GIRIJAATMAJA VINAYAK AT LEYANDRI

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Location : 150-km From Pune, Maharashtra
Presiding Deity: Girijaatmaja Vinayak (Ganapati)
Special Feature: Only Temple Of The Ashtavinayak On The Mountain


Lekhan Hills is a beautiful area, located along the Kukdi River, on the Pune -Nashik highway about 150-km from Pune. In Ganesh Puran this place is referred as Jirnapur or Lekhan Parbat. Girijaatmaja Vinayak is one of the Astha Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra. It is the only temple of the Ashtavinayak, which is on a mountain and is set in a Buddhist cave-temple. Girijatmaj Vinayak refers to the Ganesh as the son of Parvati. Girija is another name for Parvati and Atamaj means son.

Legend

It is believed that Parvati, wife of Lord Shivaa who is also known as Girija, wanted to see her son Ganesha as a lad and to achieve this objective resorted to meditation. She meditated for 12 years on the Lenyadri Mountains and pleased Ganesha. Consequently, she was granted her boon and is said to have reincarnated himself as an infant and lived in the Lenayadri hills for 12 years. Several legends are associated with his life here.

The Temple

The entire temple is built out of stone. One has to climb 283 steps to reach the temple. One can see a beautiful hall in front of the temple and stone pillars dominate it. An irregularly carved image is the object of worship here. The carving of the God has become blurred. There are no independent idols of the Lord here. It is believed that Parvati installed an idol in the cave where Ganesha granted her the boon. This cave is difficult to reach now.

HOW TO GET THERE

Leyandri is easily accessible by road from Pune. Tourists can get down at Pune airport and take bus. There are also special buses, which are called Astha Vinayak darshan, which takes tourists to all the eight temples, run by government of Maharashtra and also private operators.

WHERE TO STAY

Accommodation is available in the Dharamshalas and rooms let by local people and hotels at Pune .



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