Varad Vinayak is one of the eight temples of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success. It is located in Mahad village situated in Khalapur taluka near Karjat and Khopoli of Raigad District, Maharashtra, India. It is the fourth Ganesha temple among Ashtavinayak to be visited during the Ashtavinayak Darshan yatra/tour. The idol at the Varad Vinayak Temple is self-manifested and the temple is also known as a Math
Location of Varad Vinayak
The temple is easily accessible by road from Mumbai, Pune, and other nearby cities. The nearest railway station is Khopoli on the Central Railway line, which is 6 km away from the temple. The nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, which is 80 km away from the temple
Timing/Entry Fees Varad Vinayak
The temple is open for darshan (worship) from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm every day. There is no entry fee for visiting the temple. However, devotees can make donations or offerings to the temple trust for the maintenance and development of the temple
How to Reach Varad Vinayak
There are several buses and taxis available from Mumbai, Pune, and other nearby cities to reach Mahad. Alternatively, one can also drive their own vehicle to reach the temple. The route from Mumbai is as follows:
- Take the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and exit at Khopoli.
- Take the Khopoli-Pen road and cross Durshet and Nizampur.
- After Nizampur, take a right turn at Varale Phata and follow the signboards to reach Mahad village.
- The temple is located near the Mahad Gram Panchayat.
Rituals of Varad Vinayak
The temple performs various rituals and ceremonies throughout the year for the devotees. Some of the main rituals are:
- Abhishek: This is a ritual of bathing the idol of Lord Ganesha with water, milk, honey, curd, coconut water, or other substances. It is done daily at 7:00 am and 12:00 pm.
- Panchamrit Puja: This is a ritual of offering five items – milk, curd, honey, sugar, and ghee – to Lord Ganesha. It is done daily at 8:00 am and 1:00 pm.
- Shodashopachar Puja: This is a ritual of offering sixteen items – sandalwood paste, flowers, incense, lamp, food, fruits, betel leaves, etc. – to Lord Ganesha. It is done daily at 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.
- Aarti: This is a ritual of waving lamps in front of Lord Ganesha while singing hymns and prayers. It is done daily at 7:30 am, 12:30 pm, 7:30 pm, and 9:00 pm.
- Atharvashirsha Pathan: This is a ritual of reciting a sacred text dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is done daily at 11:00 am and 8:00 pm.
Apart from these daily rituals, there are also special festivals and occasions celebrated at the temple. Some of them are:
- Ganesh Chaturthi: This is the birthday of Lord Ganesha, which falls on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada month (August-September). On this day, a special puja and procession are held at the temple.
- Magh Chaturthi: This is another auspicious day for Lord Ganesha, which falls on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of Magh month (January-February). On this day, a special puja and fair are held at the temple.
- Bhadrapada Shuddha Pratipada to Panchami: This is a five-day festival celebrated from the first to the fifth day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada month (August-September). On these days, various cultural programs and competitions are organized at the temple.
Significance of Varad Vinayak
The significance of Varad Vinayak Temple lies in its unique history and legend. It is said that this temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha by his devotee Gritsamada, who was the son of Indra and Mukunda. Mukunda was the wife of Rishi Vachaknavi, who fell in love with prince Rukmaganda, the son of king Bhima of Koudinyapur. Rukmaganda refused to fulfill her desires and left the ashram. Indra, who saw her plight, took the form of Rukmaganda and made love to her.
Mukunda became pregnant and gave birth to Gritsamada. When Gritsamada learned of the circumstances of his birth, he cursed his mother to become a thorny plant and his father to be defeated by Shiva. Mukunda and Indra also cursed him back. A heavenly voice then revealed the truth and asked them to repent. Mukunda became a thorny plant called Bhor and Indra became a peacock. Gritsamada, ashamed and penitent, went to the Pushpak forest where he prayed to Lord Ganesha for forgiveness.
Lord Ganesha was pleased with his devotion and gave him a boon that he will have a son who will be invincible by anyone except Shiva. He also asked Lord Ganesha to stay in the forest and bless the devotees. Lord Ganesha agreed and took the form of a stone idol. He also gave him the knowledge of Brahma. Gritsamada built a temple there and the Ganesha idol installed there is called Varad Vinayak, meaning the giver of boons
The idol of Varad Vinayak is made of black stone and faces east. It has a trunk turned to the left and eyes and navel studded with diamonds. It sits on a stone throne with Riddhi and Siddhi, the consorts of Lord Ganesha, on either side. The idol is placed in a silver-plated sanctum, which is designed in the shape of the letter Shri. The temple also has a small idol of a mouse, the vehicle of Lord Ganesha, holding a modak (sweet) in its hands. The temple also has a bell that was brought by Chimaji Appa, the brother of Peshwa Bajirao I, after his victory over the Portuguese in Vasai and Sasti
The temple is also known for its architectural beauty and artistic features. The temple has two sanctums, an inner and an outer one, with different heights. The inner sanctum is 15 feet high and the outer sanctum is 12 feet high. The main hall of the temple is 40 feet long and 20 feet wide and has eight pillars resembling cypress trees. The temple also has two lakes in its premises, which are believed to be created by Lord Ganesha himself
Q: What is the best time to visit Varad Vinayak Temple?
A: The best time to visit Varad Vinayak Temple is during the festivals of Ganesh Chaturthi and Magh Chaturthi, when the temple is decorated and illuminated with lights and flowers.
Q: What are the facilities available at Varad Vinayak Temple?
A: The temple provides facilities such as parking, drinking water, toilets, cloakroom, prasad (offering), bhaktanivas (guest house), canteen, etc.
Q: How can I book online darshan or puja at Varad Vinayak Temple?
A: You can book online darshan or puja at Varad Vinayak Temple through its official website https://www.ashtavinayak.in/ or through its mobile app.
Varad Vinayak Temple is a sacred and beautiful place to visit for all the devotees of Lord Ganesha. It is a place where one can experience the divine grace and blessings of the lord of wisdom and success. It is also a place where one can witness the power of faith and devotion that transformed a simple stone into a living god.