THE STORY OF MHATOBAR SHREE VINAYAKA DEVARU, IDAGUNJI
Idagunji is a small place in Honnavara taluk, Uttar Kannada district, which has the famous Vinayaka temple. The temple is the main attraction at Idagunji, receiving more than 1 million devotees per year. Idagunji Devasthana is an ancient temple with a history of more than 1500 years. The story of the temple is as follows. At the end of ‘Dwapara Yuga’ great saints were praying to the Sutha-Pouranika at Badarikashrama. Shri Krishna had implied to eliminate the on coming doshas of ‘Kaliyuga’. The divine saint, Valakhilya initiated narrating the significance of Kunjavana. Valakhilya along with other immortal saints was performing penitential activities in a forest. They started experiencing diverse hindrance in penitentiary activities. The holy saint was agitated by these obstacles. He seeked solace and worshipped Lord Krishna. Narada the noble saint approached Valakhilya. Narada received cordial and satiate wel-come with due rituals. Valakhilya explained his difficult situation to the divine saint and requested him to suggest pragmatic solutions to deal with the obstacles on his way. Narada advised him to worship God Vigneshwara (the remover of obstacles) before starting the penance again. Valakhilya requested Narada to show him an appropriate place to worship the deity. Narada along with Valakhilya and other saints wandered westward in search of a suitable place. They came across the Sharavati river which gracefully caressed and consolidated with the ocean. Narada chalked out an exact place located a few miles away to the left of Sharavati. The place was named as Kunjaranya. This would be a deserving place for their penitential activities. To add up to the significance of the place, Narada explained that in the past from time to time the Holy Trinity, Hari, Har and Brahma have come to this place to conduct their penance to stop the destruction of the “Asuras” (the demons). They also created lakes termed as “Chakratirtha” and “Brahmatirtha” which is truly a spiritual inspiration. After sketching out this to all the saints, Narada with the help of the saints fabricated another lake named “Devatirtha”. He then offered to bring Ganapathi (Vinayaka) along with other Gods including the Holy Trinity. Narada approached Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara to attend the “Puja” at Kunjaranya offered by the saints. He also took the liberty of requesting Parvathi to send her son, Ganapathi to the saints for the removal of obstacles. Narada’s charisma led all the Heavenly Gods along with Lord Ganapathi to attend the “Puja” with eminence and granduer. The temple dedicated especially for this purpose was decked with attractive decor and the enormous glittering diamonds and stones. Ganapathi received the rites, rituals and ceremonious formalities on the second day of Poorvathretha Yuga Nrapavara Chanda Shakabda 813 Vibhava Samwathsara which was decided as Uttarayana Shishiraruthu Maghamasa Shukla Dwitheeya Budhavara Punarwasu Nakshatra (Uttarashadha Nakshatra Visvamuhoortha the most auspicious time by Brahma. The great saints and Heavenly beings chanted the hymns in praise of Lord Ganapathi. Ganapathi, magnificently attired, was holding “Modhaka” and “Padma” in his hands. Immensely pleased by the devotion rendered on him by the saints, Ganapathi expressed his desire to grant the wishes of his devotees. The other Gods were cherished and treated equivalently. They also blessed their worshippers. The other Gods appealed to go to their original places. Ganapathi emphasized his decision to stay and gratify the desires of his devotees. He also implied the Gods to leave behind a part of their omniscient power in the various lakes encompassed there. The devotees can attain their hearts desires by dripping into the varied “Theerthas” and by offering pujas to Him. A lake was bestowed to provide water for bathing at Ganapathi’s request. It was named as “Ganeshtith”.So according to this purana , Lord Ganapathi stayed in the place Kunjaranya which is now renowned as Idagunji. This brief summary explains the legendary and historical significance of the sanctity place of Idagunji. Mhatobar Shree Vinayaka Devaru has been granting the wishes of thousands of people who reguraly visit this place from year to year.