The Lord of Good Fortune, Lord of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles, Ganesha is one such deity who is worshiped by most people regardless of any other spiritual affiliations.
Be it a prayer for a safe journey or at the beginning of a wedding or a birth of a child, Ganesha is more often than not, the go-to Lord for blessings.
On the eve of Ganesha Chaturthi, here we bring you a list of temples in India that add more stories and miracles about the Elephant-faced God.
Ashtavinayaka or eight Ganeshas is located in Maharashtra and the Ashtavinayaka yatra covers the eight holy temples of Ganesha . All the Eight Ashtavinayak Templs are Swayambhu (self-originated) and Jagrut. The various names of Lord Ganesh are Moreshwar, Mahaganpati, Chintamani, Girijatmak, Vighneshwar, Siddhivinayak, Ballaleshwar and Varad Vinayak .
A pilgrimage to the Ashtavinayaka is considered to be a milestone in the devotee’s life. The eight temples/idols of the Ashtavinayaka in their religious sequence are: 1. The Moreshwar Temple at Moregaon 2. The Siddhivinayak Temple at Siddhatek 3. The Ballaleshwar Temple at Pali 4. The Varadavinayak Temple at Mahad 5. The Chintamani Temple at Theur 6. The Girijatamak Temple at Lenyandri 7. The Vighnahar Temple at Ozar 8. The Mahaganapati Temple at Ranjangaon.
Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai
It is one of the most famous Ganesh temples in the country. The temple, with one of the richest temple trust of India, is considered as one of the must visit temple for during Ganesh Chaturthi. It is believed that the devotees who bow their heads to the idols will get their wishes. The temple has also received the ‘Best Trust Award’ for its contribution to welfare and social activities.
Dagdusheth Ganpati, Pune
The temple is one of the major attraction in Pune for its golden idol. The Dagdusheth Ganpati trust also comes in one of the richest trusts in Maharashtra. Every year millions of worshipers offer their prayers here.
Kanipakam Vinayaka, Chittoor
Located 75 kms off Tirupathi, the temple was built by Chola king Kulothinga Chola I. The idol of Ganesha is black in colour and has white, yellow and red as colours adoring his forehead. Brahmotsavam is a festival which is celebrated with great enthusiasm from the day of Vinayaka Chavithi and is continued for 20 days.
Dodda Ganesh, Karnataka
The temple is situated on the Bull Temple Road in Basavanagudi, Bangalore. The temple has an idol that is carved out of a single stone and stands at 18 ft in height and 16 ft in width. Apart from being known for its huge structure, devotees are known to gather to see the gigantic idol being smeared in butter.
Karpaka Vinayakar, Tamil Nadu
The temple is known as the Pillaiyar patti Pillaiyar temple which is a rock- cut cave turned into a shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha.
Manakula Vinayaka Temple, Pondicherry
The temple dates back before 1666, and houses the Manakula Vinayaka. History says that the uniqueness about this temple is that during the French rule, this Ganesha has been thrown several times into the sea but used to reappear the same place the next day.
Shree Vinayaka Devaru Temple, Idagunji
Located in town in Uttara Kannada of Karnataka, the temple has about 1 million devotees visiting it annually. The 1500 years old temple is known for its architecture and for the Ganesha idol that has only two hands.
Ucchi Pillayarkoil, Tamil Nadu
The temple is situated on top of a rock in Trichy, Tamil Nadu. Being situated on a rock it is famous for its amazing rock architecture and is also known as the Rockfort Temple. The temple was built in the 7th century. The Archaeological Department of India looks after the maintenance of this place.
Parvathi Ganesha, Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi is a famous heritage site in Karnataka which contains the ruins of Vijayanagara kingdom built in the 14th Century. It draws attention of tourists who come here to admire the architectural creativity of the Vijayanagara period. Out of all the monuments present here the most popular one is the Parvati Ganesha temple. The best part of this place is the 16 ft high Ganesha idol. The idol looks quite main stream unless you go around the back where you will find that Lord Ganesha is actually sitting on the lap of his mother Parvati.
Gokarna MahaGanapathy Temple, Gokarna, Karnataka
The temple dates back to centuries, in an era long before the events of the Ramayana took place. It is said that this temple stands as a mark of respect to Lord Ganapathi, who had tricked the demon Ravana into giving up his special lingam - The Atmalingam. The temple has a rare standing Ganesha, 5 feet (1.5 m) tall and two-handed; on his head is a small depression, which is said to be a mark of Ravana’s fury. The temple has its own identity and is also known as Sidda Ganapati
Pillaiyarpatti Karpaga Vinayagar Kovil Temple, Chettinad, Tamil Nadu
Believed to be 1600 years old, Karpaga Vinayagar temple in Chettinad, Tamil Nadu has this image of Karpaga (black) Vinayagar (Lord Ganesha), carved out of a single black stone by a sculptor called Ekkattur Koon Peruparanan. An unique element about the temple is that the idol faces north.
Gulur Ganesha Temple, Tumkur District, Bangalore
The temple situated in a small village in Tumkur district is known for its unique story behind the origin of the temple. Story goes that Lord Ganesha appeared in his dreams and asked him to worship Him. Unaware of the formalities involved in performing a puja, the devotee took guidance from a sage and built an idol of Lord Ganesha, about 8 to 9 feet tall, and performed rigorous puja continuously for 30 days. This age-old tradition is followed to this day, where an idol of Lord Ganesha is hand sculpted with locally available materials.