Ashta in Sanskrit means eight.
The Ashtavinayak – eight Vinayak- is a set of eight temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The idols in these temples are Swayambhu, meaning ‘self-manifested’. We take you to a tour of these eight amazing temples:
Located in Moragaon in the Pune district of Maharashtra, the Mayureshwar or Moreshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. While on a pilgrimage to the Ashtavinayak temples, devotees visit this temple in the beginning and also in the end to conclude their divine trip.
Pilgrims often visit the Siddhivinayak or Siddatek temple after Mayureshwar during their Ashtavinayak tour. But ideally, the temple ranks third in the list of the revered pilgrimage. The temple is situated in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.
Ballaleshwar is the only temple of Lord Ganesha to be named after his devotee Ballal. Situated in Pali, the Ballaleshwar is 30 kilometers away from Karjat in the Raigad district of Maharashtra.
The Varadavinayak Ganpati is situated in the Mahad temple. Devotees visit the temple in large numbers during the Maghi Utsav. It is believed that the deity fulfils the wishes of his childless devotees.
Lord Ganesha had recovered the precious Chintamani gem for sage Kapila from Gana, the greedy monarch. The temple is situated 25 kilometres from Pune and is located at the confluence of rivers Bhima and Mula-Mutha.
Girijatmaj is situated in the 7th rock cut-cave of the Lenyadri. The temple is situated atop the mountain. Girijatmaj means one who is mountain born because Ganesha is Goddess Parvati’s son, who is herself is the daughter of Himavan, the Mountain King.
Located in Ojhar/Ozar, which is about 85 kilometers from Pune, the Vighnahar temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha who destroyed demon Vignasura or the demon of obstacles. And hence Ganesha was named Vighnahar or Vighneshwar meaning ‘remover of obstacles’.
Built between the 9th and the 10 century by Madhavrao Peshwa, the Mahaganapati temple is situated in Ranjangaon, approximately 50 kilometers from Pune.