Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir
- 1 Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir
- 1.1 History and Legend of Siddhatek Ganpati
- 1.2 Significance of the Siddhatek Ganpati
- 1.3 Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir Timings
- 1.4 Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir Food Timings
- 1.5 Festivals celebrated at Siddhatek Ganpati
- 1.6 Poojas and Rituals at Siddhatek Ganpati
- 1.7 How to Reach: Road, Rail, and Air
- 1.8 Hotels in Maharashtra: Where to stay
- 1.9 Where to eat
- 1.10 Other Ashtavinayak Temples
- 1.11 Nearby Temples
Hindu mythology dates back to several centuries where Lord Ganesh is worshiped before the start of any puja. Although there are many Ganesh temples located in and around various corners of the nation, the Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir makes way for special significance. Being one of the ‘Ashtavinayaka’ temples in Maharashtra, the Siddhatek Ganpati of Siddhatek is located close to the Daund railway station. This famous holy shrine stands supreme on a hillock being surrounded by dense forests of Babul trees. It is considered to be a sacred tourist destination for pilgrims all around the world.
History and Legend of Siddhatek Ganpati
- The auspicious shrine is said to have been built by Lord Vishnu. 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 people came to know about this shrine.
- Siddhatek Ganpati temple in its present form was built by Ahilyabai Holkar, the Philosopher Queen of Indore. Sardar Haripant Phadke was the commander in chief and an official of the Peshwa rulers. He had built the Nagarkhana or the chamber which is the home to Nagaras and a paved road leading to the main door of the temple. He was given this post after worshipping the deity for 21 days and daily circling the temple 21 times.
- The Ganapatya, a particular sect of people that worships Ganesha as the Supreme Almighty, Saint Morya Gosavi, and Narayan Maharaj are depicted as having 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 is said to have been 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. The demons, namely, Madhu and Kaitabha disturb the process of creation which made Lord Vishnu to rise from his sleep. Vishnu was unable to defeat them and asks Lord Shiva for help. Shiva points to him that he has forgotten to invoke Lord Ganesha before the fight. Consecutively, Vishnu performs penance at Siddhatek and invokes the God of beginning and obstacle removal. Ganesha being pleased defeated all the demons and it is in this place that Vishnu acquired siddhi and the place was named Siddhatek.
Significance of the Siddhatek Ganpati
- Siddhatek Ganpati is built along the river Bhima and is located 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.
- This holy place of worship is also considered as Jagrut Kshetra by the natives.
- The temple is made of black stones and is located facing 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 temple 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
- Siddhatek Ganpati remains open from 4 A.M. to 9:15 P.M.
- Siddhatek Ganpati remains closed from 12:30 P.M. to 2 P.M.
Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir Food Timings
- Siddhatek Ganpati deity is offered khichdi in the morning at 10 A.M.
- Mahabhog is also presented 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. The Ganesh Chaturthi festival is observed with great pomp from the first to the fifth day of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada. The Ganesh Chaturthi festival is observed on the fourth day herewith.
- 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. The Palki of Ganesha is also taken for three continuous days during this occasion.
- Among numerous festivals that are celebrated in this pious shrine, a festival and a fair is also organized on Vijayadasami and Somavati Amavasya, a no-moon day that falls on a Monday.
Poojas and Rituals at Siddhatek Ganpati
- There is a definite way of worshipping the deity on a regular basis. The rituals start as early as 4:30 A.M. with Saharan Puja. Then the idol is bathed and decorated with fresh flowers and incense sticks.
- This is followed by an offering of khichdi made to the deity at 10 A.M.
- Another puja called as Panchamriti is presented to the Almighty at 11 A.M.
- The most important meal if the day in the form of Mahabhog is offered to the God at 12:30 P.M.
- There is another puja that is performed post sunset and the Dhooparti are finally completed at 8:30 P.M.
- There can be additional puja and time of the rituals might be changed on special occasions and festivities.
How to Reach: Road, Rail, and Air
- By Air– The nearest airport to reach this famous temple 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 located at 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. There are boat services to reach this auspicious place of worship. There is also 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 in Maharashtra: Where to stay
There are many budgets as well as luxurious hotels available for rent during your visit to this sacred place of worship. 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 is dedicated to providing 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 temple priest, Shree Gajanan Purohit to make prior arrangements near the temple. The price charged is very moderate so that every traveler finds it budget friendly.
Where to eat
Maharashtra offers an array of exotic dishes for tourists who visit this place with their near and dear ones. The state generally offers spicy food but one can ask the chef to customize it as per their needs. There are many good eating joints that provide both traditional and international cuisines at a competitive price range. From Thai to Mexican to Italian and Chinese, there is a wide spread for food lovers to choose from. For people looking to experiment with traditional Indian dishes, a Thali fulfills the purpose. It is a complete meal comprising of vegetables, rice, dal, roti, curd, salad and pickle. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are available for tourists.
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: 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, 160 km from the Girijatmaj Temple.
- 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, 87 km from the Vighneswar Vinayak.
- 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, 180 km from the Girijatmaj Temple.
- Varad 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, 146 km from the Girijatmaj
- Chintamani Temple, Theur: This temple is the fifth in the list of Ashtavinayak temples. Lord Ganesh is believed to have 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 known as Chintamani Vinayak. The Chintamani Temple is located at Theur, 110 km from the Girijatmaj 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, 87 km from the Girijatmaj
- 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 Mahaganapati Temple is located at Ranjangaon, 86 km from the Girijatmaj.
- Vishal Ganpati Mandir- This temple as the name suggests is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is a 100-year-old temple made up of white marble. It presents a spectacular sight and the idol is red in color. The Ganesha is found in sitting 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. This is famous and unique owing to its legendary stories and distinct features. One of the unique things about this temple is that there is no idol present in the temple. Only a black stone is erected 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– This is another famous tourist destination that needs no introduction. 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 who was widely considered as the reincarnation of God by the pilgrims. And as the name suggests, 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 dedicated to Goddess Durga and is counted among few of the temples that enjoy huge adulation and respect among the local people. As it is a Devi temple, the Navaratri festival is observed with lots of fervor. During this sacred festival, many devotees gather in the temple to offer prayers and seek blessings of the Goddess.
- Siddheshwar Temple- Being located 40 km from the Ahmednagar city, this beautiful temple has both a grand architecture along with a natural atmosphere. This popular shrine, in fact, needs no introduction among both the devotees and the tourists visiting this holy place. It is dedicated to Lord Siddheshwar and is additionally very famous among the Lingayat community from the southern state of Karnataka.