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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Temples of Ganesha

Contributed by Vidya...

When we talk of Ganesha Temples, the first ones that cross our minds are the popular Ashtavinayaka Temples. But there are some other temples of the lord too that are of significance and historic importance. In this write-up we intend to introduce you to some such temples which might not be known to many.

Ganpati Temple at Redi

The Ganapati temple of Redi is located approximately 30 km from Vengurla, in the small village of Redi. The town in which this temple is situated contains manganese mines and the Ganpati idol was found in one of the mines near Rewati port in 1976. A local person by the name of Sadashiv Kambli supposedly visualized a buried statue of Lord Ganesha in his dream and convinced local workers to dig out the statue from the seashore. Now, after an investigation it has been found that the statue was made by the Pandava during their rule. The statue is approximately 6 ft in height and 4 ft in width. The Ganesh idol is in a sitting position and is Dwibhuja (two arms) as compared to rest of the idols which are generally Chaturbhuja (four arms). The mouse idol (vahana) was found on further excavation after two months.

Mahaganapati and Mahamaya Temple at Shirali

According to the Archaeological Survey of Goa, The idol of Mahaganapati and Mahamaya (also referred as Durgadevi and Shantadurga) were located in Ella - Tiswadi Goa along with Shri Gomanteshwar and its affiliates. 

During the Muslim invasion in Goa (13th century) the temple in Ella was destroyed and the images were transferred to Navelim and Goltim. Till the early 1500s the deities were worshiped on the island, following which they were prey to the Portuguese missionaries. 

The devotees had no choice but to transfer the images to Khandepar and from there to its final destination Khandola.

Mahaganapati Temple at Gokarna

Built in honour of Lord Ganesha, the temple is situated on the east side of the popular Mahabaleshwar Temple.

It is believed that the temple was constructed in awe of Lord Ganesha, who succeeded in taking the Atmalinga from Ravana. Lord Shiva then blessed Lord Ganesh the honour of the first worship. 

The temple features a 1.3 metre black stone idol of Lord Ganesh. Legend has it that one needs to first visit the Maha Ganapati temple before visiting the Mahabaleshwar temple. The Maha Ganapati temple here, has Ganesh in a standing posture.

Munthi Vinayagar Temple at Coimbatore

Munthi Vinayagar temple at Puliakulam in Coimbatore is said to be the biggest single stone granite idol in Asia weighing 14 tonnes.  Vinayaga Chathurthi is celebrated with great importance when huge gathering of devotees seek blessings of this Lord Ganesha.

Karpakar Vinayak Temple at Thiruppatthur

Pillayar Karpakar Temple is rock cut cave shrine dedicated to lord Ganesha, located at Thiruppatthur.This temple is most famous for the rock cut Vinayagar (Ganesha) sitting majestically inside a cave.

The Ganesh Chaturthi / Vinayaka Chaturthi festival, is celebrated for 10 days in a grand manner every year.During that time, great numbers of pilgrims gather and participate in the Car Festival.
Rest of the time whole idol is covered with gold. It is only during the Abhishekam, or the holy bath, when one can see the full idol in its pristine glory.

Parvati Ganesha Temple at Hampi

Located in the ruins of perhaps the most powerful Hindu kingdom to ever exist, this 16 feet idol is one of the architectural splendour of the Vijayanagara period.
Out of the numerous monuments that feature in the must see list of anyone visiting Hampi, probably the most endearing is the Parvati Ganesha idol. This idol looks like any other from the front sitting in a mandapa that is typical of the Vijayanagara style of architecture. But when one goes around to the back you find that the Ganesha is actually sitting on the lap of his mother Parvati. This can only be seen when one goes to the back of the idol.

Aane Gudde Vinayaka at Aane Gudde

12 feet tall Aane Gudde Vinayaka is 'UDBHAVA MURUTHI' (Natural Stone), a single stone in the form of very elephant itself. The Tilak on the forehead is made of Sri Gandha (Sandle Paste) and the God has Swrna Mukha made of 5 Kgs of pure Gold. Rest of the Kavacha (Idol's body) is made of pure Silver. It is also believed that the statue of Lord Ganapathi is growing every year.

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