The Pune Festival, a vibrant amalgamation of music, dance, drama, art, singing, instruments, sports, and culture, is commemorating its 35th year. The festival's inauguration is scheduled for Friday, September 22, at 5:00 pm, at Shri Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch, Swargate, Pune, with the esteemed presence of Maharashtra's Governor, Ramesh Bais, along with other dignitaries.
Notable guests, including State Tourism Minister Girish Mahajan, Higher and Technical Education Minister Chandrakant Patil, and Industry Minister Uday Samant, will grace the occasion. Rajani Patil (MP), Nana Patole (Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President), Shrirang Barne (MP), and Radhika Rastogi (Chief Secretary of Maharashtra Tourism Ministry) will be the guests of honor.
The Pune Festival promises a diverse array of events this year, featuring performances such as 'Ganga' Ballet by Veteran Actress and dancer Hema Malini (MP), Renowned Playback Singer Sonu Nigam’s Musical Night, All India Mushaira, Janatha Raja, and the 'Miss Pune Festival' competition at Shri Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch. Additionally, there will be cultural programs, sports competitions including Mallakhamb, Pune Golf Cup tournaments, boxing, wrestling, and more.
The Pune Festival, which began in 1989, inspired by Lokmanya Tilak's vision of the Ganeshotsav festival, has become one of the country's largest cultural festivals over the past 35 years. Actress and dancer Hema Malini (MP), the patron of the Pune Festival, will grace the inaugural function with her performance of Ganesh Vandana and 'Ganga' ballet, marking her 30th year of participation.
This festival, celebrated over 32 years, with interruptions due to health crises like swine flu and COVID-19, continues to be a symbol of cultural richness and unity. This year, Hema Malini will be felicitated at the opening ceremony for her remarkable contributions.
The Pune Festival is a collaborative effort of the Pune Festival Committee, Punekars, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, and the Department of Tourism, Government of India. All events during the festival are open to the public without any entry fee.
The installation of the 35th Pune Festival's Ganesh idol will take place on September 19 at 10:30 am at Hotel Saras, Nehru Stadium, with Vikram Kumar, Commissioner PMC, and Vedmurti Pt. Dhananjay Ghate Guruji officiating the ceremony. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be bestowed upon renowned Orthopedic specialist Dr. KH Sancheti during the inauguration ceremony. Additionally, Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandals celebrating their centenary year will be honored at the event, including 'Khadak Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal' and 'Shri Trishund Mayureshwar Ganpati Vijay Mandal Trust.'
The grand opening ceremony will feature a captivating program, including traditional rituals, classical music, dance performances, and a Shahanai recital by Tukaram Daithankar, followed by the lighting of the lamp and aarti with rhythmic Dhol Tasha beats. Hindustani Karnataki classical singer Nandini Gujar will present a mesmerizing Ganesh Stuti, and actress and dancer Hema Malini (MP) will perform the Ganesh Vandana, along with co-artists. The ceremony will culminate with a conch instrument performance by Nitin Mahajan's Keshav Shankhanad group of 40 members.
Pune Festival Events
Opening Ceremony: The festival begins with traditional rituals, classical music, and dance performances.
Artistic Yoga and Dance Drama: Yoga demonstrations and a captivating dance drama depicting the story of Sita.
Cultural and Musical Performances: Lavani fusion dances, patriotic songs, and performances inspired by Hema Malini's iconic songs.
Historical Dance Performances: Dances set to historical film songs showcasing India's rich heritage.
All India Mushaira and Ganga Ballet: Renowned poets from across India gather for a poetic evening, followed by a ballet performance by Hema Malini.
Sonu Nigam Musical Night: The celebrated playback singer Sonu Nigam enthralls the audience with his hit songs.
Janata Raja and Miss Pune Festival: A grand program highlighting the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, followed by the Miss Pune Festival Competition 2023.
Sports Competitions: Golf, boxing, mallakhamba, and wrestling tournaments promoting sports and fitness.
Balgandharva Rangmandir: Various events, including women's competitions, cultural performances, and more.