Lord Ganesh is the source of all kinds of wealth and prosperity is highly revered in Mewar as in most parts of India. He is worshipped reverently at the beginning of every auspicious occasion and ritual. This area is well known for its distinct ways of worship and splendid temples of Ganesh.
In addition to the most prominent Bohra Ganesh Mandir, there are several other located in different parts of Udaipur. Situated on the road that leads to Bhoot Mahal from Khatikwada- kalalwada near Hathipol has the destination of being the only one in Udaipur with five faces, Panchmukhi, though there are several other ones- faced idols in the temples in different parts of the town. It is said that this idol was brought here from the royal palace by some Brahmins on their back. It is also said that the Maharana wanted to set it up at the gate of Hathi-Sthan but it did not move and that is why it is called Gatha Ganesh.
Some others believe that it was set up in compliance with divine instructions given in a dream to an ancestor of Purbia Samaj. About three and a half feet tall and with the width of the same dimension the stone idol looks extremely attractive with a crown of the snake. There are snakes also on the arms and the stomach. In Hindu scriptures, a five-faced idol of Ganesh is called Herambh. The idol here with both lion and mouse as vehicles has become unique. In the glass, painting is shown Shiv with Nandi. On the outer walls, there are paintings of the sun and Anhal bird that could, it is believed, lift ten elephants and fly in the sky. People going on pilgrimage come here first to seek the Lord’s blessings. The Lord is invoked, especially by ladies, by the singing songs composed in his praise.
Pala Ganesh Mandir that is located between Gulab Bagh and Doodh Talai was, it is believed, built by Vrishabh, grandson of the builder of Pichola lake Lakha Banjara about 450 years ago by mixing clay and cow dung.
On Ganesh Chaturthi, the idol wears gold ornaments weighing two and a half kilo that were unearthed at the temple site. As it is associated with the building of the Paal, dam, it is called Pala Ganesh.
The 400 – years old ancient Dudhia Ganesh Mandir in Mallatalai got its name as it got a lot of milk products as offering that was distributed as Prasad. Another version is that it is because there used to be a lot of cans containing milk put here in transit by Dudhiyas, milk sellers.
Located in Jagdish Chouk is the highly revered Manshapurna Gajanandji Mandir that is about 300 years old. It is said that once when a Maharana fell ill, his Maharani came here to seek the Lord’s blessing. On his recovery, she distributed a lot of laddus and this practice continues even now.
Highly revered is the 400- years old Jada Ganesh Mandir in the Chand Pol area. The idol carved out of a single rock needs one-kilo Sindoor, one kilo Ghee, and 250 Malipannas for its decoration on Ganesh Chaturthi.
The Nimadia Ganeshji temple in Bhatiyani Choutta is one century old. It got this name as there used to be a huge Neem tree at this place. It is believed that the Sankat Mochan Gajanand temple in Raoji Ka Hata has the miraculous power of fulfilling the wishes of devotees.
The village Guda near Gogunda on the Udaipur-Pindwara road is called Ganeshji Ka Guda as it has the famous Ganesh Mandir. The stone idol of Ganesh housed in this temple is studded with mirrors and has carvings of Ganesh Leelas. It is said that Govind the grandson of Bapparawal worshipped this idol when the foundation of Gogunda was laid. It is also said that the temple was damaged during the battle between the armies of Altmish and the Rajputs. Much later it was repaired by the villagers. About 200 years ago, when the Marathas attacked Mewar, the idol of Ganesh was set up in Guda as they had the tradition of worshipping the Lord before setting out for any battle. As a Bhil legend says that in nearby Unwas, Khamnore, the Devis forget to worship the idol before they started their Leela, Due to Lord’s displeasure their chariots were struck in the sand. Then they appeased him and sought his blessings.
Impelled by their deep devotion to Lord Ganesh, his temples are visited by a huge number of devotees in Mewar.
(Content Courtesy Dr.S.K.Jugnu)