Ashtavinayaks

1.    Shri Mayureshwar, Morgaon

Shri Mayureshwar, Morgaon

This Ganapati from Morgaon which is one of the eight Vinayaks, is also called as Shri Mayureshwar. The great Ganesh devotee Morya Gosavi had undertaken the pledge of performing ritualistic worship in this temple. This is the original spot where Shri Mayureshwar Ganesh has self-materialized. The arti ‘Sukhakarta, dukhaharta’ was composed by Shri Samarth Ramdas Swami in this very temple by the side of which flows River Karha. The temple has various carvings. There are diamonds fitted into the eyes and navel of Shri Mayureshwar. The temple bears fort like structure made from stones since ancient times. Morgaon is situated in Baramati taluka of Pune District and is about 70 kilometres from Pune.

2.    Shri Siddhivinayak, Siddhatek

Shri Siddhivinayak, Siddhatek

Siddhatek is the seat of self-materialized Shri Siddhivinayak on banks of River Bhima. It has a huge sanctum sanctorum and hall. This temple has been constructed with donation from Punyashlok Ahilyabai Holkar. It has a decorative frame made of brass with images of the moon, sun and eagle on it.

The temple facing the north has a huge sanctum sanctorum. As River Bhima flows close to the temple its ghats (Banks) have been beautified. Temples of Deities Vishnu, Shivai, Mahadev etc. are located nearby.

This place being in the Karjat Taluka of Ahmednagar District is 99 kilometres from Daund and 142 kilometres from Rashin.

3.    Shri Ballaleshwar, Pali

Shri Ballaleshwar, Pali

This Ganapati is called as Shri Ballaleshwar. This is self-materialized seat of Shri Ballaleshwar Ganapati. The temple faces the east and Ganapati’s trunk is on the left side. His forehead is large and the eyes are studded with diamonds. This temple is built from stone. The huge bell in the temple is dedicated to Chimaji Appa.

This temple of Ballaleshwar is situated in the natural surroundings of the huge fort of Sudhagad with River Amba flowing on the side, in the Sudhagad Taluka of Raigad District. Close to Pali are the hot water springs and this ancient fort of Sarasgad.

4.       Shri Varad Vinayak, Mahad

Shri Varad Vinayak, Mahad

Varad Vinayak of Mahad is one of the self-materialized seat of the eight Vinayaks and is also known as Math. This temple is simple, with a tiled roof and has a dome with a golden colored peak. The peak has design of serpents engraved on it.

The legend in the context of this temple is that in a dream a devotee spotted an Idol in a lake behind the temple. As per the dream, he went in search of the Idol, found it and installed it after ritualistic worship.  The temple has a stone arch and the Ganesh Idol is mounted on a lion. This temple was constructed during the Peshwa regime in 1725 A.D.

Mahad, which is part of Raigad District, is at Khopoli-Khalapur on the Pune-Mumbai National Highway.

5.    Shri Chintamani, Theur

Shri Chintamani, Theur

This seat of Shri Ganesh is situated below the Kadamb (Burrflower) tree in Theur. He is called as Chintamani because He allays worries of His devotees. This self-materialized Idol has a left sided trunk. The main door of this temple faces the north but the Idol faces the east. The courtyard of the temple is extensive and so is the assembly hall. Rivers Mula and Mutha encircle the temple on three sides.

An ascetic named Morya Gosavi from Chinchwad near Pune had acquired supernatural powers after worshipping Ganapati in this temple as per the historical records.  However the temple at Theur has been constructed by Chintamani Dev, his son. Theur is on the Pune-Solapur road joining the highway in Havel taluka, 30 kilometres from Pune.

6.    Shri Girijatmaj, Lenyadri

Shri Girijatmaj, Lenyadri

The self-materialized seat of Shri Girijatmaj is on the top of the mountain Lenyadri in the midst of Junnar stone cave carvings surrounded by the River Kukdi in Junnar taluka. The pleasant idol of Shri Ganesh is carved in stone. Carvings are also found in the rocks around the temple. This temple was renovated during the Peshwa regime. The temple has stone pillars and around 400 steps leading to the temple.

Shri Girijatmaj of Lenyadri is 7 kilometres from Junnar and about 97 kilometres from Pune.

7.    Shri Vighneshwar, Ozhar

Shri Vighneshwar, Ozhar

Shri Vighneshwar Ganapati Idol is both tall and wide, and known as the wealthiest of the eight Vinayaks. There are rubies in place of the eyes and a diamond on the forehead. This Ganesh is both pleasant and auspicious and alleviates obstacles. Hence He is called as Vighneshwar. This Idol of Ganesh is self-materialized.

This temple located on the banks of River Kukdi, fortified on all four sides, is spiritually active.

It is located 14 kilometres from Lenyadri in Junnar Taluka and 85 kilometres from Pune. Fort Shivneri, the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, too is very close to this place.

8.    Shri Mahaganapati, Ranjangaon

Shri Mahaganapati, Ranjangaon

Ranjangaon is the seat of the self-materialized Idol of Mahaganapati having 10 hands. This place of Shri Mahaganapati is located in Shirur Taluka on Pune-Nagar highway and exists since 10th century A.D.

A legend about this place is that Shivashankar had granted some energies to the demon Tripurasur. Misusing them Tripurasur began harassing the inhabitants of Swargalok (Heaven) and earth. When this reached the limits, Shivashankar had pay obeisance to Shri Ganesh and then annihilate the demon. Hence this Ganapati is referred to as Tripurarivade Mahaganapati. This seat of worship of Ganapati dates back to the 10th century and is located in Shirur Taluka on the Pune-Nagar highway.

Note : The sequence of Ashtavinayak Ganapatis is different in different places. The order followed in this article is as per the Holy texts of ‘Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh’.

Reference : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat