The Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganapati Trust, based in Pune was established in the year 1893 and has thus been in the service of devotees since 108 years. It was in 1893 when Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak gave a public form to the celebration of the festival of Ganpati and made it a genuinely people's festival. The Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganapati trust exists from the year of the inception of the sarvajanik (public) Ganpati festival and is the fulcrum of all sarvajanik(public) celebrations in Maharashtra.
Video - In and Around Dagdusheth Ganapathi Temple
Significance of the temple
The Dagadusheth Ganapati temple was founded in 1893 by Dagadusheth Halwai who is a sweetmeat seller later became a wealthy businessman. This Halwai had lost his son the previous year, and at the request of his guru created the murtis (image of a deity) of Ganesha and Dattatreya. He later established the Halwai Ganapati Trust. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, during the British Raj, gave a public form to the Ganesh festival celebrations as a way of getting around an order that barred public meetings.
The very concept of a community Ganesh Festival was been introduced to us by one of India’s foremost patriot and leading social worker Lokmanya Tilak. The then General public was swept away in the splendor and devotion of this 10 day festival which brought in its wake ‘Kirtans’, meetings, mela and cultural programme, the echo's of these could be heard in every nook and corner of the city.
This festival of Ganesh led to awareness of the masses through the channels of entertainment. Donations from the public were channelised into religious, cultural and community works. Once the younger generation realised that they could ride the vehicle of the Ganesh Festival to improvement. Scores of youth stepped forward to offer their services.
The community Ganesh Festival as it is celebrated in Maharashtra today has created a history of sorts with its success in multiplying, blossoming and maintaining Maharashtra’s culture.
The festival encompasses in its arms unity, vastness, comradeship and patriotism and forwards the cause if the same. The 107 year old Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh Festival is the jewel in the crown of Maharashtra’s long history of community Ganesh festival. It is distinguished by its endeavour to uphold Maharashtra’s cultural heritage. The vastness and splendour with which it is celebrated and its concerted efforts to keep the torch that Lokmanya Tilak lighted, burning bright.
The Ganesh festival today here acts as an inspiration to scores of youth and is homeground of social work. It acts as the wheel which has moulded fresh minds and gives them a certain direction in life. It is a medium that encourages art, sport, religion, culture, and knowledge of history, music and dance.
There is a constant effort to ensure that the vulgarity that has become a part of certain community festivals does not touch the Ganesh Festival. Instead impetus is given to creative pursuits and social work. With the grace of Lord Ganesh there has been a positive change in the outlook of the volunteers of this Ganesh festival and it is increasingly becoming a society-oriented festival.
How to Reach the Temple
This temple of Dagdusheth Ganapathi is one of the most famous temples in Pune and hence to reach there it is very much easy. Take a bus from Swargate going from Mahatma Phule Market, get down near the market and you will find the temple easily. Hiring a rickshaw is a better option. So do come to bow down before Lord Ganesh and seek His blessings.