Hindu mythology dates back to several centuries where devotees worship Lord Ganesh before the start of any puja. Although there are many Ganesh temples in and around various corners of the nation, the Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir has special significance. Being one of the ‘Ashtavinayaka’ temples in Maharashtra, the Siddhatek Ganpati of Siddhatek is close to the Daund railway station. A dense forests of Babul trees surrounds this famous holy shrine. It stands supreme on a hillock. It isa sacred tourist destination for pilgrims all around the world.
History and Legend of Siddhatek Ganpati
Lord Vishnu built the auspiscious shrine. It was later destroyed over time and a cowherd had a vision of this temple who ultimately found the icon of Siddhi Vinayaka. From then on, the cowherd began worshipping the deity and this shrine became popular.
Ahilyabai Holkar, the Philosopher Queen of Indore built the Siddhatek Ganpati temple in its present form. Also, Sardar Haripant Phadke was the commander in chief and an official of the Peshwa rulers. He built the Nagarkhana or the chamber which is the home to Nagaras and a paved road leading to the main door of the temple. Moreover, he worshipped the deity for 21 days and circled the temple 21 times daily.
The Ganapatya, a particular sect of people that worships Ganesha as the Supreme Almighty, Saint Morya Gosavi, and Narayan Maharaj worshipped at the temple where they attained siddhi.
As per the legends, the ‘Mudgala Purana’ describes the events relating to the beginning of the Creation. Lord Brahma emerged from the lotus that rises from Lord Vishnu’s navel. While creating the universe, Vishnu was in his yoganidra and two demons rise from the dirt in his ear. Then the demons, namely, Madhu and Kaitabha disturbed the process of creation which made Lord Vishnu to rise from his sleep. But, Vishnu was unable to defeat them and asked Lord Shiva for help. So, Shiva told him that he has forgotten to invoke Lord Ganesha before the fight. Consecutively, Vishnu performed penance at Siddhatek and invoked the God of beginning and obstacle removal. Ganesha defeated all the demons, and it is in this place that Vishnu acquired siddhi. Hence the place became famous as Siddhatek.
Significance of Siddhatek Ganpati
Siddhatek Ganpati is along the river Bhima and is in Karjat taluka of Ahmednagar district.
The Ganesha idol is seen here with his trunk to the right side and is named as Siddhi Vinayaka. Usually, the trunk is seen on the left side and it is believed that the right trunked Ganesha is very powerful and also hard to please.
This is the only Ashtavinayaka shrine that has the trunk of the deity to the right side.
Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir is also considered as Jagrut Kshetra by the natives.
The Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir consists of black stones faces the north direction.
The Garbhagriha or the sanctum is 15ft in height and 10 ft in width. It has Jaya-Vijaya, the gatekeepers of Vishnu’s abode adjoining the main idol of Siddhivinayaka.
The Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir has a dome-shaped ceiling and the deity and the Ganesha image is believed to be self-existent. This is a natural icon in the form of an elephant.
Devotees can see the icon seated cross-legged with his consort siddhi located nearby. The Almighty remains covered with flower garlands and sindoor paste.
The idol is covered with brass with the trunk turned towards the right direction.
The sanctum also has a Shiva-panchayatana along with a shrine dedicated to Goddess Shivai.
Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir Timings
The temple remains open from 4 AM to 9:15 PM.
It remains closed from 12:30 PM to 2 PM.
Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir Food Timings
The priest offers Khichdi to the Siddhatek Ganpati in the morning at 10 A.M.
He also presents the Mahabhog before the God at 12:30 P.M. It is then distributed among the devotees who visit the temple.
Festivals celebrated at Siddhatek Ganpati
There are many festivals that are observed in this temple premises. Thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine to take part in the sacred festivities. Devotees celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi festival from the first to the fifth day of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada.
Another important festival that draws visitors from all across India can be referred to the Ganesh Jayanti festival. It is another popular occasion that celebrates the birthday of Ganesha on the fourth day of the Hindu month of Magha. Pilgrims observe this festival from first to the fifth day of this month. Devotees take the Palki of Ganesha for three continuous days during this occasion.
Vijayadasami and Somavati Amavasya, a no-moon day that falls on a Monday are important days on which the temple organises a festival and a fair.
Poojas and Rituals at Siddhatek Ganpati
There is a definite way of worshiping the deity on a regular basis. The rituals start as early as 4:30 AM with Saharan Puja. Then the the priest bathes the idol and decorates it with fresh flowers and incense sticks.
This is followed by an offering of khichdi made to the deity at 10 AM.
Another puja called as Panchamriti is presented to the Almighty at 11 AM.
The offering of the most important meal of the day to God is in the form of Mahabhog at 12:30 PM.
The priests perform another puja post sunset and the Dhooparti are finally completed at 8:30 PM.
There can be additional puja and time of the rituals might be different on special occasions and festivities.
