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.