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The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word “Ashtavinayaka” is “Eight Ganeshas”. In Hindu Culture, Ganesha is considered to be the god of unity, obstacles, learning and prosperity. Referring to a total of Eight Ganeshas, the word Ashtavinayaka is also associated with the Yatra of the Ashtavinayaka which is basically a journey of pilgrimage within the state of Maharashtra to its several temples of Lord Ganesha. Each of these eight destinations has a distinct and unique idol of the deity and is supposed to be visited in an ascertained manner and sequence.

The Yatra of Ashtavinayaka encapsulates all of the eight temples that are scattered around the city of Pune and are all dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Every temple in this range boasts of a unique cultural story and a distinct history. Even the idol form of Ganesha in these temples differs from one another. Every murti in this temple has a unique and distinct design. The trunk of Lord Ganesha is easy distinguishable. Although these temples are scattered across Maharashtra, the ones established around Pune are the most renowned of them all.

Eight Temples

Theur:  Shree Chintamani

When the Peshwas ruled the state, a man known as Dharanidhar Maharaj Dev commissioned this grand temple. The Maharaj Dev hailed from the renowned Morya Gosavi clan. A whopping amount of 40,000 was spent on its construction during those days, analyzing it today, the actual cost of the temple in today’s scenario would scale up to a jaw dropping  400 million. Its grandeur remains unsheltered even after 400 years of its existence. This in itself speaks volumes about the strength of the temple. Made out of wood, the hall for gathering is still unchanged.

As the place was often frequented by the ruling Peshwas, They brought with them a couple of metal balls to adorn these places, One of those balls can be seen here and the other lies in Mahad. Shri Madhav Rao Peshwa’s wife went into sati after the former’s death, To honor her a huge garden is maintained in her memory and is a treat to the eyes .

The Ganpathi who resides here has been named as the “Chintamani”. To have the pilgrimage completed you must visit all of these temples which is only possible through the state transport buses.

Moregaon: Shree Moreshwar

Again located i9n the district of Pune, The temple can be easily accessed from the city due to its close proximity to Pune. Dedicated again to Ganesha, it stands in the village of Moregaon also the river of Kara. The name of Moregaon owes its etymology to peacocks and literally translates to Peacock’s Village. This is due to the presence of a lot of villages and also due to the fact that the shape of the village resembles that of a peacock. At times the temple resembles a Mughal style mosque due to the presence of a large number of stone stairs. The main attraction that draws the tourists here is a huge idol of a mouse that holds a Laddu in his paws that stands majestically facing the ruling deity of Lord Ganesha.
The temple is easily accessible from the city of Pune due to its close proximity which is just 60 kms.  A frequent felt of ST buses connect you to these sites.

The journey from the city of Pune to the town of Moregaon is as follows:

Pune then Hadapsar onwards to Loni which takes you to Yewat. Yewat to Chauphula further to Supa and finally to Moregaon.

Siddhatek: Shree Siddhivinayak

Situated right across the River Bhima, the Temple is famous for a magnificent idol of the lord which was crafted by Ahilya Bai Holkar. A magnificent fact about the temple is its silence. The place is always so silent that even the river across the temple hardly makes any noise even during the time when it swells and gets flooded. Shree Siddhivinayaka’s idol of Shambhu is graced by a lovely frame crafted out of brass. On each side of the Siddhivinayak lie the idols of Vijay and Jai.

Known here as the Siddhivinayak, Ganis is the ruling deity of this temple which is managed by the Chinchwad Temple Trust.
Considering it being situated in the district of Nagar, it is only accessible through Bus or through trains. Trains can take one down to Daund or Boibel from where a bus has to be hitched to reach this destination

Ranjangaon: Shree Maha Ganapati

Holders of history assert that this temple dates back to the 9th or the 10th century. The ruler Shri Madhavrao Peshwa added a room to the temple that served as a room to house the several idols of Lord Ganesha. After a while, Shri Sardar Kibe of Indore intervened and renowned the slowly degrading hall.  Situated right on top of the main entrance is the Nagarkhana. The main part of the temple resembles the style of the other Peshwa temples.

