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गणनायाकम गजमुखं मढं

| थेवरम || 1|Page

सुवरदम रांजण


Asthavinayaka [

ओझरम | सदा मंगलम ||

] Yatra

Ashtavinayak temples are eight temples dedicated to Ganesha, in Maharashtra related to various episodes from the Ganesha Purana - and these temples are collectively known as Ashta Vinayak. According to Shastra, first you have to visit Moreshwar of Moregaon. Then visit Siddhatek,Pali, Mahad, Theur, Lenyandri, Ozar, Ranjangaon and then again Moregaon will end you Ashtavinayak Yatra. Here below I have added a map, for the convenience of the devotees. Also here is the links for the Astavinayak temples from Google maps.

Moreshwar Temple,, 74.31737065315247 Siddhivinayak Temple –, 74.72629487514496 Ballaleshwar Temple–, 73.2239626 Varadavinayak Temple –, 73.3008885383606 Chintamani Temple, –, 74.04642462730408 Girijatmaj Temple,–,73.887495 Vighneshwar Temple,–, 73.9596176147461 Mahaganapati Temple–, 74.2407774925232


Astavinayak Yatra Map


Shree Mayureshvara temple at Morgaon

Image source :Internet

Nije Bhuswanandjadbharat Bhumya Paratare | Turiyostire Paramsukhdetva Nivasasi || Mayuraya Nath Stawamasich Mayuresh Bhagwan | Ataswa sandhyaye Shivharini Brahmajanakam ||1|| O! Lord Mayureshwar of Morgaon, you stay on Sage Jadbharat’s land, on the banks of river Karha which is known as ‘Bhuswanand’ (means happiness on land). Shree Moreshwar, who is far from three qualities, who is Swayambhu, who is without any form, who resembles Omkar, who is always in forth state of yoga & who rides on peacock may accept my salutation. 4|Page

The stanza is written on the entrance of Shree Mayureshvara temple at Morgaon. As is mentioned in the stanza this place is called 'Bhuswanand', the highest abode of joy and thus can be compared to Vaikuntha, the highest abode of Vishnu and Kailash, the highest abode of Shiva. Shree Mayureshwara /Moreshwara is the most important of the eight temples and is considered as the Adya Peetha of the Ganapathya Sampradaya. The very fact that the entire sixth Khanda of the Mudgala Purana containing 20 chapters has been devoted to describing the greatness of this Kshetra speaks volumes about its value. Morgaon is situated on the banks of river Karha which comes in Baramati Taluka in Pune District [64 kms from pune] and is considered the adya peeta by the Ganapatyas.It is said that the shape of this place is like a peacock and that once upon a time there were many peacocks in this region and therefore this place is called as 'Morgoan'. The devotee should start the "Ashtavinayak Yatra" from Morgaon and end at Morgaon. The yatra is such that one has to start with Moregaon and then visit Siddhatek, Pali, Mahad, Theur, Lenyandri, Ozar, Ranjangaon and then again come back to Moregaon this will end the Ashtavinayak Yatra. About the temple The main 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 and is facing towards the north & looks like a small fortress covered from all sides by four Minarets . The temple complex comprising of a dome, surrounded by a 50 feet high enclosure & decked with four pillars in each corners, potrays from afar an image of a Mosque. This may have been done to prevent attacks on the temple during Mughal periods. The temple was built in 14th century by Moraya Gosavi. There is a Nandi (Shiva's bull mount) sitting in front of this temple entrance, which is unique, as Nandi is normally in front of only Shiva temples. The kshetra purana tells us 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. In the temple complex there are tarati trees called “kalpaka vruksha�. Devotees are seen meditating under these trees to attain their desired goals. Dwara Yatra (going around the gates) This temple has four gates at four direction – purva Dwar (Dharma), Dakshin Dwar (Artha), Paschim Dwar (Kaam) and Uttar Dwar (Moksha). In the purva Dwar resides Lakshminarayana, a giver of Dharma. Parvati and Shankara, Artha (desired goals) resides in the Dakshin Dwar. Then comes Paschim Dwar, where Rati & Kama resides. Lastly in the Uttar Dwar reside Mahivaraha (Earth and Sun). A devotee worships these gates during the first four days of Shukla paksha of any month 5|Page

