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Ashtavinayak and an Om in between

Ashtavinayaka literally means "eight Ganeshas" in Sanskrit. Ganesha is the Hindu deity of obstacles, unity, prosperity and learning. The term refers to eight Ganeshas. Ashtavinayaka yatra refers to a pilgrimage to the eight Hindu temples in Maharashtra state of Indiathat house eight distinct idols of Ganesha, in a pre-ascertained sequence. The Ashtavinayaka yatra or pilgrimage covers the eight ancient holy temples of Ganesha which are situated around Pune. Each of these temples has its own individual legend and history, as distinct from each other as the murtis in each temple. The form of each murti of Ganesha and His trunk are distinct from one another. However, there are other temples of eight Ganesha in various other parts of Maharashtra; the ones around Pune are more well known than the former.

1 The eight temples

o o o o o o o o

1.1 Mayureshwar 1.2 Siddhivinayak 1.3 Ballaleshwar 1.4 Varadavinayak 1.5 Chintamani 1.6 Girijatmak 1.7 Vighnahar 1.8 Mahaganapati

2 See also 3 References

and then again Moregaon will end your Ashtavinayak Yatra. Pali. All these murtis are called Swayambhu effigies. first you have to visit Moreshwar of Moregaon. District Raigad 5 Chintamani Temple Theur.District Ahmadnagar 3 Ballaleshwar Temple Pali. they were found completely formed by nature. Lenyandri. Ranjangaon.District Pune According to Shastra. Ozar.District Pune 6 Girijatmaj Temple Lenyadri. Thevur. Then visit Siddhatek. . District Pune 2 Siddhivinayak Temple Siddhatek. Mahad. District Pune 7 Vighnahar Temple Ozar. or the self-existent in Sanskrit.The eight temples The eight temples/idols of the Ashtavinayak in their religious sequence are: Ashtavinayak Temples # Temple Location Map 1 Moreshwar Temple Morgaon. District Raigad 4 Varadavinayak Temple Mahad. This is to indicate that no human created these murtis. District Pune 8 Mahaganapati Temple Ranjangaon.

as Nandi is normally in front of only Shiva temples. and the village is also set out in the shape of a peacock. iron. The idol. The village derives its name from the Marathi name of the bird Peacock . in the form of Mayureshwara is believed to have slain the demon Sindhu at this spot. The murti of Lord Ganesha.Mayureshwar Main article: Morgaon Ganesha temple This is the most important temple on this tour. The original murti. Morgaon There is a Nandi (Shiva's bull mount) sitting in front of this temple entrance. which is unique. The temple is situated at a distance of 55 km from Pune. This was done to prevent attacks on the temple during Mughal periods. with its trunk turned to the left. from the court of Bidar's Sultan). this is not the original murti -which is said to have been consecrated twice by Brahma. smaller in size and made of atoms of sand. Shri Mayureshwar. has a cobra (Nagaraja) poised over it protecting it. The temple is situated in the centre of the village. next to the river Karha in the village of[citation needed] Moregaon.also the national bird of India. This form of Ganesha also has two other murtis of Siddhi (Capability) and Riddhi (Intelligence). once before and once after being destroyed by the asura Sindhurasur. However. . was supposedly enclosed in a copper sheet by the Pandavas and placed behind the one that is currently worshiped. there used to be a lot of peacocks in this village in the ancient time. and diamonds. The temple has 50 feet tall wall around it. The temple is covered from all sides by four Minarets and gives feeling of amosque if seen from a distance. has four gates (It is supposed to have been built by one of the knights named Mr. The temple. the story says that this statue was being carried to some Shivamandir during which the vehicle carrying it broke down and the Nandi statue could not be removed from its current place. However. built from black-stone during the Bahamani reign. riding a peacock. Gole.

. The stomach of the murti is not wide. This temple is situated off the Pune-Solapur highway about 48 km from the town of Srigonda in Ahmadnagar district. The stone pathway is built from the Badami-Castle which was attacked by Haripant soon after he became thegeneral. On Pune-Solapur railway. Haripant promised the God that he will bring the stones of the castle which he will win from the first war he will fight as the general. 15 feet high and 10 feet wide is built by Punyashloka Ahilyabai Holkar.Siddhivinayak Main article: Siddhivinayak Temple. Siddhatek God Vishnu is supposed to have vanquished the asuras Madhu and Kaitabh after propitiating Ganesha here. On the 21st day Peshwa's court-man came and took him to the court with royal honor. Peshwa general Haripant Phadake lost his General's position and did 21 Pradakshina around the temple.[citation needed] The temple is situated next to Bhima river. This takes about 30 minutes with moderate speed. The inner sanctum. The temple is North-facing and is on a small hillock. Siddhatek It is believed that the two saints Shri Morya Gosavi and Shri Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon received their enlightenment here. This is the only murti of these eight with the trunk positioned to the right. To make one round (pradakshina) around the temple one has to make the round trip of the hillock. The idol faces North-direction. but Riddhi and Siddhi murtis are sitting on one thigh. The right-sided-trunk Ganesha is supposed to be very strict for the devotees. This murti's trunk is turning to the right. The main road towards the temple was believed to be built by Peshwa's general Haripant Phadake. The idol is 3feet tall and 2. Shri Siddhi Vinayak. Daund Railway station is 18 km from here.5feet wide.

