Lord Ganesha is a pradhan (main) God worshiped by almost all village people and as a Gramadeva. Moorthi is of black idol (stone). It is a Dwibhuja sculpture, in left hand he holds Modakapatra (Modaka as we all know it’s favorite dish of Lord Ganapati) and in the right hand he holds Radish He is seated in Sukhasana. Facial expression it is depicted as small trunk is turned towards left side. Ears are proportionate to the body. This sculpture is ornamented with bead lace, kadaga and udara bhand (Moonji) depicted as sarpa bandha. All these sculptural features are pushes back to the temple's history about 800 AD [8th Century].
Prominently parivara devatas Baagil Jattiga, Nagachaundi, Gadimaasthi, Mahasati, Brahma are also still worshiped along with pradhana deva Lord Ganesha.
Lord Ganesha is a Gramadeva (head of all other gods of surrounding region). His parivara devatas are Baagil Jattiga (Door Watchman). Jattiga means a powerful warrior. Gadimaasthi a powerful female deity who protects border of village. Naagachaundi a female Goddess associate with one of the protector of temple assets.
In olden days every year Gadi Pooja was conducted by the village people and gave rakta bali (sacrifice of cock) to these subordinate deities to satisfy them and praying for the protection of the village. Village people and live stocks. All these religious ceremonies and traditions are undertaken through the Lord Ganesha.
There are one inscription, one hero stone and Nishadhi stones of Shree Mahaganapati Temple which explains about past glory of temple and village.
Inscriptions of Mallapur belong to 1481 AD issued by then time king Devaraya II of Vijayanagara. According to this inscription Mallinathapura (Original name of Mallapur) was distributed as Agrahara and donated to the 12 Brahmin families in the name of Lord Ganesha and Mallinatha. There are so many land gifts are made by the royal families to this God for day to day maintenance. but all those donations wiped out under land(returned) Act of 1973.
Herostones :- This is one of the very rare hero stones in Karnataka. According to this hero stones there was a battle took place between Veera-Kavadevarasa of Honavar and King of Chandavar. In this battle Kavadevarasa lost his life. So his prime minister entered in to burning yajnakunda and sacrificed his life to pay tribute to his master.
This hero stones is beautifully engraved in the sculpture. That hero stone was kept in the hearth, people were pouring ghee and sandalwood. It was welcomed with traditional musical instruments and with many more description.
Oral history or narration of legendary incidents is considered as one of the most reliable sources for the tracing the history. They are humorous and highlighted about contemporary socio-economic and religious life and beliefs and traditions.
It was an incident that some people from upper ghat region brought this Dwibhuja Ganapati moorthi for the pratishtapan (installation) at Holy place Idagunji. But due to late night these people were forced to stay there & kept the idol and slept under the tree. At this time they dreamt that Ganesha appeared in their dream and told that he will settle permanently in this spot only where they kept that idol. So after wake up they were not unable to lift that idol from the place, where they kept last night it was fixed. Thus the idol of Lord Ganesha was permanently settled at Mallinathapuram.
It was another incident that, it was a large tradition practiced in this temple that everyday there is a Anna Naivedyafor which 2.5 Kg of rice is required. Once the people of the house decided to prepare one shiddhe (wooden measurement 250 gms approx) of rice for naivedya. In the night they saw a dream that Lord Ganesha asked them 'why you are giving less amount of rice for naivedya' so later on they continued by preparing rice of 2.5kg for naivedya. It is still continuing.