particularly Bhadrapada or Magha and is broken on the fifth day (panchami). Before commencing the yatra, devotees is supposed to take darshan of Shri Nagna bhairav (kshetrapal of Morgaon) By doing this Dwara Yatra and Ganesa Puja all good desires of the devotees are fulfilled and all sins destroyed. In the eight corners of this temple there are eight forms of Ganesha namely Ekadanta, Mahodara, Gajanana, Lambodar, Vikata, Vignaraja, Dhumravarna, Vakrathunda. About the idol The idol of Lord Ganesha, riding a peacock, in the form of Mayureshwara is "Swayambhu" and the killing of asura Sindhu is said to be at that exact spot. Mayureshwar's trunk is turned to the left. HE has a cobra (Nagaraja) poised over HIM as an umbrella protecting HIM. HE has murtis of Siddhi and Buddhi next to HIM. However, this is not the original idol which is said to have been consecrated twice by Brahma, once before and once after being destroyed by the asura Sindhurasur. The original murti is said to be much smaller in size and made of atoms of sand, iron, and diamonds, was supposedly enclosed in a copper sheet by the Pandavas and placed behind the one that is currently worshiped. Kshetra Purana Ganpati took birth as Mayureshwar in Treta yug, HIS vahana was a peacock to kill Sindhu ( who was son of King Chakrapani ) who had become immensly powerful by worshipping Surya and was troubling the devas. Long long ago Gandaki Nagari of Mithila was ruled by a king named Chakrapani . The couple was very unhappy as they were not blessed with a child. The couple worshipped God Surya and the queen ugra soon became pregnant. Unfortunately she had to release the embryo in the sea as she could not bear the brilliance and the radiance of the embryo. From that embryo, brilliant son was born. The sea in the disguise of a Brahmin approached King Chakrapani with the child and gave the child to the King. Since the child was born in the sea the king named him Sindhu. Sindhu, grew stronger and immensely powerful by worshipping the Sun God as advised by his Guru Shukracharya. Pleased with the devotion, Lord Surya gave a boon to Sindhu and handed over amrita[nectar] to Sindhu and said that as long as the nectar remains near his navel he will not die. Sindhu thus received immortality. Days passed now a more arrogant Sindhu started attacking devas and he defeated all of them and kept them in prison in his kingdom. The devas were crying for help and went in seek of Lord Ganesha and requested him to rescue them from the demon King Sindhu. Ganesha pleased with their prayers, promised to take birth as Devi Parvati's son and kill the demon.


Years passed, one day on the Bhadrapada Shuddha Chaturthi Mata Parvati recited the Ekakshari mantra ''OM" and made a clay idol of Ganesha and worshipped. The idol soon turned into a real child [as per the boon given]. When the child was ten years old, Shiva and Parvati along with their son decided to leave the mountain Meru to mountain kailash. The journey started and on their way to mountain kailash, Lord Ganesha defeated the demon Kamalasura with the help of Siddhi and Buddhi. After this incident on their way, Lord Ganesha found the Gandaki Nagari of the demon king Sindhu and decided to attack him with all the army of Shiva gana's. He thus attacked Sindhu and at first killed the two sons of Sindhu. Ganesha instructed Sindhu to release the devas from prison and leave the battlefield and continued the battle. Lord Ganesha removed the nectar from his navel with his parashu and finally killed him. During this battle, Lord Ganesha vahana was a peacock and therefore he got the name Mayureshvara, the one who rides a peacock. Puja Schedule of Mayureshwar Temple The temple is open to pilgrims from 5 A.M. to 10 P.M. Prakshal Puja - The first puja of the day is done at 5 A.M. comprising the water abhisheka and flower offerings. Shodoshpchar is done twice a day at 7 A.M. and at 12 Noon. At both these this time the Ganpati Atharvashirsh is recited. At 8 P.M. Panchopchar Puja is performed. The temple closes for the devotees after the Shejarti at 10 P.M. Naivedya is offered to Ganesha thrice a day. In the morning Khichadi (made of Rice) is offered. In the afternoon the whole meal with sweets is offered and finally at night milk and rice is offered. How to reach? In order to reach Bhuswanand Bhuvan or Morgaon, the best and convenient city would be Pune as its well connected by road as well as by rail. There are daily buses, trains and flights between Mumbai and Pune. Morgaon is at a distance of 79 km from Pune via the village Chaufala on the Pune-Sholapur Highway. Some devotees reach Jejuri[khandoba puja] from pune and then from there proceed to Moragaon [15 kms] this is a shorter route and saves us 10 -12kms approx.

