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Ashtavinayak Tour from Pune by Car

Discussion in 'Maharashtra' started by Laksya, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. Laksya

    Laksya New Member

    I am from Pune and wish to do the Ashtavinayak tour. I will be self-driving a car and along with me will be my wife, mother, and father.
    I have never been for the Ashtavinayak tour (yatra) and need some guidance. My queries have been posted in questions which I hope will be answered by someone.

    1. How many temples are there in the yatra?

    2. In which order do we need to visit the temples?

    3. What time do you suggest we leave for the Ashtavinayak Yatra?

    4. Is there anything special we should do before or during the yatra?

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Laksya! Welcome to the forum!

    There are eight temples to be visited in the Ashtavinayak Yatra. These are the eight holy temples of the Lord Ganesha. These are the following temples:
    • Moreshwar Temple - This temple also goes by the name Mayureshwar Mandir. The deity here has three eyes and is angled a bit to the left, as it's said to be for success. The temple itself was built using black stone and is covered by four minarets from the outside to protect it from invaders.
    • Siddhivinayak Temple - You can find this temple right next to the Bhima River. This is the only temple facing slightly to the right and the deity here faces the North side direction as well.
    • Ballaleshwar Temple - Others refer to this temple as Ballal owing to the story that Lord Ganesh appeared to his devotee named Ballal in here. This was originally a wooden temple but was reconstructed by Nana Phadanavis into a stone temple. This temple faces the East side and it has two artificial lakes by its sides.
    • Varadavinayak Temple - This temple was built by Grutsamad. He built this after being cursed by his mother. Lord Ganesha is said to reside here in the form of Varada Vinayaka or the giver of success. The deity of the Lord Ganesha here is faced to East. There's also an oil lamp here believed to have been burning since 1892. Devotees can personally pay their respect and prayers to the idol here as well compared to the other temples that don't allow that.
    • Chintamani Temple - This is the place where the Chinatamani Jewel was taken back from Guna to Ganesha, hence the name of the temple. The deity here faces the East side as well and the temple faces the North. You can find the Kadambteertha Lake just behind the temple.
    • Girijatmaj Temple - This is where Parvati, Shiva's wife, performed penance to Lord Ganesha. Parvati's son is named Girija Atmaj, hence the name of the temple. You can find other caves in the vicinity, there's about 18 of them and the Girijatmaj Temple is the 8th cave/temple. Since the temple faces South, the deity has to be worshipped from behind the temple, as it is facing North.
    • Vighnahar Temple - Vighnasur, a demon created by the Gods, was defeated by Lord Ganesha here. The demon pleaded to Lord Ganesha to spare him and so the Lord did in one condition, that the demon shouldn't spread his acts on places where the Lord is worshipped. The demon would oblige only if the Lord Ganesha would take the demon's name before him. Hence, the deity here is known by the name "Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak." The temple and the idol here both face the East side.
    • Mahaganapati Temple - This is where Lord Shiva fought with the demon Tripasura. He was believed to have worshipped Lord Ganesha here as well. The idol here faces the East side.
    This is the order that you need to visit the temples:
    1. Moreshwar Temple at Morgaon in the Pune District.
    2. Siddhivinayak Temple at Siddhatek in Ahmednagar District.
    3. Ballaleshwar Temple at Pali in Raigad District.
    4. Varadavinayak Temple at Madh in Raigad District.
    5. Chintamani Temple at Theur in Pune District.
    6. Girijatmaj Temple at Lenyadri in Pune District.
    7. Vighnahar Temple at Ozar in Pune District.
    8. Mahaganapati Temple at Ranjangaon in Pune District.
    So you would start at Moreshwar Temple in the Pune District. Then, you just follow that order for the succeeding temples. After Mahaganapati Temple, you'd have to end the Yatra in Moreshwar Temple again.

    You can leave as early as 7:00 am and reach Morgaon by 9:00 am. You can finish the Yatra in two to three days depending on how early you start. So if you start your Yatra as early as you can, the more temples you can fit in a day.

    Some tips I can give you are:
    • Plan ahead. Book your hotel or accommodation in advance. Make sure that you print out your schedule and routes so you can easily reach your destinations.
    • The Yatra needs to be finished without going home. So make sure that you have enough time or vacation to finish visiting all of the eight temples.
    • Don't forget that the first visit should be at Morgaon and the last visit should be at Morgaon as well. The problem with some tour companies is that they don't follow the strict Yatra sequence. If you can manage doing the Yatra by yourselves, then all the better.
    I hope this helps!
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  3. Laksya

    Laksya New Member

    Thank you briannagodess for the very detailed reply. I am glad you mentioned the duration of the yatra, as I was assuming it would all be finished in one day.

    I have one more question do you think any of the temples provide accommodation as well?
  4. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi again!

    Some of the temples provide accommodation:

    1. Moreshwar Temple at Morgaon - No accommodations provided for here, as far as I know and as far as I've researched.

    2. Siddhivinayak Temple at Siddhatek - Some devotees claim that they were able to stay here. You would need to contact the temple head which is Shree Gajanan Purohit for the details. Otherwise, the Shree Siddhivinayak Lodging and Boarding is available just nearby the temple. Rates are:
    • Single Room at Rs. 75 per night.
    • Big Hall at Rs. 251 per night.
    3. Ballaleshwar Temple at Pali - The Temple Trust here provides accommodation options for devotees. There's about 24 Single Rooms and 2 Big Halls.
    • Bhaktivas No. 1 Rooms - These are at Rs. 250 per night. It can accommodate up to 5 persons per room.
    • Bhaktivas No. 2 Rooms - These are at Rs. 300 per night.
    • Hall Rooms - These are at Rs. 10 per person per night.
    Contact number of Temple Trust: 02142-242263.

    4. Varadavinayak Temple at Madh -There are lots of accommodation options near the temple in Madh. However, I wasn't able to find information on whether the trust allows devotees to stay in the temple.

    5. Chintamani Temple at Theur - There are lots of accommodation options in Theur since it's near the city centre of Pune. But it seems like the trust doesn't provide accommodation for the devotees within the temple itself.

    6. Girijatmaj Temple at Lenyadri - The Temple Trust here does provide accommodation options for devotees. These are:
    • Yatri Niwas No. 1 - Rooms and halls that can accommodate up to 500 people at the same time.
    • Yatri Niwas No. 2 - This has about 68 rooms, 34 of which have private bathrooms, the remaining 34 have common bathrooms. Five of the rooms here have AC as well.
    You'd have to contact the Temple Trust for the rates and for booking. This is the number: 02132222350.

    7. Vighnahar Temple at Ozar - The Temple Trust here have also accommodations available for pilgrims. The building is called Bhakta Bhavan:
    • First floor - This has about 20 huge dormitory-like halls with common bathrooms.
    • Second floor - This has 30 family rooms and 20 common rooms.
    You can contact the Temple Trust for rates and reservation or visit their site. The number is: +91 2132 288330.

    8. Mahaganapati Temple at Ranjangaon - They also provide for accommodations here for a nominal fee. Accommodations here are:
    • Rooms and halls, with common bathrooms.
    You can contact the Temple Trust for reservations at: 02138-243 200.

    I hope this helps!