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Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple

Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple, Kottarakkara

Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple is located in Kottarakkara Taluk in Kollam district of Kerala. Kottarakkara Ganapathy is often referred as ‘Vigneshwaran’ which means the one who removes all obstacles.  The outlook of  Sri Ganesha is described as yellow skinned, short with a big round belly, elephant headed with one trunk, four arms, large ears and bright shining eyes. Apart from the presiding deity, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi, Lord Murugan, Lord Ayyappa, and Lord Nagaraja are also worshipped here.  Kottaram means Palace and Kara means Land. The last queen of the Elayidathu Swaroopam voluntarily surrendered to King Marthanda Varma of Travancore in the 18th century. Kottarakara is the place where the classical art form of Kathakali was conceived. It is a famous pilgrim centre for the Hindus as the seat of the famous Ganapathy Temple.

Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple

History and Legend of Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple

  • The place that we now call Mahaganapathy temple is actually Kizhakkekara Shiva temple.  The main deity is none other than Lord Shiva himself. Shiva is facing eastward. In fact Ganesha is only a minor deity here. But Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple today is famous as a Ganesha temple rather than a Shiva temple.
  • This legend is associated with Perumthachan. The royal sculptors Perumthachan (Master Carpenter) had a son. He mastered and excelled in carpentry and architecture like his father.
  • His son soon excelled his own perfection. The fame of Perumthachan soon spread far and wide. This is said to have caused a sort of professional jealousy in Perumthachan. According to the Aithihyamala, Perumthachan dropped his chisel on his own son faking it as an accident.
  • After the death of his son Perumthachan started wandering. One day he reached Kottarakkara. The Padinjattinkara temple was under renovation at that time. He saw a big piece of jack tree root inside the Sarppakkavu.
  • It is believed that he sculptured a beautiful Ganapathy idol from the root of the jack tree. Perumthachan had seeked the permission of the tantri (chief priest) of Padinajattinkara temple to install the idol there. The tantri denied permission because there is already one Ganapathy idol.
  • Perumthachan changed his plans and later, having secured the permission of the tantri of Manikandeswaram Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple installed the idol there. The melsanthi (head priest) was preparing nivedyam (offerings for the Lord) there.
  • He had asked the head priest what the nivedyam for Ganapathy will be. The priest suggested unniyappam and Perumthachan readily agreed. It is said that Perumthachan immediately offered half a dozen unniyappams in a plantain leaf before the deity. And still, koottappam is considered the favourite nivedyam of Ganapathy.
  • Perumthachan had then predicted that even though the principal deity is father (Shiva), the son (Ganapathy) will become more famous. The kitchen where Unniappams are prepared is situated in front of the Ganapathy shrine.
  • Other story associated with this temple is that Kottarakkara Thampuran’s daughter was getting married.  He requested Zamorin of Kozhikode  to send a dance troupe from Malabar to perform in his daughter’s wedding.  But the Zamorin sarcastically denied to send the troupe saying that people of South Kerala cannot appreciate a fine art like Krishnanattam.  This insulted the Kottarakkara Thampuran and he prayed to  Lord Ganapathy at Kizhakkekara for a way out.
  • Sri Mahaganapathy appeared in the dream of the Thampuran and gave him the idea to create a new art form.  It was Saraswathi Kadaksham and  the Thampuran wrote the Ramanattam. He designed the costumes and in record time performed the Arangetram during the marriage of his daughter.  This was a fitting reply to the arrogance of the Zamorin of Kozhikode.

Significance of Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple

  • Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Temple is beautiful and magnificent. Number of rituals is being done here by the priests. Different schedules are followed to worship and to perform the rituals devoted to the presiding deity of the temple.
  • Kottarakkara was the capital of the famous ‘Ilayidathu swaroopam’. As the name explains, there existed about seven palaces and the place was called ‘The land of palaces’ – “Kottarakkara”. ‘Kottarakkara Kovilakam’ was the younger ‘thavazhy’ of the ‘Venad’ dynasty.
  • So this was known as the Ilayidathu (younger) swaroopam, and also as Kunninmel. The land spreads from Kottarakkara, Pathanapuram and Nedumangad to Shencottah in the east.

Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple Timings and Poojas

  • Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple remains open from 4:00 AM to 11:30 AM in the morning and 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the evening. Palliyunathal is performed followed by Nadathurakkal at 4:30 AM. It is the opening of the sanctum sanctorum to enable the devotees to venerate the holy portrait of the deity.
  • Then there is Nirmalyam at 4:40 AM which is intended for seeking permission of Dwasthhas and the deity for entering the sanctum. Then the doors are opened and the lights are lit.  Divine worship of the idol at this stage is known as Nirmalya Darshana.
  • There are different important rituals that are performed in the morning. It includes Abhishekam that is conducted at 4:50 AM which is followed by Ashtadravya Ganapathyhoman. Abhishekam, is conducted by priests, by pouring libations on the deity being worshipped, amidst the chanting of mantras.
  • The first worship of the day is Usha pooja or pooja at dawn. Though generally the time of Usha pooja is thirty minutes after the sunrise, there are variations in the timings on various temples. It is performed at 6:00 AM. Ethrtiheu pooja is conducted at the moment when the rays of the sun are in front of the deity or garbha dwara and it is conducted at 7:00 AM.
  • Pantheeradi pooja is elaborate in nature and done only in major temples. This is done 2 hours after sunrise and it is performed at 9:00 AM. Navaka Pooja is done only in major temples especially in Siva temples. Here it is performed at 10:00 AM.
  • After the Ucha Pooja that is performed at 10:30 AM the temple closes in the morning at around 11:30 AM.
  • Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple opens again at 5:PM and there is a evening pooja that is Deeparadhana that is performed by the priest at 6:30 PM. Deeparadhana is the worship with lamps, performed at dawn and dusk. Pyramidal lamps with seven tiers,lamps with five wicks and plain lamps with a single wick are lightened and waved several times in front of the Lord, from head to foot. Similar waving is then done with lighted camphor. It is considered to be an auspicious act to pray during deeparadhana time.  Athazha pooja vis the last pooja conducted in a temple on a day.  This is done between one and two hours after sunset. It is performed at 7:45 PM and the temple finally closes at 8:00 PM.

Dhara,Chathussatham for Mahadev, Archana for Goddess Parvathy, Lemon garland for Subramanya, Unniyappam for Ganapathy and 41 days Mandalam Chirappu is also very important. Unni Appam is the offering that is especially prepared to offer to the deity of Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Temple.

Festivals celebrated at Kottarakkara Ganapathy Temple

  • Vinayaka Chathurthy: Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the important Hindu festivals. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesh. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on Shukla Chaturthi of the Hindu month of Bhadra (generally falls between August and September). This particular day is marked with great Mahaganapathy Homam, using 1008 coconuts. Mahaganapathi is believed to remove obstacles not only in the material world but also in one’s spiritual progress. The Mahaganapathi homam is performed by people desiring progress in various material pursuits as well as those seeking liberation and spiritual awakening.
  • Navarathri: Navratri is traditionally celebrated at the beginning of autumn every year, when everything in nature starts undergoing transformation. These nine nights are said to be precious as there are subtle energies in the creation that are enriched at this time of the year. Navaratri is divided into sets of three days to adore different aspects of the supreme goddess. On the first three days, the Mother is invoked as powerful force called Durga in order to destroy all our impurities, vices and defects. The next three days, the Mother is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth, Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees the inexhaustible wealth. The final set of three days is spent in worshipping the mother as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. Thousands throng to the temple to perform the Vidyarambham.
  • Vishu: Vishu is the first day of the local calendar and is the beginning of Meda Rashi, the first zodiac sign. It usually falls in the second week of April according to the English calendar. It marks the beginning of new hopes and aspirations and is celebrated widely all across the state. People start with early morning prayers at dawn on this auspicious day by visiting the temple.
  • Sivarathri: Sivaratri, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is celebrated on the moonless night of the month of Phalguna.  the night time is considered sacred and suitable for the worship of the feminine aspect of’ the deity and the day time for that of’ the masculine. The people who observe this Sivaratri- Vratha take only single meal during the day previous to the Vratha day. The observance of the Vratha is believed to secure for the devotee immunity from the effects of sin.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Road: Buses and Taxis can be boarded from Kottarakkara, Kollam, Trivandrum and Kottayam that takes the passengers directly to the Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Temple.

By Rail: The Nearest Railway station is Kottarakkara station. Board a train passing through Kottarakkara, Kollam and Trivandrum railway stations to reach the temple. Kollam station is at a distance of  28 Km and Trivandrum at a distance of 70 Km.

By Air: The Nearest Airport is Trivandrum Airport that is 70 Km from the temple. Kochi Airport is at a distance of 191 Km.