The Siddhivinayak Temple, Siddhatek 7|Page

Image: Internet

From Moreshwar we next proceed to Siddatek, it is around 90 kms. The temple situated next to river Bhima and is located off Pune-Sholapur highway, about 48 km from the town of Srigonda in Ahmadnagar district. Siddhatek used to have access problems before but now a bridge has come up on the river leading to it and therefore its better accessible. Peshwa general Haripant Phadake lost his General's position and did 21 Pradakshina around the temple. On the 21st day Peshwa's court-man came and took him to the court with royal honor. 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. The stone pathway is built from the Badami-Castle which was attacked by Haripant soon after he became the general.



Siddhatek is a town in the Ahmednagar District of the western part of India located on the bhima River. This temple is situated off the Pune-Solapur highway about 48 Km from the town of Srigonda in Ahmadnagar district. This north-facing temple is situated next to Bhima river on a small hillock. On Pune-Solapur railway, Daund Railway station is 18 Km from here. It is said that the two saints Shri Morya Gosavi and Shri Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon received their enlightenment here. The main road towards the temple is built by Peshwa's general Haripant Phadake. Story: The legend has it that the Peshwa general Haripant Phadake lost his general post due a false reason. He took a vrata of doing 21 Parikramas of Siddhivinayak temple and religiously did that and on 21 st day the Peshwa court-man came and took him away to the courtroom with royal honour. Haripant promised Ganesha that he will bring the stones of the castle which he will win from the first war he will fight as the general. The stone pathway is built from the Badami-castle stones, which was attacked by Haripant soon after he became the general. About the idol The idol is swayambhu, Ganesha here is three feet tall and 2.5 ft wide, facing north. The garbhagudi [inner sanctum] is 15 feet high and 10 feet wide is built by Punyashloka Ahilyabai Holkar. Ganesha trunk is turned right, this is the only murti of these eight with the trunk positioned to the right. Ganpati here is known as Sidhivinayak. The belly of the idol is not big, but both Riddhi and Siddhi are sitting on one lap. The idol of Lord Ganesha here is placed in a brass frame, on both sides of the idol are idols of Vijay and Jay made out of brass.

Punyashloka Ahilyabai Holkar

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 [5kms]. 9|Page

Kshetra purana As per Ganesha Purana Bramha once created a world with Ganesh’s blessings, and while this was going on Vishnu woke up and two fierce demons Madhu and Kaitaba escaped from his ears. Vishnu fought with them for 5000 years, Vishnu stopped the war and after pleasing Sankara with his Veena Gayan, asked him to find a way out to kill the demons. Sankara told him that he did not get victory because he forgot to remember Gajanana before starting the war. Then he gave Vishnu the Ganesha Mantra and asked him to go to Siddhi Kshetra to meditate. Vishnu chanted the Mantra for a hundred years at Siddatek. Vinayaka appeared before him and gave him the capacity to destroy Madhu, Kaitabha and other demons. The shrine is particularly popular during the festivals of Ganesh Jayanti, Vijayadashami and Somvati Amavasya. This is a very silent place where even the floods caused by river Bhima don’t make any noise here, How to reach? You can reach the place either by bus or by train. if you would like to travel by rail you will need to get down Daund or Boibel and from these stations you can take the bus to reach the temple.

The Ballaleshwar Temple, Pali

Vedo Sanstuvaibhavo Gajmukho Bhaktabhimaniti Yo | Ballaleravya Subhaktapal Narataha Khyataha Sada Tishtati || Kshetre Pallipure Yatha Kritayuge Charimashta Laukike | Bhakterbhavit Murtiman Ganapati Siddhiswhar Tam Bhaje || 10 | P a g e

Whose greatness is mentioned in Vedas, whose face is like an elephant, who is famous in his devotees, who is famous in his devotees, who is busy in looking after his devotees for protection. In Krita-yuga who is living in Pallipur alias Pali who idol is liked by all devotees. I worship such a great Lord Ganesha.

