Moreshwar Temple or Mayureshwar Temple
Moreshwar is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Moreshwar Temple is one among the eight temples of Ashtavinayak temples.
This temple is situated in Moregaon which is about 80 kms. from Pune city. At Moreshwar temple Lord Ganesha portrays peacock as its vehicle. In local language more or mayura means peacock, hence both temple and village has derived its name after the bird peacock.
This temple is most important and auspicious among the eight temples. As people begin their yatra by visiting Moreshwar temple first and ending it by visiting the temple again. This is the only temple among eight to be visited twice in ashtavinayak yatra.
This temple is in the center of the village with 50 feet high dome and four pillars in the corner. The temple is made of black stone and has four gates. A big Nandi bull made of black stone is sitting in front of the main gate and facing towards Moreshwar, the main deity.
In the eight corners of the temple are eight statues of Lord Ganesha namely
Ekadanta, Mahodar, Gajanan, Lambodar, Vikata, Vignaraja, Dhumravarna Vakratunda
In the eastern gate, is the idol of Lakshminarayana. In the Southern gate is the idol of goddess Parvati and lord Shiva. In the western gate idols of Rati and Kama. In the Northern gate resides Mahivaraha.
Mayureshwar is three eyed and is in sitting posture with its trunk turned on to left. The idol is smeared with vermillion with diamonds placed in eyes and naval. The Nagraj is seen on the head of the deity. On either side are the brass idols of Siddhi and Buddhi. Mooshak and peacock stands in the front of the idol.
Lord Brahma created the idol of Moreshwar
It is believed that The Brahma consecrated the original idol, which is made of sand iron and diamonds. This was later enclosed in copper sheet by Pandavas and was placed behind the idol which is now worshipped.
The idol which is worshipped is smeared with thick layer of vermillion, hence it looks bigger than the original idol. It is believed that the layers of vermillion is cast off once in every century.
The idol of Nagna Bhairava is on the left of the main deity and is worshipped first by offering coconut and jaggery.
Long time ago a sage named Kashyap had two wives, Kudru and Vinta. Kudru sons snakes imprisoned Vinta’s sons Shyen, Sampati and Jatayu. Vinta was very disappointed. After few years she got one more son. However when her son was in the form of egg young Ganesha broke that egg and peacock came out of the egg. The newly born peacock had a intense fight with Ganesha. Finally, Vinta intervened to stop the fight and peacock agreed to become the vehicle of Ganesha but, laid a condition. Peacock wanted its name to be pronounced before Ganesha, and Ganesha should be popular by his name. Ganesha agreed to this and took the name of Mayuresh for himself. With the help of peacock he released Vinta’s sons from imprisonment.
Another interesting legend
There was a king named Chakrapani and his wife queen Ugra were childless. After worshipping Lord Surya ugra conceived. But, the brilliance and radiance of the foetus was such that Ugra was unable to nurture the embryo in her womb, so she released the embryo into the sea.
A brilliant and dominant child was born from that embryo. The guardian of the child, Sea, disguised as brahmin and handed over the child to the King Chakrapani. The child was named Sindhu, he grew into one of the strongest human on earth. He worshipped Lord Surya. Pleased with the worship Surya gave him nectar and said he will be immune to death as long as the nectar will remain near his navel. Unfortunately his blessing became curse for other Gods, as he started misusing his immortality.
He started fighting with Gods and even held Lord Vishnu and Indra in captive. Then other God prayed to Lord Ganesha to save them Sindhu.
Lord Ganesha promised to take birth as son of goddess Parvati and kill Sindhu. Lord Ganesha came riding on peacock and killed Sindhu with his Parashu in one go.
Genesha was hence named Mayureshwar, one riding on peacock. After the fight was over Ganesha decided to reside in Morgaon in his Mayureshwar form for the sake of his devotee.