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Girijaatmaja Vinayak Temple

This temple, one of the Ashtavinyaka temples situated in Maharashtra, stands on the sixth position of the Lord Ganesha Temples on Ashta Vinayaka Pilgrimage. It stands tall on the Lekhan Hills. The Girijatmaj Vinayak Temple is built on a mountain top and as per the sayings, this temple is constructed in the locale of the Buddhist Cave. This location, Lenyadri is on the North West banks of Kukadi River. In this temple, lord Ganesha is prayed and worshiped as the Girijatmaj. ‘Girija’ is the other name of Goddess Parvati and ‘Atamaj’ actually means Sanskrit. Also Jirnapur, Ganesh Puram and Lekhan Parbat are some other names of this Ganesh Temple.

As per history, it was this time when Goddess Parvati had gone through great penance in a cave situated at the Lenyadri Mountain to bear Lord Ganesha and become his mother. It was only after his penance when Gajanan promised her that he would become his son and blessed her. It was on the day of Bhadrapad Shuddh, on the fourth day of Chaturthi when she wiped the dirt of her body and created an idol out of it. It was in that idol when Gajanan entered. To her surprise, he stood there innocently as a little boy with three eyes and six arms. It was then when this little child was named as Ganesha who has said to conquer all the senses. As the history speaks, it has been said that Lenyadri was Ganesha’s residence for fifteen years.

Those who wish to visit this temple have to first climb 307 steps where they would come across some 18 Buddhist caves. This temple, the Girijatmaj Vinayaka temple stands on the 8th number and is also commonly known as the Ganesh Gufa. This temple faces the south, Dakshinbhimukh and is carved out of just one rock. One can also find an idol of Girijatmaj in one room which is a fresco carved into a rock and his head has been turned on the left. It is easy for any devotee to enter this temple and seek for the deity’s blessings. Also what adds to the beauty to this temple is the beautiful river flowing through it. This temple and the other 30 caves in Lenyadri are under the aegis of the ASI.

Apart from those wanting to just see the deity once, there are several festivals celebrated over here. One can attend the Panchamrit puja that is rightfully performed every morning in the temple. During Bhadrapad from August to September and Magh Chaturthis, one can witness those grand celebrations taking place over here. Also Ganesh Jayanti and Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated with much pomp over here with several cultural programs on display. Also what attracts the fancy of people is the bullock cart race.

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