The Ballaleshwar (

) Temple of Pali is the third Ashta Vinayak temple to be visited while

during an Ashtavinayak Yatra. Among the eight temples, Ballaleshvara at Pali [

] is the only

Ganesha who is famous by the name of his devotee and who is dressed up as a brahmin Location The temple as well as the town is situated just by the side of a massive fort Sarasgad (सरसगड). River Aamba (आंबा) also flows nearby. Actually we crossed the bridge on that river on the way. Kshetra Purana Long Long ago in the Konkan strech of land there was a village called Pallir, the present day Pali. Here lived a young boy named Ballal, he was a very sincere devotee of Lord Ganesh. His father was a very rich businessman, seeing Ballal preoccupied with worship of Ganesha and devotional talk, displeased the father, who wanted his son to grow up and take care of his business. On the other hand Ballal spent a large part of his time in worship and as days passed he influenced his friends also in the worship of Ganesha. The parents of these children felt that Ballal was misleading their children by showing them the Bhaktimarg [the path of devotion] at such young age. They all went to see Ballal's father and asked him to restrain him. The angered father went to look for Ballal and found him in the forest engrossed in his worship of Lord Ganesh. Seeing Ballal worshipping he blew in rage and disrupted the puja, threw away the idol of Ganesh and started to beat his son. He wanted to teach him a lesson so he tied Ballal to a tree and left him in the forest alone asserting that let Lord Ganesh himself come and rescue him. Though he was affected by pain, hunger and thirst, Ballal kept on chanting the name of Gajanan till he fainted. Lord Ganapathi was moved by the child’s devotion. He appeared in the form of a Brahmin before Ballala and touched him. Immediately the thirst and hunger vanished, wounds were healed and Ballala felt a new vigour moving in his body. He prostrated before the Brahmin whom he recognized as Gajanan and worshipped him. The Lord said, Your curse will come true. In his next birth also he will face misery. His father will drive him away. Now you ask for any boon you want. 11 | P a g e

Ballala said, Let me have unshaken devotion towards you. You must stay at this place and remove the miseries of the people who come to you.Ganesa said, I shall ever remain here in my part (ansh) form. I will take your name before mine and be called as Ballal Vinayaka. Then he embraced Ballal and vanished into a nearby stone. That stone statue is called Ballaleshwar. The stone idol which Kalyan Vaishya threw away is also there called as Dundi Vinayak. This is a swayambhoo Moorthi. He is worshipped before Ballaleshwar is worshipped. Further many incidents are connected to Ballaleshwar Vinayak, that is mentioned in our scriptures . As per advise of Lomesh Rishi, Jajali Muni performed Ganesh Varta for four months consuming only milk and at the end of the vrata Ballaleshwar appeared before him. Jajali induced Vibhandaka Rishi who also completed Ganesh Varta & had Ballaleshwar's darshan on Kartiki Purnima. This kshetra purana is written there in another small temple just prior to the main temple - DhundiVinayak Temple (


). There is a board written there, that this temple is to be visited

before entering the main temple. Dhundi-Vinayak is the idol which Ballal used to worship and his father had destroyed.The Dhundi Vinayak Temple is situated behind the main temple. This temple faces west and is a rare feature.

About the temple This was originally a temple made of wood, later in 1760 got renovated into stone temple. The renovated east-facing stone temple is so carefully positioned that morning sunrays fall directly on the murti of Vinayaka. The temple is shaped like devanagari script letter Shree. There are two lakes, and water from the lake on the right side is used for Lord Ganesha's worship and other for auspicious ocassions. About the idol This shrine has two garbhagudi Outer one has an idol of Mooshak, with Modak in his hands overlooking the inner garbhagudi [sanctum], where in the beautiful 3 feet high idol of Balleshwar Vinayak is placed on a stone throne. His trunk turns towards the left and with diamonds shining as eyes and naval. 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. Temple timings / festivals The inner sanctum is open to devotees in the morning from 5 am to 11:30am. The outer sanctum is open to devotees till 10:30pm. On Chaturthi of Bhadrapad a Maha Bhog is offered to the deity. 12 | P a g e

