Ashtavinayak Temples In Maharashtra
Ashtavinayaka or eight Ganesha is located in Maharashtra sourrounding Pune & Mumbai The Ashtavinayaka yatra or pilgrimage covers the eight holy temples of Ganesha . All the Eight Ashtavinayak Temple are Swayambhu (self-originated) and Jagrut.There are various names of Lord Ganesh for various places. Vidhivat Ashtavinayak the yatra or Pilgrimage to eight Ganesha Temples begins and ends at Mayureshwar Mandir in Morgaon - As per belief start Ashtavinayak yatra by visiting Moreshwar Ganpati in Moregan. Next visit Siddhivinayaak at siddhitek ,Ballaleshwar at pali, Varadvinayak at Mahad, Chintaamani at thevur, Girijtmaj at Lenyadri,Vigneshwar at Ozar, Mahaganpati at Ranjangaon and finally visit Moreshwar at Moregaon.
Shri Ballaleshwar Ashtvinayak Temple :- Shri Ballaleshwar Pali Ganpati temple is one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra. Among Ganesha temples, Ballaleshwar is the only incarnation of Ganesha that is known by his devotee’s name & dressed up like a Brahmin. Shri Ballaleshwar Pali Ganpati temple is located in the village of Pali which is at a distance of 30 km from Karjat in the Raigad district. It is situated between fort Sarasgad and the river Amba. The deity is said to be famous for quick response to the prayers.
Temple And Deity -The original temple was made of wood, which was renovated in 1760 and made of stone by Mr.Phadnavis . There are two ponds near the temple. The temple faces East and is shaped like the letter Shree in the Devnagiri script. There are two lakes in the vicinity of the Temple.
Water from the lake on the right side is used for Lord Ganesha's worship and other auspicious ocassions. During southern declination of the sun, the rays of the Sun falls on the idol of Lord Ballaleshwar.
The temple has two sanctums. In the outer sanctum Mooshak the mouse faces the deity holding a modak in his paws.
In the inner sanctum is the idol of Ballaleshwar. It is 3feet high and it faces east and its trunk turns towards the left. The navel and eyes of the idol are studded with precious stones. Lord Ganesh in this aspect appeared as a Brahmin and so this is one of those rare statues where Ganesh is shown wearing clothes as Brahmins do. On both sides of the idol are statues of Riddhi and Siddhi.
The Dhundi Vinayak Temple is situated behind the main temple. The idol in this temple is believed to be swayambhu. The idol of Dhundivinayak faces west. Devotees first visit this temple before going to the main temple.
The Idol of Vinayaka sitting on a stone throne, faces east & its trunk is turned left. The idol has two diamonds in his eyes and one in the navel. The background is of silver where one finds Riddhi & Siddhi waving Chamaras.
The present temple’s construction work is said to have been done by Shri Phadnis of Moradabad. It was built in such a way that it was in the form of the word श्री (Shree) & faced the east so that the rays of the Sun would fall directly on the deity. The main feature of this temple is the 15 foot high sanctum & the gigantic metal bell of the temple made in Europe. After defeating the Portuguese in Vasai & Sasthi, Chimaji Appa brought these bells & offered them at different Ashtavinayak places.
Chintamani Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Theur :-The Chintamani Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Theur is one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra. Chintamani Ganpati Temple in Theur is located 22 km from Pune, off the Pune-Solapur highway, and is hence the nearest from Pune. The village of Theur sits at the confluence of three major regional rivers-Mula, Mutha & Bhima. the temple is "one of the larger and more famous" of the Ashtavinayaka .Ganesha is believed to have got back the precious Chinatamani jewel from the greedy Guna for sage Kapila at this spot. However, after bringing back the jewel, sage Kapila put it in Vinayaka's (Ganesha's) neck. Thus the name Chintamani Vinayak. This happened under the Kadamb tree, therefore Theur is known as Kadambanagar in old times.
