Ashtavinayak – literally means 8 Ganesha in Sanskrit. It is another very popular/well known gateway (for youngsters)/religious place in the state of Maharashtra.The trip refers to visiting 8 distinct idols of Ganesha, which are situated around Pune.
Lord Ganesha is worshiped for unity, prosperity, learning and removes any obstacle.
The pilgrimage s important because all the murtis were completely formed by nature, and were not created by human.
We visited this place immediately post our marriage as their was a obligation which had to be fulfilled. Earlier, i was really upset as i generally do not like visiting temples.
But i have to say it was a wonderful trip. We really felt good, refreshed after completing the Asthavinayak trip.
The journey to reach each ganesha murti was awesome. Some were situated in villag
e, another on hill…
We covered 5 of astavinayak on the first day – Moreshwar (Moregaon), Siddhivinayak (Siddhetek), Ballashwar (Pali/Marod), Vardvinayak (Mahad) and Chintamani (Theur). We had overnight stay in the hotel on the highway which was halfway to Lenyadri. Next morning we started early and visited the remaining 3 – Girjatmaj (Lenyadri), Vighnahar (Ozar) and last but not the least Mahaganpati (Ranjhangaon).
My personal favorite among all was Lenyadri,as the journey to reach this ganpati was amazing.The temple is carved out of a single stone hill, which has more than 300 steps. And above all, the view from here is astonishing.
My Observation – Most of the beautiful places in Maharashtra are surrounded by temples. And the journey to reach these temples is what is exciting. Either you will travel beach or hills. And the places can be visited by everybody from infant to senior citizens. Elder people see these places as pilgrimage to god, while, younger generation sees these places as a picnic spot/weekend gateways. Both the perspective are equally true, hence, all generations can travel together and can have fun.
*pic taken from net