Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple
Located a little away from the magnificent Shaniwar Wada fort, this oldest Ganpati temple of Pune is an attraction in itself. Constructed in simple white exteriors and ornate shikhara, the temple emanates the divinity and purity of Lord Ganesha. At the entrance of the temple are the two marvellously crafted sentinels, Jay and Vijay constructed in white marble, the first to welcome the devotees. As you walk in, the resplendent and tastefully designed interiors are sure to blow your mind. But the true eye-catcher of the Temple is undoubtedly Lord Ganesha. The 7.5 feet tall idol with a width of 4 feet is beautifully adorned with almost 8 kilos of crafted gold jewellery.
History behind Dagdusheth Ganapati Temple
Shreemant Dagdusheth Gadve was a famous sweet trader settled in Pune. He was popularly known as Dagdusheth Halwai for his successful business of sweets. After the sudden demise of his son, due to an outbreak of plague, both Dagdusheth and his wife went into depression. It was then Dagdusheth’s Guruji, Shri Datta Maharaj, advised him to construct two idols of Shri Datta Maharaj and Lord Ganapati and worship and love the idols as their own son. As per Guruji’s sermon, Dagdusheth built the idols that were instilled by freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak in 1893.
Dagdusheth Halwai later established Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati Trust, to look after the idols. The trust also carries out various philanthropic activities like running an old age home, Pitashree, and providing housing and education for 40 destitute children. The trust also provides health services in tribal areas of Maharashtra.
During the visit to the Temple, make sure to attend the daily artis, pujas and abhisek of the deity. The deity is worshiped both in the morning and evening on the scheduled time and is definitely worth attending.
Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple Address
Ganpati Bhavan, 250, Budhvar Peth
Pune - 411002
Phone no.: 020 24479222
Ganeshotsav at Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple
The ten-day Ganpati Festival at Dagdusheth Ganpati Temple in Pune is an extremely pious and delightful affair and one should attend the occasion at least once to gain an out of the world experience. On this particular day, the temple witnesses over thousands of devotees coming down from all over the world to rejoice Lord’s birthday. Donations offered by the worshipers are deposited in the Trust account.
Every year on Ganesha Chaturthi that is on the birthday of Lord Ganesha the deity is worshiped at dawn and is adorned with new gold and other jewels. This entire process is carried out with such simplicity and devotion in Dagdusheth Ganpati Temple that it brings a sense of peace and devotion in the minds of every devotee attending the festival. After the completion of prayers and rituals, the idol is then seated on a majestic chariot adorned with flowers and is taken out for a big procession. The procession continues till the chariot reaches the marquee. All the while, the chariot is accompanied by thousands of people, some playing drums, kettledrums, band music while others walk along the chariot deep in their devotional hymns. The marquee constructed every year is mostly inspired by architectural wonders of the world.
The old Lord Ganesha idol is then immersed in water body and a new idol is instilled. This entire process is conducted by some of the famous temple priests of the city. Another major highlight of Ganesha Chaturthi is the recitation of Ganesha Atharvahishara, performed mostly by kids and youth. The recitation of the verses begins from dawn and continues through the entire prayer-offering and adoration ceremony.
Ganpati festival begins from Rishi Panchami that is from the second day of Lord Ganesha in the marquee. The festival continues for ten days till Anant Chaturdashi and is the busiest days of the Temple. On the tenth day, the deity is carried from the marquee to the temple at the break of the dawn. Worshipers pray their last respect there. In the evening, the idol is again seated in the chariot and processed for the immersion. The immersion procession is marked by devotional Ganpati songs, dance and band music and continuous slogans of “Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Ya”. After prayers and recitation of Atharvahishara, Lord Ganesha’s idol is immersed in the river at Lakdi pool near Khandujibaba Chowk.
Nearly 40,000 Ganeshotsav mandals in the state decided to meet in a formal conference on August 9, 1988 where a formation of Maharashtra Ganeshotsav Mahamandal under the aegis of Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganapati Trust was decided upon. Through this all the Ganapati mandals came under one unit and together they looked after the guidelines, code and conduct of the festival.
Pune Ganpati Festival
It was in 1894 when Bal Gangadhar Tilak first started the celebration of Ganpati festival in Pune in a grandeur way. On the pretext of Ganesha festival, Tilak wanted to get around an order by the British Raj that prevented public meetings. He propagated the idea of Sarvajanin Ganeshotsav and from then on, Ganpati festival became one of the most popular festivals of Maharashtra. It is for this reason, Ganeshotsav in Pune is celebrated in a much more pompous and elegant manner than in any other city.
Every neighbourhood in Pune sets up a stage or a pandal to rejoice the occasion, the biggest being Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Festival. Among hundreds of Lord Ganesha idols in Pune, five of them significant and have the privilege of being the foremost idols during immersion procession. These idols are collectively known as Manache Ganpati.
Kasba Ganpati at Kasba Peth – Established in 1893, this is the oldest Ganpati of Pune and holds the first rank in Ganpati of Honour.
Tambadi Jogeshwari Ganpati at Budhwar Peth – This holds the second Ganpati of Honour. The idol has a resemblance with the elephants of Africa and is seated on a silver palanquin.
Guruji Talim Gampati at Ganpati Chowk – This was established in 1887 as a symbol of unity between Hindus and Muslims. It holds the third rank of Honour.
Tulsibaug – This 15 feet tall idol is made of fiber glass and holds the fourth rank of Honour.
Kesariwada Ganpati at Narayanpeth – Lokamanya Tilak established this idol in 1893 and it holds the fifth rank of Honour.