The lake behind the temple is called Kadambteertha. The temple entrance is North facing. The outer wooden hall is built by Peshwas. The main temple is supposed to have been built by Dharanidhar Maharaj Dev from the family-lineage of Shri Moraya Gosavi. He must have built this around 100 years before Senior Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwa built the outer wooden hall. This idol also has a left trunk, with carbuncle and diamonds as its eyes. The idol faces the East side.
Theur's Chintamani was the main worshipped god of Senior Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwa. He suffered from tuberculosis and died at a very young age (~27years). He is supposed to have died in this temple. His wife, Ramabai went as Sati with him on 18 November 1772.
Shri Girijatmaj Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Lenyadri :-Shri Girijatmaj Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Lenyadri is one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra. Shri Girijatmaj Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple is located On the Pune Nasik Road passing through Chakan, Rajgurunagar, Manchar, Narayangaon to Junnar one can reach Lenyadri. Junnar is the town closest to Lenyadri.Lenyadri is 5kms from Junnar.
It is believed that Parvati (Shiva's wife) performed penance to beget Ganesha at this point. Girija's (Parvati's) Atmaj (son) is Girijatmaj. This temple stands amidst a cave complex of 18 caves of Buddhist origin. This temple is the 8th cave. These are called Ganesh-leni as well. The temple is carved out of a single stone hill, which has 307 steps. The temple features a wide hall with no supporting pillars. The temple hall is 53feet long, 51feet wide and 7feet in height.
In Girijatmaj Ganpati Temple the idol faces north with its trunk to the left, and has to be worshipped from the rear of the temple. The temple faces south. This idol seems to be little different from the rest of the Ashtavinayak idols in a sense that it appears to be not very well designed or carved like the other idols. This idol can be worshipped by anyone. There is no electric bulb in the temple. The temple is constructed such that during the day it is always lighted up by the sun-rays!
Shri Mahaganapti Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Ranjangaon :-Shri Mahaganapti Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Ranjangaon is one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra. Shri Mahaganapti Temple is located On Pune-Nagpur highway one can reach Ranjangaon by Pune-Koregaon- shikrapur-Ranjangaon. The distance between Pune & Ranjangaon is 50kms. The temple of Maha Ganpati is very close to the centre of the town Ranjangaon. The temple was erected during the rule of the Peshwas.
Mahaganapti Temple Ranjangaon - Shiva is believed to have worshipped Ganesha before fighting the demon Tripurasura here. The temple was built by Shiva where he worshipped Ganesha, and the town he set up was called Manipur which is now known as Ranjangaon.
In Mahaganapti temple the idol faces the east, is seated in a cross-legged position with a broad forehead, with its trunk pointing to the left. Constructed so that the rays of the sun fall directly on the idol (during the Southward movement of the sun), the temple bears a distinct resemblance to the architecture reminiscent of the 9th and 10th Centuries and faces the east. Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwa used to visit this temple very often and built the stone sanctum around the idol and in 1790AD Mr. Anyaba Dev was authorised to worship the idol.
Shri MoreshwarAshtavinayak Ganpati Temple Moregaon :-Shri MoreshwarAshtavinayak Ganpati Temple Moregaon is one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra. Moreshwar Ganpati Temple is located in Morgaon at a distance of 79 km from Pune via the village Chaufala on the Pune-Sholapur Highway.
Moreshwar temple, built from black-stone during the Bahamani reign, has four gates (It is supposed to have been built by one of the knights named Mr. Gole, (from the court of Bidar's Sultan). The temple is situated in the centre of the village. The temple is covered from all sides by four Minarets and gives feeling of a mosque if seen from a distance. This may have been done to prevent attacks on the temple during mughal periods. The temple has 50feet tall wall around it.
There is a nandi (Shiva's bull) sitting in front of this temple entrance, which is somewhat odd as nandi is normally in front of the Shiva temples. However, the story says that this statue was being carried to some Shiva mandir during which the vehicle carrying it broke down and the nandi statue could not be removed from its current place.
