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History | People | Festival

 History

New Housing policy has removed many procedural hurdles, History in Karjat which will facilitate ultra-modern urbanisation of the area. 100 acres (0.40 km2) townships are being developed under MMRDA Special Township provisions of Maharashta Regional and Town Planning Act, amended in year 2007 and also under Special Township Projects under section 63-I(A) of the Mumbai Tenancy & Agricultural Lands Act providing for automatic Non-Agricultural conversion of land of 100 acres/40 Hactres. Karjat has engineering, pharmacy, medical, management, advertising, hospitality colleges and also a Mass Media Advertising Institutes (AICAR) affiliated to the AICTE & University of Mumbai and also a few other graduation colleges and Oxford Schools. It has several tourist attractions including Palasdari, Matheran , Khandala, Bhimashankar, Malshej Ghat, Lonavla, etc.


 People

Real estate in Karjat is a big business which has a fast-escalating real estate appreciation potential and is warming up as a destination for the city dwellers around it, where people invest on properties as holiday home or permanent residence. There has been a regular purchase of land here to set up farm houses, small and big and the list also includes many celebrities. There is a huge requirement for low cost accommodation and a desire among people for affordable houses. People do not seem to mind even if they are far from Mumbai city. Karjat is not only catering to the low cost flat owners. Corporations like the Big Studio are also seeing Karjat as a viable option. All of this led to increase attention from property investors who see immense potential for appreciation in real estate valuations around Karjat. With real estate developments catching up Non-resident Indians (NRIs) are also investing on land/plots in & around Karjat as they find Karjat as an investment opportunity in real estates.


 Festival

Festivals bring families/communities together as everybody participates in the traditional customs and rituals. This was quite evident during Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrated in remote villages of Karjat. It was a contradicting picture as compared to the hyped up scene in Mumbai, Festival in Karjat and turned out to be more enjoyable, less noisy and the excitement was palpable.

Every house in the village get their own Ganapati, generally for five days, decorate the idol, conduct puja and on the sixth day immerse it along with goddess Gauri.

On the immersion day the men in the village carry Ganesh idols, which are placed on a wooden stool, on their heads. While the women follow them carrying idols of Gauri on their heads.

It was interesting to see the way each idol of Gauri was decorated. Some draped saris around the clay statue, donned her with jewelery like nose ring, necklace, mangalsutra, flowers and leaves, while some were carrying photos of Gauri and placed it on colorful baskets.

Singing bhajans they all marched towards Pench river that flows through Karjat. One of the villagers also mentioned that the idols were only made of clay and not any harmful material that can pollute the river.

Another village was already performing the last rites of immersion while others peacefully waited for their turn.

Idols of Gauri placed on the banks of river Pench to perform the remaining rituals. There were similar type of flowers in each of these baskets, apparently the local boys get them from the jungle a day prior to Gauri.

A married woman doing puja of Gauri, considered to be goddess of prosperity and wealth.

After the puja is done women remove the jewelery and prepare for Gauri visarjan.

While on the other side men perform the last rites in front of Ganesh by lighting candles, singing bhajans/hymns, break a coconut and preparing for immersion.

It was much easier to stand close to the river banks to take pictures as compared to Mumbai, where it would be impossible to get close to the sea during immersion.

People carried their idols in the river and went as far as they could to immerse it and prayed for Ganesh to return next year. Some kids were just enjoying diving in and going for a swim.

While the women bid adieu to Goddess Gouri, only immersing the idol and picking out the flowers.

At the end of it prasad in the form of poha, sugar, coconut mixed with banana was distributed among all the devotees. Most of the villages in Karjat follow this, except a few bigger ones who install speakers and an entire music system to start the procession, more like Mumbai style.


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