We all know that according to Sanatan tradition, Lord Ganesha is considered the first worshipable one. He is called the god of Riddhi-Siddhi and intelligence. Although there are many temples all over the country and the world for worshiping Ganapati, Ganapati has a special place in the culture of Maharashtra and perhaps this is the reason why Ganapati Mahotsav, celebrated from Ganesh Chaturthi to Anant Chaturdashi, is the biggest festival of Maharashtra. Let us tell you that Ashtavinayak Temple is considered to have a special place among the various Ganesh temples of Maharashtra.
Not only this, these eight very ancient temples are also called the eight Shaktipeeths of Lord Ganesha. Eight self-proclaimed idols of Ganapati are present in these temples. Ashtavinayak temple is visited according to the order in which these holy idols are received.
Sri Mayureshwar Moraga Ashtavinayak Temple
Shri Mayureshwar Temple or rather Shri Moreshwar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. This temple of Lord Ganesha, who is known as the God of Gajmukhi intellect, was built in Morgaon in the Pune district. This temple is at a distance of 50 kilometers from Pune city in Maharashtra state. It is special temple as it is both the starting and ending point of the Ashtavinayak of Lord Ganesha.
If you do not visit Morgaon Temple at the end of the Ashtavinayako Yatra, your Yatra will be considered incomplete. It is also considered to be one of the oldest temples in India.
Siddhatekcha Shri Siddhivinayak Ashtavinayak Temple
Siddhivinayak temple situated on the banks of the Bhima River in Siddhatek is considered to be one of the Ashtavinayaks. This is the only temple among Ashtavinayak, where traditionally the trunk of the idol is on the right side and it is called Siddhi-Vinayak.
Among the Ashtavinayak temples of Lord Ganesha, Siddhitek is the first temple after Morgaon, but devotees often visit Siddhivinayak temple only after visiting Morgaon and Theur. The name Siddivinayak came from the body of Ganesha. People have special unwavering faith in this temple.
Ballaleshwar Vinayak Ashtavinayak Temple
Ballaleshwar Raigad district which is considered to be one of the ‘Ashtavinayak’ Shakti Peethas of Lord Ganesha located in Pali village of Maharashtra. He is the only Ganapati who is wearing clothes like a dhoti-kurta because he appears to his devotee Ballal in the form of a Brahmin.
Let us tell you that the glory of this Ashtavinayak has also been described in detail in ‘Mudgal Purana’. The belief is that pleased with the devotion of a person named Ballal, Lord Ganesha became ensconced in the same idol which Ballal used to worship. Among the Ashtavinayaks, Ballaleshwar is the only form of Lord Ganesha, which is known as a devotee.
Shri Varadvinayak Ashtavinayak Temple Mahad Maharashtra
Varadvinayak is a form of the first revered Lord Shri Ganesha among the gods. Let us tell you that the temple of Varadvinayak ji is one of the eight Peethas of Lord Ganesha, which is located in Mahad, a beautiful hill village in Kolhapur taluka of Raigad district in the state of Maharashtra.
Varadvinayak Temple is one of the Ashtavinayaks of the Hindu god Ganesha. This temple is located in Mahad village of Khalapur taluka near Karjat and Khopoli in Raigarh district of Maharashtra state in India. The idol of Lord Ganesha installed in this temple is called Swayambhu.
Sri Chintamani Ashtavinayak Temple Theur
The temple of Chintamani is located in a village called Theur in Haveli taluka of Pune district in the state of Maharashtra. This temple of Lord Ganesha is considered to be one of his eight Peethas in Maharashtra.
This temple is situated on the banks of river Mulmutha in Theur village. Here Lord Ganesha is famous among the people by the name of ‘Chintamani’. It means “This Ganesha takes away all the worries and provides peace to the mind”.
Shri Girijatmaj Ashtavinayak Temple Lenyadri
Girijatmaj Temple is the sixth temple among the Ashtavinayak of Lord Ganesha which is built in Lenyadri, Pune, Maharashtra district. Lenyadri is a type of mountain range, which is also called Ganesh Pahari.
There are 30 Buddhist caves in Lenyadri. Not only this, Girijatmaj Temple is the only temple among the Ashtavinayaks which is built on the mountains. It is built on the seventh cave out of 30 caves. People consider the eight temples of Lord Ganesha sacred and worship them. This temple is situated on the Lekhan mountain range.
Shri Vighneshwar Ashtavinayak Temple
Talking about Ashtavinayak Temple, this temple is situated in a village called Ojhar on the banks of the Kukri River in Maharashtra. It is considered to be one of the ‘Ashtavinayak’ Peethas of Lord Ganesha. The temple of Vighneshwar also faces east and there is also a lamp garland near which there are gatekeepers.
The idol of the temple not only faces east but is also coated with vermillion and oil. This particular idol of God has diamonds embedded in its eyes and navel which looks very beautiful.
Shri Mahaganpati Ranjangaon
Mahaganpati is one of the ‘Ashtavinayak’ Peethas of Lord Ganesha located in Rajangaon in the state of Maharashtra. It is said that ‘Mahaganpati’ is the most divine and powerful form of Lord Ganesha among the Ashtavinayaks.
These are considered to be eight-armed, ten-armed, or twelve-armed. Ganapati Bappa had taken this form to kill the demon Tripurasura. Hence his name is quite famous among the people by the name ‘Tripurveda Mahaganapati’.