Legend has it that in circa 1640, Jijabai, Chhatrapati Shivaji’s mother, had placed the statue of Lord Ganesha near Lal Mahal, marking the moment when a young Shivaji started building the empire of Swarjya. Dadoji Kondadev, an administrator of the Poona jagir, had then put a tent in front of the statue. Today, it is a well-known temple in Pune. In fact, this particular idol was the first to be immersed in the river at the end of the Ganesha festival on the 10th day; the festival is celebrated with great vigour in the city. Empowerment of women lies at the heart of the temple’s objectives, and it has also been quite active in socio-economic development in and around Pune.

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