The Ashtavinayaka yatra or pilgrimage covers the eight holy temples of Ganesha. All the Eight Ashtavinayak Templs are Swayambhu (self-originated) and Jagrut, these Temples are situated at Morgaon, Ranjangaon, Theur, Lenyadri, Ojhar, Siddhatek, Pali and Mahad. These places are at Pune, Ahamadnagar and Raigad district in Maharashtra, India.
One should visit Ashtavinayaka Temples in order for better results. The first temple you have to visit is the Mayureshwar, then head to Siddhatek, Pali, Mahad, Theur, Lenyandri, Ozar, Ranjangaon and then again Moregaon will end you Ashtavinayak Yatra.
Eight Ashtavinayak Temples of Lord Ganesha:
1) Mayureshwar Temple in Morgaon:
The Moreshwar Temple also known as Mayureshwar Temple is a 14th century, situated at a distance of 55 km from Pune, next to the river Karha in the village of Moregaon.
The murti of Lord Ganesha, riding a peacock, in the form of Mayureshwara is believed to have slain the demon Sindhu at this spot. The idol, with its trunk turned to the left, has a cobra (Nagaraja) poised over it protecting it. This form of Ganesha also has two other murtis of Siddhi and Riddhi.
2) Siddhivinayak Temple in Siddhatek:
This temple is situated at Siddhatek on the banks of River Bhima off the Pune-Solapur highway about 48 km from the town of Srigonda in Ahmadnagar district. The idol faces North-direction. This is the only murti of these eight with the trunk positioned to the right.
The stomach of the murti is not wide, but Riddhi and Siddhi murtis are sitting on one thigh. The right-sided-trunk Ganesha is supposed to be very strict for the devotees. To make one round (pradakshina) around the temple one has to make the round trip of the hillock. This takes about 30 minutes with moderate speed.
3) Ballaleshwar Temple in Pali:
Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayak Temple is located at Pali around 110 km from Pune in Maharashtra.
The specialty of the temple is that it is the only temple which have been named after a devotee Ballal,Ganesha is believed to have saved this boy-devotee, who was beaten by local villagers and his father for his single-minded devotion to him.
Another unique feature of this wooden temple is that, on the two equinoxes the rays of The Sun fall directly on the deity.
4) Varadavinayak Temple Mahad:
Varadavinayak Temple is the fourth among the Ashtavinayak Temple and is located at Mahad, around 63 km from Mumbai in Maharashtra. Ganesha is said to reside here in the form of Varada Vinayaka, the giver of bounty and success.
The idol was found in the adjoining lake in 1690AD, in an immersed position and hence its weathered look. In 1725AD the then Kalyan subhedar, Mr. Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar built the Varadavinayak temple and the village of Mahad.
5) Chintamani Temple in Theur:
Chintamani Ashtavinayak Temple is located at Theur, around 25 km from Pune in Maharashtra. Ganesha is believed to have got back the precious Chinatamani jewel from the greedy Guna for sage Kapila at this spot. However, after bringing back the jewel, sage Kapila put it in Vinayaka’s (Ganesha’s) neck.
Legend has it this is the place where Lord Ganesha removed all Chinta (worries) of Lord Brahma. This idol also has a left trunk, with carbuncle and diamonds as its eyes. The idol faces the East side.
6) Girijatmaj Temple in Lenyandri:
The temple is situated 12 km from Narayangaon, which is about 94 km from Pune on the Pune-Nashik highway. Nearest railway station is Talegaon. From Junnar, Lenyadri is about 5 km. Shivaneri castle is close by (5 to 6 km) where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born.
The annual thread ceremony of Lord Ganesha performed here attracts thousands of devotees. This temple is the 8th cave. These are called Ganesh-leni as well. The temple is carved out of a single stone hill, which has 307 steps. The temple features a wide hall with no supporting pillars.
7) Vighneshwar Temple in Ozar:
The temple is situated on the banks of river Kukadi. Via Mumbai-Thane-Kalyan-Bapsai-Saralgaon-Otur, Ozhar is 182 km and 102 km from Pune in Maharashtra. Built in 1833, the temple is noted for its Deepmala and its Golden dome. It is enclosed on all sides by high stone walls, and its pinnacle is made of gold.
The history encompassing this idol states that Vighnasur, a demon was created by the King of Gods, Indra to destroy the prayer organized by King Abhinandan.
8) Mahaganapati Temple Ranjangaon:
Shri Maha Ganapati Temple is located at Ranjangaon, around 54 km from Pune. The temple was built by Shiva where he worshipped Ganesha, and the town he set up was called Manipur which is now known as Ranjangaon.
Ranjangaoncha Mahaganapati is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.