy has been carried on by the Zenda Chowk Ganesh Utsav Mandal.
In Belgaum there are 6 Mandals which are a century old and the oldest is the Zenda Chowk Ganesh Utsav Mandal.
Govindrao Yalgi and Gangadharrao Deshpande took out a procession of Tilak from Raliway station to Zenda Chowk.
Zenda Chowk Ganesh Utsav Mandal now makes a collection of over a crore of rupees and uses the collected fund for various public service activities. From the year 2005, no public donations are collected by the mandal, all the expenses are borne by the interest received on the deposit. The Mandal helps poor students and this year also organized a body building event.
The number of Sarvajani (public) Pendals has gone up to 357 in Belgaum city this year. That apart, 2833 public Ganesh pendals are being set up across the district. The grand finale to be marked by a huge immersion procession in the city and other parts of the district on the eleventh day, 1,373 idols of lord Ganesh will join the procession, including 294 in Belgaum city alone.
For the next 11 days all will be busy with the elephant God.
Ganpati Bappa Morya !!