Mahad Ganpati Varad Vinayak Temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Ganesh and is one of the Eight Ashtavinayak Temples of Pune in Maharashtra. The temple is in Mahad village, Raigad district. Subhedar Ramji Mahadev Biwalkwar built the Mahad Ganpati Temple in the year 1725.
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Mahad Ganpati Temple – Facts
|Significance||Part of Ashtavinayak Temples|
|Best Time to Visit||July – November|
|Darshan Timings||5:30 AM to 09:00 PM|
|Vehicle Parking Fees||Free parking space available|
|Festivals||Badrapat Sudh, Magh Sudh, and Ganesh Jayanti|
Devotees who pay a fee of INR 31,000 have an opportunity to worship the Lord for the entire day. Moreover, no priests or officials will interrupt the devotee during his prayers.
Timings and puja of Mahad Ganpati Temple
|Darshan Starting Time||5.30 AM|
|Temple Closing Time||9 PM|
|Panchamrit puja||8 AM|
Mahad Ganpati Temple performs rituals on behalf of devotees. The priest offers Holy ash and Prasad to devotees who do the rituals.
What is the significance of Mahad Ganpati Temple?
The significance of the Mahad Ganpati temple is that the Varad Vinayak idol is self-manifested. The Lord’s idol was found immersed in a lake in the year 1690 by a Ganesh devotee named Paundkar. Devotees can come into the sanctum sanctorum and directly worship the Lord at Mahad Ganpati Temple.
- The Varad Vinayak idol at Mahad Ganpati Temple faces east and the trunk is turns left.
- Lord Varad Vinayak at Mahad Ganpati Temple is accompanied by consorts Riddhi and Siddhi
- The sanctum sanctorum had a Nandadeep or a perpetual oil lamp, which is believed to burning continuously since 1892
- Further, Mahad is a scenic village and offers an excellent ambiance for people who wish to meditate
- Gagangiri Maharaj, a spiritual leader did penance on the water of a nearby dam
- According to beliefs, Gritsamada created the Ganana Twam. The mantra is a very powerful chant when praying to Lord Ganesh.
The idol at the Varad Vinayak Mahad Ganpati Temple is Swyambhu and the temple is actually recognised as a Math.
Legends and History of Mahad Ganpati Temple?
The history attached with Mahad Ganapati temple relates to the following legend:
Legend of Varad Vinayak: During his hunting trip, Prince Rukmaganda of Koudinyapur stopped at Rishi Vachaknavi’s hermitage. The Rishi’s wife Mukunda admired the handsome prince and tried to seduce him, but the righteous Prince refused. But, Lord Indra saw the plight of the lovesick Mukunda.
Therefore, he impersonated Prince Rukmaganda and fulfilled her desire. Mukunda soon gave birth to a son Gritsamada, who grew up to be a great scholar. Gritsamada was once invited to debate along with great Rishis. One of the Rishis refused to debate with Gritsamada as he was not a true Brahmin.
A surprised Gritsamada questioned his mother and learned about his birth. In a fit of anger, he cursed that she will turn into a thorny plant. Mukunda, in turn, cursed Gritsamada that he will have a demon child. When the two were cursing each other, a celestial voice said that Gritsamada was Lord Indra’s son.
A repenting Gritsamada retreated to Pushpak forest and performed penance to Lord Ganesh. Pleased with his prayers and devotion, Lord Ganesh appeared before him and granted him a boon. Gritsamada requested that he be recognized as a Brahmin and also that Lord Ganesh stay in this forest and bless the people.
Hence, Lord Ganesh granted his two wishes and stayed in the forest. So, Gritsamada called Lord Ganesh as Varad Vinayak or the Lord who grants wishes.
Scenically located this temple is adjacent to a beautiful pond and it is believed that the idol of the Lord was found immersed in the nearby lake.
The architecture of Mahad Ganpati Temple –
The temple is in all respects basically planned with a tiled rooftop. It has an arch 25 feet high with brilliant apex and a brilliant summit (Kalas) which has a beautifully carved cobra. The Temple is 8 feet long and 8 feet wide.
The first icon of Varad Vinayak can be seen outside the sanctum. Since the symbol was in a severely endured condition, the temple trustees inundated that icon and blessed another icon in that place. Be that as it may, such a choice of trustees was protested by few individuals and a suit was documented in the district court.
Presently two icons, one inside the sanctum and one outside the sanctum can be seen. The sanctum made up of stone and encompassed by flawlessly cut stone elephant carvings, houses the symbol.
A Gomukh is seen on the north side of the temple from which streams the heavenly water. A blessed lake is located on the west side of the temple. This temple additionally has the symbol of Mushika, Navagraha Devtas, and Shivalinga.
It is also believed that the person who receives a coconut as Prasadam during Maghi Chathurthi is blessed with a son.
Which festivals are celebrated at Mahad Ganpati Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Mahad Ganapati Temple are:
- Bhadrapath: Lord Ganesh’s birth celebrations known as Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi is a key festival in the state of Maharashtra. In Mahad, Lord Varad Vinayak’s birthday is a five-day festival from Bhadrapath Shudh 1 to Bhadrapath Shudh 5 (August –September)
- Magh: The Magh Utsav is an important festival at the Varad Vinayak Temple. The celebrations take place from Magh Shudh 1 to Magh Shudh 6 (January – February).
