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GIRIJATMATA VINAYAK MANDIR

Location
The Girijatmata Vinayak mandir is one of the Ashta Vinayak holy place and one form of Ganesh out of eight temples located at Lekhan hills, 94 kms far from Pune, Maharastra.
Significance of the Temple
Girijaatmaja Vinayaka Mandir is preserved on Lenyadri Parvat, expressed as “Ganapati” in the form of an infant which means small. Among all Ashta Vinayak places, Lenyadri is the only place that is located on the mountain, on the North-west bank of river “Kukadi” and in the locality of the “Buddhist caves”. A pleasing shrine of Girijaatmaja is been placed on the top of the hill. The hall of this shrine is carved on a single rock and no pillar is in the area which is 50 feet wide and 60 feet long.
It is unknown about the founder of this temple. It is said that the image of this temple is self-emerged (Swayambhu). To get the blessing of lord Ganapati, one has to climb 283 steps which are so risky in the evening time.Numerous people flock here to visit daily because of its pollution free surroundings.
Girijatmaja Vinayaka Temple of Lenyadri in Maharashtra is the famous sixth Ganesh Temple to be visited on the Ashta Vinayaka Mandir Pilgrimage.
‘Girijatmaj’ literally means Ganesha the son of Girija (Goddess Parvati). According to the Legend Goddess Parvati who had a strong desire to have Vinayaka as her son performed penance for 12 years in the caves of Lenyadri to fulfil her wish. Pleased by her dedication Lord Ganesha blessed her and on the day of Bhadrapada Shudh Chaturthi when Parvati was worshipping an idol of Lord Ganesha it came alive and told her that her wish has been granted.     
This Temple is situated at the Lenyadri Mountain in a Buddhist Cave which is around 95 Kms from Pune. Lenyadri is in North of the Pune City on the banks of River Kukdi. The beauty and pollution free environment in this area does not go unnoticed to anyone who visits this Shrine. There is an entrance fee of Rs 5 for visiting this Temple
Out of the 18 Buddhist caves on the Lenyadri Mountain Girijatmaj Vinayak's temple is in the 8th cave. The entire temple is carved out of single stone and is facing south. These caves are also referred to as Ganesh Caves. This Temple is reached after climbing 307 steps. The Ganesh idol here faces north with its trunk turned to the left. The idol here is not a separate idol but has been carved on a stone wall of the cave. Only one eye of this idol can be seen. The head of the idol is turned to the left.
On entering the temple you step into a huge hall which is around 50 feet wide and 60 feet long carved on a single rock with no pillar in between area. There are around 187 small meditation rooms inside the temple. The main temple is supported by around 6 stone pillars which has beautiful carvings and inscriptions. This idol can be worshipped by anyone here. Though there is no electric light available in the temple sun light always falls in the temple through out the day. During the festivals of Magh Shudh Chaturthi and Bhadrapada huge crowds are seen in the temple.

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