Where to stay

There are many hotels as well as guest rooms near the hotel. The rooms are well equipped with all the basic amenities.

  • Ambalakkara Regency Hotel Contact: Pulamon Junction, Kottarakkara
  • Harisree Residency Contact: Kottiyam Kundara Road, Perumpuzha, Kottamkara
  • Hotel Indraprastha Pattazhy Contact: Market Junction, Pattazhy P.O., Kollam
  • Hotel Midhuna International Contact: Enathu, Kottarakara – Adoor Road
  • Park Residency Contact: Paracode, Kayamkulam Pathanapuram Highway
  • Hotel Vrindhavanam Inn Contact: Near KSRTC Bus Station, Punalur

Where to eat

Kottarakkara Unniyappam (small appam) is as famous as Ambalapuzha Palpayasam. If you start eating one, you feel like having more. Cooked in special taste the unniyappam comes with sprinkled sugar on it. The grace of Lord Ganapathi makes unniyappam as double sweet to the believers. It is said that unniyappam was the first offering given to the Ganapati temple which was installed by Peruthachan. Besides there are many restaurants nearby that offers amazing food of kerala cuisine.

Nearby Temples

Mannady Temple: Mannadi is a small village situated in Kollam (district of Kerala.It is believed that the KALI of this temple is very powerful and if worshipped with devotion all the wishes will come true. The Kerala Institute of Folklore and Folk Arts functions here.Madanthampuran and Yakshiamma were positioned as Safe Guard to Devi. The ancestors who had brought Devi to the temple were worshipped in the Nomenclatures of Manthramoorthy and Yogeeshwaran after their Death. Poojas were not been performed systematically.Hence, the youth adopted the management of the temple from the Pallithanam Family. They appointed a Priest and thus Poojas performed regularly.  

Pattazhy Devi Temple: Pattazhi is a small village in the eastern part of Kollam District in Kerala. It is located just 10 kilometers away from Kottarackara and just 9 kilometers from Pathanapuram. The temple is an ancient temple and the legend. The land of Pattazhy consists of two panchayat areas and was given as a gift to Goddess Pattazhy Devi by the King of Travancore. Pattazhy has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for growing the longest bamboo. The temple has been taken care of by nine families once. Then a man called “kambithan” came there. He was very powerful and had many divine powers too. He took care of the administration of the temple.There is a Shiva Temple which seems to be older than this Devi temple which is located near to this temple.

Pallickal Devi Temple: Pallickal Devi Temple is one of the famous temple in Kollam District. This is one of the sub temples of Mannadi temple. Pallikkal Maha Devi temple has a rich history of more than thousand years. Pallikkalamma is a mother goddess with sathvika bhavam. There are a number of incidents to illustrate her kindness.

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple

Pazhavangadi Maha Ganapathi Temple is one of the renowned Lord Ganesha temples in Kerala. It is situated at the heart of East Fort, Thiruvananthapuram. The original idol of the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple is a small idol of Lord Ganesh, with the right leg in the folded posture.

Other deities worshiped at Pazhavangadi Maha Ganapati Kovil are Lord Ayyappa, Goddess Durga, Nagaraja, and Brahmarakshas. Devotees can see beautiful paintings of the 32 forms of Lord Ganesh inside the temple complex. Devotees break coconuts in front of this temple and one can hear the continuous cracking sound of coconuts as if firecrackers are being burst. There is small tank in front for breaking coconuts and sack full of coconuts get broken here. The main offering at Pazhavangadi Maha Ganapathi Temple is breaking of Coconuts to remove obstacles. Modak is the favourite dish of Lord Ganesh, hence one can offer Modak as well. Another important offering to the Lord is Ganapathy Homam.

There are two images of Ganesha inside the sanctum. One  made of Granite other  made of gold. Though the temple is very small, there are also shrines for Sasthavu, Bhagavathy and Nagas. This is one of the most famous Lord Ganesh temples in Kerala, situated in the East Fort, Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). The temple is situated within walking distance from Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple of Lord Vishnu.

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple

History and Legend of Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple

  • The original Ganesha idol was installed in the temple and was worshipped by a soldier of Travancore Army stationed at Padmanabhapuram. In 1795 A.D, when the capital of Travancore was changed to Thiruvananthapuram, the garrison also shifted. And the idol was installed at its present place at Pazhavangadi.
  • This temple was maintained by the Indian Army, while majority of the temples of Kerala are managed by the Devaswam Board and some are private.
  • When the headquarters of the Travancore Kingdom was at Padmanabhapuram (Now part of Tamilnadu), the soldiers who kept vigil at the fort were said to be disturbed by a Yakshi during night time.
  • One soldier was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganapathy. He was given duty one night, he believed that the Lord will take care and went to have a bath in the river. He stumbled upon an idol of the Lord and he took that with him when he went to keep vigil. He was unaffected by the Yakshi.
  • A temple was built at that place for the idol and the soldiers worshipped the Lord. In 1795, the headquarters was shifted to Trivandrum and the soldiers shifted their Lord also.The present temple was built in 1860 and the Lord was kept there by the then ruler Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal.Thus the temple is being managed by the Army.

Significance of the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple

  • This temple is very famous, situated in the heart of the city and is always thronged by the devotees. The main ritual is breaking coconut, soorathengai udaipathu. Around 2500 coconuts are broken everyday.The place used to be a fruit market in olden days- Pazha angadi, and called Pazhavangadi now.
  • The idol of Lord Vishnu on the Serpent Anantha in a reclining posture is made of Kudusarkara blended with expensive things. This idol also includes herbs and Salagramam, which is usually not used in Kudusarkara idols. The detection of gold jewels on the idol developed great interest in the temple and made a significant record in the history.
  • This temple is the historical landmark of Trivandrum. This temple is an illustration of Dravidian as well as South Indian architecture. Once in 6 yrs a 56 day long Murajapam is performed.

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple Timings

The temple remains open from 4:30 AM to 10:45 AM in the morning and 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM in the evening.

Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple Rules to follow

For males no shirt allowed inside nalambalam (inner complex). Male devotees are expected to wear Kerala Mundu, which is also known as Veshti or Dhoti. For females any traditional dress allowed. Traditional dress like Saree, Churidar, Salwar Kameez or Skirt can be worn. .Ladies need to wear Dupatta to enter Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple.

Festivals celebrated at the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple

Vinayaka Chaturthi: Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the important Hindu festivals. It is celebrated throughout India with a great devotion. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesh. It is observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September) and the grandest and most elaborate way. The duration of this festival varies from 1 day to 11 days, depending on the place and tradition.

Varad Chaturthi: Varad Chaturthi, or Varad Til Chaturthi, is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesh. It is observed on the fourth day of the Shukla Paksha of Magh month (January – February). Popular belief is that observing Varad Vinayak Chaturthi Vrat will bring prosperity, happiness and fulfillment of desires. As a legend narrated by Nandi to the Sanatkumara sages, god Krishna was charged with stealing as he saw the moon on Magha shukla chaturthi – which was prohibited. He observed fast on this day and got rid of the accusation of stealing. The fast observed on this day is stated to enhance the name and fame of the individual.

Sankashti Chaturthi: Sankashti Chaturthi is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesha in a Hindu lunar month. When the Sankashti Chaturthi falls on the Tuesday it is known as Angarak Sankashti and is considered highly auspicious.

Poojas and Rituals at Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple

Several special poojas like Ganapathy Homam and Archanas are performed here.

Special poojas are performed for other Hindu festivals including Thiruvonam, Navaratri Vijaya Dasami, Ayilyam, Sahasra Kalasam, Thirkkarththika, Thirvathira, Makara Vilakku, Maha Shivaratri, Vishu, Thriveda Laksharcchana and Nira Puththari.

Ayilyam Nakshtram in Kanni Masam is of great significance at Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple. It has a place designated for Nagas or Serpents. On this day, special rituals and poojas dedicated to Nagaraja and Nagayakshi are performed.It is considered highly auspicious to offer prayers to Nagas or Snakes on the day.

Following poojas are performed in the particular months:

  • Makaravilakku Pooja (January)
  • Sivarathri pooja (February)
  • Vishukkani (April)
  • Niraputhari (July)
  • Sahasra Kalasabhishekam (December)

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Road:  There are many public and private vehicles available to reach Pazhavangadi Maha Ganapathi Temple Thiruvananthapuram.The nearest City Bus Stand is East Fort (Kizhakke Kotta).

By Rail: The Nearest Railway station is Thiruvananthapuram station. Sree Pazhavangadi Mahaganapathy Temple is just 1.5 kms from Trivandrum Central Railway Station and Thiruvananthapuram Central Bus Station.