- Shravan: Janmashtami or Krishna Ashtami, Lord Krishna’s birthday is celebrated here with a Dahi Handi event during Shravan ( July- August)
- Holi: The colorful festival of Holi is in the month of Phalgun (February/March), on Phalgun Shudh Poornima.
- Aashad: Chaturmas symbolizes Lord Vishnu’s four months slumber. The beginning of Chaturmas is in the month of Aashad (June-July). Devotees can participate in Puram Pravachan program during this period.
- Ashwin: Devotees celebrate the Dusshera festival here on Ashwin Shudh 10 (September/October). During the festivities, Lord Ganpati is taken on a palanquin procession across the village.
How to reach Mahad Ganpati Temple?
- Road – Mahad Ganpati Temple is 63 km from Mumbai and 85 km from Pune. Mahad enjoys good roads and several buses operate from Mumbai, Thane, and Pune.
- Rail – The nearest railway stations are in Khopoli and Karjat. All Express Train Services halt at Karjat Station.
- Air – The nearest airports are in Mumbai and Pune and they are equidistant to Varad Vinayak Temple. There are numerous numbers of taxis and buses that will take you to Mahad from outside the airport.
Where to stay near Mahad Ganapati Temple?
Mahad has a Bhakta Niwas or Pilgrim’s rest house with clean rooms at very nominal rates. Mahad doesn’t have any hotels, but devotees can either choose between the rest house of stay at Mumbai / Pune.
- Varadvinayak Ganpati Bhakta Niwas is the ideal place to stay here. The rooms and loos are clean and well-maintained. Rs.200 is charged for a room and beddings are provided by the trust.
Where to eat near Mahad Ganapati Temple?
The Mahad Ganpati Temple offers Prasad for devotees. Villagers and priests also offer Thali meals which are pre-booked. Also, devotees who make day trips to Mahad can also choose to eat in the city of Mumbai/Pune where one can find excellent and diverse food options.
- Lunch is provided as prasad by the temple (noon-2 pm).
- Else, villagers (temple officials guide visitors to them) provide good meals for Rs 40 per thali.
What are the sightseeing places near Mahad Ganapati temple?
Temples near Mahad Ganapati Temple are:
- Gagangiri Ashram, Khopoli: According to beliefs, Gagangiri Maharaj, a prominent spiritual leader did penance in Khopoli and nearby forests. He attained Samadhi at his Ashram in Khopoli which attracts devotees. The ashram is 21 km from Mahad Ganpati Temple
- Shankar Mandir, Khopoli: Nana Phadnavis, built an oval-shaped reservoir and a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple does not have an idol, but an image which visitors worship. Mahasivarathri festival fair attracts a lot of devotees to this temple. The Shankar Mandir is 28 km from Mahad Ganpati Temple.
There are statues of four elephants on four sides of the temple that are said to guard the temple.
What are the other Ashtavinayak Temples?
The other Ashtavinayak temples are:
- Mayureshwar Temple, Morgaon – This is the first of the Ashtavinayak Temples. Devotees begin and end their journey at the Mayureshwar Temple. The temple got its name after the legend of Mayureshwar – Lord Ganesh riding a peacock.
- Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Siddhatek – This temple is the second in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Vishnu is believed to have appeased Lord Ganesh at this place before slaying the demons Madhu and Kaitabh.
- Ballaleshwar Temple, Pali: This temple derives its name from Lord Ganesh’s devotee Ballal. This is the only Ganesh Temple whose name is after a devotee. It is in Pali, 180 km from the Girijatmaj Temple.
- Chintamani Temple, Theur – This temple is the fifth in the list of Ashtavinayak temples. Lord Ganesh retrieved the invaluable jewel – Chintamani from a greedy demon and gave it back to sage Kapila.
- Girijatmaj Temple, Lenyadri: Goddess Parvathi performed penance at this place to have a child. Her prayers were answered when Lord Ganesh was born. The temple gets its name from the words Girija (Parvathi) and Atmaj (son).
- Vighneshwar Vinayak Temple, Ozar – This temple is the seventh in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Indra sent Vighnasur to disturb King Abhinandan’s prayer. Then, the troubled devotees turned to Lord Ganesh who defeated the demon at this place.
- Mahaganapati Temple, Ranjangaon – This is the last of the Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Shiva worshipped Lord Ganesh here before proceeding to defeat the demon Tripurasura.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mahad Ganpati Temple –
Entry to the temple is free and no booking is needed to visit the temple.
The Dharamshala or Bhakta Nivas is the best option to stay near Mahad Ganpati Temple. Also, they can be found at cheap rates.
The nearest airports are in Mumbai and Pune at a distance of 63 km and 85 km.
The maximum temperature in summer can reach till 35°C. The minimum temperature that can fall down is 13°C in winter.
The Mahad Ganpati Temple comes in 4th number during the Ashtavinayak Yatra.
Ladoo and Modak prasad which are known to be favorite of Lord Ganesh are offered in the temple.
Devotees can offer prayers in the Garbhagriha of Mahad Ganpati temple. Flowers, Garlands are the main offerings made at Mahad temple.