Pune is known as Oxford of east. Shaniwarwada in Pune is also famous. But Pune said that another name that comes to mind is the Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati, a place of worship for all Punekars. Ganeshotsav said that the names of some Ganapatis in big cities come to the fore and Dagdusheth Ganapati is always at the top of that list. It is rare for a person who has come to Pune from the suburbs not to visit Dagdudusheth Ganapati. Dagdusheth Ganpati is famous all over the world for his social work and devotion and faith in devotees. In 1891, when India was ruled by the British, Shrimant Dagdusheth was a famous merchant from Pune. He was highly respected in society and was given the title of Shreemant. As the wealthy Dagdusheth was a distinguished person, he was also honored with the title of Nagarsheth by the British. Even if it is said that God had a blessing on the Shreemant Dagdusheth, wealth, honor and prestige were not lacking.
At that time there was an outbreak of plague in Pune, there was no concrete treatment for this disease. A similar epidemic had occurred in 1820. The epidemic killed millions. Dagdusheth’s only son died in the plague of 1892. This brought down a mountain of grief on Dagdusheth and his wife Lakshmibai. In spite of all the glory, he was full of depression and anxiety.
On this, his spiritual guru Shri Madhavnath Maharaj gave him a piece of advice. “you adopt Ganpati, his fame will spread all over the world”.
After listening to the Guru’s words, Dagdusheth and Lakshmibai made a beautiful and charming idol of Lord Ganesha from Shri Kumbhar and also set up the idol with devotion. The number of devotees coming to this Ganesha temple was increasing day by day. Devotees started calling this Ganapati the Ganapati of Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai. After some time, this Ganapati was renamed as “Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati“.
This Ganapati was famous all over Pune. Even today, 127 years after the installation of the idol in this temple in 1893, the tradition is still going on with the same devotion and faith.
Since then, many people have made various vows to this Ganapati and they have been fulfilled. Therefore, this Ganapati is also called the Ganapati of Vow (Navasacha Ganapati). As Shri Madhavrao Maharaj said, the fame of this Ganapati has spread all over the world.
The idols in this temple were made in 1968 by the famous sculptor Shankarappa Shilpi. Sculptor Nagesh Shilpi also contributed to this.
When Amitabh Bachchan had a serious accident during the movie Coolie, Jaya Bachchan took a vow to visit Dagdusheth Ganpati. When Amitabh recovered, he offered a gold ear to Ganapati.
The present temple was built in 2002 as the old temple was small as today’s crowed.
For Devdasi ladies and Child care center in Kondhwa by Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Trust and Pitashri old age home also being run by giving proper education to the children.