Here’s how the most popular dhol tashe pathaks of Nagpur are bidding adieu to Bappa!

Suyash Sethiya | Sep 15, 2016 20:21

Ganpati visarjan is incomplete without music; and dhol tashe pathaks have become the most preferred way of bidding a musical adieu to Bappa in Nagpur. These groups comprise passionate boys and girls, having unmatched energy and unique style of performing. Dhol tashe pathaks, which have been traditionally hit in western Maharashtra’s cities like Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, etc, are just a four years old phenomenon in Nagpur (the first group ‘Swarajya Garjana’ came in 2012 here). But the irresistible charm and infectious energy of these wadaks (dhol players) have surely become an intrinsic part of not only the festive celebrations but also of wedding celebrations etc. in Nagpur.

dhol tashe pathaks
Members of Shiv Sanskruti group playing dhol tashe at Mahal, Nagpur

One of their striking features that set these performers apart is the fact that they follow a strict no-nonsense policy. “We don’t perform for people who spread hooliganism and create ruckus on the streets in the name of celebrations. We can’t entertain people, who misbehave under the influence of alcohol during festivities, so we make sure that during our performance, people maintain the decorum and decency around us,” said Swapnil Murtey, leader of one of the dhol tashe pathaks – Shiv Pratishta. Nation Next introduces you to Nagpur’s first four dhol tashe pathaks and tells you how and where are they bidding adieu to Bappa today…

Swarajya Garjana (Established in January 2012)

Performing at:

Lendra Park, Ramdaspeth at 8 pm on September 15, Thursday.

Dharampeth Ganesh Utsav Mandal at 3 pm on September, Friday.

Swarajya Garjana group, established by four Nagpurians – Saurabh Unhale, Nikhil Karkade, Pankaj Deshpande and Aniruddha Deshpande- in January 2012, performs strictly during the 10 days of Ganpati festival only.“Earlier, every time before Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, along with his troops, left for a battle, his followers would play dhols and tashe to encourage them. This performance was known as Mardani Wadya. This Maharastrian culture of dhol tasha pathak was then adopted by major cities of western Maharashtra like Pune, Kolhapur, Nasik, etc, but nothing similar existed in Nagpur. We introduced this concept in Nagpur,” says Aniruddha. Swarajya Garjana group has a collection of 36 dhols, seven tashe, three jhaanjs, two shanks (conch shell), three dhwajs (orange flags) and a gong. While these dhols weigh around eight kgs each, the tashe weigh around three kgs each. There are almost 70 performers belonging to the age group ranging between 18-40 years. These performers hail from backgrounds as diverse as students, government employees, doctors, bankers, etc. The group is popular for their passionate performances and foot tapping beats of Shiv Tandav, Ashwamedh taal and Shivaji taal.

dhol tashe pathaks
Members of Shiv Mudra group playing dhol tashe during a Ganapati procession in Nagpur

Shiv Mudra (Established in June 2013)

Performing at:

Tekdi road, Revati Ganga Ganesh Ustav Mandal at 5:30 pm on September 15, Thursday.

Wardha, Sawangi Meghe Ganesh Utsav Mandal Wardha, at 6 pm on September 16, Friday.

Shiv Mudra dhol tasha pathak group was started by Makrand Pandhripande, Gajanan Joshi and Jayant Baitule in June 2013. Jayant Baitule told Nation Next, “We established Shiv Mudra dhol tasha pathak to channelise the youth’s energy and passion. We don’t give any kind of remuneration to our performers (also known as swayamsevaks), as we donate all our earnings to charity.” Shiv Mudra dhol tasha pathak has 250 odd passionate dhol performers from the age group of three to 65 years, where performers from three to 35 years are on dhol, tashe and dhwaj. Performers above 35 years of age are a part of the group’s management team. People from all walks of life are a part of this group.

Apart from their dhol tashe performances, Shiv Mudra also entertains their viewers with their jaw dropping performances with lathis and swords. They maintain a variety of instruments that includes 60 dhols, 22 tashe, 10 jhaanj, 26 dhwaj and a gong. The average weight of a dhol and a tasha are 15kg and 6kg, respectively.

dhol tashe pathaks
Members of Shiv Mudra playing dhol tashe at Ganesh Tekdi, Nagpur

Shiv Sanskruti (Established in March 2013)

Performing at:

Mahal, Dakshinamurti Ganesh Utsav Mandal at 4 pm on September 15, Thursday.

Shankar Nagar, Bal Ganesh Utsav Mandal at 6 pm on September 17, Saturday.

Shiv Sanskruti dhol tasha pathak group was established in March 2013 by Prasad Manjarkhede, Abhishek Lambat, Prakash Durge, Pravin Basena and Prasad Pathkhede. After a year’s campaign including street plays to educate Nagpurians on the importance of dhol tashe, the group started playing during the festivals. With the slogan “Aami kon? Aami Nagpurkars”, (Who are we? We are Nagpurians), Shiv Sanskruti started its operations. The group’s main motto is to involve youngsters in constructive activities. The group has 175 performers with a collection of 85 dhols, 19 tashe, 15 dhwaj, two jhaanj (hand cymbals), four shankhs (conch shells) and two gongs. The members of the group, who lie in the age group of three to 58 years, include students, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, etc. Their special performances include Tandav Taal, Shiv Taal and Shankhnad Taal.

Shiv Pratishta (Established in March 2013)

Performing at:

Mama road, Dharampeth, Ganesh Utsav Mandal at 7 pm on September 15, Thursday.

Two childhood friends Pankaj Pande and Swapnil Murtey started this dhol tasha pathak group in March 2013. The group ropes in members on the basis of their passion, personality and their body language. The group, which claims to have 75 members in its group, has zealous students, doctors, lawyers, etc, as its members. The major reason behind starting this group, says one of the group members, was to preserve and maintain our culture during festivals as it was somehow getting polluted due to loud music in sandals and DJs. This group has 55 dhols, 14 tashe, four jhaanj (hand cymbals), five shankhs (conch shells), a gong and a dafli (hand drum). These dhol and tashe weigh around 15 kg each and 7 kg each, respectively. Some of their signature performances of the group are on Shivstuti, Kallol taal and Paramparik taal.