In the good old days Ganesh festival was purely a family affair. According to the eminent historian Shri Rajwade, records reveal that it was celebrated even during the reigns of Satwahana, Rashtrakuta and Chalukya. There are also references in historical records to similar celebrations during Peshwa times, Lord Ganapati being the family deity of the Peshwas. The celebration would commence on the first day of the month of Bhadrapada and would go on for ten days. Years later it became a practice to end the festivities on Anant Chaturdashi with the immersion of the Ganpati idol in water. The celebrations were universally popular with rich and poor alike. The poor were given sweets and clothes. Upper caste Brahmins were fed on delicious meals. On the concluding day, the idol of Lord Ganesh was carried in a beautifully decorated palanquin in a ceremonial procession and taken to the river for immersion.
The last of the Ganesh festivals during the Peshwa regime was celebrated in the year 1815 when Bajirao II held the power. The year 1818 saw the end of Peshwa rule with Union Jack being unfurled on the great Shaniwar-Wada. Among the valuables the Britishers took away was a ruby eyed Ganesh idol made in pure gold studded with diamonds and rubies. It was reportedly valued at £ 50000 in those days. After the end of Peshwa rule, from 1818 to 1892 Ganesh Festival remained a family affair in Maharashtra.