By Air: The Nearest Airport is Thiruvananthapuram Airport. Trivandrum International Airport is about 8 km from the temple.

Where to stay

There are number of hotels as well as guest rooms near the temple. The rooms are well equipped with all the latest facilities and provides an amazing experience to the devotees.

  • Hotel Fort View  Contact: Pazhavangadi, Trivandrum, India
  • Hotel Asliyya Grande  Contact: Navaikulam, Trivandrum 695603, India
  • Uday Suites Contact: T.C. 34/757/3, Watts Lane Beach | Shangumugham, Trivandrum 695007, India
  • Samrat Hotel Contact: Thakaraparambu Road, Trivandrum, India
  • Hotel Highland Park Contact: Manjalikulam Road | Thampanoor, Trivandrum 695001, India
  • Mannil Regency Contact: Near Stadium College Road, Pathanamthitta, India
  • Hotel Galaxy Inn Contact: Power House Road | Marakkada Lane, Trivandrum 695036, India
  • Pravin Tourist Home Contact: Manjalakulam Road | Thampannoor, Trivandrum, India
  • Hotel Venus International Contact: S.S Kovil Road | Thampanoor, Trivandrum, India

Where to eat

There are many restaurants near the temple that offers delicious food. There are places for both vegetarian and non vegetarian food that is offered. The meal mostly consists steamed rice and dal. Some of the popular restaurants nearby are:

  • Panchali Restaurant Contact: Ground Floor, Rajadhani Buildings, East Fort
  • Venkadesa Bhavan Contact: West Nada Pazhavangadi
  • Villa Maya Contact: Airport Road, Trivandrum Vallakadavu
  • Buhari Hotel Restaurant Contact: Attakulangara, Eastfort
  • Aiswarya Hotel Restaurant Contact: Thakaraparambu Road Opposite Capstocks, Thakaraparambu
  • Ariya Niwas Contact: Aristo Junction, Manorama Road Thampanoor

Nearby Temples

Karikkakom Sri Chamundi Temple: Chamundi Devi itself is considered as a fierce form of Kali, but the same Chamundi Devi is adorned here in three different forms in three different sanctums and is situated adjacently. Devotees can pay special charges to open those Sanctums and perform  their offerings. The deity used to get valuable gifts for helping retrieve stolen articles. This is a regular feature. And many testify that Devi has helped retrieve stolen articles.There is Raktha Chamundi Nada (Raktha Chamundi front path) on the right side of Devi Nada (front path).

This Raktha Chamundi Nada has no idol. Instead, there is wall painting of Devi in Rowdra Bhava (ferocious state) in the wall of Nada. Years back this Nada was used to elicit truth from suspected culprits. This practice is still prevalent, but it is done before the deity of Chamundi Devi.The Chamundi  Devi form which is existing  open always during temple hours is considered as in a calm state. Whereas ‘Raktha Chamundi’ is considered as fierce, but helps devotees to fulfil their wishes. Bala Chamundi Devi is in Childhood form. If Offerings are given to Raktha Chamundi Devi and prayed,  she will remove our obstacles,problems caused by enemies and cures chronic ailments.

Attukal Bhagavathy Temple: Attukal Bhagavathy Amman Temple is one of the famous shrines in south kerala. It is situated in Trivandrum City. It is the place where Millions of women annually gather together for famous Attukal Pongala Festival. The Gopuram of the temple is decorated with many sculptures, which is an architectural blend of both Tamil and kerala culture. These sculptures tell us the story of kannaki charitham, Dakshayaga etc.Main Deity is Kannaki and the other deities in the temple are Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Serpent and Madan Thampuran.

Irumkulangara Durga Devi Temple: Irumkulangara Durga Devi Temple is a Hindu temple located in Thottam, Thiruvananthapuram. It is one of the most ancient temples that is situated about two kilometres to the southeast of Padmanabhaswami Temple in Thiruvananthapuram city. There are two ponds that are located in the premises of the temple. This temple has strong ties with the famous Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple of Thiruvananthapuram. Priests from the big Padmanabha Swamy Temple would arrive at Irumkulangara by country boats for performing poojas and rituals.The main deity of Irumkulangara Durga Devi Temple is Goddess Durga. The deity here appears as Durgabhagavathi, an avatar of AdiParasakthi. Apart from the main deity there are many other upa devathas (sub-deities) adjacent to the temple like the Lord Ganesh, Nagaraja, Brahmarakshas, Madan Thampuran, Sri Bhairava Moorthy and Navagrahas.

Major Vellayani Devi Temple: Vellayani Devi Temple is a popular devotional centre in Trivandrum, situated about nine kilometers away from Trivandrum Railway Station. Vellayani Devi Temple is said to be build in the 14th century AD.  The main attraction of this temple is its picturesque view.The temple has a big idol known in the local Malayalam language as Thirumudi. This idol is four and a half feet in height as well as width. The idol is Bhadrakali, supposed to have incarnated as the daughter of Lord Shiva. Pure gold ornaments and several precious stones decorate the frontal view of this impressive and large idol.   The temple has eastern and northern towers called Gopurams with statues of different Gods sculptured in them. The Gopurams function as gateways through the walls that surround the temple complex.

Morgaon Ganpati

Morgaon Ganpati Mandir

India is a land of various cultures and religions. People irrespective of one’s caste and creed dwell together which makes it a secular nation. Hindus are a majority among the religions and Lord Ganesha is the most loved and admired God among the devotees. Not only the Hindus, but people of all religions consider Lord Ganesha to be auspicious and Siddhi-data. The deity symbolic icon consists of an elephant head with a curved trunk and huge ears on a big human body. Devotees from all over the world offer Laddus, popular Indian sweets to the God. It is also his favorite offering. Lord Ganesha is one of the most popular symbols associated with Hinduism. According to legends, Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva, the destroyer in the Holy Trinity of Gods and Goddess Parvati who is one of the many incarnations of Devi Shakti. Lord Ganesha is said to be worshiped before any puja or festivity. In fact, every ritual is incomplete without worshiping the Almighty. While his head represents the holy Atma of the body, the body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of the human beings. One will be amazed to know that the Almighty’s head is believed to be an epitome of wisdom and prudence. The trunk symbolizes Om, the holy sound symbol of the cosmic reality. The Lord holds a goad in the upper right hand which helps him to guide human beings onto the eternal path. It is also a symbol of the removal of all hurdles along the way. In addition, the noose on the Lord’s left hand is present to capture and get rid of all the difficulties. There are many Ganesha temples all around India, but your trip remains incomplete without visiting the auspicious shrine of Ganesh Temple at Morgaon Ganpati in Maharashtra. Currently, this famous pilgrimage destination is under the administration of the Chinchwad Devasthan Trust that operates from Chinchwad.

Morgaon Ganpati

History and Legend of Morgaon Ganpati

  • As per the historical records, there was a prominent Ganapatya saint named Morya Gosavi who used to worship at the Morgaon Ganesha temple before relocating to Chinchwad where he built a new shrine. This temple along with other temples near Pune enjoyed royal patronage from the Brahmin Peshwa rulers of the Maratha Empire during the 18th The rulers who worshiped Ganesha as their family deity donated land and money to this temple.
  • As per Anne Feldhaus, the date of this temple stands disputed. It does not go back to the seventeenth century when the Morya Gosavi popularized it.
  • According to Ganesha Purana, Lord Ganesha was incarnated as Mayureshwar who had six arms and a white complexion. He was born in the Treta Yuga for the purpose of killing the demon named Sindhu. The demon caused hardship to the people of the Universe and Gods pleaded to Ganpati for help. The Lord came down on a peacock mount and waged a battle against Sindhu and later vanquished him.
  • The original image of the Lord was built out of precious metal and was installed by the creator of the universe, Lord Brahma. It was later that the Pandava princes installed a copper image during the course of their pilgrimage.
  • There is another legend stating that as this place was populated by peacocks giving the place its Marathi name, Morgaon or the Village of Peacocks. The presiding God was named as Moreshwar.
  • Another significant Ganapatya legend states that Lord Brahma along with Vishnu, Shiva, the Divine Mother Devi and Surya meditated at Morgaon to gain knowledge about their creator and the purpose of existence. It was then Lord Ganesha appeared before them in the form of an Omkara flame and blessed them.

