Dedicated to Lord Ganesha and belonging to the “Ashtavinayaka” pilgrimage circuit (i.e. a group of eight revered Ganesh temples) is a Hindu shrine located in Maharashtra known as Ballaleshwar Temple. The temple devoted to an incarnation of “Ganpati” is situated in a village called Pali in the Raigad district. In addition, this temple comprises of a Ganesh idol/murti that can be seen sitting on a stone and with its trunk curving to the left. Furthermore, the idol has been placed in the direction of the east so as to enable the rays of the rising sun to fall upon it especially during worship.
a. Best time to visit Ballaleshwar Pali
The ideal time to visit this “Lord Ganesh” temple is from December to February when the climate is pleasant with the temperature ranging from a maximum of 31 degree Celsius to a minimum of 15 degree Celsius.
b. How to reach Ballaleshwar Pali
Ballaleshwar Pali Temple Map
1. By train:
The closest railway station to this temple is located in Karjat at a distance of 58 km. The Karjat Railway Station is well connected to major cities in the state. Bus services are available from the Karjat railway station to this temple.
2. By road:
If you intend to drive to this temple then the ideal starting points would be Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, and Nagpur.
- Via Mumbai:
There are two routes from Mumbai to this temple, and they are via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway /Mumbai Pandharpur Road/Mumbai-Pune Highway and SH92, and via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai-Pandharpur Road/Mumbai Pune Highway/Mumbai Pune Expressway and SH92.
- Via Navi Mumbai:
There are two routes from Navi Mumbai to this temple, and they are via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Pandharpur Road/Mumbai Pune Highway and SH92.
- Via Pune:
There are two routes from Pune to this temple, and they are via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai-Pune Highway/Mumbai-Pune Expressway and SH92 and via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai-Pune Highway/Mumbai-Pune Expressway and SH92.
- Via Nashik:
There is one route from Nashik to this temple, and it is via NH160.
- Via Nagpur:
There are three routes from Nagpur to this temple, and they are via Nagpur-Aurangabad Highway, via Nagpur-Aurangabad Highway and Ghoti-Shirdi Road, and via Nagpur-Mumbai Highway.
3. By air:
The nearest airport is located in Mumbai at a distance of 105 km. The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is connected to major cities in the country as well as to international destinations.
c. Religious significance of the Ballaleshwar Pali
According to a popular myth mentioned in the ancient Hindu sacred scripture Ganesh Purana, in the Pali village there lived a businessman called Kalyansheth. Now his son called Ballal was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha. It then so happened one day that Ballal invited all his friends for a special pooja in honour of Ganpati. For the pooja a large rock was used as the idol of Lord Ganesh. So engrossed had Ballal and his friends become during this pooja that they apparently did not even bother to return home. As a result the parents of Ballal’s friends complained to Kalyansheth, who landed at the site of the pooja and destroyed the rock and tied up his son to a tree as a form of punishment. It was while tied that Ballal cried and requested Lord Ganesh to appear before him. Seeing his immense devotion the “elephant god” i.e. Ganesh did appear before him in a form of a sadhu/sage and was easily identified. He then asked the lord to bless him and always remain in this village. It is thus on Ballal’s request that Lord Ganesha turned into a rock. It is therefore this rock that became the Ganpati idol which was then converted into a temple.
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