At a distance of 4 km from Pune Junction, Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapathi Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated in Budhwar Pet near Shaniwar Wada in Pune City. This is one of the important Ganesh temples in Maharashtra and also one of the popular tourist places in Pune.
Sri Dagdusheth Temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Ganesh. The temple was built by Dagdusheth Halwai, a sweet seller. In late 1800s, he lost his son in a plague epidemic. This caused Dagdusheth and his wife to go into deep depression. To heal them, he built the Ganesh temple in 1893 AD according to their Guru Sri Madhavnath Maharaj’s advice. Every year the Ganapathi festival was celebrated with deep faith and enthusiasm not only by Dagdusheth’s family but the entire neighbourhood. Later, Lokmanya Tilak made Ganapathi festival a public celebration to bring people together for the freedom struggle.
Dagdusheth Halwai, originally Dagdusheth Gadve, was a Sweet maker from Karnataka. After gaining enormous success in his business, he was referred by the locals as Dagdusheth Halwai (sweet maker) His original shop still exists near Datta Mandir, we know it by the popular name- Kaka Halwai.
Focal Point of Ganpati Festival
Lokmanya Tilak was a close friend of Dagdusheth Halwai. While witnessing the construction of the temple, it dawned on him that Maharashtra needed a festival to come together and celebrate. Thus, the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati became a source of historical importance; this is where the festival originated!
The Magnificent Idol
Often renowned for making several devotees weep tears of joy, this idol simply cannot be explained in words. To call it beautiful would be an understatement. It is merely 7.5 feet tall and 4 feet wide, but unlike Mumbai’s Ganpati idols, Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati is famous for his elegant and detailed facial features, rather than the idol’s size. The idol is adorned with more than 8 kilos of gold.
The Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati is an active part of the annual religious festivals. Apart from the daily pooja and arti, several other events are organized by the temple’s trust foundation. The Mango, Mogra and music festival are worth checking out. There’s also an Atharvasheersha recitation event organised by the trust.