| Temples in Maharashtra
Temples/ 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 children.
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 picture.
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 19th century.
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 many Puranas.
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 varied heritage.
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 Mumbaraka.
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 Bhuleshwar.
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.
| Tourist Attractions of Maharashtra|
India's economic powerhouse, pulses with power and energy. This great city of more than ten million people is the capital of the state of of Maharashtra and also the commercial capital of the whole country. Center of industry, transportation, and communication, its fine harbor on the Arabian Sea makes its one of the world's busiest ports. Main places to visit are :- Gateway of India, Marine Drive , Victoria Terminus.
The city of Aurangabad is known for its medieval monuments and cultural heritage. It was the seat of the Mughal Empire for a short period. The city boasts of Bibi-ka-Makbara, a tomb that has some resemblance to the Taj Mahal. The importance of Aurangabad is great, owing to its proximity with world heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora. These sites have Buddhist, Jain and Hindu temples. Aurangabad is also famous for its silk and cotton textiles.
Khandala is one of the important hill stations in the state of Maharashtra and is the pride of the Sahyadri Mountains. Khandala is endowed with abundant natural beauty and like Lonavala, it is also provides a popular gateway from the hustle and bustle of cities of Mumbai and Pune. The picturesque green surroundings of this pretty hill station attract the travelers towards it
| Other Tourist Destination in Maharashtra|
|Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, Amravati,Nagpur, Nasik, Pune , Kolhapur, Jalogaon, Raigad .