The Ballaleshwar temple of Pali is another one of the Ashtavinayaka, the eight revered shrines of Ganesha in Maharashtra.
In the village of Pali there was a boy who was an ardent devotee of Ganesha. He was the son of a businessman named Kalyan and his wife, Indumati. Ballal, and the other children in the village used to play puja, using stones in place of murtis. Once upon a time the children, going to the outskirts of the village, saw a very large stone. Ballal and his friends played and worshiped the stone as Ganesha. The group of children led by Ballal children became so engrossed in their worship that they forgot about hunger and thirst.
Meanwhile, the parents of the village anxiously waited for their children to come home. When the children did not return on time, they all went to Kalyan's house and complained about his son Ballal. Kalyan got very angry and went in search of Ballal and other children. He found the children listening to the Ganesha Purana recited by his son Ballal. He got furious and he destroyed the small temple built by the children. The other children fled away in terror, leaving Ballal by himself. Ballal, completely engrossed in his devotion to Ganesha, was grabbed by his father and beaten with a stick until blood oozed. His father tied him to a tree and trampled on all the puja materials collected by the children. Lifting the large stone which the children had treated as Ganesha, he threw it to the ground, breaking it into pieces. He challenged Ballal saying that he will see which God is going to protect him. He went away and left his own son bound to the tree to die.
Still bound to the tree and filled with pain, hunger, and thirst, he continued chanting the name of Ganesha. He got exhausted and he fainted. On waking, Ballal prayed to Ganesha to come to his help. Lord Ganesha, moved by the child's devotion, appeared in the form of a sadhu before Ballal and untied him from the tree. On seeing the sadhu he at once recognized him as Ganesha. His thirst and hunger vanished and his wounds got healed and he was completely invigorated. He prostrated before the sadhu and worshipped him. Ganesha told Ballal he would bless him with whatever he asked for as a reward for his devotion. Ballal pleaded that he should be his unshakeable devotee, and may Ganesha always stay in that place and remove the miseries of the people who seek refuge in Him." Ganesha granted his wish that he shall remain there, and he will take Ballal's name before his, and he will be worshiped as Ballal's Lord (Ballal Eshwar). He embraced Ballal and vanished into the nearby broken stone that Ballal played as Ganesha. The stone's cracks disappeared and was made whole again.
That stone became to be called as Ballaleshwar. The stone idol which Kalyan threw to the ground is also known as Dhundi Vinayak. This is a swayambhu murti (self - existant) and is worshiped before Ballaleshwar is worshiped.
The original wooden temple was renovated in 1760. Built in the shape of the letter Shri, it was made by mixing lead with the cement during construction.
The east facing temple was carefully positioned such that,during sun rise, the sun rays fall directly on the idol.
Temple Timings The temple is open from 5:00 AM till 10:00 pm.
Devotees can perform their own pooja in the mornings.The temple celebrates the Ganesh Chaturthi and Ganesh Jayanti in a grand scale.
1) State transport bus service available between Shivaji Nagar(Pune) to Pali
2) If you are driving by your car ,it is via Mumbai-Pune expressway and Khopoli-Pali road .
As per my experience,the best alternative is to take a group travel to Ashta Vinayaka yatra from reputed travels in Pune or Mumbai.