The Varadavinayak Temple is the fourth Ashtavinayaka temple and is situated in Mahad, near Khopoli, Raigad.
About the Temple
Devotees are allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum to worship Lord Ganesha. The temple is guarded on four sides by four elephant idols. The Varad Vinayak idol is self-manifested, found immersed in a lake in 1690 by a Ganesh devotee named Paundkar. The idol faces east and the trunk is turned to the left. Lord Varad Vinayak is accompanied by consorts Riddhi and Siddhi. The sanctum sanctorum had a Nandadeep or a perpetual oil lamp, which is believed to burning continuously since 1892. Gagangiri Maharaj, a spiritual leader is supposed to have done penance on the water of a nearby dam.Gritsamada is believed to have created the Ganana Twam The mantra is regarded as a very powerful chant when praying to Lord Ganesh.
About the Deity
The main deity is Lord Varadavinayaka, who is believed to be Swayambu (self-manifested), with His trunk turned to the left. The other special deities of Varadavinayak temple are Mushika, Navagraha Devtas and Shivalingam.
Legend and Stories
During his hunting trip, Prince Rukmaganda of Koudinyapur stopped at Rishi Vachaknavi’s hermitage. The Rishi’s wife Mukunda was besotted by the handsome prince and tried to seduce him, but the righteous Prince turned her down. Lord Indra saw the plight of the lovesick Mukunda. He impersonated Prince Rukmaganda and fulfilled her desire. Mukunda soon gave birth to a son Gritsamada, who grew up to be a great scholar. Gritsamada was once invited to a debate with great Rishis. One of the Rishis refused to debate with Gritsamada as he was not a true Brahmin. A surprised Gritsamada questioned his mother and learned about his birth. In a fit of anger, he cursed that she will turn into a thorny plant. Mukunda, in turn, cursed Gritsamada that he will have a demon child. When the two were cursing each other, a celestial voice said that Gritsamada was Lord Indra’s son. Both mother and son were taken aback, but were unable to reverse their curses, and Mukunda turned into a thorny plant. A repenting Gritsamada retreated to Pushpak forest and performed penance to Lord Ganesh. Pleased with his prayers and devotion, Lord Ganesh appeared before him and granted him a boon. Gritsamada requested that he be recognised as a Brahmin and also that Lord Ganesh stay in this forest and bless the people. Lord Ganesh granted his two wishes and stayed in the forest. Gritsamada called Lord Ganesh as Varad Vinayak or the Lord who grants wishes.
Ganesh Chaturthi or Bhadrapada Shuddha Chaturthi – August or September
Magh Shuddha Chaturthi – January or February
Vijayadashami (Dasehara) – October
Lord Varad Vinayak is worshipped only three times a day. Devotees who pay a fee of INR31,000 have an opportunity to worship the Lord for the entire day. No priests or officials will interrupt the devotee during his prayers.
The Mahad Ganpati Temple performs Sahastravartan and Ekadashan rituals on behalf of devotees. Holy ash and Prasad are then offered to devotees who do the rituals.
Mahad has a Bhakta Niwas or Pilgrim’s rest house with clean rooms at very nominal rates. Mahad doesn’t have any hotels, but devotees can either choose between the rest house of stay at Mumbai / Pune. The Mahad Ganpati Temple offers Prasad for devotees. Villagers and priests also offer Thali meals which are required to be pre-booked. Devotees who make day trips to Mahad can also choose to eat at Mumbai/Pune where one can find excellent food options.
Nearby Place To Visit
Girijaatmaja Vinayak Temple
Chintamani Vinayak Temple
Shri Varad Vinayak Temple is 63 km from Mumbai, 85 km from Pune, 25 km from Karjat, 21 km from lonavala and 6 km from Khopoli. The temple is 1.5 kms off the Mumbai – Pune old Highway. Khopoli Railway Station on central railway line is the nearest railway station for Varad Vinayak Temple at Mahad. Lonavala is on the main railway line between Mumbai and Pune. Mumbai Airport/Pune Airport is the nearest airport which is almost 80 kms from Varadavinayak temple.
Varad Vinayak Temple
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- To fulfill desires
Vakratunda Mahakaaya Suryakoti Samaprabha Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada
Meaning -I pray to thee O Lord, who has a curved trunk and a strong body, the shine of a million suns, to remove all the hurdles that may block me from all the tasks I intend to perform.
Agajaanana Padmaarkam Gajaananam Aharnisham Anekadantham Bhaktaanaam Ekadantam Upaasmahey
Meaning -The sun to Mother Parvati's lotus face, I worship Lord Ganesh, with the elephant face, the one who grants a lot of wishes, the one with the single tusk, I salute thee to grant my wish.
Gajaananam Bhoota Ganaadhi Sevitam Kapitta Jamboophaala Saara Bhakshitam Umaasutam Shoka Vinaasha Kaaranam Namaami Vighneswara Paada Pankajam
Meaning -Oh elephant-faced Lord, who is served by all the Ganas, who consumes the essence of Kapitta and Jamboophala, His favourite fruits, who is Uma's son, who destroys the gloom of His devotees, who handles hurdles, we worship your lotus feet.
Tatpurushaaya Vidmahe Vakratundaaya Dheemahe Tanno Danthihi Prachodayaat
Meaning -We meditate on the great power, we call upon the single tusked Ganesh, who grants wishes.
The temple is open from 6 AM and from 9pm.