Pilgrimages/ Places of worship in Maharashtra
The Ganapati temple situated on banks of river Krishna at Sangli
is most beautiful temple in south Maharashtra. It is a tutelar
deity of Sangli. Thorle (elder) Chintamanrao Patwardhan
consecrated the idol in 1843.
This temple is very famous for its artistic construction. It is
built out of black stone made available from the hills of Jyotiba.
The temple has a large premise, covering a sprawling two acres. It
comprises of a platform, an excellent hall and a "Nagarkhana". The
door of the sanctum is carved out of different coloured natural
wood. The temple is located on eastern bank of river Krishna.
Aagashi Jain Mandir
About 5-km from Virar, there is a 400 years old ancient
Parshwanath Temple. During " Kartik Poornima " every year, a very
big festival is organised at this temple, which is visited by
large number of devotees.
Ballaleshwar Vinayka Temple
Palicha Shree Ballaleshwar Vinayak temple is situated 110 kms away
from Pune . It is one of the Astha Vinayak temples dedicated to
Ganapati. Ganapati is known here as Ballaleshwar. This temple is
named after a devotee Ballal of Pali. Nana Phadnis constructed the
temple in 1770.
According to the legend during the reign of Krut, a trader called
Kalyan Shreshthi lived in the Sindhu land. Ballal was the son of
Kalyan and a great devotee of Ganesha. Many of his friends also
became devotees of the Lord Ganesha following his example. The
parents of these boys accused Kalyan's son of ruining the other
Out of anger Kalyan destroyed all the things laid out for a puja
for the worship of Ganesha. He tied his son to a tree and beat him
up while other children escaped and then he threw his son out of
his home. When Ballal regained consciousness, he invoked Ganapati.
The God soothed the boy's wounds and Ballal asked Ganapati to stay
at the place forever. Ganesha agreed to take the name Ballal
Vinayak, honouring the devotion of the young boy.
Earlier the deity was placed in a wooden temple. The temple faces
east and the rays of the sun fall on the idol from the month of
July to December. The wooden temple was so constructed that the
rays of the sun fall directly on the deity from the two equinoxes
of the temple. It looks like a giant fort that has strong
protective walls. The hall and the shrine present a beautiful
The Ganesh idol in the temple is 3 ft. high facing towards east
and the trunk points to the left. The image of Ganesha is flanked
by his consorts Siddhi and Riddhi. The eyes are studded with
diamonds. Just behind the temple, another temple of Ganesh, known
as Dhundi Vinayak is situated. There is a big bell installed by
the Peshwas in the temple, which is of Portuguese make. Nearby
Pali is Sudhagad, which is famous for its hot sprin.
Panchganga Temple is located at Mahabaleshwar near Pune in
Maharashtra. It is also known as Krishnabai temple and it is said
to contain five streams including the Krishna river.
One can see a "Krishnabai" or "Gomukh" (a cow head carved) in a
stone in this temple, which is supposed to be the source of five
Deccan rivers: Krishna, Koyna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri. Hence,
this temple is known as Panchganga Temple (or the temple of five
rivers). It is said that Shivaji and his mother Jijabai visited
Mahabaleshwar to seek spiritual advice from a learned Brahmin
living there. Raja Singhandeo, the famous Yadav King of Devgiri
who flourished in the 13th century, first built this temple. Later
on Raja Chandarao Rao More of Jaoli repaired it at the end of the
16th century. On the downfall of the Mores in 1635, it was
improved and enlarged by Raja Shivaji, the founder of Maratha
Empire. Raja Sahu (1670-1709) again repaired it and lastly
Parshuram Angal, a wealthy banker of Satara, rebuilt it in the
Amidst modern high-rise structures and developments, at Jungli
Maharaj Road, housed in caves, one can see this ancient rock cut
temple dating back to 8th century. This temple is similar in style
to that of temples found in Ellora.
The temple has been carved out of a single boulder of
awe-inspiring size, which includes massive pillars. It houses a
Shiva shrine, a 'Nandi' (bull) and images of Sita, Rama, Lakshmana,
Lakshmi or Laxmi, Ganesha under its roof. More importantly, it's
an active temple. In front of the excavation is a circular Nandi
Mandapam. Adjacent is the Jangli Maharaj temple, dedicated to a
Hindu ascetic who died here in 1818
The Siddhi Vinayak temple at Prabhadevi in Mumbai is a well
visited one attracting thousands all through the year.
The known history of the temple dates back to early nineteenth
century. This temple has been renovated thoroughly in the late
1900s in order to accomodate the needs of the surging crowds of
devotees that throng the temple during festive occasions.
The sanctum here houses a small mandapam enshrining Siddhi Vinayak.
The inner roof of the sanctum is plated with gold, and the wooden
doors to the sanctum are carved with images of Ashta Vinayak.
