Pune 21st Sept 2023: The Pune Festival, a vibrant amalgamation of music, dance, drama, art, singing, instruments, sports and culture is marking its 35th year of festivities. The grand inauguration of this cherished event is scheduled for 4:30 pm on Friday, September 22nd, at the Ganesh Kala Krida Manch in Swargate, Pune. The event will be inaugurated by State Tourism Minister Girish Mahajan and graced by the presence of Industry Minister, Uday Samant. Chandrakant Patil, the Higher and Technical Education Minister and Pune District Guardian Minister, will preside as the chief guest.
The guest scheduled to attend the event include Rajani Patil (MP), Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President Nana Patole, Shrirang Barne (MP), and Chief Secretary of the Maharashtra Tourism Ministry, Radhika Rastogi.
The Pune Festival’s patron, renowned actress Hema Malini (MP) will add charm to the opening ceremony with her mesmerizing performance of Ganesh Vandana, followed by her captivating ‘Ganga’ ballet on the second day. Hema Malini has been an integral part of the Pune Festival for three decades and this year she will be honored at the opening ceremony for her outstanding contributions.
The Pune Festival is jointly organized by the Pune Festival Committee, Puneite citizens, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, and the Department of Tourism, Government of India. Notably, entry to all events of the Pune Festival is free of charge. During the inauguration ceremony, achievers from various fields of society will be felicitated with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award.’ This year, the renowned orthopedic specialist, Dr. K.H. Sancheti, will be honored with this prestigious award. Additionally, the ‘Pune Festival’ award will be presented to Sanjay Ghodawat of the Sanjay Ghodawat Group.
Each year, the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal in Pune, celebrating their centenary year, is also honored during the inauguration function. This year, the ‘Khadak Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal,’ Shukrawar Peth, ‘Shri Trishund Mayureshwar Ganpati Vijay Mandal Trust,’ Somwar Peth, Pune, and ‘Sadashiv Peth Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal’ (Shri Shivaji Mandir) will be recognized at the inauguration ceremony.
The opening ceremony will be nothing short of spectacular, adhering to tradition. It will commence with the enchanting notes of the Shehnai, performed by the talented Tukaram Daithankar, followed by the ceremonial lighting of the lamp and Aarti, accompanied by the rhythmic beats of the Dhol Tasha. Renowned Hindustani Karnataki classical singer Nandini Gujar will grace the event with her rendition of Ganesh Stuti. Actress Hema Malini (MP) will start the inaugural function with her performance of Ganesh Vandana, joined by co-artists.
The event will continue with a unique performance by Nitin Mahajan’s Keshav Shankhanad group, featuring 40 members simultaneously playing conch shells on stage. Additionally, 40 boys and girls from Maharashtra Mandal will showcase ‘Artistic Yoga,’ demonstrating various yoga poses.
The dance drama ‘Sita’ will be performed, portraying the abduction of Sita, the cruel behavior of Ravana, and Sita’s unwavering devotion to her husband. Actress-dancer Sukhada Khandkekar will play the role of Sita, supported by students of the Om Dance Academy. Choreographer Vrinda Sathe will present ‘Kaleidoscope – Lavani Fusion,’ featuring actresses Tejaswini Lonari, Sanskriti Balgude, Amrita Dhongde, Ayali Ghia, Rutuja Junnarkar, Bhargavi Chiramule, and Rupali Bhosle. The program has been choreographed by veteran choreographer Nikita Moghe, the Director of the Payalvrund organization.
A musical program will include Surmani Sania Patankar performing patriotic songs, celebrating the Amrut Mahotsav of Independence, accompanied by fellow artists of Prerna Music Organization.
A dance program titled ‘Golden Era of Dream Girl’ will showcase songs filmed on the veteran actress Hema Malini. The performance will feature actors Urmila Kanetkar, Nupur Daithankar, Shweta Shewale, Mayuresh Pem, and others from the Nrutyatej Academy. Choreographed by veteran choreographer Tejashree Adige, the program will pay tribute to Hema Malini’s iconic roles.
The evening will conclude with ‘Historical Empires of India,’ an enthralling performance featuring actress-dancer Sharvari Jamenis, Ashay Kulkarni, and Kunal Phadke. The performance will showcase dances set to historical film songs from ‘Ponniyin Selvan,’ ‘Jodha Akbar,’ ‘Bajirao Mastani,’ ‘Sher Shivraj,’ and ‘Manikarnika,’ conceptualized and composed by Swapnil Raste.
Manjiri Dhamankar will be the Marathi host, while Duriya Shipchandler will host in English.
Following the inauguration function, the ‘All India Mushaira’ will be presented at 8:30 pm at Shree Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch on September 22nd. This literary gathering will feature renowned poets from across the country, including Manzar Bhupali (Bhopal), Dr. Lata Haya (Mumbai), Anjum Barabanki (Lucknow), Abrar Kashif (Rajasthan), Sardar Salim (Hyderabad), Sagar Tripathi (Banaras), Dr. Kasim Imam (Mumbai), and Farhan Dil (Malegaon). Imam Qasim (Mumbai) will moderate the Mushaira program, and Iqbal Ansari (Pune) will moderate the entire program. The program is presented by Dr. PA Inamdar, Chancellor of Dr. PA Inamdar University, and Mrs. Abeda Inamdar, President of the Deccan Muslim Institute Pune.
The 35th Pune Festival is proudly sponsored by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and Kohinoor Group, with support from Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation, Panchsheel, Suma Shilp Ltd., and the National Egg Coordination Committee. Associate sponsors include Bharat Forge, Kumar Realty, Ahura Builders, Sinhagad Institute, and Badhekar Group.”