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Pune, Aug 1 Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday performed a puja at the famed Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh Temple in Pune, renowned for its history and heritage, during his day-long visit to the city.
“The Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh Mandir has a great importance in the history of Pune,” said Modi on the occasion.
Located in the Budhwar Peth area, a short distance from the historical Shaniwar Wada Fort, the temple is engaged in a variety of social-cultural activities.
The Shaniwar Wada Fort was the seat of the erstwhile Peshwas of the Maratha Empire, and the Lal Mahal in Kasbapeth was the residence of the legendary Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for many years.
The Lord Ganesh deity at the temple was installed by a former wrestler and a rich sweetmeat seller, Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai and his wife Lakshmibai in 1893, a few years after they lost their only son to the horrors of the Pune plague epidemic.
The idol stands 2.2 metres tall, 1 metre wide and is adorned with over 40 kg gold. Devotees throng there round the year and offer more gold, cash or heaps of coconuts.
The idol is insured for over Rs 1 crore by the temple trust — among the richest in the state, and the shrine draws hordes during the 10-day annual Ganeshotsav festival.