First Vinayaka Fest in Hyderabad
Today the Vinayaka Chaturthi celebration is
a majaor ten-day event
in the social life of the Hyderabadis. On the final
day there is a gala procession wherein idols of Lord
Vinayaka from all over the Twin Cities, are carried
with pomp and show and religious fervour and are immersed
in the waters of the Hussain Sagar. With the
idols vying with each other for sizes, themes and aesthetic
creativity, with thousands of men, women and children
lined on either side of the road - right from Secunderabad
to Charminar and with the atmosphere filled with devotion
and a festive spirit, the scene is spectacular and intensely
But how did this event which is also fast becoming
a major tourist attraction begin? And when?
There is a recorded historical evidence that answers
these questions. The six-volumed Bostani Asafia writtenby
one Manikrao Vitthalrao.
records that in Saka 1818 i.e. in 1896 A.D. Vinayaka
Chaturthi festival was first celebrated at two places
in the Hyderabad city. The first at Shah-ali-Banda
was the result of the efforts of Shivram Shastri
Gore. And the second was at Chadarghat in
the haveli of Hanmantrao Nimgaokar, the mahasab
(Accountant General) of the Nizam.
At pages 754-755 of Bostani Asafia, Volume-II,
writer Manikrao describes the celebrations thus:
"Ismein ilmi aur roohani sabhi taqrire hoti
hai. aur raag gaye jate hai. Ladkon-ke mele aur pooja
paath hote hai. Akhri din julus ke saath nadi ya bawdi
ko liye jate hai."
("In this, all kinds of lectures, academic as
well as spiritual, are held. And raags are sung. Children's
melas and poojas are held. On the final day they take
it in a procession to a river or a well.")
This was how the first Vinayaka fest was in Hyderabad.
As for the 127th, it is just ahead.