Legend of Gomaya Ganapati Puja
There is a legend associated with the origin of Gomaya Ganapati Puja. The myth states that once there was a king named Mandhata who ruled over a region in North India. But the kingdom was engulfed in famine and starvation. Hence, the ruler went to Kundgoni which is near Urkeri in Karnataka state, from North India. King Mandhata desired to construct an image of Lord Krishna, but he failed to make it the way he wanted.
King Mandhata approached a sage named Guru Bharadwaj and explained his problems to him. Guru Bharadwaj suggested him to perform a "Ganesha Puja". Then he would not face any hindrances in starting his work. On that night Lord Ganesh appeared in the dream of Mandhata and informed the King about His presence in a particular location. The king went there the next day and discovered sacred cow dung lying in that place. Mandhata worshipped the Gomaya and assumed that the elephant headed deity was in the holy cow dung. He praised and prayed to Lord Ganesha. The Lord became pleased by his devotion and blessed him. Later King Mandhata again started to construct an image of Krishna and successfully completed it.
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