The Mayureshwar or Moreshwar temple is situated along the Karha river in the Morgaon village in the Baramati Taluka of Pune district in Maharashtra.Moregoan is derived from the name of the bird Peacock, in Marathi More means the peacock and goan village. It is said that shape of this place is like a peacock and once upon a time the place was full of peacocks that it was named Morgaon.According to puranas ,Ganesha rode a peacock,(Mora in Marathi ) to fight against a demon called sindhu , he is known as Mayureshwar or Moreshwar ("Lord of the peacock").
The Morgaon temple is not only the most important temple in the Ashtavinayak circuit, but also is described as "India's foremost Ganesha pilgrimage"
According to puranas, there was a demon called Sindhu who terrorized the three worlds, and the Gods asked Ganesha for help. Ganesha defeated Sindhu's army,
and killed the demon Sindhu.
The deity is seen seated,and is three eyed, with his trunk turned towards the left. The eyes and the navel of the deity are studded with precious diamonds. On the head is seen Lord Nagaraj with fangs. The deity is flanked by Siddhi and Buddhi who are considered the consorts of Ganesh. In front of the deity stand a mouse and a peacock.
Like all Ashtavinayaka shrines, the main Ganesha idol is believed to be swayambu (self formed), naturally occurring in the form of an elephant-faced stone. In front of the central image, the vahanas of Ganesha, the mouse and the peacock are placed.
The original idol is actually much smaller than it seems but continuous anointing of the idol with sindoor has resulted in the idol seeming much larger than it actually is. It is believed that this layer of sindoor peels off on its own every 100 or 150 years, revealing the actual idol.
While Mudgala Purana dedicates 22 chapters to Morgaon's greatness, Ganesha Purana states that Morgaon (Mayurapuri) is among the three most important places for Ganesha and the only one on earth . The other locations are Kailash in heaven and Adi Shesha's palace in Patala (underworld)
The main temple is made up of Black stone. The temple was constructed during Bahamani regime and was built in typical Moghule style.The temple is covered from all sides by four Minarets and gives feeling of a mosque if seen from a distance. This was done to prevent attacks on the temple during Mughal periods.
The main entrance of the temple faces north. The quadrangular courtyard has two lamp towers with niches / grroves to light lamps.
The temple has four gates. In the eastern gate is Lakshminarayana. In the southern gate are Parvati and Shiva. In the western gate are Rati and Manmadhan .In the Northern gate you can see Earth and Sun.
Thus all deities and all sages reside in this temple. In the eight corners, there are eight idols of Ganapati called Ekadanta, Mahodar, Gajanana, Lambodara, Vikata, Vignaraja, Dhumravarna and Vakrathunda.
In the temple complex there are trees of Vanni (Tamil) ( Shami - Marathi,Hindi), Vilvam (Tamil),(Bilva-Sanskrit) and Elanthai(Tamil) (Tarati - Hindi,Marathi,Buckthorn-English). The Buckthorn tree is the Kalpavruksha. Devotees meditate under this tree and attain desired goals. A sculpted 6 foot mouse,the vahana of Ganesha sits in front of the sanctum.
Before taking darshan of Mayureshwar, first take darshan of Nagnabhairava on the left side of Mayureshwar and offer him naivaidya of coconut and jaggery.
There is a Nandi (Shiva’s vahana) sitting in front of the temple entrance, which is unique, as Nandi is normally in front of only Shiva temples. It is said that years ago, this Nandi was taken on a cart for its consecration in front of a near by Shiva temple. However, the cart caring Nandi broke in front of Mayureshwar's temple and Nandi fell before Mayureshwar's temple. People tried their best to shift Nandi from this place but could not move the Nandi even an inch.
The artisan caring cart had a dream in the night. Nandi appeared in his dream and said, that he wanted to stay before Mayureshwar only, and asked him not to try to shift him elsewhere forcefully.People left with no other alternative dropped the idea of shifting the Nandi from this place. Hence this Nandi was consecrated before Mayureshwar.
Temple Timings The temple is open from 5:00 AM till 8:00 pm
Moreshwar's pooja is done thrice a day. In the morning at 5:00 ,Prakshal Pooja is done. 'Shodopachar Pooja' is done at 7:00 AM and at 12 noon. At the time of pooja, Ganesh Atharvashirsha's Aavarthana are recited. In the morning pooja, Khichadi and roti, in the afternoon , rice with sweet and in the night milk and rice are offered as Neivaidyam to Moreshwar.
Two festivals on Bhadrapada Shuddha Chaturthi and Magh Shuddha Chaturthi are celebrated on a grand scale in Morgaon.
Besides this Vijayadashami (Dasara) and Somavati Amavasya are also celebrated on big scale. On Vijayadashami, Moreshwar's palanquin begins at 11 in the night.
Moreshwar is taken on a palanquin procession which is worth watching. Fire crackers are burst on a large scale. The palkhi procession goes round the village for whole night and at the break of dawn it reaches Someshwar's temple. At that time, names of villagers are read according to their ancestral hierarchy. On Magh Shuddha Panchami, there is one programme called Annasantarpana. It means naivaidyam from different houses are gathered and distributed among devotees as Maha prasad. Nearly 10 to 15 thousand devotees visit the yatra.
1) State transport buses are available from Pune's swargate bus depot.
2) If you are driving by your car , it is on Pune-Solapur highway 56 kms from Pune,and lies on the right side of Chaufula. Morgaon via Pune - Hadapsar - Loni - Chaufula - Supa is at a distance of 79 kms.
3) Another route leading to Morgaon via Hadapsar - Saswad - Jejuri which is around 64 kms.
As per my experience,the best alternative is to take a group travel to Ashta Vinayaka yatra from reputed travels in Pune or Mumbai.
The Morgaon temple is the starting point of the pilgrimage of eight revered temples of Ganesha, around Pune.