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A pilgrimage tour of Varadvinayak brings devotees closer to Mahad, which is a small village tucked away in the scenic precincts of Raigarh district and the hilly Khalapur Taluka of Maharashtra. This Konkan region was referred to as Madhak or Bhadrak in ancient times and was home to various sects and sages. It is believed that the wishes of those who offer their reverences in the Varadvinayak Temple are fulfilled instantly. This makes the temple all the more popular among locals and visitors coming in from far flung places.

Temple Idol and Structural Layout

The idol of the presiding deity in Varadvinayak Temple is actually a Swayambhu (self originated). It was found way back in 1690 in an immersed position in an adjoining lake. Shree Dhondu Paudkar, the person responsible for finding the Swayambhu idol of Shree Varadvinayak, placed it in a nearby goddess temple for a few days. Later on, the foundation of the current day temple was laid by Subhedar Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar in 1725 AD.

He gifted this beautiful temple and its inlaid idol to the village. When built, the temple used to appear like house with a tiled roof. The original structure of the temple has undergone several renovations since its erection. The Temple is 8 feet broad and 8 feet long and boasts of Gomukh towards its north. The dome of the temple is 25 feet high and is topped by a golden pinnacle.

The architectural plan of this famous monument includes a beautiful pond on one side of the temple. An idol placed in the inner sanctum faces east while the trunk of Lord Ganesh is turned towards left. This temple is also home to idols of Navagraha Devtas, Mushika and Shivalinga. Idols of four large elephant guarding the entrance to Varadvinayak add to the beauty of the temple’s architecture. Devotees are allowed to enter the Garbagriha and offer their prayers and respects to the idol. This shrine is visited by millions of devotees across the year.

Two beautiful stone idols of Riddhi and Siddhi can also be seen inside the sanctum. There are two Ganesh idols in two corners of Garbhagriha. While the idol to the left is smeared with vermillion, the one to the right is made of white marble and has its trunk turned to right. The inner sanctum is made of stone and stands surrounded by ornately carved stone carvings.


According to folk tales and legends, Rukmangada, the son of King Bheema of Kaudinya, had once chanced upon Mukundaa, the wife of Sage Vachaknavi. The lady was smitten by Rukmangada’s valour and looks and had expressed her longing for him. When a shocked Rukmangada turned down her proposal, Mukundaa was deeply angered and cursed him with the life of a leper. Rukmangada sought the help of Chintamani Vinayak, who freed him from his agonizing curse. It’s said that Lord Indra, disguised as Rukmangada, fulfilled Mukundaa’s desire.

In due course, Mukundaa gave birth to a son called Gritsamav. Gritsamav grew up to be a great scholar. One day, he was participating in a great debate attended by renowned sages like Vishwasmitra, Vasistha and Atri.

Atri refused to debate with Gritsamav - stating that he was not a true Brahmin. Gritsamav, so far unaware of this flaw in his birth, was shell shocked. Upon returning home, he demanded the truth of his mother. After knowing the facts, he was all the more dejected and threw a curse upon Mukundaa that transformed her into a thorny “ber” tree.

Gritsamav later moved into the Pushpak forest and indulged in a severe penance. Lord Ganesha heard his prayers and asked him for a wish. It’s believed that Gritsamav asked for recognition as a Brahmin and requested the deity to reside in the scenic precincts of the Pushpak forest itself. Ganesh granted him the two wishes. Gritsamav referred to Lord Ganesha as “Varad Vinayak” - one who fulfills wishes and consecrated the deity in a temple. The temple located at Mahad is the very same temple which was created by Gritsamav.

Puja Schedule

Lord Varad Vinayak is worshipped at all three times of the day - morning, noon and night. Devotees donating to the temple are allowed an entire day to administer the temple and worship the God in their own way.


There are major celebrations and festivals in the premises of Vadravinayak Temple in the month of Bhadrapad Shuddh, which is the waxing period of the moon. Festivals held from Pratipada to Panchami in the month of Magh Shuddh are enjoyed by devotees and revellers coming from all parts of the country and beyond.

How to Reach

Shri Varadvinayaka is located in Mahad village. This quaint village lies in Khalapur Taluka of Raigad district. The best ways of reaching this temple are:

  • Mumbai - Mahad (63 km). On Mumbai - Panvel - Khopoli road (6 km). Before turning into Khopoli, a road goes from the right of village Hal, to Mahad.
  • The temple is also accessible by the Mumbai - Pune railway line. Mahad is located at a distance of 6 km. from Khopoli and 24 km from Karjat.
  • Regular and Municipal Corporation buses and State Transport Buses are available from Khopoli

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