One can see the impression of God's fingers on the offerings. Another peculiarity is that here instead of the usual modak, besan laddu is offered to Ganesha. Thousands of devotees throng the temple on this day to witness this miracle. Devotees make 21 pradkshinas (holy rounds) of Ganapati to get their desires fulfilled & problems solved. There is a firm belief among the devotees that at midnight of Magha Shudha Chaturthi Ganesha actually comes to the temple to physically part take the food offered as Naivedya. Hence there is heavy rush then. How to reach? Village Pali is situated in the Sudhagad taluka in the district of Raigad. This place is nestled between the fort Sarasgad and River Amba. The nearest railway station is Karjat, which is 30Kms away.

The Varada Vinayak Temple, Mahad

Bhaktbhimani Ganaraj Ekam | Kshetre MadhaKhye Vardam Prasanam || Yastishtati Shree Varado Ganesham | 13 | P a g e

Vianyakasta Pranamami Bhaktam ||

I salute Ganaraj, who is the leader of Ganas, who is proud of his devotees & who abodes at Mahad & has pleasant appearance. In the ancient period it was called as Bhadrak. Many sages were residing over there Varada Vinayak Temple is the fourth Ganesha Temple to be visited during the Ashta Vinayaka Yatra. This temple is at Mahad,in Colaba district,26 kms.away from Karjat and 85 kms away from Mumbai. Kshetra purana Long long ago, there was a king named Rukmangada was the son of King Bheema of Kaudinya. One day Rukmangada went into the forest on a hunt. There he met Mukundaa, whose husband was the Sage Vachaknavi. Mukundaa felt attracted to the young Rukmanganda and expressed her desire for him. Rukmangada was shocked and turned down her proposal. Mukundaa cursed him that he would lose his beauty and turn into a leper. The dejected Rukmangada worshipped Chintamani Vinayak who blessed him and freed him from the curse. Indra, the king of the devas came down to the earth in the disguise of Rukmangada and accepted Mukundaa, and an illegitimate son Grutshmadha was born out of their union. Grutshmadha grew to be a great scholar. One day he participated in a major debate where great sages like Vasistha, Atri and Vishwasmitra were invited. Atri said that he could not debate with Gritsamav since he was not a true Brahmin. The son, learning of the story of his birth felt very sad and prayed to Ganesha in Pushpakavana for absolvement of the sins of everyone concerned. Ganesha heard his prayers and asked him what he wished. Gritsamav asked to be recognized as a Brahmin and he then asked Ganesha to reside in the Puspak forest. His prayers were granted, Gritsamav called Ganesh Varad Vinayak, the one who fulfills all wishes and consecrated him in a temple This temple is present day Mahad. Gritsamav is the creator of Gananam tva ganapatim mantra.

About the temple: This Temple was built back in 1725 AD by Subhedar Ramji Mahadev.Temple has been recently renovated by the trustees. The old temple used to look like a house with a tiled roof. There is a Gomukh towards north. Holy water (tirth) comes out of this Gomukh. Lake is at the west. Temple is 8 feet long & 8 feet broad. Dome is 25 feet high with golden pinnacle. The other murthi in the temple 14 | P a g e

is of Mushika, Navagraha Devtas and Shivalinga. There are 4 elephant idols guarding the 4 sides of the temple. Lord Varad Vinayak is worshipped morning noon and night. About the idol Shree Dhondu Paudkar in 1690 A.D. found the swayambhu idol of Shree varadvinayak in a lake. This idol was kept in a nearby goddess temple for some time later in 1725 A.D. Varadvinayaka's temple was built by peshava sardar Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar & he gifted this to the village. Two stone idols of Riddhi & Siddhi will be seen in the sanctum. Two Ganesh idols are situated in the two corners. Idol in the left corner is smeared in sindoor & idol in the right corner is made of white marble with trunk turned to right. As one enters the Garbhagriha one first sees the idols of Riddhi and Siddhi. Then the two idols of Lord Ganesh . One is a idol made in white Marble the other is the idol covered with sindoor. The Murty is facing east direction and is in seated posture, the trunk is turned on the left side. A nandadeep has been lit in this temple which has been glowing uninterruptedly since the 1892. Presently the original idol of the Varadvinayak can be seen outside the sanctum. Since the idol was badly weathered condition, temple trustees decided to consecrate a new idol however the decision of trustees was objected and is awaiting the court's orders.

