Ashta Vinayaka


Ashtavinayaka (Marathi: अष्टविनायक) literally means "Eight Ganeshas" in Sanskrit. Ganesha is the Hinduism/Hindu deity of obstacles, unity, prosperity and learning. The term refers to eight Ganeshas. Ashtavinayaka yatratrip refers to a pilgrimage to the eight Hindu temples in Maharashtra state of India that 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 Puna are more well known than the former.

The eight temples :

  • Mayureshwar, (Moreshwar Temple) Moregaon, Pune district
  • Siddhivinayak, Siddhatak Temple, Ahmednagar district
  • Ballaleshwar Temple, Raigad district
  • Vardavinayak Temple, Mahad, near Khapoli, Raigad district
  • Chintamani Temple, Theur, Pune district
  • Girijatmak Temple, Lenyadri, Pune district
  • Vignahar Temple, Ozar, Pune district
  • Mahaganpati Temple, Ranjandaon, Pune district


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Moreshwar Temple



The Mayureshwar or Moreshwar temple is along the Karha river in the Morgaon village . A temple that looks like a tiny fort from a distance, it is situated in the Baramati Taluka of Pune district in Maharashtra. The idol of Mayureshwar is in the garbhagriha,the sanctum in which only the head priest is permitted entry. 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 sindoor has resulted in the idol seeming much larger than it actually is. It is believed that this layer of sindoor peels off on its own every 100 or 150 years, revealing the actual idol.



Siddhivinayak Temple



Siddhtek is a remote little village along the river Bhima in the Ahmednagar district and Karjat tehsil in Maharashtra. The Siddhivinayak Ashtavinayak Temple at Siddhtek is considered an especially powerful deity. It is believed that it was here on the Siddhtek Mountain, that Vishnu acquired Siddhi.



Ballaleshwar Temple



Significance of Pali – Shri Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayak : Ganesha is believed to have saved this boy-devotee, Ballala, who was beaten by local villagers and his father for his single-minded devotion to him. This is the only Ashtavinayak idol to be name after a Ganesha devotee. The prasad offered to this Ganesha is Besan Ladu instead of Modak, a sweet normally offered to other Ganapatis.
Among the Ashtavinayakas, Ballaleshvara at Pali is the only Ganesha who is famous by the name of his devotee and who is dressed up as a brahmin.Village Pali is situated between fort Sarasgad & river Amba flowing on the other side. On being pleased by devotion of Ballal, Shri Ganesh remained in the stone worshipped by Ballal & hence is called as Ballaleshwar of Pali.
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 30 kms away.



Vardha Vinayak Temple



Mahad is a pretty village set in the hilly region of Konkan in the Raigarh district and the Khalapur Taluka of Maharastra. Lord Ganesha as Varad Vinayak fulfills all desires and grants all boons. This region was known as Bhadrak or Madhak in ancient times. The Original Idol of Varad Vinayak can be seen outside the sanctum. Both Idols are located in two corners- the Idol on the left is smeared in vermillion with its trunk turned left, and the idol on the right is made of white marble with its trunk turned to the right . The sanctum is made of stone and is surronded by beautiful stone elephant carving which house the idol. Two stone idols of Riddhi & Siddhi can also be seen in the sanctum.A nandadeep has been lit in this Ashtavinayak temple which has been continuously lit since the 1892.



Chintamani Temple



At Theyoor in the Haveli Taluka of Pune district in Maharashtra is the Ashtavinayak temple dedicated to Chintamani Vinayak. The village is along the river Mulamutha. Lord Ganesha as Chintamani is god who brings peace of mind and drives away all perplexities of the mind.It is believed that Brahma the creator once felt tharva that is restive. To still His mind he called upon Lord Ganesh. The place where Brahma achieved the quietude he was looking for is known as the Sthavar region or as Theur.



Girijatmak Temple



Significance of Lenyadri – Shri Girijatmajavinayaka Ashtavinayak : It is believed that Parvati (Lord Shiva’s wife) performed penance to beget Ganesha at this point. 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.Lenyadri is to the North of Pune, along the Kukdi river. The Ganesh Puran calls this place as Jirnapur or Lekhan Parbat. Girijatmaj Vinayak refers to the Ganesh as the son of Parvati. Girija is another name for Parvati and Atamaj means son. This is the only temple of the Ashtavinayak which is on a mountain and is set in a Buddhist cave-temple



Vigneshwar Temple



On the banks of the Kukdeshwar river, Ozhar Ashtavinayak is where Lord Vighneshwar resides. Lord Ganesha is known as Vigneshwara or the remover of all obstacles, this he achieved by vanquishing the demon Vighnasura .Vighneshwara's temple is situated on the banks of river Kukadi. Among Ashtavinayak Kshetra Vighneshwara Temple is the only temple with golden dome and pinnacle.



Magaganpati Temple



The Maha Ganpati at Ashtavinayak is the most powerful representation of Lord Ganesha. Maha Ganpati is depicted as having eight, ten or twelve arms. It is after invoking this form of Ganpati that Shiva vanquished the demon Tripurasur and so he is also known as Tripurarivade Mahaganpati.



Eco Friendly Ganesha Idols


Simple rituals take on a different color and with each passing year, they become more cumbersome, the celebrations being on a grandiose scale. During Ganesh Chaturthi, however, the celebration fever reaches a high pitch and everything else is given a go-by. Devotion and faith is only one aspect. What is of more concern is the question of pollution. During Ganesh Festival, people should give a thought to the water bodies of the city.



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