Like a few other murtis. The shape of the idol itself bears a striking semblance with the mountain which forms the backdrop of this temple. Pali The original wooden temple was reconstructed in to a stone temple by Nana Phadanavis in 1760. As Ballal grew. Behind this temple is the temple of Shri Dhundi-Vinayak[citation needed] which is West facing. History of Temple Ganesh Purana gives an elaborate picture of LEELAS of Lord Ganesha. Pune-Lonavla-Khopoli-Pali is 111 km. supported by eight exquisitely carved pillars demands as much attention as the idol. This is more prominently felt if one views the photograph of the mountain and then sees the idol. off the Mumbai-Pune highway. Kalyansheth was a merchant in Pallipur and was married to Indumati. The couple was childless for quite some time but later was blessed with a son known as Ballal. There are two small lakes constructed on two sides of the temple. He was . Ballala. The legendary story of Shri Ballaleshwar is covered in Upasana Khand Section -22 occurred in Pali – the old name Pallipur. This Temple faces the east and has two sanctums. This is a very rare idol which is facing the West. The eight pillars depict the eight directions. The hall. this one has diamonds embedded in the eyes and navel. The temple is located in the town of[citation needed] Pali. Mumbai- Panvel-Khopoli-Pali is 124 km. Shri Ballaleshwar. the sun rays fall on the Ganesha murti at sunrise. One of them is reserved for the puja (worship) of the Deity. The inner one houses the murti and has a Mushika (Ganesha's mouse vahana) with modaka in his forepaws in front of it. about 11 km before Nagothane[citation needed] on the Mumbai-Goa highway. The temple is built with stones which are stuck together very tight using melted lead. sitting on throne carved like a Cyprus tree. This is located 30 km to the South-West of[citation needed] Karjat Railway Station. The story says that this idol was the same one which was thrown by Ballala's father (Kalyani-seth) while Ballala was worshipping it. One speciality of this temple is that the prasad offered to this Ganapati at Pali is Besan Laadu instead of Modak that is normally offered to other Ganapatis. and with His trunk pointing to the left. Inner sanctum is 15 feet tall and outer one is 12 feet tall.Ballaleshwar Main article: Ballaleshwar Pali Ganesha is believed to have saved this boy-devotee. The temple is constructed in such a way that after the winter (dakshinayan : southward movement of the sun) solstice. who was beaten by local villagers and his father (Kalyani-seth) for his single-minded devotion to him. he spent much of his time in worshiping and praying.

Shri Ganesha hugged Ballal and said that his father would suffer for his wrongdoings. Shri Ganesha. it is a practice to take darshan of Dhundi Vinayak before proceeding to main idol Shree Ballaleshwar. All the kids got frightened but Ballal who was engrossed in Pooja and japa. Ballal semiconscious and tied to the tree in the forest was lying as that with severe pain all over. The idol is facing west. Shri Dhundi Vinayak In the above mentioned story the stone idol which Ballal used to worship and which was thrown away by Kalyan Sheth is known as Dhundi Vinayak. He threw away the Stone Idol of Shri Ganesh and broke the pandal. Regular delay in returning house used to irritate the parents of the friends of Ballal who complained to his father saying that Ballal was responsible for spoiling the kids. This is famous as Shri Ballaleshwar. Kalayan beat Ballal mercilessly and tied him to the tree saying to get fed and freed by Shri Ganesha.” Shri Ganesha was pleased and responded quickly. . Nodding His head Shri Ganesha made his permanent stay at Pali as Ballal Vinayak and disappeared in a large stone. The birth celebration of Dhundi Vinayak takes place from Jeshtha Pratipada to Panchami. I was busy in praying you. Immediately he reached the place of worship in the forest and devastated Pooja arrangements organized by Ballal and his friends. the friends would reach home late. He left for home thereafter. Shri Ganesha.devotee of Lord Ganesha and used to worship stone idol of Shri Ganesha in the forest along with his friends and companions. Ballal was freed. As it used to take time. Kalyansheth was boiling with anger when he heard the complaint. He blessed Ballal to be superior devotee with larger lifespan. I was right and humble but my cruel father has spoiled my act of devotion and hence I am unable to perform Pooja. started calling his beloved God. “O Lord. did not even know what was happening around. Already unhappy with Ballal for not concentrating on his studies. Ballal insisted that Lord Ganesha should continue to stay there at Pali. From ancient time.

