Mahaganpati Temple (Ranjangaon) is one of the most splendid and magnificent temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success. It is located in the village of Ranjangaon, about 50 km from Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is also the eighth and last among the eight Ashtavinayak temples, which are the eight holy shrines of Lord Ganesha in Maharashtra.
Timing / Entry Fees Mahaganpati Temple
The temple is open for visitors from 5:30 am to 10 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 also provides accommodation and food facilities for pilgrims at nominal charges.
Rituals of Mahaganpati Temple
The main ritual performed at Mahaganpati 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 red stone and has ten arms, holding a lotus, a pomegranate, a bow, an arrow, a chakra (discus), a shankha (conch), a mace, a modak (sweet dumpling), a snake, and a ratnakumbha (a pot of jewels). It also has a cobra hood on its head and a mouse as its vehicle. The idol faces the east 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 Mahaganpati Temple
Mahaganpati Temple is considered to be very important for several reasons. According to legend, it was here that Lord Shiva invoked Lord Ganesha before fighting with the demon Tripurasura, who had conquered the three worlds with his three forts. The temple was built by Lord Shiva himself to worship and honor his son. The temple is also said to be the place where Lord Ganesha manifested himself as Mahaganapati, the supreme lord of all ganas (servants).
Mahaganpati 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 if Mahaganpati Temple
Mahaganpati 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 temple architecture in India. It dates back to the 18th century CE and has been renovated and restored several times over the centuries. The temple has a grand and majestic structure with a shikhara (spire), a mandapa (hall), a garbhagriha (sanctum), and a nandi mandapa (a hall with a statue of Nandi, the bull mount of Lord Shiva). 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 50 km from Ranjangaon.
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:
Chintamani Ganesh Temple: The fifth among the Ashtavinayak temples, located about 50 km from Ranjangaon. It is dedicated to Lord Ganesha as Chintamani, the remover of worries.
Lenyadri Ganesh Temple: The sixth among the Ashtavinayak temples, located about 100 km from Ranjangaon. It is dedicated to Lord Ganesha as Girijatmaj, the son of Goddess Parvati.
Ozar Ganesh Temple: The seventh among the Ashtavinayak temples, located about 100 km from Ranjangaon. It is dedicated to Lord Ganesha as Vighneshwar, the destroyer of obstacles.
Shaniwar Wada: A historical fort located about 50 km from Ranjangaon. It was the seat of power of the Peshwa rulers of the Maratha Empire in the 18th century.
Mahaganpati Temple (Ranjangaon) is a majestic 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.🙏