Telangana’s Kubheer - Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi since 1905

A Ganesh pandal has been installed in the peaceful Kubheer mandal centre in nirmal district for 119 years, which is a unique distinction. Locals claim that Kubheer was the first hamlet in the telangana area to erect a pandal and practise Lord Ganesha worship back in 1905.
"My brother Nagnath informed me that Yashwanth Rao Deshmukh, a local landowner, and other people started the celebrations in Sri Vittaleshwara Swamy temple in Kubheer mandal headquarters after being inspired to do so 119 years prior by freedom hero Bal Gangadhar Tilak. According to Bodke Vaijyanath, a 90-year-old trader from Kubheer, a clay Ganesh idol was placed and the statue was originally submerged in a local stream.

Vaijyanath continued by relating how Tilak had visited the Nanded area on april 2, 1905, which included Kubheer at the time. Tilak had announced the celebrations in Pune, Maharashtra, 1893, in an effort to rally the nation to fight against british overlords. Later, Kubheer was included into telangana and then the former Andhra Pradesh. With his uncle Yashwanth Rao, another landowner of bhainsa Narayanrao Waghe, and active local liberation fighters like Babu Rao Joshi, Adellu, Ramulu, and Nagnath, Tilak had addressed the necessity of holding festivals.
"Yashwanth Rao and others started worshipping Lord Ganesh after being inspired by Tilak's views. There were several limits placed on the festivities by british and Nizam government authorities at the time. The procession of the idol's immersion was being impeded by them. They were refusing to provide authorization to erect the idol. The community saw vibrant celebrations despite the constraints," he said.
Vaijyanath said he still possessed many monochrome photos of the first immersion with the date and year printed on them to back up his assertion. He said that although Nagnath passed away in 2018, Yashwanth Rao moved to the Maharashtrian city of Aurangabad. According to the locals, they continued to worship wooden Ganesh idols and transport them for immersion while dancing to drum beats until 1988. For the last 35 years, they have been carrying out the immersion procession on automobiles, but they have switched to idols made of plaster of Paris.

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