Ashtavinayaka means simply “Eight Ganesh ” . Ganesh is the Hindu deity for prosperity and learning. Ashtavinayaka yatra refers to a pilgrimage to these eight temples in Maharashtra State, India.
This Is the Rute Map of Ashtavinayaka Yaatra
The sequence of Ashtavinayaka pilgrimage according to the stotra (poetic line) mentioned in puran as is as follows:
1. Morgaon 2 Theur 3 Siddhatek 4 Ranjangaon
5 Lenyadri 6 Ozar 7 Pali 8 Mahad
After visiting all places, one should visit Morgaon again to make the Yaatra (pilgrimage) complete and more fruitful
1 Shri Mayureshwar : Morgaon
This is the first Temple to be visited during the Ashtavinayaka Yatra. Shri Moreshwar or Mayureshwar Temple is situated in the Morgaon village in the Baramati Taluka of Pune district Maharashtra. Moregaon Village is said to have received its name due to its shape of this place was like a peacock and there was an abundance of peacock birds in this region. Literally Moregoan means ‘Village of Peacocks’ and is a combination of two words (more which means Peacock and goan which means village). As per the legend Lord Ganesh riding a peacock in the form of Mayureshwara slew the demon Sindhu in response to pleas from the Gods.
2 . Shri Siddhivinayak : Siddhatek
Siddhi Vinayaka Temple of Siddhatek is the second Temple to be visited during the Ashta Vinayak Mandir Yatra. Shri Siddhivinayak Temple at Siddhatek is renowned Ashta Vinayaka Temples in Maharashtra and is situated off the Pune-Solapur highway at a distance of about 200 km east of Pune. According to the Legend it is believed that on the Siddhtek Mountain the Lord Vishnu invoked Lord Ganesha during his battle with the demons Madhu and Kaitabha and got Siddhi from him.
This is the place where Sage Bhrushandi and Vyas had worshiped and attained Siddhi. This GaneshTemple is on hill top facing north and built by the Peshwas. This temple is located on the banks of Bhima River in a remote little village called Siddhatek in Karjat Taluka in Ahmadnagar District. The greenery and beauty of this area is noticeable to pilgrims
3 Ballaleshwar : Pali
The Ballaleshwar Temple of Pali is the third Ashta Vinayak Temple to be visited while during an Ashta Vinayak Temple Yatra. This Templeis situated in the Sudhagad Taluka in Raigad District and approximately 110 kms from Pune. This is the temple of Lord Ganesh which is famous in the name of devotee of the Ganesh. The Ganesh idol of Pali is known as Ballal Vinayaka and is associated with the legend of a young lad Ballal’s devotion to Lord Ganesh. This Temple is situated between the historical Sanrasgad Fort on one side and River Amba flowing on the other side. There are two lakes in front of the temple. The original Temple was a wooden temple which was renovated in 1760 to a new stone temple. Specialty of this temple is during sunrise the rays of the sun falls directly on the Ganesh Idol.
4. Shri Varada Vinayak : Mahad
Shri Varada Vinayak is the fourth GaneshaTemple to be visited during the Ashta Vinayaka Yatra according to Shastras. This temple is located three K.M. off the Pune-Mumbai highway near Khopoli in Mahad village of Raigarh District in Maharashtra. It is believed that Lord Ganesh as Varad Vinayak fulfills all the desires of his sincere devotees and also bless them. The idol of this Temple Varada Vinayak is a swayambu (self originated) and was found in the adjoining lake in an immersed position in 1690 AD. This Temple is said to be built in 1725AD by Subhedar Ramji Mahadev. The Varadvinayak shrine is associated with the legend of Prince Rukmangada, Indra and Sage Grutsamad. The temple premises is on one side of a beautiful pond.
5. Shri Chintamani : Theur
Shri Chintamani of Theur (Theyoor) in Pune District of Maharashtra is the 5th Temple to be visited during the Ashta Vinayaka Pilgrimage. In this shrine Lord Ganesh in the form of Chintamani brings peace of mind and drives away all the perplexities. According to the Legend this is the place where Lord Ganesha is believed to have restored the valuable Chintamani jewel from the greedy Prince Guna who had stolen it from Sage Kapila. The Kapila sage refused to take the gem back and began to call Lord Ganesh as Chintaamani Vinayaka. This incident took place under a Kadamba tree, so this place came to known as Kadambanagar. Another legend about this place is related with Lord Brahma. It is said that once Lord Brahma was feeling restless and called upon Vinayaka to easy his mind. The Lord Brahma’s worries (Chinta) were removed by the Ganesha at this place. So Lord Ganesh came to be known here as Chintamani Vinayak.
6 Shri Girijatmaj : Lenyadri
Shri Girijatmaj Temple of Lenyadri in Maharashtra is the sixth Ganesh Temple to be visited on the Ashta Vinayaka Mandir Pilgrimage. ‘Girijatmaj’ means Ganesha the son of Girija (Goddess Parvati). According to the Legend Goddess Parvati had a strong desire to have Vinayaka as her son performed penance for 12 years in the caves of Lenyadri to fulfill her wish. Pleased by her dedication Lord Ganesha blessed her and on the day of Bhadrapada Shudh Chaturthi when Parvati was worshiping an idol of Lord Ganesha it came alive and told her that her wish has been granted. This Temple is situated at the Lenyadri Mountain in a Buddhist Cave which is around 95 Kms from Pune. Lenyadri is in North of the Pune City on the banks of River Kukdi. The beauty and pollution free environment of this area does not go unnoticed to anyone visiting the Shrine. There is an entrance fee of Rs 5 for visiting this Temple. One significance of this Temple is there is always Sunlight in day from Sunrise to Sunset in the Garbh Gruha.
7. Shri Vigneshwara : Ozar
Shri Vigneshwara of Ozar is the 7thTemple to be visited during the Ashta Vinayaka Yatra. This Ashta Vinayaka Temple is situated on the banks of Kukadi River, in Junnar and around 85 kms from Pune. The Lord of this shrine is known as Vigneshwara which means “remover of all obstacles “ Vignas”. It is supposed here, after visiting this place God takes away all your problems. As per the Legend a demon by name Vignasura was disturbing the Sages. Responding to the prayers of the Sages Lord Ganesh fought with the Demon Vignasura who surrendered to Ganesha and agreed to stop his misdeeds. To commemorate the surrender of Vignasura the Sages installed an image of Vigneshwara at Ozar on the day of Ganesh Chaturti and worshiped, hence its popular as Vigneshwara.
8. Shri Mahaganapati : Ranjangoan
Shri Mahaganapati of Ranjangoan is the eighth and last Ganesh Temple to be visited during the Ashta Vinayaka Yaatra . According to the Legend at this place Lord Shiva invoked Ganesha before fighting the Demon Tripurasura. Therefore the Ganesha idol of this Temple is also known as Tripurarivade Mahaganpati. The Mahaganapati Temple is east facing and has a huge and beautiful entrance gate. The Idols of Jay and Vijay are present near the gateway. The Architecture of this is in such a way that the rays of the Sun falls directly on the idol.