Girijatmaj Temple is situated in the place called Lenyadri, Pune district of Maharashtra. Lenyadri is a mountain cave, which is popularly called by the devotees as the holy Ganesha Hill. The place Lenyadri constitute a sequence of 30 rock cut Buddhist caves.
Girijatmaj Temple has been revered as one of the Ashtavinayaka temples, dedicated to Lord Ganesha. And this temple takes the sixth place among the eight temples.
Ashtavinayaka temples are the eight temples of Lord Ganesha, which is located in and around Maharashtra. Lord Ganesha, the son of Supreme god Lord Shiva, identified by the elephant headed god of wisdom, is praised as the God of Unity, Prosperity and learning and prosperity. Every eight temples of Lord Ganesha reveals its own history and specialties.
Girijatmaj Temple is the only Ashtavinayaka temple located on a hill cave and it is the seventh cave among the among the 30 rock cut Buddhist caves of Lenyadri.
The Ashtavinayaka Temples are:
- Mayureshwar Temple – situated in Morgaon, Pune
- Siddhivinayak Temple – situated in Siddhatek, Ahmednagar
- Ballaleshwar Temple – situated in Pali, Raigad
- Varadavinayak Temple – situated in Mahad, near Khopoli, Raigad
- Chintamani Temple – situated in Theur, Pune
- Girijatmaj Temple – situated in Lenyadri, Pune
- Vighnahar Temple – situated in Ozar, Pune
- Mahaganapati Temple – situated in Ranjangaon, Pune.
The special feature of the Ashtavinayaka temple is that the trunk of Lord Ganesha differs in its direction in each of the eight temples.
And a notable and important one to be known is that the pilgrimage visit to all the Ashtavinayaka temples is said to be fulfilled only after the Revisit to the first temple of Ashtavinayaka temples. i.e., visiting back to the Morgan Ganesha Temple. The procedure of worshiping Ashtavinayaka temples is based on the Shashtra, a sacred Hindu scripture.
The other additional details about the construction of the temple and the leaders are not available. The only information to be shared is that Morya Gosavi, a prominent saint of the Hindu Ganapatya sect, is said to be closely related with Morgan Ganesha Temple.
Fortes of Girijatmaj Temple
The main god of Girijatmaj temple is Lord Girijatmaja (Lord Ganesha), who is known to be a mountain born Lord as He is manifested on a rock hill. Lord Girijatmaja is also called as Atmaja of Girija. And the special and unique feature of this temple is that the idol of Lord Girijatmaja is found on the black wall of the cave.
To reach the Girijatmaj temple, one have to climb 283 stone steps leading to the temple. The 283 stone temple is believed to signifies the Sensual pleasures conquered by Lord Ganesha. And it also houses the portrayal of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna, and Goddess Devi.
And the temple is decorated with the paintings of Lord Ganesha, portraying the various actions of done by Lord Ganesha in His childhood days, in His battles, and also the marriage ceremonies and so on.
The temple contains the impressive monuments of Goddess Shakti, the Great Divine Mother. There are nine monuments depicting the funeral ritual of some Asian communities, which portraits a widowed woman commits suicide by falling into the fire during the husband’s funeral pyre. These depiction are depicted on the walls of the temple with different attitudes.
- Ganesh Chaturthi or Bhadrapada Shuddha Chaturthi – August or September
- Magh Shuddha Chaturthi – January or February
- Vijayadashami (Dasehara) – October
The nearest airport to Lenyadri Girijatmaja Temple is Lohegaon airport, Pune which is 73 Km away from Lenyadri Girijatmaja Temple.
The nearest railway station to Lenyadri Girijatmaja Temple is Igatpuri train station Junction which is 61 Km away from Lenyadri Girijatmaja Temple.
State transport buses ply to Junnar from Pune and from Mumbai. Lenyadri is about 94 km from Pune, on Pune – Nasik Highway and Junnar is the nearby town, which is 5 km from Lenyadri.