Bhrushundi Ganpati – Mendha, Bhandara
Mendha is a small village, 2 km from Bhandara, where one of the Ashta-Vinayaks of Vidarbha, known as Bhrushundi Ganpati is located. Legend has it that one of the ardent devotees of Lord Ganesh got converted into a statue of the Lord himself. Bhandara is 65 KM away from Nagpur on Nagpur –Raipur highway. It is situated on the bank of Vainganga River.
It is the unique example in the world how a devotee gets converted into God. It is very pleasent to visit. It is the story here that one who visits here would gets all the powers.
There is talao known as Mendha Talao. There was a huge Banyan tree at this place and Ashram of Brushund Rishi was below the tree. The broad forehead, Dhyan mudra, moustache and beard is seen clearly. The idol of Lord Ganesha with 8 feet high and 4 feet broad carved on red stone. There is an idol of Lord Hanuman and Shiva in the temple premises. The president and trusty of the temple is Vihwarao Joshi. His ancestor was Nilambhat.
Founder of Mahanubhav Panth, Shri Chakradhar Swami, had visited this place in 1144 AD and in those days Nilambhat was the priest. A reference about the temple is also seen in Leelacharitra edited by Dr V.B. Kolte.
The ancient story of the temple is very interesting. It is mentioned in the book Ganesh Puran on page number 57 and 58. Aa per Ganesh Puran “There was a town named Dandakaranyanand in Vidarbha dynasty. The town was surrounded with dense forest. A thief named Dwiwar who used to snatch jewellary from people travelling from forest. The trouble of Dwiwar was on rise.One day he went to the lake called Ganesh Teertha for bathing. After bathing, he saw Mudgal Rishi walking by chanting Gajanan,Gajanan. Dwiwar took out his sword to kill the Rishi. The moment he took out sword, the sword dropped down on the earth and he wanted to wipe out all the past sins. Mudgal Rishi told Dwiwar to recite ‘Shri Ganeshyay Namha’ till he revisits the place. The Rishi went away and Dwiwar started reciting the mantra by installing a stick on the place. Thousand year later, when Mudgal Rishi was passing through the same place, he saw the stick was converted into big tree and huge anthill was found below the tree. He heard the sound ‘Shri Ganeshyay Namha’. Rishi cleaned the anthill and found Dwiwar reciting ‘Shri Ganeshyay Namha’. Rishi sprinkled water from his kamandlu on Dwiwar body and body of Dwiwar got converted into lord Ganesha. The Rishi renamed him as Brushund Rishi and blessed him that the one who would take darshan, would get all the powers. Since then Brushund Rishi started living in the place.”
Story of Bhrushundi Ganpati