Girijatmaj Temple (Lenyadri) is one of the most unique and remarkable temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success. It is located in a rock-cut cave on a hill, in the village of Lenyadri, about 95 km from Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is also the sixth among the eight Ashtavinayak temples, which are the eight holy shrines of Lord Ganesha in Maharashtra.
Timing / Entry Fees Girijatmaj Temple
Girijatmaj Temple is open for visitors from 6 am to 8 pm every day. There is no entry fee for visiting the temple, but devotees can offer donations or perform rituals as per their wish. The temple does not provide accommodation and food facilities for pilgrims, but there are some hotels and restaurants nearby.
Rituals of Girijatmaj Temple
The main ritual performed at the temple is the darshan or viewing of the idol of Lord Ganesha, which is believed to grant blessings and fulfill wishes. The idol is made of stone and has only one eye, which is considered rare and auspicious. It also has a cobra hood on its head and a mouse as its vehicle. The idol faces the south and has a left-sided trunk, which is considered auspicious.
Other rituals performed at the temple include abhishek (bathing of the idol with water, milk, honey, etc.), panchamrit (offering of five nectars), naivedya (offering of food), aarti (waving of lamps), and pradakshina (circumambulation). Devotees can also perform special rituals such as sankashti chaturthi (fasting on the fourth day after the full moon), angarki chaturthi (fasting on the fourth day after the new moon that falls on a Tuesday), ganesh chaturthi (the birthday of Lord Ganesha), and magh shukla chaturthi (the anniversary of the temple).
Importance of Girijatmaj Temple
Girijatmaj Temple is considered to be very important for several reasons. According to legend, it was here that Lord Ganesha was born as Girijatmaj, the son of Goddess Parvati, who had performed penance in this cave for 12 years to obtain him. The temple was built by Goddess Parvati herself to worship and honor her son. The temple is also said to be the place where Lord Ganesha spent his childhood and performed many leelas (divine play).
Girijatmaj Temple is also believed to have miraculous powers and grant various boons to its devotees. Some of these boons include protection from enemies, removal of obstacles, success in endeavors, wealth and prosperity, health and happiness, marriage and children, and liberation from sins and cycles of birth and death.
Significance of Girijatmaj Temple
Girijatmaj Temple is significant not only for its religious value but also for its historical and cultural value. The temple is one of the oldest and finest examples of Hindu cave architecture in India. It dates back to the 1st century CE and has been carved out of a single rock. The temple has a simple but elegant structure with a mandapa (hall) and a garbhagriha (sanctum). The temple walls are adorned with carvings and sculptures depicting various scenes from Hindu mythology and history.
The temple is also a center of cultural activities and festivals throughout the year. The temple hosts various musical and dance performances by renowned artists and groups. The temple also organizes various social and charitable events such as free medical camps, blood donation camps, educational programs, etc.
How to reach the temple?
The temple can be reached by road or by rail from Pune or Mumbai. There are regular buses and taxis available from both cities. The nearest railway station is Pune Junction, which is about 95 km from Lenyadri.
What are the best times to visit the temple?
The best times to visit the temple are during the festivals of Ganesh Chaturthi (August-September) and Magh Shukla Chaturthi (January-February), when the temple is decorated with lights and flowers and attracts thousands of devotees from all over India.
What are the other attractions near the temple?
Some of the other attractions near the temple are:
Ozar Ganesh Temple: The seventh among the Ashtavinayak temples, located about 15 km from Lenyadri. It is dedicated to Lord Ganesha as Vighneshwar, the destroyer of obstacles.
Shivneri Fort: A historical fort located about 40 km from Lenyadri. It is the birthplace of Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire in the 17th century.
Junnar Caves: A group of rock-cut caves located about 5 km from Lenyadri. They date back to the 2nd century BCE and contain Buddhist sculptures and paintings.
Girijatmaj Temple (Lenyadri) is a unique abode of Lord Ganesha and a place of historical and cultural significance. It is a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience the divine grace and glory of the elephant-headed god.🙏