Mahalaxmi Temple at Kolhapur
Mahalaxmi (Mahalakshmi) Temple located near Kolhapur is a famous
spiritual centre of Maharashtra. Over the years, members of
several royal families have sought the blessings of the goddess --
Mahalaxmi or Amba Bai. This temple draws a large number of
devotees from all over the country. Mahalaxmi also is mentioned in
In the 7th century AD, the Chalukya ruler, Karandev initiated the
construction of this temple and later on in the 9th century, the
Shilahara Yadavas made additions to the temple. The temple complex
is exquisitely carved and has artistically sculpted structures.
It also houses the temples of other deities such as Kashi
Vishweshwar, Kartikaswami, Sheshashayi, Siddhivinayak,
Mahaswaraswati, Mahakali, Shree Dutta and Shree Ram. The temple is
built in "Hemandpanthi" style and has 5 tops. Attached to the
original Mandir is a pendal called "Garud-Pendal".
Babulnath temple is situated at the end of Marine Drive and south
of Malabar Hill, in the very heart of Mumbai City . It is nearly
1,000 feet above sea level, over looking the Arabian Sea. People
visiting this temple can feel peace and tranquillity and one can
also get an illusion of being on the Mount Kailash, the eternal
abode of Lord Shiva.
It was built in 1780 and is one of the most spacious temples in
the city. In 1900, a tall spire was added to the original temple.
A stone Lingam of Shiva is worshipped at Babulnath. The main day
for worship is Monday. Every year millions of devotees visit this
magnificent temple and are undoubtedly proud of its rich and
According to the prevailing legend, about two centuries ago, the
hilly terrain where Lord Babulnath's ancient temple is situated
belonged to one "Pandurang". He was a rich goldsmith. His cattle
were grazing around. Being grazing land, there was nothing to be
taken care of by Babul, the caretaker of Pandurang's cattle stock.
A named cow Kapila stopped giving milk and on enquiry, Babul
reported that this cow reaches a point daily before coming home
and puts out all her milk. Babul could not explain the logic
behind this, but had made Pandurang inquisitive. The very next
day, Panduranga saw the scene again and he was overwhelmed when
Kapila was repeating her usual act. He reached that place and
noticed a huge Shivalinga. It is the very place where the temple
has been built.
Mahalaxmi Temple at Mumbai
The Mahalaxmi Temple located at the northern foot of the Malabar
Hill, a part now called Breach Candy in Mumbai , is a popular holy
site. This is Mumbai's oldest temple dedicated to Mahakali,
Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. There are effigies of several Hindu
gods here and many devotees visit this temple every year.
It is said that in the 1890s, when a British engineer was
constructing the adjoining causeway, the sea always troubled the
project, every time the foundation was laid, the sea would rush in
and destroy it. Then one night, a labourer dreamt of Goddess Laxmi
(Lakshmi) who ordered him to dig out an idol from a spot under the
causeway and build a shrine on it. This was done with due
alacrity, and the causeway was ultimately completed.
Mumbadevi Temple is located in Bhuleshwar, Mumbai . This temple is
dedicated to city's patron Goddess Mumbadevi. She is considered as
Mumbai's resident deity. The temple of Mumbadevi, once stood on
the site of the present Victoria Terminus in the central island
which was called Mumbai. The present name of the city is derived
from the Goddess Mumbadevi.
According to a popular legend the structure of the temple is about
six centuries old and it is believed be the handiwork of Mumbaraka,
a sadistic giant who frequently plundered the city at the time.
Terrorized by these unwelcome visits, the locals pleaded with Lord
Brahma, Creator of all things to protect them. Brahma then "pulled
out of his own body", an eight armed goddess who vanquished the
Predictably brought to his knees, Mumbaraka implored Her Holiness
to take his name and built a temple in her honour. She still
stands there, an orange faced goddess on an altar strewn with
marigolds: devotees believe that those who seek her divine favour
are never disappointed.
The Mumbadevi temple is six centuries old. The first Mumbadevi
temple built by Koli fishermen was situated at Bori Bunder, and it
is believed that it was destroyed around 1737. After the
destruction a new temple was erected at the same place at
Pune an important city of Maharashtra and it is also very
important from the point of view of travel. Nageshwar temple is
considered as one of the oldest temples of Pune and it has been
there since the times of Sant Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram. One can
notice that the main shrine has the typical Yadava structure with
a stone roof. Several renovations and additions have been made the
temple over the years. It is believed that there was once a
reservoir near the temple, whose water could cure leprosy.
Trishundaya Ganpati Temple
Trishundya Ganapati temple is a temple located in Somwar Peth,
Pune dedicated to Lord Ganesh. It was built during reign of Peshwa.
The temples derived its name from the idol of Ganesh, which has
three trunks and hence the name 'Tri-Shundya' which means three
trunks. The idol is of wood and the temple made of stone has
beautiful carvings on its exterior. It is the only one of its kind
in the entire country.