Ashtavinayaka travel is a sacred part of places to visit around Pune. It is a road trip to eight different temples of Ganesha. Lord Ganesha is considered to be the god of Intelligence. He is the god who is prayed first before praying any other god. Ashtavinayaka Darshan or visiting the eight pious Ganapati’s is considered very auspicious. And this season is the best to plan for it!
I love this time of the year. Ganapati Bappa has arrived. The sound of Dhol Tasha around and the pandals are all decorated turn the city into a lively city. The colorful flowers, the sound of Aarti and the yummy fest of ukdiche modak makes it the best festive season of all. So why not travel with Ganapati Bappa?
History of Ashtavinayaka travel
The eight temples those are a part of Ashtavinayaka travel are –
- Moreshwar in Morgaon
- Siddhivinayaka in Siddhatek
- Ballaleshwar in Pali
- Varadvinayak in Mahad
- Chintamani in Theur
- Girijatmaj near Lenyadri
- Vighnahar in Ozar
- Mahaganapati in Ranjangaon
Each of the temples have a different story to tell. The form of Ganesha idol and its trunk is different in each case. Each one is separeate experience all together. The pilgrims have been visiting these places for almost 300 years.
You can read many more fun stories about Ganesha in our blog to understand the true essence of Ganesha festival – Interesting stories you should tell your kids about Ganapati!
Route of Ashtavinayak travel near Pune
There are many tour companies which arrange a 2 day Ashtavinayaka pilgrim trip from Pune. However, it’s the best to take out your car or even more better to make a bike trip to these places. The travelers follow this common route:
Stay at Ozar or Lenyadri
Ozar -> Lenyadri->Pali->Mahad
Head back to Pune
You can cover the places in 2 days but you can also make it a 3 day trip to make it at a relaxed pace. Many people make Pune as their base point and travel the next day. Theur is the closest Ganpati to Pune and is at a distance of around 25 KMS from Pune. So you can make Theur as your starting point.
Ashtavinayaka travel: an experience
Apart from the sacred importance of the Ashtavinayaka darshan there are also a certain experiences from a trip point of view which should not be missed:
Trek to Lenyadri:
Out of all the eight places, Lenyadri is the one which stands out because of its beauty. As the name suggests, the place is a Leni which means a cave. The Girijatmaj Ganesh temple which is in one of the cave is located on a mountain and a small trek leads you there. The views from the top are simply amazing and hence do not forget to carry your cameras. However, you will encounter a lot monkeys on the way, so be careful of your belongings.
Siddhivinayak at Siddhatek-:
Shri Siddivinayak Ganapati is very auspicious as it is a right-trunked Ganesha. It is very difficult to please the right-trunked Ganesha, but at the same time grants all your wishes. Late Ahilyabai Holkar built this temple in the late 18th century. The temple is built with stone on the banks of the Bhima River. Earlier, the pilgrims had to cross the Bhima River by boat to reach the temple. But now there is a bridge which takes you right near the temple. The boating is still available as recreational activity. Also, there are many sugarcane farms nearby. Hence, the natural sweet sugarcane juice is a must have!
Peshwa beauty of Ranjangaon:
The Ranjangaon idol is also called the Maha Ganapati and rightly so as the temple is really huge. Madhavrao Peshwa built the temple and hence you can see beautiful glimpses of Peshwa architecture. The pilgrims believed that the original Ganesha idol, better known as Mahotkat, is below the current idol and it has 10 trunks and 20 arms. If you have kids with you then don’t forget to visit the neighboring park showcasing huge statues of animals.
You can find more travel activities on Think Metime mobile app: Download now from Playstore !
Shopping around temples:
There are wide variety of shops around the temples and you sometimes get really good stuff at cheaper rates. The toys for kids, earrings, bangles, anklets are a few things you can check out here!
So, how are your preparations for the festival going on? Are you enjoying it?
You would also enjoy: New age guide to celebrating Ganesha festival
Is Ashtavinayaka travel on your cards? If not, do plan soon, and let us know how you felt after visiting Bappa in all his different forms.