The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) will offer specialised bus services from four areas in the city for those who want to attend the Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, said Siddharth Shirole, director of the transport body. The venue of the festival has been changed after three decades and this year, it will be held at Mukundnagar from December 12 to 14.
Ola and Uber apps will have the option of choosing ‘Sawai 2018’ as a destination, so that it will be easy for people to get to the new venue.
The first route will run from Kothrud depot (Paud Road), the second one will be from Warje Malwadi, the third one from Sinhgad Road (Dhayri), and the fourth route will start at Pimpri-Chinchwad (Bhakti-Shakti Chawk, Nigdi). All of the buses will ply till Maharashtriya Mandal Krida Sankul, Mukundnagar.
The buses are expected to start from their first stop about one hour before the event begins.
“For over 30 years, the festival has been organised at the same venue, Ramanbaug School. But this year, we had to shift to a new venue as the school changed its policy and denied permission. A major worry for audience members was how to get to the new venue. So, we appreciate this service being offered by PMPML,” said Srinivas Joshi, executive president of the Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal, which organises the festival.
The organisers of the event also announced other highlights of the festival, which draws artistes and audiences from across the country. ‘Shadja’ and ‘Antaranga’, two special programmes that have been part of the festival since 11 years, will take place at ‘Sawai Gandharva Smarak’ near Rahul Theatre in Shivajinagar. Entry will be free and on first come first serve basis. On December 12, the first day of ‘Shadja’, two documentaries will be shown, including — ‘Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar’ — directed by S B Nayampalli, followed by another documentary, ‘Pt Birju Maharaj’, directed by Chidanand Dasgupta.
In the second half of the programme, ‘Antaranga’, music aficionados will get an opportunity to witness a conversation with Pandit Basant Kabra, one of the eldest disciples of late sitar player and musician Annapurna Devi. Mangesh Waghmare will interview him.
On Thursday, ‘Girija Devi’, a documentary by Bijoy Chatterjee, will be shown, followed by an interview with veteran tabla player Pandit Suresh Talwalkar, conducted by Keshav Paranjape. On December 14, a documentary ‘Jamuna ke teer- Abdul Karim Khan’ will be shown, followed by a session in which renowned vocalist Aarti Ankalikar-Tikekar will be in conversation with fellow vocalist Devki Pandit.