Visit to the temple built by a sweet shop owner

I finally managed to graduate from my bachelors course in Mechanical Engineering. As congratulations poured in, some of my close relatives also let me know of their prayers and their expectations of my fulfilling them. The first one that I heard of was -“the most famous Ganapati temple in Pune”. Although this relative told me the name of this temple, I could not remember it no matter how hard I tried. Even while writing the title of this post, I could not remember the name of the temple without referring to my searches for the temple on Google.

While asking friends about the temple I continuously asked about the “temple built by a sweet owner” and they got it and named the temple. Despite several repetitions, I was not able to remember the name of the Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple.The temple was built by a sweet shop owner, on the advice of the guru a year after the death of a son.

I decided to go on Sunday – for no foreseeable reason. In the morning, I woke up later than I wanted to and then left for the bus stand after a breakfast of upma.I went to the Maitri Park stop and hoped to catch Shivneri (an air-conditioned bus that travels between Pune and Mumbai at 15 minute intervals). I looked for the ticket counter when a co-passenger suggested that I talk to the conductor and buy a ticket from him. Chance encounter – good advise. I asked the conductor if it was possible to buy the ticket directly – when he said yes, I leapt in.

The early morning wake up, even though it was late, meant that I wanted some sleep. The air conditioned environs and an empty co-passengers seat meant I could sleep well. I woke up once or twice but had good sleep all the way till Pune. There, aided by Google Maps, I got off at Shivajinagar, Pune and took a rickshaw to the temple.

The auto rickshaw driver was helpful to give me directions to get to the temple as I got off. I took one picture of the sideways of the temple – a multi-storeyed structure with intricate stone and wood work. It almost seemed like a Palace. But, the temple looked totally out of place in its locality. It also has an open structure whereby the idol is seen from the road and is open to a 180 degrees field of view. The queue was small probably because it was late morning on a Sunday and the hawkers didn’t trouble you and the persons who kept your shoe were kind and polite. As I walked in, prayed and sat down for some time soaking in the surroundings, I think I liked this open structure compared to the closed and fortress like Siddhivinayak. The temple is known to be very powerful and you felt it when you sat there. I wasn’t able to sit cross-legged or did not try. There were kind devotees who shared laddus. Inside, there was no push for you to pray fast and move. Everyone prayed at their own speed and in their own styles.

I enjoyed the temple and will probably go there every time I visit Pune.

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