District: Uttara Kanada
The Ganapathi Temple in Idagunji is in Honnavar Taluk, Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka.
Shri Ganapathi Temple – Overview
Idagunji, a small town in Honnavara Taluq, is famous for its Ganapathi Temple. It is an ancient temple, with a history dating back 1500 years. This temple is very famous and receives around one million pilgrims every year. The Ganapathi idol in this temple is a tall standing figure with two hands. One hand is holding a Modaka while the other hand is holding a Padma (Lotus).
Shri Ganapathi Temple, Idagunji – Mythology
Towards the end of the Dwapara Yuga, anticipating that Shri Krishna was about to leave for Vaikunta and fearing Kali Yuga once he departed, many sages led by Sage Valakilya were performing penances. But their penances were hindered in various ways. So they prayed to Lord Krishna, who sent Maharishi Narada to help them.
Narada came to the Rishis and told them to pray to Lord Vigneswaraya (Ganapathi) who is the remover of all obstacles. The Rishis asked Narada where they should perform the Puja to propitiate Shri Ganapathi. Maharishi Narada led them to the banks of the River Sharavathi. Here, he pointed out a place called Kunjaranya. Maharishi Narada told the Rishis that, in a previous age, the Holy Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva had come here to stop the destruction wreaked by the Asuras on Earth. They had created the Chakrathirtha and Brahmathirtha lakes.
Maharishi Narada and the other Rishis created a new lake called Devathirtha here. Then Narada brought Shri Ganapathi along with all the other gods and the Trinity here. Ritual rites were performed and they chanted hymns in praise of Shri Ganapathi. Pleased with his devotees, Lord Ganapathi agreed to stay in this place to help the Rishis conduct their penances for any hindrance. Another lake called Ganeshathirtha was formed here to bring water to the temple. This place eventually came to be known as Idagunji.
How to Get to Shri Ganapathi Temple, Idagunji
Idagunji is 14 km away from Honnavara. It is also very near other temple sites like Murudeshwara and Gokarna. Honnavara is the nearest Railway Station. From all these places you can get bus service to Idagunji. You can visit this temple during September, during the festival of Ganesh Chathurthi.