Shri Ballaleshwar Temple, the third Ashtavinayaka temple of Lord Ganesha, is located at Pali, Raigad district of Maharashtra. Ashtavinayaka temples are the eight temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha, situated around the state of Maharashtra. The eight sacred temples are housed in a very determined sequence. Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed god of wisdom, who is also considered as the God of Unity, Lord of obstacles, Prosperity and learning.
Each temples has a specific history and more specifically, the trunk of Lord Ganesha differs from each of the eight temples. The holy visit of Ashtavinayaka temples is believed to be satisfied only after the Revisit to the first temple of Ashtavinayaka temples. The following precedence of worship to Ashtavinayaka temples is based on the Shashtra, a sacred Hindu scripture. The Ashtavinayaka Temples are:
- Shri Ballaleshwar Temple
- Shree Chintamani Vinayaka Temple
- Girijatmaj Temple
- Mahaganpati Mandir, Ranjangaon
- Mayureshwar Ganpati Mandir
- Siddhatek Ashtavinayak Mandir
- Varad Vinayak Ganpati Mandir, Mahad
- Vighnahar Ganesh Temple, Ozar
It is believed that Ballaleshwar temple was built by Moreshvar Vitthal Sindkar, the great devotee of Lord Ganesha, in the year 1640. The present temple was renovated in the year 1760, which was constructed in the shape of “Shri” and it was built in a way that the sun rays falls directly on the presiding deity.
The presiding deity of this Ballaleshwar temple is Lord Ganesha, called by the name Lord Ballaleshwar, with His trunk tilted towards the left, located on a stone throne. The navel and eyes of Lord Ganesha are adorned with diamonds. The sanctum sanctorum contains the deity of Goddess Riddhi and Goddess Siddhi, the consorts of Lord Ganesha, seen waving chamaras. Ballaleshwar temple is the only temple which is known by the name of devotee of Lord Ganesha among the eight temples.
The outer sanctum of the Ballaleshwar temple contains the image of Rat, the vehicle of Lord Ganesha, facing towards the idol of Lord Ganesha, holding modak in its hands. The mythology says that Ballal, the son of Kalyan and Indumati, used to worship the stones assuming it as Lord Ganesha. Once, Ballal along with other children went outside of the city and started worshipping the big stone which was on their way. Assuming the stone as Lord Ganesha they immersed in the worship and did not return home. Ballal’s father in search of his son got angry by Ballal’s behavior and demolished the big stone which they were worshipping and battered Ballal, and left him tied in a tree.
Even in pain, Ballal cantillated the name of Lord Ganesha. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Ganesha appeared as Sadhu, a saint and untied Ballal from tree. Ballal got healed from his pain and hunger. Ballal identified the saint as Lord Ganesha and worshipped him with great devotion, requesting Lord Ganesha to stay at that place and remove all the obstacles of the people who worship Him. Lord Ganesha agreed to the request of Ballal and said that He would be worshipped by the name Ballal, and hence the presiding deity is called as Ballaleshwar. The stone which was scattered by the father of Ballal is called as Dhundi Vinayak.
- The inner sanctum of the temple remains open from 05.00 AM to 11.30 AM.
- The outer sanctum of the temple remains open from 05.00 AM to 10.30 PM.
- Ganesh Chaturthi or Bhadrapada Shuddha Chaturthi – August or September
- Magh Shuddha Chaturthi – January or February
- Vijayadashami (Dasehara) – October
- Dhundi Vinayak Utsav – January
Regular bus services are available from Mumbai, Pine, Karjat and Panvel.
The nearest railway station to Ballaleshwar Temple is Panvel railway station Junction which is 1 KM away from Ballaleshwar Temple.
The nearest airport to Ballaleshwar Temple is Chatrapati Shivaji international airport, Mumbai which is 29 KM away from Ballaleshwar Temple.
- Trimbakeshwar Temple
- Girijaatmaja Vinayak Temple
- Chintamani Vinayak Temple
- Bhimashankar Temple
- Grishneshwar Temple
- Mumba Devi Temple
- Shirdi Sai Baba Temple
- Mahalakshmi Temple