Significance of Morgaon Ganpati Temple

  • The sacred place of worship is enclosed by a huge stone boundary wall with minarets at all the four corners of the temple. The four gates which depict four ages face a cardinal direction with an image of Ganesha.
  • Each of the four Ganesha forms is related to an aim of life and also accompanied by two attendants.
  • The main entrance of the shrine is located facing in the north direction.
  • This beautiful courtyard has two Deepmalas and a 6-foot mouse that sits in front of the temple. An enormous structure of Nandi is positioned facing the Lord on the outside of the Morgaon Ganpati Temple gates.
  • Recently there is an assembly hall which is the home to the deities of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi. This, in turn, paves a way for the central hall that was built by the Patwardhan Rulers of Kurundwad.
  • Morgaon Ganpati temple’s ceiling stone is made up of a single stone and the Garbhagriha houses a central image of the Lord facing the north direction.
  • The space around the assembly hall contains 23 different idols symbolizing various forms of Lord Ganesha. These idols include the images of the eight forms of the God as explained in Mudgala Purana.

Morgaon Ganpati Temple Timings

  • Morgaon Ganpati temple opens at 5 A.M. and closes at 10 P.M.
  • Morgaon Ganpati temple remains closed from 12 noon to 3 P.M.

Morgaon Ganpati Temple Food Timings

  • Pilgrims are offered Mahaprasada from 12 Noon to 2 P.M. on a regular basis. This facility is provided by the Devasthana. Annadana fund is also accepted in this temple.
  • The devotees are offered Cashew nuts and Groundnut Laddus as Prasad.

Festivals celebrated at the Morgaon Ganpati Temple

  • Ganesh Jayanti or the festival that celebrates the birthday of Lord Ganesha sees thousands of devotees assembling in the temple premises.
  • Ganesh Chaturthi is another huge festival that is celebrated with great pomp. Every year people from distant places gather in this place to offer prayers and seek blessings from the Almighty. It is celebrated in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada and the celebrations last for more than a month. Devotees can offer a donation to the Chinchwad Deosthan Trust and collect the receipt. The Prasad can be sent to the pilgrims by post.
  • Vijayadasami is also observed with great fervor by the devotees.
  • Some other festivals that are observed in this temple include Shukla Chaturthi, Krishna Chaturthi, and Somavati Amavasya.

Poojas and Rituals at Morgaon Ganpati

  • Lord Ganesha is worshiped with great dedication in this temple. The God gets awake at 5 A.M. and the divine cleansing pooja is performed. This is followed by Panchopachara pooja, Naivedya, and Dhoop aarti at 7 A.M. Maha Pooja is performed at 12 Noon and at 3 P.M, the divine cleansing pooja takes place. The Aarti of the Avarana Deities is offered to the God at 8 P.M. and the Maha Aarti takes place at 8:30 P.M. The final aarti is performed at 10 P.M.
  • A ritual called as Abhyanga Snana is performed every Saturday after the aarti at night.
  • Special pooja is also performed on special occasions like Sankasta Chaturthi at the rise of the Moon.
  • Alamkara pooja is a special ritual where devotees offer Apati leaves to the Lord on Vijaya Dashami.

How to Reach: Road, Rail, and Air

  • By Air– For tourists planning to visit this auspicious shrine by flight, Pune airport is the nearest destination. One can hire either private cabs or opt for bus services to reach the temple.
  • By Train– Railways connect India in the truest sense. There are loads of people communicating through the train and for them; the Jejuri Railway Station located at 17 km from the temple is the nearest station.
  • By Road– This place is well connected by roads from Pune as well. There are special buses called as Astha Vinayak darshan which takes tourists to all the eight temples. It is run by Government of Maharashtra and also by private operators.

Hotels near Morgaon Ganpati: Where to stay

Tourists who would like to stay here can put up at various hotels located near Pune. Although temple guest house is not available but there are various places of accommodation for tourists. For example, pilgrims traveling alone or on a limited budget can opt for dormitories or share rooms. And for people traveling with family, double to triple bedded rooms are also available. There are many international hotels that provide complimentary breakfast options for its clients. One can also customize the menu as per to their taste and requirements. However, it is always advisable to book one’s accommodation in advance. This will not only ensure security but also pave a way for great deals as well. One can also avail the free pickup and drop services of the hotels to avoid any involvement of private cab services.

Where to eat

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing one’s food. A tourist will never encounter any problem once one visits this place as there are ample numbers of eating joints that provide fresh food at unbeatable prices. Enjoy a 5-course meal coupled with proper ambiance and live music at international restaurants or opt for roadside food that has a rustic charm. Food is entirely one’s decision and whatever your decision is, you will never be disappointed. A tourist will always get the desired cuisine along with specialty food as well.

Maharashtrian cuisine includes lots of options in veggies, dal, and rice, chapatti of two or three varieties and even pickles and papad. Apart from that, there are also healthy snacks and breakfast options available for travelers. Some hotels also have private dining resorts for their clients. So if you want to enjoy such private services, you need to book your stay in advance.

Other Ashtavinayak Temples

  • 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
  • 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, 160km from the Girijatmaj 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, 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.

Nearby Temples

  • Shree Khandoba Temple- Khandoba, otherwise called Khanderao, Khanderaya, Malhari Martand and Mallu Khan is a local Hindu God who is worshiped as Martanda Bhairava, a form of Shiva, primarily in the Indian Deccan Plateau. The Lord is depicted either as a Lingam or as a picture riding a bull. The preeminent focal point of Khandoba love is Jejuri in Maharashtra. The legends of Khandoba found in the text Malhari Mahatmya furthermore described in folk songs, revolve around his triumph over evil spirits Mani-malla and his marriages.
  • Rokdoba Hanuman Temple- This is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman and is a symbol of strength and dedication towards one’s Lord. People come here to seek blessings and offer prayers. Besides, there is also another temple built nearby the Hanuman temple. This is devoted to Lord Ram, who was the Guru of Hanuman.
  • Baleshwar Mandir- This famous temple was built by the rulers of the Chand dynasty. It is a beautiful specimen of stone carving and architecture. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is also called as Baleshwar. There are two different sanctuaries in the compound of Baleshwar, one committed to Ratneshwar and other to Champawati Durga. One can also find a fresh water resource situated close to the temple premises.
  • Janubai Mandir- It is a sacred destination for tourists visiting Pune in Maharashtra. Being located among the beautiful valleys, it presents for a wonderful sight. The Goddess of Jejuri is worshiped with intense dedication by the locals. There are a large number of pilgrims who visits this pious shrine on a daily basis.
  • Om Shree Datt Mandir- The deity of this temple involves the trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. They are collectively called as Trimurti by the devotees. The term ‘Dattatreya’ can be split into two parts, namely, ‘Datta’ meaning given and ‘Atreya’ pointing towards the sage Atri, his physical father. It is said that around 100 years ago, one pious lady in the Pune city Late Smt. Laxmibai Dagdu Halwai had installed a Datta Temple as per the advice of her Guru viz. Shri Madhavnath of Indore, who was a great devotee of Lord Gurudatta.
Siddhatek Ganpati

Siddhatek Ganpati

Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir

Siddhatek Ganpati Video

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 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.
  • Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir is also considered as Jagrut Kshetra by the natives.
  • The Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir 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 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

  • Siddhatek Ganpati remains open from 4 AM to 9:15 PM.
  • Siddhatek Ganpati remains closed from 12:30 PM to 2 PM.

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 worshiping the deity on a regular basis. The rituals start as early as 4:30 AM 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 AM.
  • Another puja called as Panchamriti is presented to the Almighty at 11 AM.
  • The most important meal if the day in the form of Mahabhog is offered to the God at 12:30 PM.
  • There is another puja that is performed post sunset and the Dhooparti are finally completed at 8:30 PM.
  • There can be additional puja and time of the rituals might be changed 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 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 Ganpati Mandir. 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 near Siddhatek Ganpati Mandir – Where to stay

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 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 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: 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.

Nearby Temples

  • 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 TempleThis 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.

Saras Baug Pune

Saras Baug Pune – Sacred ground of Faith

 Among all the beautiful and popular shrines in Maharashtra,the Ganpati temple in Saras Baug Pune is one of the cherished one.The temple is known for its rich historical background and also has an identity of its own owning to its unique island position in the midst of a lake and that’s why popularly known as “The Talyatla Ganpati” (Talyatla means inside a lake in Marathi).This island was named as Sarasbhaug by Balaji Baji Rao (also known as Nanasaheb), who was a Peshwa (Prime minister) of the Maratha empire in India.In May this year,Sarasbhaug will complete its 232 auspicious years.

Ganesh Chaturthi festival holds a  special place in every Maharastrian’s heart and Punekars are no different.On an average,Sarasbaug temple sees ten thousand devotees everyday and this figure goes upto Eighty thousand  per day on Ganesh Chaturthi and several other occasions.The temple is run by Shree Devdeveshwar trust which is a public charitable trust in Pune.The monument and Devasthan were originally a property of Peshwa which was later on confiscated by British Raj in 1818 AD when they overpowered the Peshwas.Taking into consideration the resistance of the local population,the British decided to play safe and returned back the confiscated articles and idols.

