The Ashtavinayak Pilgrimage Tour is one of the most important pilgrimages for the devotees of Lord Ganesha. Celebrate the life bestowed by Lord Ganesha with a wonderful pilgrimage tour of all the 8 Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra. AC car for the entire tenure of the tour, vegetarian meals and accommodation in minimum 3-star hotels ensure your comfort level.
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The Ashtavinayak Pilgrimage is the an important pilgrimage for Hindus and most important pilgrimage for devotees of the Ganapatya Sect, who consider the Lord Ganesha as the Supreme Lord.
Ashtavinayak refers to the 8 manifestations of Lord Ganesha as per the Ganesh Puran. Each of the Ashtavinayak temples portray one manifestation and are unique in their own ways. Ashtavinayak pilgrimage tour includes a visit to all the 8 Ashtavinayak Temples without returning home.
A short overview of the Ashtavinayak Temples in Maharashtra is given below.
The Varadvinayak Temple is the only Ashtavinayak temple, where you can enter the inner sanctum or Garbagriha and offer prayers personally to the deity.
The idol of Ganesha at this temple was originally found immersed in the neighbouring lake. The original idol is currently encased in a glass showcase due to wear and tear, and a newer idol has been installed.
It is believed that devotees of Lord Ganesha who pray here are granted their boons and wishes. According to another popular belief, coconut served here as prasad during the Maghi Chaturthi pooja, when taken with full belief, will result in the birth of a son.
The Shree Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayak Temple is the only Ganesha temple to be named after a devotee of Ganesha. According to legend, Ballala was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha and spent most of his day in worshipping Lord Ganesha. His father got very angry at his lack of focus in studies and one day, he destroyed the forest temple where Ballala used to spend his time.
He threw the idol of Lord Ganesha to the ground, beat his son up and tied him up to a tree telling him to ask Lord Ganesha to feed him and free him. And that is what actually happened! Lord Ganesha came to the rescue of Ballala and freed him. On Ballala’s request, he made Pali his permanent home as Ballal Vinayak.
The idol that Ballal father threw is worshipped as Shree Dhundi Vinayak and is installed in a temple, right at the back of the Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayak temple and is always visited first. The idol at Dhundi Vinayak temple faces west, a rare occurrence in Ganesha Temples.
The Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayak temple has two inner sanctums; the idol is installed at the innermost sanctum and has diamonds for eyes and at the navel. The temple has been constructed in such a way that on the days after winter solstice, the sun’s rays illuminate the idol at sunrise.
The Shree Mayureshwar Ganapati Temple is unique in many ways.
It is the only Ashtavinayak temple, where Lord Ganesha is seen with a white peacock as his vahan. Each of the temple’s 4 gates, facing the four directions, depict Ganesha in different avatars, and with different Gods, representing Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. A Nandi Bull Sculpture, which is usually never found in Ganesha Temples, faces one of the gates of this temple.
Within the complex, there is a 6 foot statue of Mooshak, the mouse vahan of Lord Ganesha and the idol of Lord Ganesha is covered in a thick layer of vermilion, which peels off just once in a century. A Cobra hood shelters the idol.
The Siddhivinayak temple in Siddhatek, Karjat is the only Ashtavinayak temple to have a Ganesha idol with its trunk turned to its right. It is believed that the position of Ganesha’s trunk to the right signifies his immense power as a bestower of success – hence the name – Siddhi Vinayak.
As per legend, Lord Vishnu was granted siddhis by Ganesha at Siddhatek to vanquish demons. The original temple here was built by Lord Vishnu to pray to Ganesha. The original temple was lost to the ravages of time; the Peshwas built the temple that you will visit.
In respect to the legend, you will find the gatekeepers of Lord Vishnu’s abode – Jaya and Vijaya guarding the idol of Lord Siddhivinayak in this temple. You can also worship the Shiva Panchayatana – Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha, Vishnu and Surya here.
The Shree Chintamani Vinayaka Temple in Theur is considered as one of the foremost Ashtavinayak temples. The temple is renowned for its self-originating idol of Lord Ganesha, which has a trunk turned to the left, diamonds for eyes, and is seated within an inner sanctum that faces east. The temple main gate, however, faces north.
According to legend, a sage had a jewel called Chinatmani, with which, he could make delicious food. Once he entertained a prince, who proceeded to seize the jewel. The sage, as an ardent worshipper of Lord Ganesha prayed to his lord, who then came and rescued him.
The sage then prayed to the lord to keep the jewel for himself and bless the village with his holy presence, instead. Since then, Lord Ganesha has been worshipped as Chintamani Vinayaka at Theur.
The Vignahara Ganapati Temple is the only Ashtavinayak temple to have a Golden Dome and pinnacle.
Emeralds for eyes and a temple that epitomizes Vaastu-Shastra perfectly are other features that sets the Vignahara Ganapati Temple apart from the other temples on the Ashtavinayak Tour.
