Culture in Khopoli
Placed at the base of the Sahyadri mountain range in the Khalapu taluka is this small industrial town of Khopoli. Being a part of the huge Maratha empire, this place has got many relics of the rich Maratha history. Khopoli and its neighbouring villages since history had remained populated majorly by the Marathi people. Even the place’s name is derived from two Marathi words, Khopi (which means a hut) and Awali (which means a row).
This is due to the presence of many huts of the then locals in a row. The natives here like the other part of Maharashtra boasts of being a Marathi and are very respectful about their own language, customs, traditions and rich history. The great Maratha Shivaji, is still their hero and most of the houses here have photos of their king. Although Marathi is the main language of the place, but Khopoli has given every religion its due respect. Hindus are a clear majority in this part India.
This small town was mainly inhabited by farmers and agriculturalists since old times. With the passage of time and proximity to Mumbai city, Khopoli has become an important industrial region Maharashtra. This in turn has led to the inflow of many industrialists, traders and workers. With the formation of new job opportunities, the urban population of this town is on a constant rise. With this came all the amenities required to enjoy a city life. There are well maintained roads, schools, colleges and shopping areas with good sanitation system.
The local railway connection with Mumbai has acted as a boon for the place. The main Khopoli town people have become urbanized and have accepted the modern shirt, trouser, salwar kameez and even western female attires in place of traditional costumes. Till today all the neighbouring villages have the traditional culture of Maharashtra prevalent. Men are often found in Dhoti and Pheta (local term for shirt) with a Pagdi or Turban covering their head. Women wear Choli and Saree (worn in the form of dhoti).
Every household offer daily food at first to God and then they consume themselves. This is because food in this culture is equated to Lord Brahma, who is believed to be the creator of this world. During festival season, the people of Khopoli offer home made sweets to God as an auspicious offering. The main festival of Khopoli is the Ganesh Chaturthi or the Ganapati Festival, which is celebrated with pomp and grandeur.
Shri Varad Vinayak Temple and Shri Ballaleshwar Temple are the two Ganesh temples of this region, which gets decorated with garlands during this festival and thousands of pilgrims pay visit. Other than this Diwali, Navratri, Id, Christmas and most of the Indian festivals are celebrated by the Khopoli residents. Men and women get dressed in their traditional attire and female folks put Mehendi on their hand as an auspicious sign. Folk dance performances like, Dindi, Tamasha, Dhangri Gaja and Kala take place in various parts of the town along with different small and local fairs.
In totality, Khopoli town has got a blend of tradition and modernization in the culture and daily lifestyle of the residents.
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