 Saras Baug Pune 2

History of Saras Baug Pune

  • The history of the sarasbaug temple dates back to 18th century and can be traced back to the Maratha period.It was constructed when Nanasaheb Peshwa ruled almost the entire India
  • The lake where the island is located is situated at the foothills of Parvati hills whose area is about 25 acres.The island of about 25000 sq.ft area was retained in the middle of this lake.
  • A beautiful island was created on this island and Nanasahb Peshwa gave it a rather poetic name “Sarasbaug”.
  • In 1784, Shrimant Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa built a small temple in Sarasbaug and installed the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak Gajanan, the God he worshipped. Naturally Parvati, Sarasbaug and the lake became places of worship and leisurely walks for the people of Pune.
  • In 1784,Madhavrao Peshwa(son of Nanasaheb) built a temple in Sarasbaug and installed the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak Gajanan,the God he worshipped.It’s said that the one who comes to pray here everyday at the same time for straight 21 days,that devotee’s wishes get fulfilled.
  • Today,there is no sign of the lake,except for a small moat-like structure that sees a steady flow of water around the staircase leading to the temple
  • According to folkfore,Nanasaheb Peshwa conducted various secret meetings and important discussions while on a boat ride on this lake. The persons who rowed the boat at such times were either Habshis (Negros), who didn’t understand a single word of Marathi or Hindi or were stone deaf and dumb. The purpose was to prevent any leaking of the secret discussions. Even if this is just a myth, it is believed that it has mentions in historical chronicles. Historical documents mention of many such confidential discussions between Shrimant Peshwa, Mahadaji Shinde and Nana Phadnis.
  • The idol which was originally placed and worshipped was made from a type of stone called ‘Kurund’ which cost only 10 anas at that time.Since then,the idol has been changed twice,once in 1882 and also in 1990,the latter being crafted by Rajasthani artists.

Significance of Saras Baug Pune

  • The Sarasbaug temple houses the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak (“God who makes wishes true”). A sacred ground of faith for millions of devotees in Pune and around the world,where on an average the Sarasbaug temple receives ten thousand visitors a day and this figure goes up to eighty thousand devotees per day on Ganesha Chaturthi and other special occasions. Various dignitaries and luminaries throughout India have made it a point to visit this sacred temple to seek the blessings of Shri Siddivinayak.
  • Each temple has a temple manager who manages the day-to-day administration of the temple. The Sansthan manager oversees the working of all the temple managers & the trust.
  • The Sarpanch is the overall administrative in-charge of the Sansthan.
  • Saras Baug Ganpati , also known as Talyaatla Ganpati is one of the major landmarks of Pune city and is situated at the foothills of Parvati.
  • The temple and the garden, today lies in the Swargate locality of Pune. The premises can be accessed by three main archways.Two of the access points are in the south itself and the third access point is in the east. One has to climb down the stairs of the access ways to reach the garden.Around the temple are the temple offices and a Ganesha museum where various Ganesha idols and artefacts are displayed.
  • Around the temple is a beautiful pond filled with lotus flowers and habitat by aqua life. At one end of the pond, is a statue of a Crane signifying Saras,the name of the garden.
  • There used to be a zoo called the Peshwe park in the immediate proximity of Saras Baug that has since been relocated to Katraj and renamed as Rajiv Gandhi Park. But the garden in Peshwe Park is still retained and is a major attraction, especially for the kinds because of its Toy Train, play ground and an educational display of nonconventional energy.
  • After witnessing the beauty and the serenity of the place, one can easily conclude that Saras Baug is justifiably one of the pride of the Punekars.

Saras Baug Pune Temple timings

  • The visiting hours of this temple is between 6 am and 9 pm.
  • The temple gates open at 5:30 am in the morning where throughout the day the daily Aarti schedule is followed
  • Morning pooja which is known as the Sansthan Panchamurat Pooja starts at around 5:30 am which includes Shastrroka morning pooja,snana and decorations of the idols.The above rituals and poojas are done in front of devotees who present themselves in the premises of the temple beforehand.The idols are decorated and is prepared for darshan the entire day.
  • After the morning pooja,the devotees who visit regularly in the morning perform aarti in the chorus which takes place around 6:40 am.
  • This is then followed by the Evening aarti which is also performed by the group of devotees in the chorus which occurs around 7:51 pm where it continues for half an hour thereafter.

Saras Baug Pune Festivities

  • Ganesh Chaturthi: Those who wants to experience the tradition of pune in small time should definitely visit Sarasbaug during Ganesh chaturthi festival.The place bcomes a little crowded as Eighty thousand devotees visit to pay their respect to Lord Ganpati on this day.One gets to experience a beautiful atmosphere of togetherness and holiness during this period.Every Ganesh devotee should visit this place. Especially in Ganesh Chaturthi. The ambience, the crowd, the music and the idol all make up a resounding experience to be remembered for life.
  • Diwali : As the beginning of the Hindu new year (Padwa) takes place during Diwali,the ambience becomes very serene and punekars come to visit this place wearing new clothes and jewellery.Also, musical concerts and Deepotsava are held on early mornings of Diwali days which adds upto the attraction.

How to reach: Air,Train,Road

  • By Air: The nearest airport is pune airport which is at a distance of 12.2 km from Sarasbaug.Domestic flights connect Sarabaug to Mumbai,Bangalore,Nagpur,Goa,Ahmedabad,Jaipur and Patna.
  • By Rail: Pune railway station is at a distance of 16 km from Sarabaug.One can get auto rickshaws and taxis from there
  • By Road:There are many private buses that connect major cities like Mumbai and Bangalore to Pune and one can hire the taxi to reach Sarasbaug.

Mumbai to Saras Baug Pune

  • By Air: There are connecting flights available between Mumbai and Pune.Take a Taxi or Auto rickshaws from there.
  • By Rail: There are many trains that connect Mumbai and Pune which run on daily basis.Its a mere four hours ride to Pune.One can get an auto rickshaw or taxi to reach Sarasbaug.
  • By Road: There are many private buses which connect Mumbai and Pune.

Bangalore to Saras Baug Pune

  • By Air: There are connecting flights available between Bangalore and Pune.Take Taxi or Auto rickshaws from there.
  • By Rail: Take a train from Bangalore to Pune.Pune railway sation is only 16 km from Sarasbaug.Devotees can hire Taxis from Pune railway station.
  • By Road: There are many private buses which connect Bangalore and Pune.

Hotels near Saras Baug Pune

There are a lot of private hotels which one can accomadate near Sarasbaug. There are many good rated hotels within 0.5km radius of Sarasbaug Ganpati.

Where to eat

There are many restaurants near Sarasbaug temple where the food and ambience are good.One can visit these restaurants after taking the tour of Sarasbaug Ganpati.If you are a “foodie” – there are a number of street-food restaurants and cafes which serve the inimitable Puneri “Bhel” and other tasty snacks at the entrance to the garden – and this makes “Saras Baug” and ideal place for a family outing and a popular picnic spot.

Nearby Attractions

  • Just in the front of Saras Baug Pune, a famous landmark of Pune lies the famous MahaLaxmi Temple. It’s very rare to see all the 3 Goddess MahaLaxmi, MahaSaraswati and MahaKali together.And this very temple has all these 3 Goddess made out of pure gold.
  • Chaturshringi Temple is one of the famous temples of Pune. It is the temple of Goddess Chaturshringi, also known as Ambareshwari.The beauty of the temple is that it’s located in the middle of companies of Pune, on slopes of a mountain in North-West Pune.Being situated at the height, the temple provides a great scenic beauty of the city, from the height.It is at a distance of 6.1 km from Sarasbaug .
  • Kesari Wada-previously known as Gaikwad Wada- is at a distance of 3 km from Saras Baug Pune and has become a historical monument in Pune hallowed by a long stay there of a great leader Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The site has witnessed many important events in the Indian Freedom Struggle and hence boasts of history and culture.
  • Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati temple is the most famous temple of Pune.Pune is well known in near and far places for this temple.One of the main attractions in Pune and is located at a distance of 2.1 km from Saras Baug Pune.

Ranjangaon Ganpati

Ranjangaon Ganpati Ashtavinayak Temple

Ranjangaon Ganpati Temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh and is one of  the eight Ashtavinayak Temples. It is located at Ranjangaon, in Shirur Taluk. This temple is the eighth and final temple in the series of Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Shiva is believed to have worshipped Lord Ganesh here before proceeding to defeat the demon Tripurasura. Lord Ganesh is known as Mahaganapati here since the Lord is believed to be a powerful and majestic deity with several arms.