The Chintamani Vinayak Temple, Theur 15 | P a g e

Image source: Internet

Brahma Srushtyadisakta Sthirmatirahittam Pidito Vighnasandhe | Aakranto Bhutirakta Krutiganrajasa Jeevita Tyaktu Mischina || Swatmanan Sarvyakta Ganapatimamal Satyachintamaniyam | Mukta Cha Stapayant Shtirmatisukhadam Sthavare Dhudhi Midhe || The one who is in search of happiness, whose mind is wavering like God Brahma, who is in the middle of all calamities should go to Sthavar means Theur & worship Shree Chintamani & get rid of all Chintas(worries). God Brahma meditated here to subdue his wavering mind. Theur is the nearest place of Ashtavinayak from Pune. Kshetra Purana According to the legend King Abhijit and his wife Gunavati had a son called Gana, on his visit to saga Kapila he coveted the Chintamani (wish fulfilling stone) which Kapila used to fulfill his wishes. Kapila refused to part with the stone but Gana took it forcibly, Durga advised Kapila to worship Ganesh. With the powers of the worship Kapila fought and killed Gana, Abhijit returned the jewel to Kapila and asked for pardon. He got his grandsons Shulapani and Sulabha released and crowned them in Ganas throne. Kapila adorned Vinayaka with the Chintamani and worshipped him. From that time Ganapati was called as Chintamani Vinayaka, Kapila Vinayaka or Sumukha Vinayaka. As these incidents took place below a Kadamba tree, the village around it was called Kadamba Thirtha. 16 | P a g e

The temple 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. Morya Gosavi went under meditation and attained siddhi here; hence his son constructed this temple to commemorate the event. Two festivals, one in Bhadrapada from Pratipada to Saptami & another in Magh are celebrated in Theur on grand scale. In those days Ganesh idols in the nearby temples are worshiped & offered naivedya. This is called as Dwaryatra. On Sankashti & Angaraki people give food to poor. They have been provided with the utensils to prepare food. Idol This idol also has a left trunk, with diamonds as its eyes. The idol faces the east side. Location The temple 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.

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Shree Girijatmaja (Lenyadri)

Image source: Internet

The next temple in the yatra is Lenyadri. Ganesha Purana Per Ganesha Purana, with the desire of having Vinayaka as her son, Parvati performed penance for 12 years in the caves of Lenyadri. Ganapati pleased gave her the boon she wanted. Shankar and Parvati were daily meditating upon Ganesa and waiting for the day. On one Bhadrapada Shuddha Chaturthi, Parvati made an idol of Ganesa of clay and performed its pooja. Suddenly that idol become alive and told Parvati that as desired by her he has taken Avatar in her house on a Bhadrapada Shuddha Chaturthi, Somavar, Swati Naksha tra, Sima Lagna. On the 11th day he was 18 | P a g e

named Ganesa. Sages also gave him the boon that whosoever remembers Ganesa before starting a work will successfully complete the work. Ganesa grew up for 15 years at Lenyadri. The messengers of Sindhu told him about Ganesa Vinayaka’s birth at Lenyadri. Sindhu sent so many demons to kill Ganesa. Even as a child Ganesa killed all of them like Krur, Balasur, Vyomasur, Kshema, Kushal, etc. Ganapati also performed many bala leelas at this place. Hence Lenyadri is considered very holy. A word on the temple 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 and is facing south. The temple is reached after climbing 283 steps. In front of the main mandir, there is a huge and beautiful sabha mandap. It has eight stone pillars with cow, elephant, etc carved on them. The cave in which Ganesa appeared before Parvati is said to be behind the temple. But because of the bad routes many shy away from visiting this place. The temple hall is 53feet long, 51feet wide and 7feet in height. About the Idol The idol faces north with its trunk to the left, and has to be worshipped from the rear of the temple. 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! This is the place where Ganesha’s thread ceremony was performed Location Situated on a hill on the banks of Kukdi river at Lenyadri.