The idol was found in the adjoining lake (to Mr. Mr. He founded the temple and called this Ganesha: Varada-Vinayak. The temple is located three kilometers off the Pune-Mumbai highway near Khopoli (80 km from Pune). has its trunk to the left and has been in the constant company of an oil lamp . Mukunda was satisfied by Indra who deceived her as Rukmangad and she bore a child by name Grutsamad. in an immersed position and hence its weathered look. Mahad Main article: Varadvinayak Website : varadvinayak. They are allowed in the immediate vicinity of this idol to perform their prayers. Grutsamad after getting cursed went to the forest of Pushpak and worshipped Ganesha. and is thus closest to Mumbai city. the hall is 8feet by 8feet. the giver of bounty and success. The dome has designs of cobra. Dhondu Paudkar in 1690AD). and was cursed to suffer from (Non Official website) Here you can get all information about lord Varadvinayak. . The handsome Prince Rukmangad refused sage Vachaknavi's wife Mukunda's illicit call. In 1725AD the then Kalyan subhedar. Ganesha is said to reside here in the form of Varada Vinayaka.Varadavinayak Shri Varada Vinayak. There are 4 elephant idols on 4 sides of the temple. Sage Grutsamad is famous for the mantra GaNanaN Tva. 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. Karjat Railway Station. The dome is 25feet high and is golden at the top. This is the only temple where devotees are allowed to personally pay their homage and respects to the idol. The idol faces the east. the one who was defeated by Shiva after praying the Ranjangaon Ganesha. Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar built the Varadavinayak temple[citation needed] and the village of Mahad. Karjat on Mumbai-Pune railway is 24 km from this place and 6 km from Khopoli.said to be burning continuously since 1892.

sage Kapila put it in Vinayaka's (Ganesha's) neck. Thus the name Chintamani Vinayak. and is hence the nearest from Pune. 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. His wife. off the Pune-Solapur highway. Theur Shri Chintamani. The idol faces the East side. The lake behind the temple is called Kadambteertha. Mutha & Bhima. therefore Theur is known as Kadambanagar in old times. The temple is located 22 km from Pune. The outer wooden hall was built by Peshwas. This idol also has a left trunk. . The village of Theur sits at the confluence of three major regional rivers—Mula. Theur's Chintamani was the family deity of Shrimant Madhavrao I Peshwa[citation needed]. Theur Ganesha is believed to have got back the precious Chinatamani jewel from the greedy Guna for sage Kapila at this spot. He suffered from tuberculosis and died at a very young age (~27years). Ramabai committed Sati with him on 18 November 1772. He is supposed to have died in this temple. after bringing back the jewel. However. with carbuncle and diamonds as its eyes. This happened under the Kadamb tree. The temple entrance is North facing.Chintamani Main article: Chintamani Temple.

The idol faces north with its trunk to the left. The temple faces south. Nearest railway station is Talegaon.Girijatmak Main article: Lenyadri Shri Girijatmaj. The temple hall is 53feet long. The temple is carved out of a single stone hill. This temple stands amidst a cave complex of 18 caves of Buddhist origin. This temple is the 8th cave. Girija's (Parvati's) Atmaj (son) is Girijatmaj. 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. From Junnar. The temple features a wide hall with no supporting pillars. Lenyadri It is believed that Parvati (Shiva's wife) performed penance to beget Ganesha at this point. . The temple is constructed such that during the day it is always lighted up by the sun-rays! The temple is situated 12 km from Narayangaon. This idol can be worshipped by anyone. 51feet wide and 7feet in height. These are called Ganesh-leni as well. Shivaneri castle is close by (5 to 6 km) where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born. which has 307 steps. There is no electric bulb in the temple. and has to be worshipped from the rear of the temple. which is about 94 km from Pune on the Pune-Nashik highway. Lenyadri is about 5 km.

