Famous Hindu Pilgrimage in Maharashtra
Lord Ganesha, is the God worshiped ahead of all Gods and in Maharashtra you will find eight temples of Vighan Harta, Sukh Karta Lord Ganesha. Here at these eight places God is known as "Vinayak" and in the Sanskrit language number eight is written as "ashta" hence this journey become famous "Ashtavinayak Yatra", for the Maharashtrians visit to these temples called "Ashtavinayak Darshan" holds value and and importance equal to "Char Dham" Yatra.
This is a small village located in the Baramati taluka of Pune district, at a distance of 60 kms. from the Pune. River Kara flows on the side of temple. It was time when the place was natural habitat of our national bird peacock [in Marathi language pronounced as "Mor"] and from this village gets the name Moregaon. Temple appears like a mosque and one get feeling of looking at a fort when viewed from distance.
Sidheshwar – Sidhatek
This temple is treated as the temple of powerful deity as in Marathi "Siddhi" means acquiring powers and according to Hindu faith here on Sidhtek mountain Lord Vishnu acquired Siddhi. The village is in the Ahmednagar, adjoining district of Pune and temple is situated on the bank of river Bhima. Silence is the amazing factor of the place even the flow of river water doesn't make much noise. Idol here was established by Ahila Bai Holkar.
Ballelshwar Palli [Pali]
Heavy rains for the place and huge Panch Dhatu [Five Metal] bell are the identification mark of village and temple respectively. This is the only place where Lord Ganesha is dressed up like traditional Brahman [Hindu Priest]. Fort Sarasgad on one side and river Amba on the other side add to the natural beauty of place. Sun rays of rising sun falling on Idol of God is most amazing experience for the tourists.
Varad Vinayak [Sidhi Vinayak] Mahad
This temple is famous as Vradayak [granting boons for fulfillment of desires] for the devotees, another unique thing of temple is "Nanda Deep" which continuously lit since the 1892. According to a story the idol of Shree Ganesha was found under the well behind the temple & ordinary house looking temple was constructed in the year 1725 during the rule of Peshwas. Mahad is one of most beautiful place in unexplored hilly region of Konkan area.
This is yet another Lord Ganesh Temple build during the rules of Peshawas and this is said that at that time [almost four centuries back] a huge amount of around Rs. 40, 000 were utilized for constructing this temple. Here God is worshiped as creator of peace of mind by taking away all the worries [Chinta - in Hindi language] and mental disorders. Pach Dhatu [Five Metal] bell and wood constructed gathering hall are surprise for the visitors.
In the Ganesha Puranas, this Kukdi river bank situated place is referred as Jirnapur or Lekhan Parbat. This is a rock craved temple on a hill top and resembles with Buddha cave temples. Almost square temple [50 feet wide and 60 feet long] is without pillars and craved in Single rock. Girija is one of other several names of Goddess Paravati mother of and in Sanskrit language Atmaj means the son, this is from where the name Girijatmaj originated.
Vighan Harta [Hurdle remover / obstacle destroyer] with what another name devotees remember Shree Ganesha. This is common experiences of the visitors that they feel stress free after visiting this temple of God Ganesha, situated on banks of river Kukdeshwar. The golden top of temple was offered by the Peshwas as thanks for making them victorious against Portuguese in a war. An annual four days festival is celebrated on tirpuri poornima.
This is one of ancient temples of Hindu God Shree Ganesha, it is believed the construction of this temple dates back to some time between 9th and 10th century during the Peshawas rule. Here Lord Ganesha is worshiped as Mahaganpati as it is believed that idol was with 10 trunks and 20 hands. Rajangaon is about 70 kms away from Pune and situated on the Pune Ahmednagar highway.
Road Map for Ashtavinayak Darshan from Pune