The idol of Lord Ganesha, riding a peacock, in the form of Mayureshwara is believed to have slain the demon Sindhurasur at this spot. The idol, with its trunk turned to the left, has a cobra (Nagaraj) poised over it protecting it. The idol also has two other idols of Siddhi (Capability) and Buddhi (Intelligence).
However, this is not the original idol -which is said to have been consecrated twice by Brahma, once before & once after being destroyed by the demon Sindhurasur. The original idol, smaller in size and made of atoms of sand, iron & diamonds was supposedly enclosed in Copper sheet by the Pandavas and is placed behind the one that is worshipped.
Moreshwar temple is situated at a distance of 56 km from Pune, next to the river Karha in the village of Moregaon. The village derives its name from the Marathi name of the bird peacock - also the national bird of India; there used to be a lot of peacocks in this village in the ancient time, and the village is also set out in the shape of a peacock.
Sanctum: The idol of Mayureshwar is in the garbhagriha or the sanctum in which only the main priest can enter. The idol is facing east. The deity is three eyed, seated, and his trunk is turned towards the left. The eyes and the navel of the deity are studded with precious diamonds. On the head are seen the fangs of Nagaraj. The deity is flanked by brass idols of Siddhi and Buddhi who are considered the consorts of Ganesh. In front of the deity stand a mouse and a peacock.
The original idol is actually much smaller than it seems but continuous anointing of the idol with the vermilion has increased the size. It is believed that this layer of vermilion falls down on its own every 100 or 150 years, revealing the actual idol.
Just opposite the main gate are a tortoise and a Nandi facing the deity in the sanctum. The presence of a Nandi in a Ganpati temple is rare as Nandi is the conveyance of Lord Shiva
When one enters the temple premises one first sees the mooshak (mouse - Ganesha's means of conveyance) holding two laddos between his paws.
There are certain sacred trees in the temple premises, like Shami, Mandar and Tarati trees. Out of these the Shami tree is significant as it is referred to in the legend of Moraya Gosavi, a sage who did penance under his tree and Lord Ganesha gave him a glimpse. Thus it is believed that the wishes of a person can be fulfilled if he performs penance under this tree.
Apart from this there are many idols in the compound of the Mayureshvar temple. In the right corner one can see the idol of Yogindracharya. Some of the other idols are Shami devi, Mandar Ganesh, Durga Devi, Shukla Chaturthi Dev, Bhrushundi, Krishna Chaturthi Devi, Moraya Gosavi, Lord Vishnu and Devi Lakshmi, Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati, Moda Ganesh and Pramod Ganesh etc. the most important of these subsidiary deities is the image of Nagna Bhairava who is looked upon as the guardian of Lord Mayureshvar. It is believed that the pilgrimage to Mayureshvar is incomplete if a devotee does not worship Nagna bhairav first.
Shri Siddhi Vinayak Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Siddhatek :-Shri Siddhi Vinayak Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Siddhatek one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra. Siddhi Vinayak Ganpati Temple is Situated on the banks of river Bhima Siddhatek lies in Karjat taluka of Ahmednagar district on the Pune- Sholapur Railway Daund is the station from where one can reach Siddhtek which is 18km away.
The Hindu god Vishnu is supposed to have vanquished the demons Madhu and Kaitabh after propitiating Lord Ganesh in Shri Siddhi Vinayak Temple.This is the only idol with the trunk pointing to the right. It is believed that the two saints Shri Morya Gosavi and Shri Narayan maharaj of Kedgaon received their enlightenment here.
