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UDUPI: A 78-year-old Christian businessman, who spent his working years in Mumbai and attributes his success to Siddhivinayak, has built a temple for the deity in his hometown Shirva, 14km from Udupi.
Gabriel F Nazereth said he built the temple on his ancestral land in the memory of his parents. The pandemic delayed its inauguration. Various rituals were performed from Wednesday to Friday.
“Gabriel is thrilled about his wish being fulfilled,” said his friend and journalist Pundalika Marathe, adding, “Gabriel went to Mumbai in search of a job after completing Class 10. After doing odd jobs for a few years, he set up a factory manufacturing blocks and moulds. He lived in Mumbai for nearly 55 years and became a Ganesha devotee. He remains a Christian but also believes in Lord Siddhivinayak, who is the most revered in Mumbai. On returning to his hometown about a decade ago, he decided to build the temple.”
Gabriel built the temple on nearly 20 cents, next to his house, at an estimated cost of Rs 2 crore. A 36-inch Ganesha idol has been installed. A house for the temple priest has also been built alongside.

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