Ashtavinayaka or eight Ganeshas are located in Maharashtra state. The Ashtavinayaka yatra or pilgrimage covers the eight holy temples of Ganesh. All the eight Ashtavinayak Temples are Swayambhu(self-originated) and Jagrut.
Rukmangada was the son of King Bheema of Kaudinya. One day Rukmangada went hunting into a forest. There he met Mukundaa, whose husband was the Sage Vachaknavi. Mukundaa felt attracted to the young Rukmanganda and expressed her desire for him. Rukmangada was shocked and turned down her proposal. Mukundaa cursed him that he would lose his beauty and turn into a leper.
Rukmangada’s body changed instantly
The dejected Rukmangada worshipped Chintamani Vinayak who blessed him and freed him from the curse. In the mean time Indra came to know of Mukundaa’s desire and disguised as Rukmangada fulfilled her desire. Mukundaa gave birth to a son who was called Gritsamav. He grew to be a great scholar. One day he participated in a major debate where great sages like Vasistha, Atri and Vishwasmitra were invited. Atri said that he could not debate with Gritsamav as he was not a true Brahmin. Gritsamav, unaware of the flaw in his birth, was shocked. He returned to his mother and demanded the truth. On knowing the truth he was stunned and cursed her that she would turn into a thorny Ber tree, and though this tree would bear delicious fruit its thorns will keep people away. Mukundaa in turn said that since he was so harsh in judging her, he would in his life bear the pain of being a parent of a heartless and cruel child.
Gritsamav moved into the Pushpak forest and started a severe penance. Ganesh heard his prayers and asked him what he wished. Gritsamav asked to be recognized as a Brahmin and he then asked Ganesh to reside in the Pushpak forest. Ganesh granted him the two wishes. Gritsamav called Ganesh’Varad Vinayak’, the one who fulfills all wishes and consecrated His idol in a temple. Thetemple at Mahad is believed to be this temple.
Shri Varad Vinayak
Mahad is a village set in the hilly region of Konkan in the Raigarh district and the Khalapur Taluka of Maharastra. Ganesh as Varad Vinayak fulfills all desires and grants all boons. This region was known as Bhadrak or Madhak in ancient times. A ‘nandadeep’ (lamp) has been lit in this temple which has been continuously lit since the 1892.
The Varad Vinayak temple is Purvabhimukh – facing east. The temple is surrounded on all sides by statues of elephants, two on each side.On the Northern side of the temple is a Gomukh, a visage of a cow from which flows the tirth(holy water). On the West is the holy pond. As one enters the Garbhagriha (sanctum santorum) one first sees the idols of Riddhi and Siddhi. Then the two idols of Ganesh . One is a idol made in white Marble the other is the idol covered with sindoor.
Yatra : Magha Shukla Chaturthi, Sankashti is celebrated every month.
By road : About 3 km off the Pune-Mumbai highway near Khopoli (80 km from Pune).