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Shree Vigneshwar (Vignahara) Ojhar

Image source: Internet

The Legend The king of Hemavati, Shri Abhinandana, once performed a great sacrifice. Indra thought that this sacrifice if completed would deprive him of his post. Hence he ordered Kala to create obstacles in the Sacrifice and then destroy it. The fierce-looking Kala not only destroyed that Sacrifice but also other sacrifices and created obstacles for sages and others. Hence people called him Vigna. Slowly all Vedic rites were reduced and dharma disappeared from earth. Then all Gods worshipped Gajanana and requested him to save the world from Vignasura. Then Ganapati took his Avatar as the son of Parshva and Deepavatsala. At the age of five, Gods headed by Shankara came to Parshva and requested him to relieve Ganapati for having a war with Vignasura. Parshva was reluctant but Ganapati convinced him and with his permission proceeded to the Asura’s abode. He sent his Ankusa, which caught hold of Vignasura and brought him before Devas. But the Asura assumed many forms like cyclone, flood, fire, etc. Vinayaka destroyed all such 20 | P a g e

Maya (illusions). Finally when he found that his power and tactics will not succeed Vignasura fell at the feet of Ganapati and asked for refuge. He requested that Ganapati should take his name along with his own. Vinayaka accepted his request and is hence called Vigneshwara or Vignaraj Ganapati also ordered him as follows. “Whoever chants this name of mine will attain what he desires. Wherever I am not remembered before beginning a work you bring obstacles in their work. If anyone inclusive of Shiva and Vishnu gets proud and egoistic, you take away their post. You never harass my devotees but obstruct their offenders.” A word on the temple This temple was built in 1833. The temple is famous for its Deepmala’s and its Golden dome. The idol The idol of Vigneshwara of Ojhar is facing east. His trunk is left turned. Different types of diamonds are embedded in the two eyes, on the forehead and in the navel. On the two sides are the brass idols of Riddhi and Siddhi. In addition to festivals of Bhadrapada and Magha Shuddha Chathurthi, there is another festival of five days from Kartika Pournima to Chaturthi. There are beautiful lighting (deepamala) arrangements during that period. Location Situated at Ozar, about 100 kilometres north from Pune; National Highway no 50.

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Shree Mahaganapati – Ranjangaon

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Yaha Shree Shambhuvarprada Sutapasa Namna Sahastra Swakam | Datwa Shree Vijay Padam Shivkar Tasme Prasannaha Prabhu || Ten Sthapit Eva Sadgunavapu Kshetre Sada Tishtati | Tam Vande Manipurke Ganapati Devam Mahant Mudra ||

Meaning: 22 | P a g e

God Shiva got a boon from Lord Ganesha to win all the battles, who has given a boon to God Shiva, who is very pleasant, who is having all virtues, who lives in Manipur(alias Ranjangaon). I salute that God with pleasure. Maha-Ganapati means the powerful Ganesha. Maha Ganapati has 8,10, or 12 hands. God Shiva did penance of this Maha-Ganapati and won the battle against Tripurasur. That is why this is also called as Tripurarivarad Maha-Ganapati. Lord Maha-Ganapati of Ranjangaon of the Ashtavinayaka place in Shirur Taluka of Pune District. This is also one of the twenty-one places of Lord Ganesha’s from mythology.

Kshetra purana Long ago in Treta-yuga there lived a great sage called Grutsamad. One day Grutsamad sneezed and a boy of red colour came out from his nose. He accepted him as his son, he said to his father, when I grow up I will rule all the 3 worlds [Triloka-Prithvi, Swarg & Patal]. Sage Grutsamad told him to do penance with the mantra `Gananam Twam Ganapati’ (This mantra was composed by Sage Grutsamad). ॐ गणानां

