Dancing to the beats of the traditional dhol tasha at one end, and modern DJ beats on the other, Puneites soaked themselves to the festivity of dahi handi on Thursday.
Chants of ‘Govinda aala re aala’ echoed throughout the city in areas where dahi handi was organised.
While most of the mandals in Peth areas adhered to the deadline of 10 pm, mandals on the outskirts celebrated the fest even after the deadline.
While in Mumbai, the celebrations started in the morning, in Pune, the celebrations began in the evening where arrangements were made by the mandals at prominent chowks in the city.
In the Peth areas, many important mandals including Suvarnayug Mandal played traditional dhol tasha. Modern-day DJ music dominated mandals like Babu Genu, Vanaz Corner Mandal and Om Charitable Trust in Kothrud.
The handi was broken at Suvarnayug Mandal at 8.20 pm, much before the deadline set by the police. Punyeshwar group of Kasba Peth broke the handi at Suvarnayug. For another prominent mandal of the city, Hutatma Babu Genu Mandal, Shivtej group broke the handi at at 9.25 pm.
The Akara Maruti Chowk Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal gave a social touch to the fest by celebrating ‘book handi’ on the occasion. Books on braille were donated to visually impaired girls of blind schools in Kothrud.
Dahi handi celebrations hold traffic
While Pune was drenched in the festivity of dahi handi, commuters were inconvenienced due to the traffic congestion on the city roads. The downtown areas of Pune witnessed the maximum snarls as the roads are narrow there.
Unlike Mumbai, routine activities in the city were normal on Thursday morning. However, as the day progressed, various mandals started installing dahi handis in various chowks. The police had to divert the traffic from the main roads of the city to alternate routes.
The affected areas included MG Road, Shivaji Road, Tilak Road, Bajirao Road, Mandai, Paud Road, Karve Road, Jungli Maharaj Road and Khadki Bazar area.
Though the traffic was diverted to alternate routes, internal roads also witnessed traffic jams.
Sandeep Kulkarni, a working professional from Narhe Ambegaon, said, “Usually it takes nearly 45 minutes for me to reach home from Peth areas. But on Thursday evening, it took me two hours to reach home as I was badly stuck in the traffic jams near Shaniwarwada.”
Bharati Anand, a resident of Kothrud, said, “Apart from the main roads, the internal roads too witnessed snarls. The vehicles were moving at a snail’s pace and it took me more than an hour to reach home from Deccan area.”