Last year we thought of driving to this place during Ganesh Chaturthi. Thankfully the festival was on Monday which gave us a long weekend. A bereavement in the family few months before meant, there were no festivities for a year.
We thought of making use of the long weekend to visit an interesting place known as Apshinge where every home has a soldier in India Army and clubbed it with a detour to see the world’s tallest Ganesh idol. Obviously, this is also the tallest Ganesh idol in India.
We had heard about this place and were curious to see it. Somehow we always missed out though we have driven on this highway many times. Since this was a focussed trip, there was no chance of missing it this time.
We stayed in Hubli for the night and started early morning. A lovely drive of two hours and we are at this small village on the outskirts of Kolhapur. In fact, we noticed the towering image of Lord Ganesh from a distance on the highway.
Our curiosity increased. A signage helped us to drive to Chinmaya Sandeepany Ashram. We park our car at a large vacant field and start walking up a small flight of stairs. The ashram is located on a raised ground. A small hillock. We are on the day prior to Ganesh Chaturthi and we are amazed to see hardly any rush. It is serene and nice.
The towering idol is consecrated on a pedestal which is in the shape of a lotus. Known as Chinmay Ganadish it is is 90 feet tall from ground which includes 66 feet height Ganesh statue seated on a 24 feet high Dhyana Nilayam (Meditation Hall). This is the worlds tallest Ganesh statue. It was opened to public in 2001 to commemorate the golden jubilee of Chinmaya mission.
The massiveness of the image is striking. The sculpture is beautifully done. Made of concrete, it is a credit to who ever has made it happen. The colours and delicate proportions enhance the beauty of the idol. A small temple under the statue is dedicated to Lord Ganesh and where one can do pujas.
The ashram is small. A meditation hall under the statue is dedicated to Swami Chinmayananda. A photo gallery provides a glimpse of life and times of swamiji. We understood that people do come and stay in the ashram.
Tomorrow happens to be Ganesh Chaturthi. We wish you all on this auspicious occasion. May Lord Ganesh shower all the blessings on you and your family!
When you travel on Bangalore – Pune highway anytime in future, don’t miss getting blessings from the world’s tallest Ganesh.
Please check out a nice video by Prakash Manjrekar on the world’s tallest Ganesh idol.
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