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Ashtavinayak : A Pilgrimage for Ganesh

Bhagwan Ganapati or Ganesha is one of the most worshipped deities in India.
The state of Maharashtra has recognition because of the sacred Ashtavinayaka temples that are special and sacred. The word Ashtvinayaka is a Sanskrit word that means Eight Ganeshas.
These eight temples are located in different places, and all of them are considered ‘Swayambhu’ or self-originated. These deities are “jagrut,” which means they fulfill the wishes of their devotees.
Each Ganapati is known by a different name, and there is a story associated with it.
Ashtavinayaka names and location:
Chintamani, Moreshwar, Girijatmak,Mahaganpati, Siddhivinayak, Vighneswar, VaradVinayak, Ballaleshwar.
These eight temples are situated in three districts of Maharashtra- Pune, Raigad, and Ahmednagar. Typically, the sequence of the Yatra is as follows:
Moreshwar Temple at Morgaon, Siddhivinayak Temple at Siddhatek, Ballaleshwar Temple at Pali, VaradVinayak Temple at Mahad
Chintamani Temple at Theur, Girijatmaj Temple at Lenyadri, Vighnahar Temple at Ozar, Mahaganapati Temple at Ranjangaon.
Traditionally, the AshtavinayakaYatra or pilgrimage should begin by visiting the Moreshwar temple at Morgaon. After completing the visit to the remaining seven temples, you have to return to Morgaon to finish the Yatra.
Let’s have a look at the details of these temples.
The Moreshwar temple:
Moreshwar temple is the first to begin the Ashtavinayakayatra. It is 55 kilometers from Pune. The temple is well-connected by road.
The temple is 50 feet is tall and very beautiful.

The temple has four entrance doors in four directions, but the main entrance is North-facing.
Siddhivinayak Temple, Siddhatek: Siddhivinayaka of Siddhatek village in the Karjat Taluka of Ahmednagar District in Maharashtra is the second Ganesha temple in the sequence. It is known as Siddhivinayaka because Bhagwan Vishnu acquired Siddhi (special powers) here. It is also believed that since the god fulfills every wish of his devotees, he is called the Siddhivinayaka.
The temple is around 200 kilometers from Pune, on the banks of river Bhima. The temple stands on a small hill called Siddhatek. People perform a Pradakshina around the hill seven times to please Bhagwan Ganesha.
Ballaleshwar Temple , Pali : The temple of Ballaleshwar is located in the village of Pali, at a distance of 28 kilometers from Roha of Raigad district in Maharashtra. It is situated between the famous fort Sarasgad and the river Amba. The distance from Pune is around 200 kilometers.
Varadvinayak Temple, Mahad: Like all other Ashtavinayaka idols, the main “murti” or idol of Varadvinayaka is also “Swyambhu” or self-originated. It was found in the nearby lake in 1690, and Subhedar Ramji MahadevBiwalkar constructed the temple in 1725.
The idol is east-facing. There are four elephant sculptures in the four directions of the temple. There has been a “Nandadeep” or oil lamp burning since 1892 continuously.
The Chintamani Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Theur is one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra. Chintamani Ganpati Temple in Theur is located 22 km from Pune, off the Pune-Solapur highway, and is hence the nearest from Pune.
The village of Theur sits at the confluence of three major regional rivers-Mula, Mutha & Bhima. the temple is “one of the larger and more famous” of the Ashtavinayaka.
Shri Girijatmaj Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Lenyadri:
Shri Girijatmaj Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Lenyadri is one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra. Shri Girijatmaj Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple is located On the Pune Nasik Road passing through Chakan, Rajgurunagar, Manchar, Narayangaon to Junnar one can reach Lenyadri. Junnar is the town closest to Lenyadri.Lenyadri is 5kms from Junnar.
Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Ozhar:
Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Ozhar one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra . Vighneshwar Vinayak temple is located just off the Pune-Nashik Highway, in the town of Ozhar. It is enclosed on all sides by high stone walls, and its pinnacle is made of gold. The temple is situated on the banks of river Kukadi. Via Mumbai-Thane-Kalyan-Bapsai-Saralgaon-Otur, Ozhar is 182Km.
Shri Mahaganapti Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Ranjangaon:
Shri Mahaganapti Ashtavinayak Ganpati Temple Ranjangaon is one of the eight major temples of Lord Ganesha which constitutes the divine Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra. Shri Mahaganapti Temple is located On Pune-Nagpur highway one can reach Ranjangaon by Pune-Koregaon- shikrapur-Ranjangaon. The distance between Pune & Ranjangaon is 50kms. The temple of Maha Ganpati is very close to the centre of the town Ranjangaon