Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple. Pune, dedicated to Lord Ganapati, with administrative headquarters of Peshawas of the Maratha Empire Peshawas, is located at a mimimum distance from historical Shaniwar Wada fort. Popular and one of the richest in Maharashtra, in Maharashtra, it is visited by thousands of pilgrims, including famous personalities, like stars and Chief Ministers, who attend the annual ten day Ganeshotsav festival. The Ganesh idol is, thus, insured totally for INR1 crore (US$181,000).
Dagadusheth Halwai, a sweet vendor, who became wealthy through wealth business, constructed and consecrated the temple, in 1893. Halwai, who lost his son the previous year, was requested by his guru to create murtis (image) of Ganesh and Dattatreya. The Halwai Ganapati Trust was later establised by him. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a freedom fighter, during the British regime, made it a public Utsav, so as to arrange meetings, inspite of the otherwise banned order.
With the donations received, the Halwai Ganapati Trust does philanthropic work, operating through Pitashree, an old age home, at Kondhwa in Pune. Begun in May 2003, Pitashree was built at a cost of INR1.5 crore (US$271,500), providing housing and education to 40 destitute children, residing in the same building. The trust also provides ambulance service for poor and health clinics in tribal belts of Pune District.