Idagunji is a small village with a big temple. Mhotobar Sree Vinayaka Devaru temple in Idagunji is said to receive more than a million visitors round the ear. The landscape here is undulating. The bus terminal is surrounded by hills, while the temple lies further below.
According to the sthala purana, sage Valakhilya and other sages were engaged in penance in a forest at the end of the Dwapara Yuga. However, they encountered one obstacle after another, and prayed to Sri Krishna for succour. Around this time, the celestial singer, Narada, happened to come that way. He insructed them to pray to Vigeneswara to remove the obstacles. Narada further told them that even the Supreme Gods, Shiva, Vishnu and Shakti, had prayed to Ganapat i before proceeding against the asuras Tripura, Bali and Mahishasura respectively. Sage Valakhilya then requested Narada to show them a proper place to continue their penance. Narada pointed out to a place called Kunjaranya, not far from the River Sharavathi. India was the most sacred place on earth, and Kunjaranya was the best place to conduct penance, he told them. Brahma, Vishu and Shiva had come here to do penance before their fight with the asuras. It was the land of the sacred lakes, Chakratheertha. Brahmatheertha, etc., he said, and created one more, the devatheertha. Narada also agreed to bring the holy Trinity and the other devas to Kunjaranya, so that the rishis could do pooja to them. True to his word, all the celestial beings, the Trinity included, came here, along with Ganapati and other gods were honoured with prayers and gifts. when it was time for the celestials to go, Ganapati informed them that he would stay here forever. He also requested the other gods to leave behind a portion of their power. He told the devotees that they could attain their hearts' desires, after a dip in the varous theerthas here. He created one more water body for the purpose, the Ganesh theertha. Lord Vinayaka's permanent abode, Kunjaranya, is now Idagunji.
The temple is a two-tier structure, over the entrance of which are concrete images of Shiva and Parvati, with Vinayaka and Subramanya on their laps. Narada is standing to their left, while sage Valakhilya sits at their feet. The sanctum is in a huge hall. Facing us in Sri Vinayaka, Like at Gokarna, here too He is tow handed.
The Idagunji temple is very popular is these parts. Marriages are conducted at a hall built for the purpose. The Devasthanam offers several attractive packages for weddings celebrated here. And like all temples on the West Coast, this one is impeccably neat and clean.
How to get there:
Honnavar(a) is the nearest town to Idagunji. It is 54km from Gikarna. As you deviate from National Highway 17, the landmark for the Idangunji road is the Idagunji entrance arch. From Honnavar to the arch is 11km, and four km from the arch to the temple. Buses, mini-buses and tempos ply frequently between the temple and Honnavar. Those travelling by konkan Railway can alight at Honnavar or Murudeshwara. Accomodation: The Devasthanam has rooms with modern facilities. Temple timings: 6 am to 1pm and 3pm to 8.30pm.
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