Ranjangaon Ganpati

History and Legend of Ranjangaon Ganpati Temple

  • Ranjangaon Ganpati Temple appears to have been built in the 9th or 10th century during the reign of the Peshwas. The Sanctum Sanctorum is believed to have been built by Madhav Rao Peshwa
  • Legend of Mahaganapati: Sage Gritsamad’s son Tripurasur was a well-learned young boy and a devotee of Lord Ganesh. Pleased by his devotion and prayers, Lord Ganesh blessed the boy and presented him with three pura’s made of precious metals, which can be destroyed only by Lord Shiva. Over a period of time, Tripurasur grew to be vain and created chaos in the world. Even Lord Brahma and Vishnu were disturbed by his atrocities and were forced to go into hiding. Sage Narada advised the frightened gods that they should take the help of Lord Ganesh. The Gods decided to invoke Lord Ganesh, who appeared and accepted to help them.
  • Lord Ganesh disguised as a Brahmin and met Tripurasur under the pretext of creating three flying planes. In return, he ordered Tripurasur to bring the Chintamani idol from Mount Kailash. The greedy Tripurasur went to Mount Kailash and fought with Lord Shiva for the idol. Lord Shiva realised that he had not offered his prayers to Lord Ganesh first, and hence was unable to destroy the pura’s or defeat him. He recited the Sadaakshar Mantra and invoked Lord Ganesh, who emerged and gave him the instructions for defeating Tripurasur. Lord Shiva followed the directions, defeated the greedy Tripurasur and also created a temple for Lord Ganesh at that spot.

Significance of Ranjangaon Ganpati Temple

  • Ranjangaon Ganpati Temple is also known as Tripurarivade Mahaganapati or the Lord who helped defeat Tripurasur
  • The villages and areas surrounding the temple are known as Manipur (not to be confused with the North-east state of Manipur)
  • Lord Shiva is believed to have prayed to Lord Ganesh at this place before defeating the demon Tripurasur
  • Lord Managanapati is represented as being seated on a lotus and accompanied by his consorts Riddhi-Siddhi
  • The Mahaganapati idol at Ranjangaon Ganpati Temple is believed to be a swayambu or self-manifested
  • The present idol is believed to have another idol hidden below. The idol supposedly has 10 trunks and 20 arms and was hidden during the attacks of the Mughal era. However, no one knows if this idol still exists. This idol is supposed to be called as Mahotkat
  • Ranjangaon Ganpati Temple has been constructed in a way that the Sun’s rays fall on the idol during the southern movement of the sun
  • Lord Mahaganapati is considered to be very powerful. The villagers of Ranjangaon do not bring the Gabesha idols into their homes during Ganesh Chaturthi. Instead, they visit the temple and offer their prayers

Ranjangaon Ganpati Temple Timings

  • Daily: 5:30 am – 10:00 pm

Poojas and Rituals at Ranjangaon Ganpati Temple

  • Abhishek
  • Sahastravartan
  • Satya Vinayak Puja

Festivals at Ranjangaon 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 Ranjangaon, all the villagers visit the temple for the Ganesh Pooja instead of bringing home idols. The festival falls during the month of Bhadrapat Shudh (August / September) and is a six-day celebration. Mahabhog or Mahaprasad is offered to Lord Ganesh on the fifth day, and the deity is taken on a flower palanquin on the sixth day. Large-scale celebrations and festivities include special wrestling matches during Bhadrapat.

How to reach Ranjangaon Ganpati Temple

  • By road: Ranjangaon is nearly 50 km from Pune. There are several direct bus services operating from Pune to Ranjangaon. The Mahaganapati Temple attracts devotees throughout the year and the proximity to Pune allows Ranjangaon to be well-connected to Pune city.
  • By rail: Ranjangaon has a direct train service from Pune and 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

The Mahaganapati Temple Trust runs a Bhakta Niwas which offers rooms at nominal charges.  There are quite a number of hotels offering accommodation options for all budgets. Pilgrims also prefer to do a day trip from Pune, as it offers a vast range of accommodation options.

Where to eat

Ranjangaon has a good number of restaurant options. The Mahaganapati Temple Trust also operates an Annapurna Bhojanalaya, which provides afternoon lunch.

Nearby Temples

  • Shivneri Fort and Temple
    Shivneri Fort is the birthplace of Chatrapathi Sivaji. The fort is visible from the Vighneshwar Vinayak Temple and also houses a small temple dedicated to Goddess Shivani, after whom Chatrapathi Sivaji was named. Devotees travelling to Ozar and Lenyadri Ashtavinayak temples also stop at this Fort as it is a place of interest.

 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 from the legend of Mayureshwar – Lord Ganesh riding a peacock, who defeated a demon at this place. The Mayureshwar Temple is located at Morgaon, 70 km from the Mahaganapati 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, 74 km from the Mahaganapati 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, 162 km from the Mahaganapati 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, 192 km from the Mahaganapati
  • 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, 42 km from the Mahaganapati 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, 75 km from the Mahaganapati 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, 74 km from the Mahaganapati Temple.

Ozar Ganpati

Ozar Ganpati – Vighneshwar Vinayak Ashtavinayak Temple

Ozar Ganpati Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh is one of the eight Ashtavinayak Temples of Pune in Maharashtra. The temple is located at Ozar in Junnar Taluk, in Nashik District. If one has to follow a sequence when visiting the Ashtavinayak Temples, the Vighneswar Vinayak Temple has to be visited seventh. Since Lord Ganesh defeated a demon named Vighnasur at this place, the Lord was called Vighneswar Vinayak – The one who removes obstacles.

Ozar Ganpati

History and Legend of Ozar Ganpati Temple

  • The Ozar Ganpati Temple was built during the reign of Peshwas. Chimaji Appa, military commander of the Peshwas covered the shikhara with gold retrieved from Vasai Fort. The temple was again renovated in 1967 by Appa Shastri Joshi, an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesh
  • Legend of Vigneshwar: According to the Puranas, a king by name Abhinandana performed a sacrifice, during which he missed out on making an offering to Lord Indra. The angry Lord sent Lord Yama to create chaos and stop the sacrifice. Lord Yama took the form of a demon Vighnasur – the one who creates obstacles. Vighnasur not only disturbed the sacrifice but also created several obstacles for all good deeds in the universe. The people and sages approached Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva with their problem. The Lords advised the people that they request Lord Ganesh for his help.
  • The people started worshiping Lord Ganesh, and pleased with their prayers, the Lord appeared and defeated the demon in a fierce battle. The demon requested Lord Ganesh that he be called as Vighneshwara – the one who removes obstacles. The overjoyed people installed an idol of Lord Ganesh at Ozar and addressed him as Vighneswara Vinayak.

Significance of Ozar Ganpati Temple

  • Vighneshwar Vinayak, as the name suggests, means the Lord of Vighna or the Lord who removes obstacles
  • The temple is also known as Vighnahar Temple
  • The temple entrance features four Muniputras or sons of saints. The first and fourth Muniputras hold a Shivlinga in their hands. This signifies that Lord Ganesh greatly reveres his parents and that, devotees who revere the Lord should also have the same devotion to their own parents
  • The entrance also features two saints holding holy books and chanting. This suggests and encourages devotees to chant hymns while entering the sanctum sanctorum
  • The Vighneshwar Vinayak idol is believed to be self-manifested and is covered in vermillion
  • The idol has a left-turned trunk. The eyes are supposedly made of emerald while the Lord’s forehead and navel have diamonds
  • The Lord is accompanied by his consorts Riddhi and Siddhi
  • A Seshnag and a demon can be seen on the top of the Lord’s idol. The demon is believed to be a local deity called Vastupurush
  • Ozar Ganpati Temple is east-facing. The temple has small rooms for meditation. The rooms are called Owaris.
  • The temple walls have beautiful murals and sculptures that are a treat for the eyes. The shikhara of the main sanctum sanctorum is covered with gold

Ozar Ganpati Temple Timings

  • Daily: 5:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Angarkhi: 4:00 am – 11:00 pm

Poojas and Rituals of Ozar Ganpati

  • Maha Aarti: 7:30 am
  • Maha Prasad: Mornings – 10 am and Afternoons -1:00 pm
  • Madhyan Aarti: 12 noon
  • Shejaarti – the last Aarti of the day: 10 pm
    (The temple doors remain closed after Shejaarti)

Rituals for Ozar Ganpati Temple

  • Atharv Shirsh Abhishek
  • Maha Abhishek
  • Bramhnaspati Supt Abhishek
  • Pavamaan Supt Abhishek
  • Vaarshik Abhishek
  • Sahastra Avartan Abhishek
  • Maha Rudra Abhishek
  • Tah Hayaat Abhishek
  • Atharv Shirsh Abhishek

Festivals at Ozar 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 Ozar, Lord Vighneshwar Vinayak’s birthday is celebrated in a big way during Bhadrapat Shudh (August / September). During this festival, the people of all nearby villages gather together and organise celebrations on a grand scale.
  • Magh: Magh Shudh (January/ February) is another important time for festivities at the Vighneshwar Vinayak temple. The second day of the festival features an auction for wrestling ring. The person who wins the auction bid is given the privilege to inaugurate the first match.
  • Kartik Purnima: Kartik Purnima is celebrated during the month of November/ December. During this five-day festival, several Deepmalas are lit up at the temple.

