Varad Vinayak Ganpati Mandir is also known as Varad Vinayak Temple, the fourth Ashtavinayaka temple of Lord Ganesha, is located at Mahad, near Khopoli, 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
The presiding deity of this Varad Vinayak Temple is Lord Varadavinayaka, who is believed to be Swayambu (self-manifested), with His trunk turned to the left. The other special deities of Varad Vinayak temple are Mushika, Navagraha Devtas and Shivalingam. Varad Vinayak Temple was believed to be built by Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar, the Peshwa General in the early period of 1725 AD. The magical beauty of this temple is that an oil lamp located on this temple is believed to be burning since 1892.
It is believed that during the festival of Magh Shuddha Chaturthi, those who are presented with coconut as Prasad (devotional offering), will be blessed with a son. The special boon of this temple is that the devotees are allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum to bestow their reverence to Lord Ganesha personally. The four sides of the temple are guarded by four elephant idols.
- Ganesh Chaturthi or Bhadrapada Shuddha Chaturthi – August or September
- Magh Shuddha Chaturthi – January or February
- Vijayadashami (Dasehara) – October
Shri Varad Vinayak Temple is 63 km from Mumbai, 85 km from Pune, 25 km from Karjat, 21 km from lonavala and 6 km from Khopoli. The temple is 1.5 kms off the Mumbai – Pune old Highway.
Khopoli/Karjat Railway Station on central railway line is the nearest railway station for Varad Vinayak Temple at Mahad. Lonavala is on the main railway line between Mumbai and Pune.
Mumbai Airport/Pune Airport is the nearest airports which are almost 80 kms from Varad Vinayak temple.
- Trimbakeshwar Temple
- Girijaatmaja Vinayak Temple
- Chintamani Vinayak Temple
- Bhimashankar Temple
- Grishneshwar Temple