Shri Siddhi Vinayak Temple is North-facing and is on a small hillock. The main road towards the temple was believed to built by Peshwa's general Haripant Phadake. The inner sanctum, 15feet high and 10feet wide is built by Punyashloka Ahilyabai Holkar. The idol is 3feet tall and 2.5feet wide. The idol faces North-direction. The stomach of the idol is not wide, but Riddhi and Siddhi idols are sitting on one thigh. This idol's trunk is turning to the right.The right-sided-trunk Ganesha is supposed to be very strict for the devotees. To make one round (pradakshina) around the temple one has to make the round trip of the hillock. This takes about 30 minutes with moderate speed.The stone pathway is built from the Badami-Castle which was attacked by Peshwa general Haripant Phadake soon after he became the general.
Shri Varada Vinayak Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Mahad :-Shri Varada Vinayak Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Mahad one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra . Varada Vinayak temple in Mahad is located three kilometers off the Pune-Mumbai highway near Khopoli (80 km from Pune), and is thus closest to Mumbai city. Karjat Railway Station, Karjat on Mumbai-Pune railway is 24Km from this place and 6Km from Khopoli.
Shri Varada Vinayak Temple - The handsome Prince Rukmangad refused sage Vachaknavi's wife Mukunda's illicit call, and was cursed to suffer from leprosy. Mukunda was satisfied by Indra who deceived her as Rukmangad and she bore a child by name Grutsamad. When Grutsamad came to know about the real story he cursed his mother Mukunda to become the tree of Bori and she in turn cursed him to bore a demon son named Tripurasur, the one who was defeated by Shiva after praying the Ranjangaon Ganesha. Grutsamad after getting cursed went to the forest of Pushpak and worshipped Ganesha. Sage Grutsamad is famous for the mantraGaNanaN Tva. He founded the temple and called this Ganesha: Varada-Vinayak.
Ganesha is said to reside here in the form of Varada Vinayaka, the giver of bounty and success. The idol was found in the adjoining lake (to Mr. Dhondu Paudkar in 1690), in an immersed position and hence its weathered look. In 1725 Mr. Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar built the Varadavinayak temple and the village of Mahad.
In Varada Vinayaka Temple the idol faces the east, has its trunk to the left and has been in the constant company of an oil lamp - said to be burning continuously since 1892. There are 4 elephant idols on 4 sides of the temple. the hall is 8feet by 8feet. The dome is 25feet high and is golden at the top. The dome has designs of cobra.
Varada Vinayaka Temple is the only temple where devotees are allowed to personally pay their homage and respects to the idol. They are allowed in the immediate vicinity of this idol to perform their prayers.
Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Ozhar :- Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Ozhar one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra . Vighneshwar Vinayak temple is located just off the Pune-Nashik Highway, in the town of Ozhar. It is enclosed on all sides by high stone walls, and its pinnacle is made of gold. The temple is situated on the banks of river Kukadi. Via Mumbai-Thane-Kalyan-Bapsai-Saralgaon-Otur, Ozhar is 182Km.
Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak,- The history encompassing this idol states that Vighnasur, a demon was created by the King of Gods, Indra to destroy the prayer organized by King Abhinandan. However, the demon went a step further and destroyed all vedic, religious acts and to answer the people's prayers for protection, Ganesh defeated him. The story goes on to say that on being conquered, the demon begged and pleaded with Ganesha to show a mercy. Ganesha then granted in his plea, but on the condition that demon should not go to the place where Ganesha worshipping is going on. In return the demon asked a favour that his name should be taken before Ganesha's name, thus the name of Ganesha became Vighnahar or Vighneshwar (Vighna in Sanskrit means a sudden interruption in the ongoing work due to some unforeseen, unwarranted event or cause). The Ganesha here is called Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak.
Vighneshwar Vinayak temple faces east and is surrounded by a thick stone wall. One can walk on the wall. The main hall of the temple is 20feet long and the inner hall is 10feet long. This idol, facing the east, has its trunk towards the left and rubies in its eyes. There is a diamond on the forehead and some jewel in the navel. Idols of Riddhi and Siddhi are placed on the two sides of the Ganesha idol. The temple top is Golden and is possibly built by Chimaji Appa after defeating the Portuguese rulers of Vasai and Sashti. The temple is probably built around 1785.
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