If one follows a sequence when visiting the Ashtavinayak Temples, the Girijatmaj Temple comes fifth.
Chintamani Ganpati Temple History
The Temple has no record of the person who built the temple. However, devotees believe that it exists since ancient times. Also, Chintamani Ganpati is related to the Saint Morya Gosavi, a staunch devotee of Lord Ganesh. Moreover, devotees believe that his descendents constructed the main temple structure.
Legend of Theur: Lord Brahma was once feeling very restless and plagued by an unwavering mind. He then meditated to Lord Ganesh in this village. Lord Ganesh helped Lord Brahma pacify his restless mind and hence the name of the village is Theur. The name Theur is a derivative of the Sanskrit word – Sthavar, which means stable. Since Lord Ganesh helped clear Lord Brahma’s worries (chintas), the Lord became popular as Chintamani Vinayak
Legend of Chintamani: King Abhijeet and his wife did severe penance and gave birth to Ganaraja, also known as Guna. Also, when Ganaraja visited Sage Kapila’s ashram, the sage took the help of the precious jewel – Chintamani to serve the best food to the prince. However, the greedy Ganaraja wanted the jewel for himself and forcibly took it from the Sage. Goddess Durga advised Sage Kapila to seek Lord Ganesh’s help.
Then, Lord Ganesh defeated Ganaraja under a Kadamba tree, retrieved the precious jewel and took it back to sage Kapila. So, the sage rewarded Lord Ganesh by putting the jewel around his neck. Henceforth the Lord became famous as Chintamani Vinayak
Significance of Chintamani Ganpati Temple
According to Ganesh Puran, Lord Chintamani is the god who brings peace to the wavering mind. The idol of Lord Chintamani faces east. The Lord’s eyes are precious gems. The Mahadwar or the main gate of the temple is north-facing, and a road connects this gate to river Mula Muth.
The main mandap consists wood with a stone fountain at its centre. Chintamani Ganpati temple has specially designated sections for meditation, which is a unique feature of ancient shrines. A small temple for Lord Shiva is inside the temple complex at Chintamani Ganpati Temple.
Lord Chintamani is the family deity of Shree Madhwarao Peshwa (Peshwa Dynasty). Shree Madhwarao spent his last days at the temple and breathed his last while chanting the Lord’s name. Saint Morya Gosavi did severe penance at Theur. Pleased with his penance, Lord Ganesh emerged from the nearby river Mula Muth as two tigers and granted the saint with Siddhi. Since the legend of the Chintamani occured under aKadamba tree. So the village of Theur has another name- Kadambapur
Chintamani Ganpati Temple Timings
The Temple opens at 6 am and closes at 10 pm
Chintamani Ganpati Temple Sevas and Poojas
Temple priests perform Abhishek, Ekadashi and Sahastravartan on behalf of the devotees. Also, devotees may make the appropriate payments at the temple and receive the Holy Prasad and ash.
Festivals celebrated at Chintamani Ganpati Temple
Bhadrapat: Lord Ganesh’s birth celebrations known as Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi is a key festival in the state of Maharashtra. In Theur, Lord Chintamani’s birthday is a big event during Bhadrapat Shudh (August / September)
Magh: During Magh Shudh, the Chintamani Ganpati Temple is bustling with arrangements made for the Dwaryatra festival. Devotees celelbrate the celebrationsin Magh Shudh until Ashtami, or the eighth day (January – February)
Rama-Madhav Punyotsav: During the month of Karthik, a fair is organised as part of the Rama-Madhav Punnyotsav. This commemorates the death anniversary of the temple patrons Madhavrao and his wife Ramabai
How to reach Chintamani Ganpati Temple
By road: Theur is nearly 25 km from Pune. Several state-run buses operate from Pune and Mumbai to Theur.
By rail: The nearest railway station is at Pune, at 25 km from Theur. The Pune station connects to major Indian cities.
By air: The nearest airport is at Pune, which connects to all major Indian cities.
Chintamani Ganpati Temple Accommodation
There are not many places to stay at Theur, therefore, pilgrims choose to stay at Pune which is just 25 km from the Temple.
Where to eat
There are no restaurants at Lenyadri except for the Yatri Niwas which offer food options. Devotees may opt to eat at the smaller restaurants on the highway or at Junnar.
Bhima Gada: Adjacent to the Girijatmaj Temple, cave no. 6 houses a Buddhist stupa. This is popularly known as Bhima’s Gada. This stupa has good acoustics that allows sounds to echo.
Other Ashtavinayak Temples
Mayureshwar Temple, Morgaon: Devotees begin and end their journey at the Mayureshwar Temple. The temple derives its name from the legend of Mayureshwar – Lord Ganesh riding a peacock, who defeated a demon at this place. The Mayureshwar Temple is in Moregaon, 63 km from the Chintamani Temple.
Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Siddhatek: Lord Vishnu is believed to have appeased Lord Ganesh at this place before slaying the demons Madhu and Kaitabh. Moreover, Lord Siddhi Vinayak is the only idol with the trunk pointing towards the right. The Siddhi Vinayak Temple is in Siddhatek, 100 km from the Chintamani Temple.
Ballaleshwar Temple, Pali: As the name suggests this temple is named after Lord Ganesh’s devotee Ballal. This is the only Ganesh Temple named after a devotee. The Ballaleshwar Temple is in Pali, 140 km from the Chintamani Temple.
Varadha Vinayak Temple, Mahad: . Lord Ganesh is Varadha Vinayak, the Lord who grants boons and wishes. The Varadha Vinayak Temple is in Mahad, 150 km from the Chintamani
Girijatmaj Temple, Lenyadri: Goddess Parvathi is believed to have performed penance at this place to have a child. Her prayers were answered when Lord Ganesh was born. The temple gets its name from the words Girija (Parvathi) and Atmaj (son). The Girijatmaj Temple is in Lenyadri, 110 km from the Chintamani Temple.
Vighneshwar Vinayak Temple, Ozar: Vighnasur, the demon was sent by Lord Indra to disturb King Abhinandan’s prayer. The troubled devotees turned to Lord Ganesh who defeated the demon at this place. The Vighneswar Vinayak Temple is in Ozar, 105 km from the Chintamani
Mahaganapati Temple, Ranjangaon: Lord Shiva is believed to have worshipped Lord Ganesh here before proceeding to defeat the demon Tripurasura. The Mahaganapati Temple is in Ranjangaon, 42 km from the Chintamani.