Ashtavinayaka-8 Temples of Lord Ganesha
Ashtavinayaka literally means “eight Ganeshas”. Ganesha or Ganesh also known as Vinayaka, is a Hindu deity of unity, prosperity and learning and removing obstacles. As per Hindu mythology, he is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is worshiped under many other names like Ganapati, Sumukha, Ekadanta, Kapila, Gajakarna, Lambodara, Vikath, Vidhnanashaka, Vinayaka, Dhumraketu, Ganadhayaksha, Bhalchandra and Gajanana etc.
Actually, 8 temples of Lord Ganesha in Maharashtra are collectively called Ashtavinayaka. Swayambhu Ganesha idol is kept here in every temple. During Ganesh Chaturthi, devotees visit these eight temples together.
Siddhivinayak Temple is located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. Siddhibinayak ranks third among the Ashtavinayak temples. However, the pilgrims go to Siddhibinayak after Mayureshwar.
Mayureshwar Temple is located in Moragaon, Pune, Maharashtra. The pilgrims start their Ashtavinayaka Yatra from Mayureshwar.
Madhavrao Peshwa established the Mahaganapati temple in the middle of the 9th and 10th centuries. Mahaganapati Temple is located at Ranjangaon, 50 km from Pune.
The Vighnahar Temple is located at Ojha, 65 km from Pune. Ganesha is worshiped here as Vighnahar or Vighneshwar who killed Vighnasura.
Girijatmaj temple is located on the seventh level of Lenyadri mountain. Lord Ganesha is worshiped here as the son of the Himalayan girl Girija.
Ganesha rescued the great Chintamani Ratna for Kapil Muni from Gana Raja, Gana. The temple is located at the confluence of the Bhim and Mul-Matha rivers, 25 km from Pune city.
Vardavinayak resides in the Mahad temple. Devotees visit the Vardabinayak temple during the Maghi festival. It is said that a childless couple give birth to a child by the grace of Vardabvinayak.
Vallaleshwar temple was built in the name of Ganesha worshiper Vallal. Vallaleshwar Temple is located in Pali, 30 km from Karjat in Raigad district of Maharashtra.