Famous Maha Ganapati Temples - II
Vinayaka, also known as Ganapati, has many temples in every Indian
state. Some temples are very special and popular among devotees.
- By Dr. K. Kumar.
Siddhi Vinayak Mandir, Mumbai
The Siddhi Vinayak Mandir in Mumbai is over 200 years old. Frequented by thousands of devotees, political figures and celebrities, it is one of India's richest Ganesha temples.
The idol of Lord Ganesha in the Siddhivinayak temple is Chaturbhuj or having four arms, holding sacred beads, a lotus, a small axe, and a modak plate in each. Ganesha's two wives Siddhi and Buddhi are placed on either side of the deity. A third eye, similar to that of Lord Shiva, is engraved on the forehead of the deity.
A unique feature of the main idol is that Ganesha’s trunk is bent to the right unlike most idols in the country having the trunk bent to the left.
Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple, Pune
About 125 years ago, Dagadusheth Halwai was successfully running his sweets business in the city of Pune. After losing his son to a deadly plague, their Guru advised the family to build a Ganesha temple. The couple built this temple to seek solace from their sorrows and for the needs of the people of the city.
The annual Ganapati Mahotsavam is celebrated on a grand scale. About 7 feet tall and 3 feet wide, the Ganapati idol here is adorned with 40 kg of gold and is visible from the road outside.
In the later years, when Lokmanya Tilak made Ganpati festival a public celebration to bring people together for the freedom struggle, Dagdusheth Ganpati became the most respected and popular idol in Pune. The tradition continues drawing lakhs of people during Annual Ganesh Mahotsav.
Moti Dungri Ganesh Temple, Jaipur
Moti Dungri Temple is located at the foot of Moti Dungri Hill and Moti Dungri Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
It was built in 1761 under the supervision of Chet Jai Ram Palliwal. The sindoor coloured trunk of Ganesha is characteristic.
There is a Shiva Ling in the Moti Dungri Fort complex, which is opened to visitors once a year on Mahashivratri.
The Birla Mandir Temple, also known as the Lakshmi Narayanan Temple, is situated to the south of the Vinayaka Temple.
The temple is the centre of attraction on festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Krishna Janmashtami, Annakut and Paush Bada.