The Shreemanth Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh temple in Pune, built in 1893, is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and has an idol which has been insured for $160,000 USD as it is adorned with more than 8 kilos of gold. The sculpture of Ganpati (another name for Ganesha) is 2.2 metres tall and 4 feet wide and is most famous for its beautiful and detailed facial features.
The name of the temple is after a famous trader and sweet maker, grief-stricken, Dagdusheth Halwai who lost his son to the plague. The temple thus became a healing outlet for the merchant and his wife.
Dagdusheth Halwai’s sweet shop, which made him an extremely popular sweet maker in the city, is still operational but with the name of Kaka Halwai.
Many visit this temple to pay their respects, offer prayers and with the hope of receiving the blessing of Lord Maruti (Ganesha). For those foreigners like us, it might come as a surprise to recibe Ganesha’s blessing in the form of a Coconut. However, the coconut is an essential offering in almost all rituals of Hinduism as in Sanskrit, Sriphala – the name for this fruit, means God’s fruit.