Ashtavinayak is a Sanskrit word which means “Eight Ganeshas”. Ganesh is the Hindu god of learning, obstacles, unity & wealth. Tour of Ashtavinayak covers eight different temples of lord Ganesh. There is own individual history for each of temple. Each temple contains an idol of Ganesh which are differing from each other.
All of the temples of Ashtavinak are swayambhu (Self origined). Out of eight Vinayaks five are in Pune district, two are in Raigad district & one is in Ahamadnagar district. It is supposed that to complete the yatra (tour) of Ashtavinayaka, visit the first Ganapati again after visiting all eight Ganapatis.
Eight Ganapati’s of Ashtavinayaka:
- Moreshwar: According to Hindu shastra you have to start yatra from Moreshwar. This is first ganapati of Ashtavinayak. This temple is 55 Pune located in Moregaon. There is the statue of Nandi at the entrance of the temple. This is unique because Nandi is in only front of lord Shiva.
- Siddhivinayk: This is north facing temple. Among all eight idols this is the only idol with position of trunk of Ganesha is in right side. Idol of Ganesh is 3 feet tall & 2.5 feet wide. This temple is located in Siddhatek in Ahamadnagar district.
- Ballaleshwar: Face of this temple is in east side. This idol has diamond embedded in eye & navel as like few other idols. This temple is located in Pali in raigad district.
There is another temple of west facing Dhundi-Vinayak behind Ballaleshwar temple which is rare idol.
- Varadavinayak: This idol of Ganesh is east facing & has been in the constant company of oil lamp which burning continuously since from the year 1892. In this temple pilgrimage are allowed to personally give their homage & respect to idol. This is located in Mahad in Raigad district.
- Chintamani: This is north facing temple & idol is east facing. Temple is located in Theur 22km from the Pune in Pune district.
- Girijatmaja: This idol is north facing. Girijatmaja is the combination of the words Girija’s Atmaj which means Parvati,s son. The temple is imprinted out of single stone hill which having 307 steps. It is located at Lenyadri in Pune District.
- Vighneshwar: this is east face temple & covered by the thick stone wall. Temple top is golden. On two sides of the Ganesh idol, idols of Riddhi & Siddhi are placed. This idol is at Ozhar in Pune district.
- Mahaganapti: This is east facing idol. Mahaganapti is the most powerful idol of lord Ganesh at Ashtavinayak. This is located at Ranjangaon in Pune district.
How to Reach:
There is a special state transport bus service from Pune to Ashtavinayak.
Private operators are also organizing tour to Ashtavinayak.