How to reach Ozar Ganpati Temple

  • By road: Ozar is nearly 85 km from Pune and 8 km from Junnar. There are several State-run bus services operating from Pune and Mumbai. However, they don’t directly connect with Ozar. Travellers are required to disembark at Junnar and take taxis or auto-rickshaws to Ozar.
  • By rail: The nearest railway station is at Pune, at 85 km from Ozar. 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

The Vighneshwar Vinayak Temple Trust runs a Bhakta Bhavan which offers rooms and dormitories at nominal charges.  There are quite a number of hotels offering accommodation options for all budgets. Pilgrims may also choose to stay at Pune, which is 85 km from Ozar.

Where to eat

Ozar has a good number of restaurant options. One can choose from dhabas to street food kiosks and restaurants serving popular Maharashtrian delights.

Nearby Temples

  • Shivneri Fort and Temple: Shivneri Fort is the birthplace of Chatrapathi Sivaji. The fort is visible from the Vighneshwar Vinayak Temple and also houses a small temple dedicated to Goddess Shivani, after whom Chatrapathi Sivaji was named. Devotees travelling to Ozar and Lenyadri Ashtavinayak temples also stop at this Fort as it is a place of interest.

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 from the legend of Mayureshwar – Lord Ganesh riding a peacock, who defeated a demon at this place. The Mayureshwar Temple is located at Morgaon, 165 km from the Vighneswar Vinayak 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, 150 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, 250 km from the Vighneswar Vinayak
  • 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 Vighneswar Vinayak Temple.
  • 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, 105 km from the Vigneshwar Vinayak 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
  • 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, 74 km from the Vigneshwar Vinayak Temple.
Lenyadri Ganpati Temple

Lenyadri Ganpati

Lenyadri Ganpati Temple – Ashtavinayak

Lenyadri Ganpati Temple Video

Lenyadri Ganpati  Temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh and is one of the eight Ashtavinayak Temples of in Maharashtra. Lenyadri Ganpati temple is located in Lenyadri village, near Junnar. The temple, also known as Girijatmaj,  gets its name from the words Girija (Parvathi) and Atmaj (son). It is interesting to note that this is the only Ashtavinayak temple situated on a mountain. If one has to follow a sequence when visiting the Ashtavinayak Temples, Lenyadri Ganpati Temple has to be visited sixth.

History and Legend

  • Lenyadri Ganpati Temple is a cave temple and is amidst 30 Buddhist caves that date back to the 3rd century
  • Legend of Girijatmaj: According to Ganesh Puran, Goddess Sati was reborn as Goddess Parvati and wished to give birth to Ganesh. She did severe penance on the Lenyadri mountain.  Lord Gajanan was pleased with her penance and granted her wish. On the fourth day of Bhadrapad Shuddh or Chaturthi day, Goddess Parvati wiped her body and used the dirt to create an idol. Lord Gajanan entered this idol and stood before her a young boy with six arms and three eyes.  The little boy was called as Girijatmaj or the son of Parvati.  This incarnation of Lord Ganesh – Lord Girijatmaj is believed to have stayed at Lenyadri for nearly 15 years.

Significance of  Lenyadri Ganpati Temple

  • According to Ganesh Puran, this place is also known as Jirnapur or Lekhan Parbat
  • Lord Girijatmaj is believed to be Lord Ganesh’s manifestation as an infant Lord
  • Lenyadri Ganpati Temple is the eight cave amidst a cluster of 30 rock-cut Buddhist caves
  • It is believed that the caves were carved by the Pandavas during their exile period
  • Lenyadri Ganpati temple is south-facing and is monolithic – carved out from a single rock
  • While Lenyadri Ganpati temple faces south, the idol faces north. One can notice that the idol is not a free-standing statue, but rather carved on a rock, with its head turned to the left
  • Since the Lenyadri Ganpati idol is carved from a rock, devotees cannot circumambulate. However, they are free to worship the lord themselves
  • The main mandap is 53 feet long and interestingly there are no pillars supporting the entire structure
  • The main mandap also known as the sabha mandap has 18 indents or small rooms that pilgrims use for meditation
  • Devotees need to climb 307 steps to reach the temple. Once there, a serene atmosphere, with pleasant vibrations from the Lekhan mountain and a beautiful view of the nearby Kukadi river is a treat for the senses

Lenyadri Ganpati Temple Timings

Lenyadri Ganpati Temple is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and does not have electricity. Therefore, the temple operates only from sunrise to sunset.

Lenyadri Ganpati Temple Poojas and Rituals

Lenyadri Ganpati Temple priests perform the Panchamrit Pooja every morning. This pooja is considered to be an important one at this temple.

Abhishek

Pooja

Sahastravartan

Festivals

  • Bhadrapat: Lord Ganesh’s birth celebrations known as Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi is a key festival in the state of Maharashtra. In Lenyadri, Lord Girijatmaj’s birthday is celebrated in a big way during Bhadrapat Shudh (August / September). On Ganesh Chaturthi, various bhajans and cultural programmes. Bullock Cart race is a unique and popular event during the Chaturthi celebrations.
  • Magh: The Chaturthi during Magh is an important time for celebrations at the Girijatmaj Temple. The celebrations are held from Magh Shudh 1 to Magh Shudh 6 (January – February). During this period, an Akhand Harinaam Saptah is conducted.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air 

By road: Lenyadri is nearly 95 km from Pune. Junnar is the nearest town at a 5 km distance. Several state-run buses operate from Pune and Mumbai to Junnar. At Junnar, pilgrims may choose between taxis, rickshaws, jeeps and buses to reach Lenyadri. Palanquin services can be availed by pilgrims who are unable to climb the 300+ rock cut steps.

By rail: The nearest railway station is at Pune, at 94 km from Girijatmaj. 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

Lenyadri Ganpati Temple trust operates Yatri Niwas and offers accommodation at nominal charges. Pilgrims also stay at Pune and drive down to Lenyadri.

There are few resorts that function at the Junnar.

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.

Nearby temples

  • Lenyadri Buddhist caves: Girijatmaj Temple is amidst a collection of 30 manmade rock-cut caves. These caves are believed to have functioned as Buddhist Monasteries from Lord Buddha’s time.  The seventh cave is the Girijatmaj Temple. Other caves are believed to be either chapels or living spaces for the monks. Caves 6 to 14 seem to indicate that they housed Chaitya grihas or chapels. One of the caves also houses a perpetual watering hole.
  • Bhima Gada: Adjacent to the Lenyadri Ganpati 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, 160 km from the Girijatmaj 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, 160km from the Girijatmaj 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, 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.

Chintamani Ganpati

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.

Chintamani Ganpati

 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.

Festivals

  • 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. 

Nearby temples

  • 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.
Kanipakam Temple

Kanipakam Temple

Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka Kanipakam Temple – The Shrine of Miracles

Kanipakam Temple Video 

A hamlet on the banks of river Baahuda, Kanipakam Temple, is one of the holy abodes of Lord Vinayaka – the beloved son of Shiva and Parvathi, the controller of ‘Ganas’, the remover of obstacles, and the Lord of intellect and wisdom. The word ‘Kanipakam’ originates from two Tamil words – ‘Kani’ meaning ‘wetland’ and ‘Pakam’ meaning ‘flow of water’. The village is in Irala Mandal of Chittoor District in Andhra Pradesh.

The idol of ‘Swayambhu’ Vinayaka is inside ‘Kalyani’, a lake in which the idol was originally found. ‘Swayambhu’ means that the idol was not carved out of stone to be reinstated at a temple, but was found as it is. The kanipakam temple has Chola architecture, with a simple yet elegant Gopuram for the temple complex that houses temples of two other deities – Sri Manikanteshwara and Sri Varadaraja Swamy. In the first half of the eleventh century, the temple was built by the Chola emperor who then ruled the region – Kulothunga Chola I. Further in 1336, the rulers of Vijayanagara Kingdom, Harihara and Bukka.

