Idugunji – Temples Around Mangalore

Idagunji Ganesha

Idugunji is a sacred shrine in Uttara Kannada district, where the famous Vighneshwara Temple attracts devotees in thousands. In the ancient Puranic times, Idugunji was known as Idakunjavana or Gunjavana.


Sage Valakhilya was immersed in penance at Kunjavana. But several obstacles disturbed his penance and he prayed to Lord Krishna for assistance. At that moment, Sage Narada came across him and Valakhilya asked him to show the way to be free from these obstacles. Narada promptly asked him to ask Lord Vigneshwara for help. Sage Valakhilya was curious as to how Lord Vigneshwara could help him. Narada then narrates a small tale.

Idagunji Ganesha
Idagunji Ganesha

“Long ago, while Brahma was involved in the creation and shaping of the Universe, he too met with many obstacles. He asked the help of Parabrahma, who in turn asked him to worship Vigneshwara. Brahma followed this instruction, and did not find any obstacles in continuing his task. Later, Shiva, Srihari and Parvati, too started worshipping Vigneshwara before putting an end to the troubles created by Tripura, Bali and Mahishasura.” “Therefore, the only way to put an end to your troubles is to worship Lord Vigneshwara”, Said Narada.

Likewise, Valakhilya requested Narada to show him a proper place from which to worship lord Vigneshwara. After visiting various spots, they came to the banks of Sharavathi and were enchanted by a particular spot. Narada said that the place of known as Kunjaranya, and was the most beneficial place to pray Lord Vigneshwara.

Narada now narrated how the Holy Trinity-Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara had come to Kunjaranya, to observe penance for the destruction of the evil asuras. They asked Parvati to send her son Ganapathi-Vignesh to the forest, to accept the prayer of various devotees. A temple was created and a throne was prepared for Vigneshwara.

The Saints and heavenly beings chanted hymns in Praise of the Lord, who was standing with his arms open, holding Modaka- an offering prepared from jaggery which the favorite of Lord Ganapathi- in his left hand. Pleased by the devotion and the various rituals undertaken by his devotees, the pleased Lord Vigneshwara granted them their wishes.Idugunji Temple

Lord Vigneshwara was so enamoured of this place that he called Narada and decided to stay permanently in that place and grant the wishes of his devotees. The various Gods who had witness the throning of Lord Vigneshwara decided to leave behind a part of their omniscient power in the various lakes known as Thirthas. The Lord then instructed Narada that the devotees could attain their hearts desire by praying him to him while dipping in the various Thirthas.

Hence, a special lake was created for the devotees to have their bath, which is known as Ganeshteerth.

Kunjaranya, where Lord Ganapathi remained, later came to be known as Idugunji.

Important days

Ganesh Chathurthi and Sankashti days are of great significance in this holy shrine.

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