A surprising fact about the temple is that the idol here is also known as the 'Mahotkat', as it is believed that the idol of Ganesha here has a total of 20 hands and 10 trunks.

Situated at a small distance of 50kms from Pune, The Nagar district can be achieved after a short journey on the highway.

Ozar: Shree Vighneshwar

After he successfully plundered out the Portuguese Armies, Shri Chimajiappa, who was Peshwa’s younger brother, blessed the temple with a top crafted in fine gold. In the period from 1958 to 1968, the major renovation of the temple was achieved and it reached back to its actual glory and style. With its glory restored, the temple is proudly known as Vighneshwar.

There are two halls in the main temple. One of them has an idol of a rat running while the other one boasts of Dhaunujraj.
It is often asserted that God snatches your problems after a visit at this blessed site. A long stone borders the temple and becomes its compound too.  The running mouse and its idol mentioned earlier is a must watch for every pilgrim here. Lord Ganesha’s eyes are made out of pure diamond which provides the actual glitter in the idol.

The time of Tripuri Poornima is the best time to visit this place. State Transport buses from several cities in the state of Maharashtra provide easy and fast connectivity to this place.

Lenyadri: Shree Girijatmajvinayak

Standing majestically on the top of a hill, this temple is renowned for its exaggerated hall that sores upto 60 feet in length and has a width of 50 feets.  Another remarkable feature about this hole is that a singe stone carving makes way for this hall. The idol in the temple is facing its back, several large attempts were made to reveal the front of the idol but all of them resulted in failure.  Considering the close proximity of this place to Pune, people throng this place in large numbers. Even the serene environment free from the city jargon and pollution attracts people to this blessed place.

There are direct buses between Junar and Pune which makes the connectivity very easy. Also, Pune is very well connected from this city which makes the rail transport easy too,

Mahad: Shree Viradvinayak

Knows as Varda Vinayaka in its idol form here, this magnificent temple here was constructed in the year 1725 under the rule of the Peshwas. On the outside, the temple resembles any other house in the state of Maharashtra. The mystery of the idol of the lord is due to the fact that it was discovered in a well near the temple. On the north of the temple is a Gomukh which oozes out water that is considered holy.  It falls midway on the Konkan railway line. Karjat, Thane and Kapoli all are places that are near and connecting with a fleet of State Transport buses.
The weather here is serene and can be visited anytime in the calendar.

Pali: Shree Ballaleshwar

Located in the district of Raigarh, The Temple in Pali is also of huge importance.  The place of Pali lies at a small distance of 111 kms from the city of Pune. There aren’t any railway tracks in the vicinity of the place hence roads are the only means of connectivity to this place. The major part of the attraction here is the sun rise that allows the first rays of light to illuminate the idol.

The Peshwas brought with them a huge bell that they apparently took from the European colonizers.
The Vinayaka here is connected to a legend according to which Ganapati had hurried to offer his help to one of his young devotees.

Best Route to Visit Ashtavinayaka Mandir

First Day

Mumbai-Mahad-Khopoli-Express Way-Dehu Rd Exit-Chakan-Rajgurunagar-via Wada-Taleghar-Visit Bhimashankar(One of Among 12 Jyotirling of Lord Shiva)-Ghodegaon-Ghodegaon Phata-Lenyadri-Shiveri(Shivaji’s Birth Place)-Ozar(Stay)

Second Day

Ozar-Narayangaon-Rajgurunagar-Chakan-Shikrapur-Ranjangaon-Lonikand-Kesnand-Theur-Theur-via Solapur Highway-Choufula-Patas-Daund-Siddhatek-Daund (Stay)

Third Day

Daund-Choufula-Supa-Morgaon-Jejuri-Pratibalaji-Naraygaon(Ek Mukhi Datta)-Saswad-Pune-via Express Highway-Khopoli Exit-Pali-Khopoli-Mahad-Thane/Mumbai

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