The Ashtavinayaka Tour in Maharashtra is a famous pilgrimage circuit in India. If you are visiting the state or planning for a special spiritual holiday around the Vinayaka Chaturthi then opting for the Ashtavinayaka Temple Tour is a really good idea. Its hillside and picturesque location are even more beautiful during the monsoons. So, now is the perfect time to visit it. Though winter months are also ideal for this trip.
What is the Ashtavinayaka Tour in Maharashtra?
Ashtavinayaka means eight Ganeshas. The Ashtavinayaka Tour consists of eight Ganesh temples in Maharashtra that is ideally done in a specified sequence.
The list of temples as per the darshan sequence –
- Mayureshwar Temple, Pune district: 80 km away from Pune city in Morgaon.
- Siddhivinayak Temple; Ahmednagar district: by the Bhima River’s northern bank and on a hillock in Siddhatek.
- Ballaleshwar Temple; Raigad district: between Sarasgad Fort and Amba River in Pali.
- Varadavinayak Temple; Raigad district; by a scenic pond in Mahad.
- Chintamani Temple; Pune district: by the confluence of three rivers – Bhima and Mula-Mutha (already conjoined) in Lenyadri.
- Girijatmaj Temple; Pune district: at Lenyadri Caves on Lenyadri (Lekhan) Hills in Lenyadri.
- Vighneshwar Temple; Pune district: by the Kukadi River banks in Ozar.
- Mahaganapati Temple; Pune district: near the Shirur town in Ranjangaon.
These temples have Swamyambhu murties – as in these idols were found naturally and not specifically sculpted for these temples. The forms resemble the deity and hence were used in the temples. It is a common practice across India. In fact; temples with Swamyambhu murties are considered miraculous in nature.
As per a legend, the journey must commence from a darshan of the Mayureshwar Temple (also known as Moreshwar Temple) at Morgaon and must also end here after visiting the other seven temples in the circuit. How you visit these temples is up to you though. There is no hard and fast rule about it. Some tours begin from the nearest temple as per the starting location; be it Pune or Mumbai.
The sixth temple in the Ashtavinayaka Temple Tour list has a very interesting location and legend attached to it. It is believed that this hill is the place where Devi Parvati, who is the mother of Ganesha, performed tapasya for 12 long years for a child. The temple is located in the Lenyadri Hills and the idol is an infant form of Ganesha. The name of the temple itself means son of Girija, which is another name of Parvati. A single rock was carved to build the temple. The most interesting part of the temple is that even though it is inside the cave; daylight remains in the entire temple until the sun sets. You will need to climb some 300 or so stairs to reach the main temple. The Cave Complex 7 is where this temple is located in the hills.
Why should you choose the Ashtavinayaka Tour in Maharashtra?
Not only is the Ashtavinayaka Tour in Maharashtra a famous and very significant pilgrimage for those who practice Hinduism. But it is also popular because of the scenic beauty of the circuit. The temples are located in and around the hills of the region. This circuit is famous as a road trip from Maharashtra. It covers a distance of more than 650 km alongside beautiful Maharashtra scenery. You can also include other nearby attractions on this tour such as Shirdi and Bhimashankar temples.
You can begin your journey from Pune or Mumbai. You can also travel to Pune first from Mumbai; rest for a day and then embark on the pilgrimage. You can take flights to Pune or travel to the city via road from Mumbai.
You can complete the circuit in minimum 2-3 days (without getting too overwhelmed) if time is limited. If you can spare a week for the tour then you can leisurely visit 1-2 temples in a day and also enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
You can take book flights to Mumbai or Pune for your Ashtavinayaka pilgrimage. If you are visiting from the US; you can book your tickets via Indian Eagle.
The Ashtavinayaka tour in Maharashtra is perfect for a family vacation or for a trip with friends. The history of the temples, the spectacular beauty of the region, and the various attractions enroute make it the perfect holiday.