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.