Chintamani Ganpati Temple – Ashtavinayak
Chintamani Ganpati Temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh and is one of the eight Ashtavinayak Temples of Pune in Maharashtra. The temple is located at Theur in Haveli Taluka.
If one has to follow a sequence when visiting the Ashtavinayak Temples, the Girijatmaj Temple has to be visited fifth.
History and Legend
- Chintamani Ganpati Temple has no record of the person who built the temple, as it is believed to exist from ancient times. Chintamani Ganpati is associated with the Saint Morya Gosavi, a staunch devotee of Lord Ganesh, and it is believed that the current temple structure was constructed by his descendants
- Legend of Theur: Lord Brahma was once feeling very restless and plagued by an unwavering mind. He meditated to Lord Ganesh in this village. Lord Ganesh helped Lord Brahma pacify his restless mind and the village was hence named as 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 was known as Chintamani Vinayak
- Legend of Chintamani: King Abhijeet and his wife did severe penance and gave birth to Ganaraja, also known as Guna. 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. 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. Lord Ganesh defeated Ganaraja under a Kadamba tree, retrieved the precious jewel and took it back to sage Kapila. The sage rewarded Lord Ganesh by putting the jewel around his neck. Henceforth the Lord was known as Chintamani Vinayak
Significance of Chintamani Ganpati Temple
- According to Ganesh Puran, Lord Chintamani is regarded as the god who brings peace to the wavering mind
- The idol of Lord Chintamani is believed to be self-manifested and faces east. The Lord’s eyes are made of 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 is made of wood with a stone fountain at its centre
- Recently, the temple shikhara has been adorned with gold
- Chintamani Ganpati temple has specially designated sections for meditation, which is a unique feature of ancient shrines
- A small temple for Lord Shiva can also be seen inside the temple complex at Chintamani Ganpati Temple
- Lord Chintamani is the family deity of Shree Madhwarao Peshwa (Peshwa Dynasty). Shree Madhwarao is known to have spent his last days at the temple and breathed his last while chanting the Lord’s name
- Saint Morya Gosavi is believed to have done severe penance at Theur. Pleased with his penance, Lord Ganesh is known to have emerged from the nearby river Mula Muth as two tigers and granted the saint with Siddhi
- Since the legend of the Chintamani took place under aKadamba tree, the village of Theur is also known as Kadambapur
Chintamani Ganpati Temple Timings
Daily: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
Poojas and Rituals
Abishek, Ekadashi and Sahastravartan are performed by the temple priests on behalf of devotees. Devotees may make the appropriate payments at the temple and receive the Holy Prasad and ash.
- 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 celebrated in a big way during Bhadrapat Shudh (August / September)
- Magh: During Magh Shudh, the Chintamani Ganpati Temple is bustling with arrangements made for the Dwaryatra festival. The celebrations are held in 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: Road, Rail and Air
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 is well connected by trains operating to major Indian cities.
By air: The nearest airport is at Pune, which is well connected to all major Indian cities.
Where to stay
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: This is the first of the Ashtavinayak temples. Devotees begin and end their journey at the Mayureshwar Temple. The temple got its name after the legend of Mayureshwar – Lord Ganesh riding a peacock, who defeated a demon at this place. The Mayureshwar Temple is located at Moregaon, 63 km from the Chintamani Temple.
- Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Siddhatek: This temple is the second in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Vishnu is believed to have appeased Lord Ganesh at this place before slaying the demons Madhu and Kaitabh. Lord Siddhi Vinayak is considered to be 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: This temple is the third in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. 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: This temple is the fourth in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Ganesh is referred to as Varadha Vinayak, the Lord who grants boons and wishes. The Varadha Vinayak Temple is in Mahad, 150 km from the Chintamani
- Girijatmaj Temple, Lenyadri: This temple is the sixth in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. 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: This temple is the seventh in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. 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 located at Ozar, 105 km from the Chintamani
- Mahaganapati Temple, Ranjangaon: This is the last of the Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Shiva is believed to have worshipped Lord Ganesh here before proceeding to defeat the demon Tripurasura. The MahaganapatiTemple is located at Ranjangaon, 42 km from the Chintamani.