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Ashtavinayak Temples in Maharashtra- A Famous Religious Tour
Ashtavinayak Temples: India is a mystic country that has many aspects which amaze its visitors from around the world. By many, India is renowned for its diverse religions, cultures, and ethnicities. Its demographic portrays an ideal example of unity in diversity. However, with over 80 percent population following Hinduism (which is one of the oldest religions in India and the world), India is dotted with Hindu temples and shrines. In fact, you can find a temple or shrine at almost every nook and corner. As per Vedic science, it is believed that Hinduism has over 33 crore Gods and Goddesses who are worshipped by different sects and people of the religion.
Amongst all Gods and Goddesses, Lord Ganesha or Ganpati is known to be the remover of obstacles and honored at first at the beginning of any holy rituals and ceremonies. Prominently worshipped in Maharashtra, Lord Ganesha is commemorated as Ashtavinayaka, literally meaning ‘Eight Ganeshas’. Therefore, the Ashtavinayaka tour is a popular and most revered pilgrimage tour for Maharashtrians Hindus. To know more about the eight rupas (forms) or temples of Ganesha, read on to this write-up.
Moreshwar Temple, Morgaon
Idyllically sited on the banks of River Karga, this temple is located at Morgaon in the Pune district of Maharashtra. Also referred to as Shri Mayureshwar Mandir, it the beginning destination of the Ashtavinayak temple circuit tour. As the name suggests, this temple houses the presiding deity of “Shri Moreshwar” Ganapati and is built in typical Mughal style and architecture.
Siddhivinayak Temple, Siddhatek
Peacefully sited on the banks of River Bhima, this magnificent temple is popularly known as the Siddatek shrine. The temple is located in the Ahmednagar district of the state of Maharashtra. As the name suggests, this temple is dedicated to Siddhivinayak Ganapati and is believed to be built during the Peshwa period.
Ballaleshwar Temple, Pali
Traditionally known as ‘the Pali Shrine’ and located amidst panoramic surroundings in the periphery of Pali village, this beautiful temple is devoted to ‘Ballaleshwara’ Ganapati. The temple site is bounded by two serene lakes making it a scenic destination not only for pilgrims but for tourists, as well.
Varad Vinayak Temple, Mahad
Situated in a tiled roofed house facing the east, this temple is devoted to ‘Varadavinayaka Ganapati’. Embellished with magnificent stone elephant carvings, this unique temple attracts a huge of visitors and devotees every year. This temple is located in the Mahad village in Khalapur taluka near Karjat.
Chintamani Temple, Theur
Located in the Haveli Taluka of the Pune district of Maharashtra, it is one of the larger and famous temples amongst the Ashtavinayaka circuit tour. Located near the convergence of the River Mula, Muth, and Bhima, this temple is dedicated to the “Chintamani Ganpati” and is the fifth temple to be visited during the tour. It is believed that this was built by Madhavrao Peshwa.
Girijatmaj Temple, Lenyadri
Located on a hillock, Girijatmaj temple is dedicated to Girijatmaj Ganpati. This famous temple is carved from the rocks. Once here, one can enjoy the picturesque view of the River Puspavati flowing nearby and the Junnar town in Maharashtra.
Vighnahar Temple, Ozar
Located in the Ozar district of Maharashtra, this temple is devoted to the Vighnahar or Vigneshwara (literally translates into the destroyer of obstacles) Ganpati. The entrance of this temple is embellished with two Deep-malas – two huge Dwar Palace guards, stone pillar oil lamps for guarding the magnificent idol of Vighnahar Ganpati.
Mahaganapati Temple, Ranjangaon
The last temple of the Ashtavinayak Temples tour in Maharashtra is Mahaganapati Temple, which is located in Ranjangaon. This temple is dedicated to Mahaganapati. However, being located in Rajangaon, it is often called as Ranjangaon Ganpati. It is known that the main temple of this temple complex was constructed by Madhavrao Peshwa. This completes the famous religious tour.