unwarranted event or cause). a demon was created by the King of Gods. The temple is situated on the banks of river Kukadi. Via Mumbai-ThaneKalyan-Bapsai-Saralgaon-Otur. One can walk on the wall. thus the name of Ganesha became Vighnahar or Vighneshwar (Vighna in Sanskrit means a sudden interruption in the ongoing work due to some unforeseen. . There is a diamond on the forehead and some jewel in the navel. but on the condition that demon should not go to the place where Ganesha worshipping is going on. in the town of Ozhar. facing the east. Idols of Riddhi and Siddhi are placed on the two sides of the Ganesha idol. Ganesha then granted in his plea. The main hall of the temple is 20feet long and the inner hall is 10feet long. Ganesh defeated him. The temple top is Golden and is possibly built by Chimaji Appa after defeating the Portuguese rulers of Vasai and Sashti. Ozar Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak. The temple faces east and is surrounded by a thick stone wall. This idol. This temple is located just off the Pune-Nashik Highway[citation needed]. It is enclosed on all sides by high stone walls. has its trunk towards the left and rubies in its eyes. the demon begged and pleaded with Ganesha to show a mercy. Indra to destroy the prayer organized by King Abhinandan. The temple is probably built around 1785AD. Ozhar is 182 km. and its pinnacle is made of gold. the demon went a step further and destroyed all vedic. In return the demon asked a favour that his name should be taken before Ganesha's name. The Ganesha here is called Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak. The story goes on to say that on being conquered. religious acts and to answer the people's prayers for protection.Vighnahar Main article: Vigneshwara Temple. Ozhar The history encompassing this idol states that Vighnasur. However.

the temple authorities deny existence of any such idol. The temple was built by Shiva where he worshipped Ganesha. having 10 trunks and 20 hands and is called Mahotkat. Shiva saluted his son Ganesha. with its trunk pointing to the left. is seated in a cross-legged position with a broad forehead. celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha. It is said that the original idol is hidden in the basement. as well as Tiruvirkolam and Tiruvatikai . It was upon hearing Narada Muni's advice that Shiva saluted Ganesha and then shot a single arrow that pierced through the citadels. The idol faces the east. as the latter headed to battle the demon without saluting Ganesha before he set out. Legend has it that a demon by name Tripurasura built three powerful citadels (the evil Tripuram forts). Acchivan urai ratham. with a boon of invincibility granted to him by Shiva he caused suffering to all beings in the heavens and on earth. Upon hearing the fervent appeals of the Gods.Mahaganapati Main article: Ranjangaon Ganpati Shri Mahaganapti. bringing an end to the demon.both over 1200 years old. narrate this legend.) . as Shiva headed out to destroy Tripurasura. (The Tamil lines of 15th century saint poet Arunagirinathar: 'Muppuram eri seida. acchadu podi seida athi deera' where he describes Ganesha as the valiant hero. (See Acharapakkam . Constructed so that the rays of the sun fall directly on the idol (during the Southward movement of the sun). A variation of this legend is commonly known in South India. Anyaba Dev was authorised to worship the idol. Shiva. Upon realizing his act of omission. who caused the axle of Shiva's chariot to crumble to dust. and realized that he could not defeat the demon. and the town he set up was called Manipur which is now known as Ranjangaon. Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwa used to visit this temple very often and built the stone sanctum around the idol and in 1790AD Mr. Ganesha is said to have caused the axle in Shiva's chariot to ancient temple in Tamil Nadu glorified by the 1st millennium Tamil hymns enshrining Shiva associated with this legend. Shiva intervened. and then proceeded victoriously to a short battle against the powerful demon. however. Ranjangaoncha Mahaganapati is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra. the slayer of the Tripura citadels is enshrined at Bhimashankaram nearby. associated with the legend of Tripurasamhaaram). Ranjangaon Shiva is believed to have worshipped Ganesha before fighting the demon Tripurasura here. the temple bears a distinct resemblance to the architecture reminiscent of the 9th and 10th Centuries and faces the east.

The temple dates back to the period of Peshwa Madhav Rao. the sanctum to house the swayambhoo statue. Peshwa Madhavrao had constructed the Garbhagriha. The temple of Maha Ganpati is very close to the centre of the town Ranjangaon. . The temple is designed in such away that during Dakshinayan[ the apparent movement of the son to the south] the rays of the sun fall directly on the deity. flanked by his consorts Siddhi and Ridhi. But there is nothing to substantiate this belief. The temple was erected during the rule of the Peshwas. Festivals: As with all other Vinayak temples. There is a local belief that the real statue of Mahaganpati is hidden in some vault and this statue has ten trunks and twenty arms. It has an imposing main gate which is guarded by two statues of Jay and Vijay. The trunk of the deity turns to the left. The deity is seated and flanked on both sides by Riddhi and Siddhi. seated on a lotus. The temple faces east.The Temple: Mahaganapati is portrayed. Ganesha Chaturti is celebrated in great splendor here.

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