The Lord of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles- Vigneshwara, the God of prosperity, wisdom, wealth and knowledge- Vinayaka, Lord Ganesha. Also known as Ganpati- the Lord of People, Ganesha holds a supreme position among the Hindu Gods and lots of adoration and love from the people. His charming, friendly and forgiving nature makes him a favourite of kids and adults alike.
The son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha was created by his mother to guard her house while she bathed. She was looking for someone who would devoutly protect her, and when she failed to think of anyone, she created her son Ganesha from the turmeric (used for bathing) from her body. Parvati demanded of Lord Brahma that Ganpati be brought back to life and worshipped before all other Gods after Shiva beheaded him (that is how Ganesha got his elephant-head).
The birthday of the people’s God, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated all over India with a lot of pomp and devotion. Multitudes of devotees offer their respects in their own fashion. The celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi has many variations across states. Ganesh Temples are magnificently decorated, aartis are sung, offerings are made. If you’ve been to a Ganesh Pandal or Temple during Ganesh Chaturthi you have undoubtedly felt the aura and power of strong-willed devotion, unwavering faith and belief in God surround you.
If it’s been a while since you felt the feeling, head out this Ganesh Chaturthi with your friends and family. It’ll be a lovely spiritual outing and an experience for you as a family that you will make memories at and can tell stories of. We’ve listed down some Ganesh Temples in India you could visit this Ganesh Chaturthi.
1. Arulmigu Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple, Rockfort, Trichy, Tamil Nadu
Located in Rockfort, Trichy approximately 329 kms and a 6-hour drive from Chennai, Arulmigu Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple was made in the 7th Century.
History believes the rock on which this temple stands in the place where Lord Ganesha disguised as a kid ran from King Vibhishana after installing the Ranganathaswamy deity in Srirangam. When Vibhishan ran to follow this kid, he climbed on a rock. Vibhishana hit him on the forehead, and that is when the child revealed himself as Ganesha. A dent can still be seen in the idol of Ganesha at this temple.
Made by the Pallavas and Nayaks the temple is now maintained by the Archeological Department of India. Placed atop a rock, with stairs leading to the shrine, the temple offers a beautiful view of Trichy, Srirangam and the rivers Kaveri and Kollidam.
On the same rock is also a Siva Temple. You could also stop to visit the Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam which is only 4 kms and a 20-minute drive away from Ucchi Pillaiyar. You could visit the temple’s website for more information.
2. Sri Swayambhu Varasidhi Vinayaka Swamy Devastanam, Kanipakam, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh
Approximately 177 kms and a 5-hour drive from Bangalore the Vinayaka Temple in Chittoor was built in the 11th Century.
The idol at this Ganesha temple is Swayambhu (self-manifested). It was revealed to 3 blind, deaf and dumb farmers who were digging up the dried out well for water. When their equipment hit the idol, it oozed out blood and flooded the river. This blood healed them of their deformities. The original idol is still at the temple and the springs of the well eternal. The water from these springs is offered to devotees as holy water. The idol is also said to be growing in size. A Silver Armour offered to the idol by a devotee 50 years ago, no longer fits it.
The temple here was built by the Chola Dynasty King Kulothunga Chola I and the work was further expanded by the Vijayanagara Dynasty.
3. Sri Maha Ganapathy Temple, HMT Kalamassery, Kochi, Kerala
A 21.4 km and approximately 45 minutes drive via the Kochi Panvel Highway, the Mahaganapathy Temple was built in 1980.
Built by a pious Late Mr N Ragunatha Menon and his children who lived in Kalamassery, the Mahaganapathy Temple also houses shrines to Subramaniam, the Navgrahas, Shiva, Parvathi, Rama, Dakshinamurthi and Chandikeshwara. The temple has a simple style of construction and has no outer walls. A Peepal tree stands in front of the Ganapathy Shrine. How close it is the busy Eloor-Kalamassery Road has also earned the diety the name of ‘Roadside Ganapathy’.
4. Shree Dodda Ganapathi Temple, Bull Temple Rd, Basavanagudi, Bengaluru, Karnataka
A 6 km and 25-minute drive from Bangalore, the Dodda Ganapathi Temple was built in the 16th Century.
The Dodda Ganapathi Temple is right next to the Bull Temple/Nandi Temple. It houses a large idol of Ganesha. The temple is adorned in different ways of decoration throughout the week. One of the interesting ones being the Benne Alankara or butter coating on the idol. About 100 kgs of butter is used for the same. The devotees at this temple also believe that the idol grows in size every year.
The temple surroundings are quiet and beautiful, and the experience of visiting the temple is a powerful one. While there you can, of course, visit the Nandi Temple close by, another must visit is the Bugle Rock Park.
5. Karpaka Vinayakar, Pillayarpatti, Tiruppathur Taluk, Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu
A 243 km and 6-hour drive from Coimbatore and 14 kms and 40 minutes from Chennai, the Karpaka Vinayakar Temple was built in the 4th Century and is a cave temple.
The temple has a 6-feet rock cut Pillaiyar deity and is the only one of its kind in Tamil Nadu. It was built by the early Pandyas and is now about 2500 years old. The temple also houses rock cut sculptures of Lord Shiva, Karthiyayini (Goddess who arranges marriages), Nagalingam (God who gives offsprings), Pasupatheeswarar (God who showers wealth), and Pillayar (Lord of Wisdom).
The idol of Ganesha is decorated in different ways depending on the day of the week. It could on days be Gold or just a simple Dhoti on others.
