MAHAGANPATI TEMPLE

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Location : 50-km From Pune, Maharashtra
Presiding Deity: Mahaganapati (Ganapati)
Shrine Was Built By: Madhavrao Peshwa


Ranjangaon is a small village located around 50 kms away from Pune on the Pune-Aurangabad Highway, which houses a temple where the deity is known as Mahaganapati because of the size of the statue. The statue has ten trunks and twenty arms. It is believed that Mahaganpati was hidden to prevent its destruction from non-believers. This temple is visited by thousands of devotees during the Bhadrapad festival.

The Legend

According to the legend it is believed that a demon called Tripurasur pleased the Lord with years of penance. Lord pleased with the penance granted him in return, a boon of protection and amulets of iron, silver and gold. Tripurasura built three powerful citadels (the evil Tripuram forts); with a boon of invincibility granted to him by Shivaa. The demon started harassing the Gods and the rishis (sages). He could be killed only with a single arrow from Lord Shivaa's quiver.

The Gods obviously had to turn to Shivaa. A war between Mahadev and the demon ensued on the mountains. Mahadev finally defeated Tripurasur with a single arrow demolishing his three amulets. The indebted Lord Shivaa built a "Mahaganapati" temple in honour of Ganesha.

The Temple

Madhavrao Peshwa built the temple's shrine, while the General of Indore built the hall. The idol is placed in a lotus its trunk is turned towards the left. The images of Ganapati's wives - Riddhi and Siddhi- rest on his two sides. There is a smaller idol placed in the basement. He is also known as Tripurarivade Mahaganpati.

Festivals

Ganesha Chaturti is celebrated in great splendour over here.

HOW TO GET THERE

Ranjangaon is easily accessible by road from Pune. Tourists can get down at Pune airport and take bus to Ranjangaon. 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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