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Introduction

Ganesha is one of the most well-known and loved gods in Hinduism and is admired by most members of a Hindu family. Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the most popular festivals in India brings people from all caste, religion and creed together. The 10-days festival is celebrated usually in August or September depending on the Hindu calendar.

Celebration Places

Though this festival is celebrated across India, the states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa are the top states for celebrating this festival with big enthusiasm. With Indians residing in every corner of the world, this festival is more like international now. So, we take you to the countries, apart from India, where you can enjoy this festival of love, happiness, celebrations, colours and festive dishes. Countries like Canada, Mauritius, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Burma, US, UK and Fiji celebrate this festival and many of mentioned countries’ government have declared a public holiday for that day.

Current Contradiction

There are many contradictions going on in Pune city, Maharashtra state, India about the issue of a person who has started the Lord Ganesha festival in order to gather the people for better purpose.

I want to know - who is a real person behind the process of starting Lord Ganesha festival? I mean really the Indian Freedom Fighter "Lokmanya Tilak" or "Bhausaheb Laxman Jawale"?

In history, It has been written as 'Lokmanya Tilak' but now since 2 years, few people are saying that the real beginner of this festival is not he but someone other.

Citations

The required citations are,

1) The Lord Ganesha Festival -- Ganesha, Link-2

2) Freedom Fighter 'Lokmanya Tilak' -- Tilak, Link-2, Video Link

3) News about contradiction - News Paper link, Link-2, Deccan Herald News

  • The anonymous historian refers to documents from the 1890s which might answer the question. Have you looked at newspapers such as Dīnabandhu and Kesarī? – Aaron Brick Oct 1 '18 at 16:47
  • @AaronBrick, No. – Shree Oct 1 '18 at 17:11
  • @AaronBrick, I think, These newspapers are difficult to get. – Shree Oct 1 '18 at 17:29
  • @AaronBrick, I have got first copy of 'Kesari' newspaper published on 4th January 1881 and in Hindi language. But, it does not include anything about Ganesh festival – Shree Oct 1 '18 at 17:47
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    If the question is solely about celebrations in Pune, please edit it to make that clear. Otherwise you have @DavePhD's answer below establishing that the festival in general is much older. – Aaron Brick Nov 26 '18 at 20:00
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I don't have a complete answer, but since I see dates like 1892 being discussed in the OP links and comments I just want to point out some significantly earlier references.

The 1867 article "Tomtom Beaters, India" on page 431 of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours volume III discusses witnessing the "festival of Ganesh Chaturthi" on August 25th 1865 in Bombay.

Also the 1838 The Connexion of the East-India Company's Government with the Superstitious and Idolatrous Customs and Rites of the Natives of India discusses Vinayaka Chaturthi in great detail on pages 88-92

See also the 1841 A memoir of Mrs. Margaret Wilson, in the September 2nd, 1829 entry, writing from Harnai, where it is stated "The annual festival of Ganesha, which is more devoutly celebrated here than in any other part of India..." and there is further discussion in the text and a footnote at page 181.

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