This is that time of year for which every Ganapati devotee is eagerly waiting. And devotees are getting ready for temple hopping.
Ashtavinayak darshan is considered auspicious if a devotee does it between 11 days of Ganesh festival. So as the name suggests Ashtavinayak consist of eight (Ashta) temple and almost all of them are situated around the city of Pune. All the eight idols of Ganesha in these places are swayambhu hence they hold more importance. Devotees often start the yatra from Moregaon and end with Ranjangaon in one go, without returning to home or without breaking the chain. But one can skip and rearrange according to their convenience.
All the eight shrines are listed below in order their order of visit-
Moregaon – Moreshwar
Moregoan is first Ganapati out of eight and famously known as mayureshwar or moreshwar because the idol is riding a peacock (Mor, Mayur – in Marathi), hence the village is known as Moregaon. Moregoan is around 65KM away from Pune and the Ganapati idol here is swaymabhu found by Morya Gosawi.
Siddhatek – Siddhivinayak
Siddhatek is second Ganpati and Ganesha are here popularly known as Siddhivinayak. Siddhatek village is situated on banks of river Bhima in karjat taluka of Ahmednagar district. Siddhatek is nearly 150KM from Moregaon temple.
Pali – Ballaleshwar
Pali is third ganpati shrine and idol here famously known as Ballaleshwar. The name ballaleshwar is derived from the ganpati devotee Ballal from village pali. Pali is around 220KM from Siddhatek. Pali is very close to Adlabs imagica, Khopoli.
Mahad – VaradVinayak
Fourth temple of ganesha out of eight is Mahad, and famously known as VaradVinayak. The ganesha Idol here is found in lake which is adjacent to temple. Mahad is near to Lonawala, a famous hill station in Pune district. Mahad is around 38KM from Pali.
Theur – Chintamani Temple
Chintamani temple of Theur is the fifth shrine in line. Theur Shrine is situated near the confluence of river Bhima and the conjoint river Mula-Mutha. Theur very close to Pune and around 110KM from Mahad.
Lenyadri – Girijatmaj Temple
Lenyadri is a range of caves but the sixth temple from Ashtavinayak is in one of those caves so-known as Girijatmaj. The temple is situated in Buddhist caves of lenyadri, so it comes under Archaeological Survey of India. There is a total of 26 caves and Ganesha temple is located in a 7th cave. Lenyadri caves are around 31KM from Mahad.
Ozar – Vigneshwara Temple
Ozar is the sixth temple out of eight and shrine and idol famously known as Vigneshwara. Ozar temple is situated on banks of Kukadi river. Ozar is around 15KM from Lenyadri.
Ranjangaon – Mahaganpati Temple
Ranjangaon Ganpati is one among Ashtavinayak and eighth in line according to spiritual importance. Ranjangaon’s Ganpati is popularly known as Mahaganpati and its very close to Pune and around 70KM from Ozar.
And also read why we worship Lord Ganesha first?