Girijatmaj Vinayak Temple
Sixth Asthavinayak Temple Darshan - Girijatmaj Vinayak Temple at Lenyadri
The Girijatmaj Vinayak Temple is the sixth Ganesha Temple to be visited during the Asthaviyanak Darshan Tour. Lenyadri is situated at a distance of 95 Kms. away from Pune city and is located in Junnar taluk along Kukdi River to the north of Pune in Maharashtra.
Pune attractions: Visit Aga Khan Palace of Pune
There are eight temples of Lord Ganesha near Pune which are called as Asthavinayak Temples. A number of tour packages are arranged from Pune and Mumbai and many other cities in Maharashtra to visit these eight temples popularly called as Asthavinayak Darshan or Asthavinayak yatra. Visiting these Asthavinayak temples near Pune in a particular sequence and in one trip is considered as a great pilgrimage worthy to fulfill all your desires and wash off the sins. The sixth of these eight asthavinayak temples to be visited is the Girijadmak Vinayak Temple at Lenyadri in Pune District.
About Girijadmak Vinayak Temple at Lenyadri
Girijadmak Vinayak Temple at Lenyadri is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha. Lenyadri is located to the north of Pune, along the Kukdi river. This place is called as Jirnapur or Lekhan Parbhat as per Ganesha Purana. Girijatmaj Vinayak refers to the Ganesha as the son of Parvathi. Girija is another name for Parvati and Atamaj means son. This is the only temple of the Ashtavinayak which is on a mountain and is set in a Buddhist cave-temple. Girijatmaja Vinayak at Lenyadri hills in Maharashtra is a representation of Ganesha in the form of an infant. There are 283 steps to reach the temple.
The Girijatmaj Vinayak temple of the asthavinayak temples is on the top of a mountain in the eighth of the Buddhist caves. These caves are also called as Ganesh Gufa. The temple of Girijatmaj Vinayak is facing southwards and has been carved out of a single rock. One interesting about this temple is that the Sabhamandap of this asthavinayak temple is 53 feet long and high, but does not have even single pillar to support it. We can see 18 overee (small rooms for meditation) inside the Sabhamandap. The idol of Girijatmaj is in one of these rooms. Any devotee can enter the Garbhagriha at this temple and offer their prayers. Sabhamandap of main temple is only 7 feet high. It has six stone pillars with cow, elephant etc. carved on them. From the main temple one can view river flowing & the Junnar town spread near the river.
We can also see a buddhist stupa just beside the main cave. Another attraction nearby to this Girijatmaj Vinayak temple is the Shivneri Fort where the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born. There are a total of 18 caves here which are dated back to 3rd century.
Legend of Girijatmaj Vinayak temple at Lenyadri
As per legend, Goddess Parvathi went through severe penace in the caves of Lenyadri mountain to become the mother of Lord Ganesh. Gajanan was pleased by her penace and blessed her that he would take birth as her son. On the fourth day of Bhadrapad Shuddh, Parvathi created an idol from the dirt wiped from her body. Gajanan entered into this idol. He then stood before her as her little boy, who was having six arms and three eyes. This boy was called as Ganesh. It is believed that Ganesh resided in Lenyadri for fifteen years. Lord Shiva gave him a boon that who ever remembers him before starting any job, will be succesful in completing that job. Sindhu, who knew that his death would be in the hands of Ganesha, has sent demons like Krur, Balasur, Vyomasur, Kshemma, Kushal and many more demons to kill Ganesha. But Ganesha killed all of them. At the age of six, the architect-god Vishwakarma worshipped Ganesha and endowed him with the weapons Pasha (noose), Parashu (axe), Ankusha (hook) and Padma (Lotus). Once the little Ganesh knocked an egg from a mango tree. From this a peacock has emerged. Ganesh mounted on it and assumed the name of Mayureshwara. Mayureshwara later on killed Sindhu and his people at Moregaon, which is the most important Asthavinayak shrine.
Shri Girijatmaj Vinayak Idol at Lenyadri
The idol of Girijatmaj faces east direction. Parvathi consecrated Lord Ganesh in the cave where she had performed penance to give birth to Ganesh as her son.
Girijatmaja's idol faces east. Parvati consecrated Ganesh idol in the cave wherein she had performed penances.
The Girijatmaj Vinayak idol here is not a separate one. It has been carved on a stone wall of the cave. In the earlier days, the idol was covered with armour. Now since the armour has fallen, we can see the neck of the idol turned to the left. As such we can see only one eye of the idol of Girijtmaj Vinayak. This idol can be worshipped by anyone here. Though there is no electric light available in the temple but the sun light always falls in the temple through out the day. The idol of Girijatmaj Vinayak is facing north direction.
Festivals celebrated at Girijatmaj Vinayak temple at Lenyadri
Big celebrations are held during the Bhadrapad and Magh Chaturthis. In the month of Magh an Akhand Harinaam Saptah is also held.
Kirthans and other cultural programs are held on Ganesh Jayanthi. Bullock cart racing is also organized on this occasion.
Virtuous deeds like Abhishek, Pooja, Sahastravartan etc. are done by temple trust on behalf of devotees.
Seventh temple to be visited as part of Ashtvinayak Darsh is, Vighneshwar Vinayak Temple .