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Vinayak

Vinayak, who is referred to by the more popular name of Ganesh, is the principal deity of the family of Hindu Gods. He is considered at par with Brahma, Vishnu, Shiv, and Shakti.

The oldest description of his is available in the Matsya Puran. Besides, there are several tales associated with him in the Mudgal Puran, Ganesh Puran, Brahmvaivart Puran etc. In fact, the Mudgal Puran mentions about his 8 incarnations whose objective was the destruction of demons and the reinstatement of religion.

Amar Kosh, the composition from the Gupt period contains 8 names of his -Vinayak, Vighnraja, Dwaitmatura, Ganadhip, Ekdant, Heramb, Lambodar and Gajanan. These names are based on specific qualities possessed by him.

Ganesh worship is popular not only in India, but an ancient statue has been found even from Sri Lanka. Besides, other statues have been found from several countries of Central Asia. A noteworthy point is the popularity of Ganesh worship amongst Jains as well as Buddhists too, apart from the Hindus.

In the post Gupt period, considering Ganesh or Ganpati as the principal deity, a new sect came into existence which was called the Gaanpatya sect. Its followers consider Ganesh as the foremost God.

According to the Puranas, he is the son of Lord Shiv and Goddess Parvati. His head is that of an elephant, has a broken tooth and a huge stomach, with modak being his favourite food.

Different sources suggest a mouse, an elephant, a peacock, a lion, a serpent or even a horse as his vaahan (vehicle). However the most widely accepted one is the mouse. He keeps a Parshu (axe), a Paash (noose) and an ankush (elephant goad) with him as weapons.

Unlike other Hindu Gods, Ganesh has his own family too which includes his father Lord Shiv, mother Parvati, brother Kartikeya, wives Riddhi, Siddhi, and Buddhi, and daughter Santoshi.

The Puranas state Ganesh as not only the head of all the Shiv gans (attendants) but also a master of knowledge, intelligence, art, writing, and prosperity. Amongst the Gods, he holds the right to be worshipped first.

In entire India, there are 21 key Ganpati sites, of which the 8 located in Maharashtra are considered the most important and are popular as Ashtavinayak in the entire country. A separate story associated with each of these Ganpatis is prevalent. These Ashatvinyaks developed the most with the rise of the Maratha power.

Ballaleshwar(Pali)

The site of Lord Shri Ballaleshwar Ganpati is in the Pali Village of Raigadh district of Maharashtra....
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Chintamani

The word Theur comes from Tharb which means restless. It is believed that the restless mind of Lord Brahma...
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Girijatmaj

Girijatmaj Vinayak, the fifth among Ashtavinayak, is situated in a cave in Lenyadri Hills. It is at 5 km to the north of Junnar...
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Mahaganpati

Mahaganpati is situated on the Pune-Ahmednagar route in Ranjangaon in Pune district. It is at 50 km from Pune...
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Moreshwar(Morgaon)

Moreshwar is situated in the Baramati Taluka of Pune district of Maharashtra. According to traditions in holy scriptures...
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Siddhivinayak

Considered the third among Ashtavinayak, Siddhivinayak is situated in Siddhtek, in the district of Ahmednagar...
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Varad Vinayak

This form of Lord Ganpati is believed to grant boons to devotees according to their desires; which is why he is popular as Varad Vinayak...
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Vighneshwar

Shri Vighneshwar, the sixth Vinayak of the Ashtavinayak, is situated in Ozar which is 8 km from Junnar in Pune district of Maharashtra...
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More in Vinayak

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Ballaleshwar(Pali)

The site of Lord Shri Ballaleshwar Ganpati is in the Pali Village of Raigadh...

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Chintamani

The word Theur comes from Tharb which means restless. It is believed that the restless mind...

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Girijatmaj

Girijatmaj Vinayak, the fifth among Ashtavinayak, is situated in a cave in Lenyadri Hills...

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Mahaganpati

Mahaganpati is situated on the Pune-Ahmednagar route in Ranjangaon in Pune district...

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Moreshwar(Morgaon)

Moreshwar is situated in the Baramati Taluka of Pune district of Maharashtra...

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Siddhivinayak

The first of the four Himalayan dhams, Yamunotri, is in the Uttarkashi district of the State of Uttarakhand...

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Varad Vinayak

This form of Lord Ganpati is believed to grant boons to devotees according to their desires...

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Vighneshwar

Shri Vighneshwar, the sixth Vinayak of the Ashtavinayak, is situated in Ozar ...

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