Varad Vinayak Temple
Belonging to the group of eight sacred “Lord Ganesh temples” (aka Ashtavinayak Temples) is a Hindu shrine in Maharashtra called Varad Vinayak Temple. This “Ganpati” temple is located in a village called Mahad in the Raigad district. Apparently this temple was constructed in the year 1725 AD by a general belonging to the “Peshwa” dynasty called Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar. In addition, the idol found at this temple is said to have self-originated i.e. swayambhu and apparently was found in a lake in the year 1690 AD. Furthermore, this temple also comprises of idols of Mushika, Navagraha Devtas, and a shivlinga.
Read more: 8 MOST VISITED PILGRIMAGE SITES IN INDIA
a. Best time to visit Varad Vinayak Temple
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 Varad Vinayak Temple
Varad Vinayak Temple Map
1. By train:
The closest major railway to this temple is located in Mangaon at a distance of 24 km. The Mangaon Railway Station is well connected to cities such as Mumbai and Pune.
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 three routes from Mumbai to this temple, and they are via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Pandharpur Road/Mumbai Pune Highway, via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Pandharpur Road/Mumbai-Pune Highway and NH48, and via NH48 and Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai-Highway/Mumbai-Pandharpur Road/Mumbai-Pune Highway/Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
- Via Navi Mumbai:
There are three routes from Navi Mumbai to this temple, and they are via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai-Pandharpur Road/Mumbai-Pune Highway, via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai-Pandharpur Road/Mumbai-Pune Highway and NH48, and via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai-Pandharpur Road/Mumbai-Pune Highway/Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
- 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 via Bangalore-Mumbai Highway/Mumbai Highway/Mumbai-Pune Highway/Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
- Via Nashik:
There are three routes from Nashik to this temple, and they are via NH160, via NH160 and Chauk-Karjat Murbad Road, and via NH60.
- Via Nagpur:
There are two routes from Nagpur to this temple, and they are via Nagpur-Aurangabad Highway, and via Nagpur-Mumbai Highway.
3. By air:
The nearest airport is located in the suburb called Ville Parle. The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is connected to major cities in the country as well as to international destinations.
c. Religious significance of the Varad Vinayak Temple
According to a popular folklore Prince Rukmaganda, the son of King Bhima of Koudinyapur once stopped at the home of a sage called Rishi Vachaknavi. Now the wife Mukunda of this sage fell instantly in love with prince, and requested him to fulfil her desires. This request was rejected by this prince as he was an extremely principled man. This resulted in Mukunda feeling hopelessly lovesick. It was then that Lord Indra who sympathised with Mukunda and her state of mind, took the form of the prince made love and impregnated her. It was Mukunda’s son Gritsamand who had cursed his mother and repented for doing so that then undertook severe penance to appease Lord Ganesha so as to ask for forgiveness. In response, Ganpati impressed with his devotion granted a boon which stated that he could only be killed by Lord Shiva himself. In return Gritsamand requested Ganesh to bless the forest (where he mediated) for the benefit of devotees. This then led to Gritsamand building this temple in honour of Lord Ganesh, and the idol enshrined at this temple was then named “Varadvinayak”.