Kanipakam Temple History

  • The place has an interesting tale associated with the discovery of the idol. The legend of the kanipakam temple can be traced back to the times when farmers used to plough the lands by manual labor and used a system that was then known as ‘Picota’ to irrigate the land. This system comprised of drawing water from a well and channelizing it into the fields. Once upon a time, there were three brothers – one was deaf, the other deaf and another dumb. These three brothers earned their bread by farming on a small piece of land.
  • To draw the water from the well, one of them irrigated the land and the other two harnessed the ply on the Picota. One fine day, they observed that the water in the well had dried up and so, decided to get into the well and dig it up. But to the enormous surprise of the brothers, they hit a stone-like formation and blood oozed out of the ground. Within a short span of time, the entire well got filled with the red blood, when all the brothers hoped to dig up was water.
  • The three brothers, witnesses to the miracle and startled by the divine sight, lost their disabilities. The villagers, seeing the brothers in perfect health, were utterly perplexed and tried to dig up the well further. But their attempts were in vain because a ‘Swayambhu’ idol of Vinayaka swirled amidst the well.
  • Amazed by the miracle unfolding in front of their eyes, the villagers offered prayers to Lord Vinayaka by performing Aarthi to the newly found idol and offering tender coconuts, as Lord Ganesha is fond of them. The tender coconut water flowed into a channel to a distance of more than one and a quarter acres. Thus originated the name of ‘Kanipakaram’ – which evolved to get modified as ‘Kanipakam’
  • To this very day, the idol has been retained in the well it was originally found in and the springs in the well are perennial and eternal. The holy water overflows during the rainy season.
  • Yet another strange feature of the idol is that it is still growing in size! A ‘Kavacham’ offered by a devotee in 1945 no longer fits the idol. This testifies that the idol is gradually growing in its size and dimensions, says Chandramouli Gurukkal, the eleventh successor of the chief priests.

Significance of Kanipakam Temple

  • All of our rituals and ceremonies begin by invoking the blessings of the Almighty Ganapathi, the Lord who removes obstacles from the paths of his devotees and enables them to embark on a journey towards successful endeavors. Devotees throng in thousands in this holy abode, to bow to the son of Shiva. The Lord here is referred to as ‘Varasiddhi Vinayaka’ because he fulfills the ardent wishes of his devotees when they offer prayers with devotion and sincerity.
  • This sacred shrine of kanipakam temple is widely believed to be an upholder of truth and justice. The aura of the Divine Almighty is such that, there are several occasions in which a person accused of a sin voluntarily admits to wrong-doing and sinful acts when he enters the temple premises or takes a dip in the holy water. It is as if the Lord evokes a sense of fearful guilty conscience in the mind of the person and makes him genuinely repent for the same.
  • Even the pragmatic Western minds of British folks surrendered to the Lord at this sacred altar – During the pre-independence era, the British jury at the Chittoor court used to acquit an accused person if he were to swear at the holy shrine proclaiming his innocence in the issue!
  • To this day, everyday quarrels between villagers are resolved by the two people involved taking a ‘Pramanam’ – a special oath in which they take a dip in the Pushkarini and testify before the Lord, is believed to be the gospel truth! It is believed that the Almighty casts His divine spell on the parties involved, purifies their hearts of anger, lust, jealousy and envy, thereby making the guilty pray to Him to seek forgiveness. The issues are thus resolved, without the interference of police or middlemen.
  • Devotees who wish to give up bad habits like smoking or excessive drinking – take a bath in the holy place and take an oath in the kanipakam temple by contributing Rs. 516/-. This is a Seva called ‘Pramanam’ and hundreds of devotees have reaped the benefit of this special seva at the Kanipakam temple.

Kanipakam Temple Timings

Kanipakam Temple is open for darshan from 6 am to 9:30 pm with breaks in between for poojas.

  • Ordinary queue line: Free
  • Nijaroopa Darshan: (Morning 5.00 to 5.30,7.00 to 7.30,8.30 to 9.00,10.30 to 11.00 and Evening 4.30 to 5.00): Rs. 50/- per head.
  • Special Entrance Darshan: Rs. 10/- per head.

Kanipakam Temple Food Timings

Every day, Annaprasadam is served from 1.:30 PM onwards to around 150 devotees. It is offered is free of cost to all the visiting devotees and is a must have for any visitor. The devotees are required to obtain tokens for the same at the kanipakam temple complex, by 12:00 PM.

Festivals celebrated at the Kanipakam Temple

One of the main annual attractions of the place is ‘Brahmostavam’ held for a duration of twenty-one days. It starts from the day of Ganesh Chaturthi and continues for twenty days with festive pomp and vigor. All days begin with ‘Suprabhatam’ or awakening the Lord from the slumber at dawn, followed by numerous rituals throughout the day. During the evenings, the ‘Utsava Moorthi’ is taken into the town in different kinds of colorfully decked Vaahanas (vehicles) on all days – Hamsa vaahana (Swan), Mayura vaahana (Peacock), Mooshika vaahana (Mouse), Shesha vaahana (Snake), Vrishabha vaahana (Bull), Gaja vaahana (Elephant), Pushpa Pallakki (Flowered palanquin), Vimanotsava (Airplane), to name a few. Devotees participate in the festivities soulfully and offer their prayers with sincerity and devotion. ‘Deepotsava’, the celebration involving floating of lighted lamps in the Kalyani is another important festivity and the temple looks magnificent amidst hundreds of floating lamps, under the starry skies.

Poojas and Rituals at Kanipakam Temple

How to reach Kanipakam Temple – Road, Rail and Air

  • Air – Direct flights to Tirupati are available from Hyderabad and Chennai only.
  • Rail – Mysore – Tirupati Fast Passenger operates daily, departs Bangalore at 8.15 PM and reaches Chittor at 2.30 AM.
  • Road – Chittoor is 185Kms from Bangalore (via Kolar). The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) runs daily buses between Bangalore and Chittoor, from Chittoor APSRTC runs buses regularly at the interval of 5 minutes. APSRTC Runs daily Express, Luxury, and Hi-Tech buses from Bangalore to Tirupati and every Bus has Stopping at Chittoor. The buses are run at frequent intervals around the clock. The journey time 5hrs 30 min. Return journey tickets can also be bought at Bangalore Bus Station.

Where to Stay near Kanipakam Temple – Hotels in Kanipakam

The Temple Management runs 6 guest rooms and Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams Trust runs the operations of 14 rooms for devotees. Another accommodation complex with 100 rooms is under construction. Besides the Temple accommodation, several private hotels and lodges also provide good quality accommodation to the devotees, in Chittoor city.

Where to eat

The Annaprasadam offered free of cost to all the visiting devotees is a must have for any visitor. The devotees are required to obtain tokens for the same at the kanipakam temple complex by 12.00 PM. Several small vegetarian hotels can be visited around the temple and in Chittoor. The cuisine is mainly South Indian and Andhra style.

Nearby Temples

  • Manikanteswara Temple: The ancient temple of Manikanteshwara can be dated back to the times of the Chola King Kulothunga Chola. He is said to have built 108 temples of Shiva, to obtain relief from the sin of killing a Brahmin – “Brahma Hatya Papam’. Famous for the Chola architecture, the exquisite sculpture of the idol adds on another striking feature to the divine altar.
  • Varadaraja Swamy Temple: This Kshetram of Lord Ayyappa, also known as Harihara is a landmark in the surroundings, owing to the vast temple compound structure and the architectural marvel in the temple complex, that also houses two other deities – Sri Anjaneya Swamy and the Nava Grahas.
  • Ardhagiri Sri Veeranjaneya Swamy Kshetram – Located at a distance of 15 km from Kanipakam, this holy shrine dates back to Threta Yuga or the times when Lord Rama fought against Ravana the abductor of Sita. In this epic battle when Lakshmana fell unconscious, Lord Hanuman carried the Sanjeevini Parvata to the battlefield, to revive him. During this journey, a piece of the Parvata fell off in this place that later came to be known as Aragonda. The Pushkarini here called Sanjeevaraya Pushkarini never gets dried up. Water from the pond is believed to have curative effects on devotees for cases of Psoriasis, initial cases of Tuberculosis, Asthma, Cancer and joint pains. The experiences of cured devotees have been recorded and they stand as testimony to it. An important feature of the Moola Vigraha is that it faces towards the north, which is extremely rare. At dawn, the first rays of the Sun fall on the feet of the Lord and gradually move upwards, to illuminate the head of the Lord. It is also believed that the ardent devotees can hear the chanting of ‘Omkara’ at midnight! The Lord is believed to be safeguarding Lakshmi Narayana who dwells there. Full moon day attracts thousands of pilgrims to this sacred place. It is said that prayers offered overnight on a full moon day are always fulfilled by the Lord. Cultural programs are held out throughout the night for the benefit of the devotees.