CUMBHARJUA: The green banks of the Cumbharjua canal under overcast skies turned into a riot of colours and pageantry as the villagers relived the decades-old Sangodd tradition on Wednesday.
Flotillas of boats strung together and hosting depictions of mythological and social themes sailed gracefully up and down the canal as spectators lined up the banks and crowded the Marcel-Cumbharjua bridge on the seventh day of Ganesh Chaturthi.
The unique tradition of Sangodd (two floats) is being celebrated in Cumbharjua as of yore. The boats sailed from the canoe point in Cumbharjua to the bridge. Each float took at least five rounds, up and down the river, on the 400m route.
The presence of Anna Hazare was also felt. A man dressed as ‘main Anna hoon’ and Mahatma Gandhi on his dandi march sailed on the river amidst slogans.
Social themes, included a depiction of a barber at work, a group of youth seeking freedom to do their thing with the message ‘Don’t mess with us’ and also a Hindu wedding. The large crowd also saw a depiction of dahi handi, Appu the elephant and Shivaji Maharaj.
The bursting of crackers and playing of music on speakers enlivened the celebrations. Villagers say that the origin of the unique celebration on the seventh day of Ganesh Chaturthi can be traced to about a century ago. A vodekar (boatman) family had installed their idol of lord Ganesha at Shantadurga Cumbharjuvekarin temple, across the river in Marcel. At the time of immersion on the seventh day, the family used a canoe for the immersion. But over the years, the crowds for the immersion grew and several canoes had to be struck together to accommodate them. The sangodd or the flotilla of boats became a colourful tradition with decorations and introduction of mythological themes.
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