Pali Ganpati Temple, also popular as Ballaleshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is one of the eight Ashtavinayak Temples of Pune in Maharashtra. The temple is in Pali village, Raigad district. Moreover. it is the only temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha named after his devotee.
What is the history of Pali Ganpati temple?
The history of the Pali Ganpati Temple is that it is believed to be originally built in the 11th century. Moreshvar Vitthal Sindkar contributed to the construction of the temple in 1640. Also, it was originally made of wood and was renovated in the year 1760 by Moropant Dada Phadnavis.
Legend of Balleleshwar: According to Ganesh Puran, Kalyansheth was a successful businessman in Pallipur. His son Ballal was a devout child who spent most of his time praying and worshipping Lord Ganesh. Then, one day he invited all the children from his village for a special Pooja. Ballal and his friends kept one large stone and worshipped it as Lord Ganesh. However, the children were so engrossed in their prayers that they did not return home for days. This irritated the villagers who complained to Kalyansheth. Then he came to the Pooja and destroyed the stone and tied Ballal to a tree as punishment.
Ballal cried and prayed to Lord Ganesh who appeared before him as a Sadhu. Ballal identified the Sadhu as the Lord himself and asked for his blessings. He also requested the Lord to always be with him and stay in this place. Hence, Lord Ganesh embraced Ballal and vanished into a stone. Then this stone became the Lord Ballaleshwar idol.
Legend of Dhundi Vinayak: The large stone which Ballal’s father Kalyansheth threw to the ground was known as Dhundi Vinayak. This is believed to be self-manifested or swayambu and is worshipped before Lord Ballaleshwar.
What is the significance of Pali Ganpati temple?
The significance of Pali Ganpati Temple is that it faces east and is perfectly planned to ensure that the rays from the winter solstice’s rising sun fall directly on the main idol. The temple has two sanctums – the inner sanctum measuring 15 feet and the outer sanctum measuring 12 feet.
A devotee by name Krishnaji Narayan Pinge constructed eight pillars in 1910. The pillars are in the front of the temple and symbolise the eight directions. Lord Ballaleshwar’s idol is 3 ft tall and remarkably resembles the shape of a nearby mountain. Moreover, he is accompanied by his consorts Riddhi and Siddhi on his either sides. Also, Ballaleshwar is the only idol of Lord Ganesh in Brahmin attire.
The Dhundi Vinayak has a separate shrine and is one of the rarest idols to face west. Since the children of Pali village worshipped the large stone, devotees worship the Dhundi Vinayak first. Also, the Pali Ganpati temple structure is of concrete with molten lead. This is regarded as a unique feature. Visitors can also see some of the construction equipment such as the churning wheel. The temple also includes two beautiful lakes.
What are the timings of Pali Ganpati Temple?
The timings for Pali Ganapati Temple are:
|Open||5:30 AM||10 PM|
Which sevas are perfomred at Pali Ganpati Temple?
The following poojas and sevas are take place at Pali Ganapati Temple:
|Daily Pooja||5:30 AM||10 PM|
|Chaturthi||6 AM||9 PM|
Which festivals are celebrated at Pali Ganpati Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Pali 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. Moreover, in Pali, Lord Ballaleshwar’s birthday is a five-day festival from Bhadrapath Shudh 1 to Bhadrapath Shudh 5 (August – September)
- Jeshath: Similar to Bhadrapath, the Dhundi Vinayak Utsav is a five-day festival from Jeshath Shudh 1 to Jeshath Shudh 5 (May – June)
- Shravan: Janmashtami or Krishna Ashtami, Lord Krishna’s birthday is celebrated here with a Dahi Handi event during Shravan( July- August)
- Holi: The colourful festival of Holi is in the month of Phalgun (February/March), on Phalgun Shudh Poornima
- Aashad: Chaturmas symbolises 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 Ballaleshwar is taken on a palanquin procession across the village.
- Kakad Aarti: The priest performs a special Kakad Aarti at 5:00 am before Lord Ballaleshwar from Ashwin Vadhya 1 to Karthika Shudh Poornima
- Magh: The Magh Utsav is an important festival at the Ballaleshwar Temple. Here, the celebrations are held from Magh Shudh 1 to Magh Shudh 6 (January – February). During this period, devotees conduct Bhajans, Kirtans and several programs.
How to reach Pali Ganpati Temple?
Here’s how to reach Pali ganapati Temple:
- Road – Pali enjoys good roads and several buses operate from Mumbai, Thane and Pune.
- Rail – Nearest railway stations are in Khopoli and Karjat. Several buses operate from these stations to Pali.
- Air – The nearest airports are in Mumbai and Pune at a distance of 105 km and 127 km respectively.
Where to stay near Pali Ganapati Temple?
Since Pali is a well-known pilgrimage site, several accommodate options are available to meet the needs of pilgrims. Moreover, the Ballaleshwar Temple charitable trust also runs a dharmashala or Bhakta Niwas and provides accommodation at a nominal cost.
Where to eat near Pali Ganapati Temple?
There are several eateries and restaurants in and around Pali. Devotees also partake the food provided at the Ballaleshwar Temple.
What are the temples near Pali Ganapati temple?
Here’s a list of some temples near Pali ganapati temple:
Sudhagad Fort: The Sudhagad Fort houses a shrine dedicated to Goddess Bhorai. Bhrigu Maharishi installed the shrine. The Sudhagad Fort is 15 km from the Ballaleshwar Temple.
Gramdevata Vardayini Temple, Usar: Goddess Vardayini blessed Lord Rama at this place. This temple is 9 km from the Ballaleshwar Temple.
Uddhar: This is the place where Lord Rama’s devotee, Jatayu had fought Ravana after he had abducted Sita. The place has hot springs and also a pond. Also, the water from the pond has the ability to dissolve bones and devotees perform Asthi Visarjana here. Uddhar is 14 km from the Ballaleshwar Temple
Siddheshwar Temple: The Siddheshwar Temple is for Lord Shiva and houses a Linga. Moreover, the temple is over 350 years old and is 3 km from Pali.
What are the other Ashtavinayak Temples?
The other Ashtavinayak Temples are:
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, who defeated a demon at this place. The Mayureshwar Temple is in Morgaon, 193 km from the Ballaleshwar Temple.
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. Also, Lord Siddhi Vinayak is the only idol with the trunk pointing towards the right. The Siddhi Vinayak Temple is in Siddhatek, 156 km from the Ballaleshwar Temple.
This temple is the fourth in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Ganesh is famous as Varadha Vinayak, the Lord who grants boons and wishes. The Varadha Vinayak Temple is in Mahad, 37 km from the Ballaleshwar Temple.
This temple is the fifth in the list of Ashtavinayak temples. Lord Ganesh retrieved the invaluable jewel – Chintamani from a greedy demon and given it back to sage Kapila. Then, the sage rewarded Lord Ganesh by placing it around Lord Ganesh’s neck and hence the name Chintamani Vinayak. The Chintamani Temple is at Theur, 140 km from the Ballaleshwar Temple.
This temple is the sixth in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. Goddess Parvathi performed penance at this place to have a child. Then her prayers were answered when Lord Ganesh was born. So, the temple gets its name from the words Girija (Parvathi) and Atmaj (son). The Girijatmaj Temple is in Lenyadri, 180 km from the Ballaleshwar Temple.
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. The Vighneswar Vinayak Temple is at Ozar, 252 km from the Ballaleshwar Temple.
This is the last of the Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Shiva worshipped Lord Ganesh here before proceeding to defeat the demon Tripurasura. The Mahaganapati Temple is at Ranjangaon, 230 km from the Ballaleshwar Temple.