Idagunji Maha Ganapati
Lord Ganesha is known as Aadi Poojya Deva – the auspicious Lord who is worshipped first. Legend has it that when Lord Krishna prepared to leave the earth at the end of the Dvapara Yuga, people were anxious about the upcoming Kali Yuga.
Rishis, led by Valakhilya, began rituals in Kunjavana, a forest on the banks of the Sharavati River.Faced with many obstacles, Valakhilya sought sage Narada’s help. Narada advised him to pray to Ganesha and restart his rituals. He also helped choose a place for it. A sacred place visited by Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. Where gods had created the sacred lakes of Chakratirtha and Brahmatirtha.
It was there that Narada helped build a new sacred pond known as Devatirtha.
He then requested Parvati to send her son Ganesha. Delighted at their devotion, Ganesha decided to stay there until the rituals were carried out without any obstacles. This place is known called Idagunji.
Eda means ‘to the left’ and ‘Kunj’ means a garden. The Idagunji Ganapati is known as Bala Ganesha, The young form of the elephant-faced deity.
This deity has two tusks, not ‘Ekadanta’ and he does not have a snake around his waist either. This could, perhaps, mean he was the oldest Ganesha to be consecrated before he wrote the Mahabharata.
Ganesha stands here holding a radish and a laddoo in his two hands.
The temple is located in Honnavara, in Uttara Kannada district.
It receives at least a million visitors every year.