According to legend, Lord Indra once sent Kal to obstruct the sacrifices of a king – this resulted in obstructions in the prayers of sages across the world. Lord Ganesha was the one who put a stop to Kal’s deeds – and since then, Lord Ganesha has been worshipped as the Remover of Obstacles or Vignahara.
This Girijatmaj Ganapati temple is the most unique Ashtavinayak Temple – due to its location, the effort it takes to visit it, the legend behind its existence, and the features of the Ganesha idol itself.
The temple is nestled within a set of rock-cut Buddhist caves, which are perched atop a hillock. There are more than 300 big steps to be climbed to reach the temple; palanquins are available for the aged.
As for its existence, according to legend, this was the cave, where Goddess Parvati meditated for over 12 years to gain Lord Ganesha as her son. She then worshipped a clay idol of Ganesha, which came alive within this cave. Thus was Ganesha born to God Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
The idol of Lord Ganesha here is very different – only the trunk and one eye is visible at the back wall of the cave. The temple faces the south and the idol faces the north. Despite great efforts to reveal the front side of the idol, no progress has been made.
The idol here is considered the most powerful of all the Ashtavinayaks and it is believed that the temple came into existence after Lord Shiva himself prayed to Lord Ganesha at Ranjangaon for assistance in defeating an asur – Tripurasura. Only after Lord Ganesha accepted Lord Shiva’s prayers, was Tripurasura defeated.
This Mumbai Ashtavinayak Pilgrimage tour begins with your arrival at Mumbai. Our representative will receive you at the point of arrival - airport or railway station, and escort you to the pre-booked hotel for check-in and relaxation.
A visit to the beach or a night tour of Mumbai can be arranged for guests arriving at Mumbai by early afternoon.
Overnight in Mumbai
After an early breakfast, we will set out on the first experience of this Mumbai Ashtavinayak pilgrimage tour - a guided sightseeing tour of Mumbai.
The tour will begin with an excursion to Elephanta caves - a complex of rock-cut caves dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. The caves are located on the Elephanta Island, just off the mainland. We will travel by Ferry to the Elephanta Caves.
Our sightseeing tour will continue after lunch and include visits to landmarks and places of interest such as the Prince of Wales Museum, Mahalakshmi Temple and Siddhi Vinayak Temple. We will also visit the Dadar Beach for a wonderful late evening experience of the beach and a fascinating view of the Bandra - Worli Sea Link.
The Mumbai sightseeing tour ends with a return to the hotel.
Overnight in Mumbai
Early in the morning, check out from the hotel in Mumbai and set out on the road trip to visit the Ashtavinayak temples in Mahad and Pali.
The first Ashtavinayak temple that we will visit on this Mumbai Ashtavinayak pilgrimage tour is the Varadvinayak Temple in Mahad. The Shree Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayak Temple in Pali is the second Ashtavinayak temple that we will visit on this pilgrimage tour.
On entering the temple complex, we will first have darshan of Shree Dhundi Vinayak and then proceed for the darshan of Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayak. After darshan of both vinayaks, we will continue on our road trip to Pune.
Overnight in Pune
We will embark early in the morning for a visit to the Ashtavinayak Temples closest to Pune - the Shree Mayureshwar Ganapati Temple in Morgaon, Shree Siddhivinayak Mandir in Siddhatek, Karjat and Shree Chintamani Vinayaka Temple in Theur.
The Shree Mayureshwar Ganapati Temple in Morgaon will be the third Ashtavinayak temple that we will visit on this Mumbai Ashtavinayak Pilgrimage tour. After darshan and prasad, we will continue on to our next stop - the Shree Siddhivinayak Mandir in Siddhatek.
Our third and last stop for the day will be at the Shree Chintamani Vinayak Temple in Theur, which is considered as one of the foremost Ashtavinayak temples. After darshan and prasad, we will return to Pune.
Overnight in Pune
On Day 5 of this Mumbai Ashtavinayak pilgrimage tour, we will visit the last 3 of the Ashtavinayak temples - the Shree Vighnahar Ganapati Mandir in Ozar, the Shree Girijatmaj Ganapati Mandir in Lenyadri, and the Shree Mahaganapati Mandir in Ranjangaon.
Our first stop will be at the Shree Vighnahar Ganapati Mandir, where Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the Vighnahara - the remover of obstacles. Our second stop is at the Shree Girijatmaj Ganapati Mandir in Lenyadri.
The Shree Mahaganapati Mandir in Ranjangaon is the last Ashtavinayak temple that we will visit on this Ashtavinayak pilgrimage tour. After darshan and prasad, our Ashtavinayak pilgrimage tour will conclude.
Continue on the road trip back to Pune.
Overnight in Pune
Proceed to Mumbai / Pune Airport or Railway Station in time for your flight / train back home.
We hope you enjoyed this Mumbai Ashtavinayak Pilgrimage Tour with ToursinMumbai.com