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Sri Varadavinayaka, Mahad

Varadavinayak (file-photo)

The Mahad temple is another one of the Ashtavinayaka, the eight revered shrines of Ganesha in Maharashtra.   

As per Legend there was this king, Bhima of Koudinyapur the sage Vishwamitra while they had come to forest for penance. He prayed to Vishwamitra that he may be blessed with a heir as the king was childless. The sage gave the king Ekashar Gajana Mantra to chant and thus his son and heir, prince Rukmaganda was born. Rukmaganda grew up into a beautiful young prince.

One day, on a hunting trip Rukmaganda stopped at the hermitage of Rishi Vachaknavi. The Rishi's wife, Mukunda, fell in love at the sight of the handsome prince and asked him to fulfill her desires. The virtuous prince flatly refused and left the ashram. Knowing her plight, King Indra cunningly took the form of Rukmaganda and courted her. Mukunda became pregnant and gave birth to a son Gritsamada. In time, when Gritsamada learned of the circumstances of his birth, he cursed his mother to become the unattactive, thorny berry bearing plant. Mukunda in turn cursed Gritsamada, that a cruel rakshas will be born to him. Suddenly they both heard a heavenly voice saying, "Gritsamada , son of Indra", leaving them both shocked.But due to their curses, Mukunda was transformed into the Bhor plant. Gritsamada felt very bad and retreated to the mythological Pushpak forest where he prayed to Lord Ganesha.

Lord Ganesha was pleased by Gritsamada's penance and offered him a boon that he will bear a son who would not be defeated by anybody other than Lord Shiva. Gritsamada asked Ganesha to bless the forest, and any devotee who pray there will be successful, and also pleaded Ganesha to stay there permanently. Gritsamada built a temple there and the Ganesha idol installed there is called Varadavinayaka. Today the forest is known as Bhadraka.

It is beleived that if the coconut received as prasad during Ganesh chaturthi is consumed, one will be blessed with a son. Hence the temple is especially full with devotees during Ganesh chaturthi.

Like all Ashtavinayaka temples, the Ganesha is believed to be swayambhu (self-existent), a naturally occurring stone formation resembling an elephant-face

 Mahad temple
Varadavinayak temple,Mahad

The idol of this temple Varada Vinayak said to be found in the adjoining lake in an immersed position in 1690 AD. This temple is said to have been built in 1725 AD by Subhedar Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar. There is a beautiful pond beside the temple. The idol of this temple faces the east and has his trunk turned to the left. There is an oil lamp in this shrine which is said to be burning continuously since 1892. This temple also has shrines for Navagraha and Shiva. There are four elephant idols guarding the four sides of the temple. In this Ashta Vinayak Temple devotees can enter the sanctum and pay their respects to the idol personally. Devotees visit the Varadvinayak shrine throughout the year. During festivals like the Ganesh Chaturthi huge crowds throng this temple.

Temple location It is situated at around 85 kms from Pune.

Temple Timings The temple is open from 5:00 AM till 8:00 pm.

Temple's daily Pooja and Festivals

Panchamrut pooja is performed every day. The temple celebrates the Ganesh Chaturthi and Ganesh Jayanti in a grand scale.

How to reach?

1) State transport bus service available between Shivaji Nagar(Pune) to Mahad
2) If you are driving by your car ,it is on Pune-Mumbai highway at Pen-Khopli road and About 3 km off the Pune-Mumbai highway near Khopoli

As per my experience,the best alternative is to take a group travel to Ashta Vinayaka yatra from reputed travels in Pune or Mumbai.

Where to Stay? There is a lodging complex Yatri Nivas and other small hotels.
Contact Shri Ganapathi Devasthan trust, 02192-262780
Useful data
State: Maharashtra
District: Pune
Famous for: Pilgrimage
Languages: Marathi,Hindi
Best Season: Throughout the year. Summer( from May to July) could be very hot when the mercury shoots to 40 degree celsius. Monsoon during the month of June brings plenty of rain
Weather: Summer 32-40°C, Winter 18-28°C


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