हवामहे ।

आ नः ॐ

॥ नमः ॥

Om Gannaanaam Tvaa Ganna-Patim Hava-Amahe Kavim Kaviinaam-Upama-Shravas-Tamam | Jyessttha-Raajam Brahmannaam Brahmannas-Pata Aa Nah Shrnnvan-Nuutibhih-Siida-Saadanam || Om Mahaa-Ganna-Adhipataye Namah ||

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Meaning: 1: Om, O Ganapati, To You Who are the Lord of the Ganas (Celestial Hosts), we Offer our Sacrificial Oblations, 2: You are the Wisdom of the Wise and the Uppermost in Glory, 3: You are the Eldest Lord (i.e. ever Unborn) and is of the Nature of Brahman (Absolute Consciousness); You are the Embodiment of the Sacred Pranava (Om), 4: Please come to us by Listening to our Prayers and be Present in the Seat of this Sacred Sacrificial Altar. 5: Om, our Prostrations to the Mahaganadhipati (the Great Lord of the Ganas). Per the advise he did a severe penance for five thousand years. Lord Ganesha gave him boon of power of strength. Lord Ganesha also gave him three towns, which had plenty of iron, gold & silver. Lord Ganesha said `you will be called as Tripur because you will own these three towns.(Tripur in Marathi means three towns) Only God Shiva could able to defeat you. You will live happily till God Shiva will destroy everything in one arrow and then he will kill you. Tripur conquered the universe and then he turned his evil eyes on God Shiva and demanded mountain Kailas from him. God Shiva went to a mountain called Mandar. All gods and goddesses were having a tough time because of Tripur. Sage Narada asked them to worship Lord Ganesh, and gave them the mantra “OM”. The gods worshipped Ganapati and he appeared before them. Devas praised him through eight slokas called ” Sankatnashan.” Lord Ganesha was pleased with their worship and asked them for a boon. All gods and goddesses requested Lord Ganesha to kill Tripur. Lord Ganesha told them Shiva would kill Tripur soon. Then Ganapati went in the form of a Brahmin to Tripura’s abode and incited him to acquire the idol of Chintamani which is in possession of Shankara. When Shankara refused to part with the same, a war ensued between Tripuarasura and Shankara. All Devas, Sivaganas and Shiva himself started off for the war in a hurry forgetting to worship Ganesh before leaving. The axle of the chariot in which Shankara started was smashed into powder by Ganapati. There were other obstacles too. The gods had retreated unable to cope up with the great onslaught of the demons. Narada told Shankara that they got defeated because he forgot to worship Ganesha before begining the war. Tripura has pleased Ganesa through his long penance. Shankara was convinced. He went to Dandakarnya and performed Pranayam and concentrated on Ganapati. At that time Gajanana emerged from his face with a peculiar form. He had five faces, ten hands, moon on the crest, garland of heads on the neck and also the ornament of serpents. He was looking both like Shankara and Gajanana. The lord gives 24 | P a g e

Shankara his Sahasranama and tells that whoever will say these thousand names will become successful in any work and fulfills with all the wishes. The God Shiva started the battle with Tripur. At the end God Shiva killed Tripura . This incident happened on full moon day of the month of Kartik and it is called as Tripuri Poornima. God Shiva performed penance at the place called Manipur. The same place is now known as Ranjangaon. The deity here is hence rightly called MAHAGANAPATI.

About the Idol Both the temple and the idol are facing east. The trunk is turning left. The idol is very attractive with Riddhi and Siddhi on both sides. Below this idol, inside a closed room, there is another idol. This is the original idol. It is said that it has 10 trunks and 20 hands. Meditating on that idol is called as Mahaganapati dhyana. That idol is not taken out usually. It is said that due to fear of Muslim invasion in good old days that idol was hidden. That Ganesha is also called as Mahotkata. The similar idol was with general Peshwa’s Haripant Phadke. In the temple compound one can see old temple pillars. From that it was confirmed that the temple was built in 9th-10th century.

About the Temple The temple is facing toward East. Inner pandal of the temple build by Sardar Kibe and Madhavrao Peshwa has built the nave. There is an excellent directional approach in the construction work. The rays of Sun directly fall on the idol of Lord Maha-Ganapati and idol looks more attractive. Temple is open for visit from 5.30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

- Etat Sarvam Ganesharpanamastu

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Astavinayak Yatra