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Home » India » Pilgrimage of India » West India » West India Pilgrimage » Maharashtra

Pilgrimage West India

Major Pilgrimage Centres in Maharashtra.
AshtavinayakaAshtavinayaka : A pilgrimage to the Ashtavinayaka or eight important Ganapati shrines ensures for the pilgrim everlasting bliss. Glorified as swayambhu or self-appeared, each of the eight idols has distinctive feature.

The foremost shrine is the 14th century built Mayureshwar at Morgaon about 64 kms from Pune. Closely asociated with Morgaon is the Chintamani Ganpati at Theur where morya Gosavi is believed to have attained siddhi (knowledge).

The deity is known as Mahaganapati at Ranjangaon, because of the size of the statue. It has ten trunks and twenty arms. It is believed that Mahaganpati was hidden to prevent its destruction from non-believers. Thousands of devotees visit the place during the Bhadrapad festival.

Shree Siddhi Vinayak : in Ahmednagar district is also believed to be a detination where Morya gosavi did penance. But the main temple was constructed by Ahilyabai Holkar.

Built in 1833, the Vigneshwar temple at Ozhar is famous for its deepmala or garland of lights. Its golden dome was gifted by Bajirao Peshwa's younger brother Chimaji Appa. Situated on a hill, on the banks of the Kukdi river at Lenyadri this temple has 283 steps, reflecting the devotion that unites the devotee wih the deity. According to folklore, it was here that Parvati spent time in prayer and penance and gave birth to Ganapati.

Named after Ballal at Pali, Ganapati is known as Balleleshwar was constructed in 1770 by Nana Phandnis. The wooden temple was so built that the rays of the sum fall directly on the diety from the two equinoxes of the temple.

ShirdiSaibaba : 302 Km away from Mumbai, a small village in Ahmednagar district, Shirdi has become renowned through out India on account of its association with the famous Saint Shri Sai Baba. Pilgrims belonging to all faiths, throng here all the year around. The renewed temple is huge and the facilities are very good. Though whole week the temple is crowded with devotees, but Thursday, being Saibaba’a day it is very much crowded.

Nasik : Situated on the banks of the Godavari, Nasik is an important pilgrimage center specially during the Simbastha Mela held every 12 years. According to Pauranik lore when amrit (nectar) was being distributed, a dispute arose between the gods and demons over the possession of the kumbh. In the tussle, the nectar was spilled at Haridwar, Ujjain, Prayag and Nasik.

Ajanta : The Ajanta caves were built between 2nd century B.C to 7th century A.D. The 30 chaityas and viharas have paintings, which illustrate the life and incarnations of Buddha. The Ajanta Caves are situated 108 kms. North-east of Aurangabad in Maharashtra. These caves are the representation of Buddhist thoughts which were etched on the walls of the caves.

Others Pilgrimages : To the south is the basin of Godavari and the territory from Nasik to Nanded which is regarded as sacred. A majority of saints and poets were born here. Trimbakeshwar, the place from where the Godavari originates has a significance of its own. Nanded is a pilgrim point for the Sikhs as it has a samadhi of Guru Gobind Singh.

Besides Haji Ali, Haji Matang, churches of Bassein and Bombay, synagogues of Pen and Alibag; Jain and Buddhist temples, Maharashtra also has five of the twelve jyotirlingas, located at Ghrisneshwar near Ellora, Aundh Nagnath in Parbhani, Parli Vaijnath in Beed, Trimbakeshwar in Nasik and Bhimashankara in Pune.

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