How to Reach Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir – Road, Rail, and Air
By Air – The nearest airport to reach this famous Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir is Pune Lohegaon Airport. This is located at a distance of 10 km from Pune. All major domestic airlines fly to this place.
By Train – A traveler can also pave the way for traveling through train services as well. Daund Junction Railway Station is only 18 km away on the Pune-Sholapur line is a major halt for long distance passenger trains.
By Road – There are many public and private bus services available from Daund and Pune to reach this village called Shirapur. It is only a kilometer away from Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir. There are boat services to reach this auspicious place of worship. Also, there is an alternate route comprising of 48 km from Daund-Kashti-Pedgoan. There are also many buses that travel from Pune directly to Siddhatek during the morning.
Hotels near Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir
There are many budgets as well as luxurious hotels available for rent during your visit to Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir. You can choose the place of accommodation as per to your needs. For example, if you are a single traveler and looking to save up on your budget, then dormitories or sharing rooms are a great alternative. For people traveling with families, there are double, triple and four beds available for rent.
Irrespective of the size of your room, all modern amenities are available in the hotels. From private balconies to basic electronic gadgets and free internet, the hotel staff provides all sorts of comfort to meet the requirements of a modern day traveler. The prices of the rooms depend on the kind of room one chooses to stay. On an average, the hotels provide a good discount if one books the rooms in advance. They also offer free pickup and drop services from the airport and the railway stations as well. Some lodging providers also offer complimentary breakfast options to their clients.
For people looking to stay at Siddhatek, prior booking is a must. It is hard to find a place to stay at this place in the last minute. One can call the Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir priest, Shree Gajanan Purohit to make prior arrangements near the Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir. The price charged is very moderate so that every traveler finds it budget friendly.
Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir – Where to eat
There are quite a few options available for good food.
In addition, the people of Siddhatek are very friendly and cordial in nature. One can try the conventional jhunka-bhakri meal by paying a small amount to the natives.
Other Ashtavinayak Temples
Mayureshwar Temple, Morgaon: Devotees begin and end their journey at the Mayureshwar Temple. Further, the temple got its name after the legend of Mayureshwar – Lord Ganesh riding a peacock, who defeated a demon at this place. It is in Moregaon, 160 km from the Girijatmaj Temple.
Girijatmaj Temple, Lenyadri: Goddess Parvathi performed penance at this place to have a child. Then, her prayers were answered when Lord Ganesh was born. The temple gets its name from the words Girija (Parvathi) and Atmaj (son). It is in Lenyadri, 87 km from the Vighneswar Vinayak.
Ballaleshwar Temple, Pali: This temple is named after Lord Ganesh’s devotee Ballal. This is the only Ganesh Temple named after a devotee. It is in Pali, 180 km from the Girijatmaj Temple.
Varad Vinayak Temple, Mahad:Lord Ganesh is referred to as Varadha Vinayak, the Lord who grants boons and wishes. It is in Mahad, 146 km from the Girijatmaj
Chintamani Temple, Theur: Lord Ganesh retrieved the invaluable jewel – Chintamani from a greedy demon and given it back to sage Kapila. The sage rewarded Lord Ganesh by placing around Lord Ganesh’s neck and hence was the name, Chintamani Vinayak. It is in Theur, 110 km from the Girijatmaj Temple.
Vighneshwar Vinayak Temple, Ozar: Lord Indra sent Vighnasur to disturb King Abhinandan’s prayer. The troubled devotees turned to Lord Ganesh who defeated the demon at this place. It is in Ozar, 87 km from the Girijatmaj
Vishal Ganpati Mandir- This temple is for Lord Ganesha. It is a 100-year-old temple. It presents a spectacular sight with a red coloured idol. The Ganesha sits posture and has a Shivalinga coiled by a snake that originates from the navel. There are many tourists who never leave the Ahmednagar city without paying a visit to this temple.
Shani Temple- This is another popular shrine located in Shingnapur village which is 35 km away from the Ahmednagar city. One of the unique things about this temple is that there is no idol present in the temple. Only a black stone stands on a beautiful platform. The native’s belief that this stone has extraordinary powers which protect the village from all sorts of evil.
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple– Being located only at a distance of 80 km from Ahmednagar, thousands of devotees throng to this place every day. Shirdi Sai Baba was a famous saint. Moreover, people considered him as the reincarnation of God by the pilgrims. This temple is located in Shirdi itself.
Renuka Temple- The famous Renuka Temple is only 3 km away from the Ahmednagar Railway Station. This shrine is for Goddess Durga. It is among few of the temples that enjoy huge adulation and respect among the local people. As it is a Devi temple, devotees celebrate the Navaratri festival here with lots of fervor.
Siddheshwar Temple- Present 40 km away from the Ahmednagar city, this beautiful temple has both a grand architecture along with a natural atmosphere. Also, this popular shrine, in fact, needs no introduction among both the devotees and the tourists visiting this holy place. It is for Lord Siddheshwar and is additionally very famous among the Lingayat community from the southern state of Karnataka.