The Asta (8) Vinayak Temples are ancient temples and these murtis are called Swayambhu effigies, or the self-existent and important pilgrimage to make are below:
Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles and the god of beginnings
As the god of beginnings, he is honored at the start of rituals and ceremonies.
Mantra: “Oṃ Gaṇeśāya Namaḥ”, “Oṃ Gam Gaṇapatayē Namaḥ:”
Asta (8) Vinayak Temples
|1||Moreshwar Temple||Morgaon, Pune|
|2||Siddhivinayak Temple||Siddhatek, Ahmednagar|
|3||Ballaleshwar Temple||Pali, Raigad|
|4||Varadavinayak Temple||Madh, near Khopoli, Raigad|
|5||Chintamani Temple||Theur, Pune|
|6||Girijatmaj Temple||Lenyadri, Pune|
|7||Vighnahar Temple||Ozar, Pune|
|8||Mahaganapati Temple||Ranjangaon, Pune|
Traditionally, Moreshwar of Moregaon is the first temple visited by the pilgrims. The temples visited in descending order are Siddhatek, Pali, Mahad, Thevur, Lenyandri, Ozar, Ranjangaon. The pilgrimage is concluded with a second visit to Moregaon.
Mayureshwar – Morgaon Ganesha temple
- This is the most important temple on this tour. The temple, built from black-stone during the Bahamani reign,
- The temple is covered from all sides by four minarets
- The temple has 50 feet tall wall around it.
- 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 murti of Lord Ganesha, riding a peacock, in the form of Mayureshwara is believed to have slain the demon Sindhu at this spot. The idol, with its trunk turned to the left, has a cobra (Nagaraja) poised over it protecting it. This form of Ganesha also has two other murtis of Siddhi (Capability) and Riddhi (Intelligence).
- 55 km from Pune, next to the river Karha in the village
Siddhivinayak – Siddatek
- The temple is North-facing and is on a small hillock.
- The idol is 3feet tall and 2.5feet wide. The idol faces North-direction.
- The stomach of the murti is not wide, but Riddhi and Siddhi murtis are sitting on one thigh.
- This murthi is the only of eight murtis whose trunk is turning to the right. The right-sided-trunk Ganesha is supposed to be very strict for the devotees. 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.
- 48 km from the town of Srigonda in Ahmadnagar. Daund Railway station is 18 km from here.
Ballaleshwar – Pali
- This Temple faces the east and has two sanctums.
- The inner one houses the murti and has a Mushika (Ganesha’s mouse vahana) with modaka in his forepaws in front of it.
- The temple is constructed in such a way that after the solstice, the sun rays fall on the Ganesha murti at sunrise.
- The temple is built with stones which are stuck together very tight using melted lead.
- Like a few other murtis, this one has diamonds embedded in the eyes and navel, and with His trunk pointing to the left.
- One speciality of this temple is that the prasad offered to this Ganapati at Pali is Besan Laadu instead of Modak that is normally offered to other Ganapatis.
- The shape of the idol itself bears a striking semblance with the mountain which forms the backdrop of this temple.
- 30 km from Karjat Railway Station.
- 124km from Mumbai
- Behind this temple is the temple of Shri Dhundi-Vinayak which is West facing. This is a very rare idol which is facing the West. The story says that this idol was the same one which was thrown by Ballala’s father (Kalyani-seth) while Ballala was worshipping it.
Varada Vinayak – Mahad
- Ganesha is said to reside here in the form of Varada Vinayaka, the giver of bounty and success.
- The idol was found in the adjoining lake.
- The idol faces the east, has its trunk to the left and has been in the constant company of an oil lamp – said to be burning continuously since 1892.
- This is the only temple where devotees are allowed to personally pay their homage and respects to the idol. They are allowed in the immediate vicinity of this idol to perform their prayers.
- 3 km from Khopoli
- 80 km from Pune
Chintamani – Theur
- Ganesha is believed to have got back the precious Chinatamani jewel from the greedy Guna for sage Kapila at this spot.
- The lake behind the temple is called Kadambteertha.
- The temple entrance is North facing. This idol also has a left trunk, with carbuncle and diamonds as its eyes. The idol faces the East side.
- 22 km from Pune. The village of Theur sits at the confluence of three major regional rivers—Mula, Mutha & Bhima.
Girijatmaj – Lenyadri
- Girija’s (Parvati’s) Atmaj (son) is Girijatmaj.
- 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, which has 307 steps. The temple features a wide hall with no supporting pillars.
- The idol faces north with its trunk to the left, and has to be worshipped from the rear of the temple. The temple faces south. 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!
- 12 km from Narayangaon
- 94 km from Pune
Vighneshwar – Ozhar
- The temple faces east and is surrounded by a thick stone wall.
- This idol, facing the east, has its trunk towards the left and rubies in its eyes. There is a diamond on the forehead and some jewel in the navel.
- Idols of Riddhi and Siddhi are placed on the two sides of the Ganesha idol.
- The temple is situated on the banks of river Kukadi.
- 182km from Mumbai
Mahaganapati – Ranjangaon
- 50 km from Pune
- The idol faces the east, is seated in a cross-legged position with a broad forehead, with its trunk pointing to the left.
- It is said that the original idol is hidden in the basement, having 10 trunks and 20 hands and is called Mahotkat.
- Constructed so that the rays of the sun fall directly on the
- The deity is seated and flanked on both sides by Riddhi and Siddhi.
- The trunk of the deity turns to the left.
Festivals: As with all other Ashtavinayak (Ganesha) temples, Ganesha Chaturti is celebrated in great splendor here.
Ganesh is simple to pray and easy to get blessed.
More info on Lord Ganesh