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the major festivals celebrated here in a grand manner. The ceremonies begin 9 days before the festival and last 10 days after. Devotees from all over visit the temple to attend the Car Festival.
6. Shree Vinayaka Devaru Temple, Idagunji, Karnataka
501 kms and 9 hours drive from Bangalore and 173 kms and 4 hours from Mangalore, the Vinayaka Devaru Temple in Idagunji was built in the 4th Century.
Afraid of the terror, the Kali Yuga, would bring, sages had started performing rituals imploring to Lord Krishna to redeem them. Their rituals though faced obstacles throughout, on the suggestion of Narada (the divine sage) who suggested they pray to Ganesha (the remover of obstacles). They gathered on the bank of River Sharavathi, at Kunjavana asking Ganesha to intervene, singing him hymns and praises. Pleased by their devotion, Ganesha decided to remain at the place and help them conduct their rituals without difficulties. The lake there was then named Ganesha-Tirtha and supplied water to the temple.
The central idol in the temple is that of a Ganesha with two arms standing on a stone slab, wearing a yagnopavita (sacred thread) and a necklace of small bells.
7. Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple, Pune
160 kms and 3 hours away from Mumbai is Pune’s Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple.
A Halwai (Sweet Maker) from Latur, Dagdusheth moved to Pune and opened his sweet shop- Kaka Halwai near Datta Mandir. He was quite successful and emerged into being a rich businessman. During the plague epidemic in the late 1880’s Dagdusheth lost his son. This led him and his wife into depression. For them to heal themselves, Shri Madhavnath Maharaj recommended them to build a Ganesh Temple. Lokmanya Tilak was a contemporary of Dagdusheth, and he gave fruition to his idea of a public gathering during Ganesh Chaturthi here.
Adorned with 40 kilos of gold, the Ganesha idol in the temple is 2.2 metres tall and 1 metre wide. The Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at this temple involve a 10-day pompous ceremony to which devotees from all across Maharashtra flood. While it may be a crowded affair, participating in the ceremony is a must-do.
8. Moti Dungri Ganesh Temple, Jaipur, Rajasthan
The Moti Dungri Ganesh Temple in Tilak Nagar is about 7 kms and a 10-minute drive away from Jaipur city centre.
Built-in 1761 atop Moti Dungri Hill, the idol at this temple is said to be over 500 years old. It was bought to Jaipur from Udaipur by Seth Jai Ram Paliwal who built the temple. An iconic image of Ganesha, the idol is Sindoor coloured and has a rightward turning trunk. The structure of the temple is simple and beautiful. Built in the Nagara style and based on the model of a Scottish Castle. It was built in only 4 months using limestone and marble.
A fair is organized at the temple every Wednesday. The temple also hosts a Shiva Lingam, entry to which is only permitted once a year during Mahashivratri.
9. Ganesh Tok, Gangtok, Sikkim
Situated on a small hill, the temple is so tiny that it can accommodate only one person at a time, who also has to crawl his way on all fours, through the narrow passage that leads to the temple. It is believed that wishes made here are fulfilled. What makes the drive and visit all the more beautiful is the view from the hill. It offers a birds-eye view of the city, the snow-clad Kanchenjunga and if you go during the monsoons and are lucky enough, you may be able to see clouds floating below you.
Next to the temple is also Smriti Van. It is a place where devotees can plant a sapling on behalf of their loved ones. Also around is Hanuman Tok, a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
10. Ganpatyar Temple, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
The Ganpatyar Temple in Srinagar is an approximately 600 kms drive from Chandigarh or Ludhiana.
Said to be the oldest Ganesh idol, the sculpture of Ganpati at this temple was thrown into River Jhelum by the Pathan rulers. It was later lifted out from the river and reinstalled into the temple. It is also considered the place where Lord Ganesha himself assures the sage Kashyap of having a settlement of people in Kashmir. It is also known as the Siddhi Vinayak Ganesh Mandir.
11. Karunya Mahaganapathi Temple, New Delhi
12 kms and a 20-minute drive from central Delhi, the Karunya Mahaganapathi Temple is located in Mayur Vihar Phase 2 in New Delhi.
Since its establishment in 1987 by a few people, the Karunya Mahaganapathi Mandir has grown over the years. From a simple shrine with a Ganesh idol to a well-built temple in the South Indian style, the shrine has grown. All festivals are celebrated with extreme fervour at the temple, and so is Ganesh Chaturthi. Its easily accessible location makes it a must visit if you are in Delhi.
12. Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Located in the heart of main Mumbai, the Siddhivinayak Temple built in 1801 is one of the richest temples in Mumbai.
A rich Agri childless woman, Deubai Patil, funded the construction of the Siddhivinayak Temple. She did so, so that Lord may grant children to other barren women. Ramakrishna Jambhekar Maharaj buried two divine idols near the presiding deity on orders by his Guru, Hindu saint Akkalkot Swami Samarth. Just as Swami Samarth prophesied, 21 years after it a Madar Tree grew through the spot with Svayambhu (self-manifested) Ganesha in its branches.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the grandest manner at this temple which also happens to be a part of Ashtavinayaka, the eight Ganpati Temple circuit around Pune and Mumbai in Maharashtra. While it may be a crowded day at the temple, the experience is worth it.
Now that you know the different places you could visit this Ganesh Chaturthi, all you need to do is make up your mind. Book a Zoomcar from your city and enjoy a drive with your friends and family to these spiritually enriching temples. Take a break from your routine and let the almighty rejuvenate you. Also, do not forget to let us know where you’re Zooming to!