Girijatmaj temple – Lord Ganesha Ashtavinayak

Girijatmaj - Ashtavinayak - Lord Ganesha
Girijatmaj - Ashtavinayak - Lord Ganesha

Girijatmaj form of Lord Ganesha is important as he took this form to kill the demon Sindhu. It is believed that he spent twelve years of his life at lenyadri, then this place is considered as a holy place.

Girijatmaj Temple or Lenyadri Ganpati temple is 12 kms away from Narayangaon, which is 94 km from pune on Pune Nashik highway. This temple is one among the eight ashtavinayak temples. It is the sixth temple to be visited during ashtavinayak yatra.

It is the only temple located on mountain. There are various caves of Buddhist origin, among them 8th cave is the Lenyadri Ganpati temple. This temple is carved out of a single stone hill and has 307 steps.The temple has a wide hall of 53 feet long, 51 feet wide and 7 feet high dimension. A interesting fact about this hall is that the hall has no supporting pillars.

Girijatmaj - Ashtavinayak - Lord Ganesha
Girijatmaj – Ashtavinayak – Lord Ganesha

 

Idol and Temple

The idol of this temple is little different as it is not very well carved. The idol faces north with its back facing the worshipper. He face  is visible to the other side of the mountain. The  trunk is turned to its left with only one eye visible. Idol is covered with sindoor and is carved on the stone wall of cave.The temple facing east and has no electric bulb.  

Ganesha here is called Girijatmaj which means Atmaja or son of Girija or Parvati.

 

Legend

According to Ganesha purana, Parvati performed penance for 12 years in the caves of Lenyadri with the desire of having Ganesha as her son. Ganesha was pleased and granted her the boon she wanted. On Bhadrapada chaturthi, Parvati created a idol out of the sandal paste of her body. Suddenly the idol came alive. He was named Ganesha meaning a person who has control over all the three qualities Satva, Raja and Tama. Lord Shiva granted him a boon that whoever remembers him before any work will successfully complete the work. Ganesha grew up 15 years at Lenyadri, so this place is considered very holy.

He was born in Treta yuga to kill demon Sindhu. Demon king sent many demons like Krur, Balasur, Vyomasur, Kshmemme, Kushal etc to kill Ganesha, but Ganesha killed all of them in his childhood.