Maharashtra is a state rich in the traditions and cultural values that have been in practice since long. It has many pilgrimage places and religious sites for various faiths. Amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, Maharashtra boasts five including Grishneshwar, Bhimashankar, Aundhya Nagnath, Trimbakeswar and Parali Vaijnath. The temples are the major attractions for the tourists visiting the state. Though the Maharashtrians worship all the God and Goddess yet they are the followers of Lord Ganesha. That is why the entire state has numerous temples dedicated to Lord Ganapati. Some of the popular temples in Maharashtra are:
Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Siddhivinayak Temple is situated in Prabhadevi, Mumbai. It is known as a major place of worship as it is believed to fulfill the desires of worshippers. Well- known for its archaeological beauty, the temple also possess great historical importance. Siddhivinayak Temple was originally constructed by Deubai Patil and Laxman Vithu in the year 1801. Carved out of a single black stone with a trunk on the right side, the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak actually possess an unusual appearance. The idol is also called Chaturbhuj as it has four arms. The upper right and left- hand holds a lotus and a small axe respectively. The lower left and right- hand holds a bowl of modaks and Japmala. The forehead bears an eye, which looks like the third eye of Lord Shiva. There are many shops selling flowers, fruits and sweets at the temple’s entrance. Siddhivinayak Temple is regularly visited by many politicians and Bollywood film stars to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha. Tourists can take the city buses from any point of the city and reach this temple.
Photo by Swami Stream
Situated at a distance of 213kms away from Mumbai, Bhimashankar is the sixth Jyotirlinga and one of the prominent places for worshipping Lord Shiva. A perfect natural environment with hills, forests, waterfalls and a wildlife sanctuary; Bhimashankar offers an ideal setting to find sanctity. The temple’s architecture is in Nagara style with the Shivalingam present in the center of the temple premises. The doors and walls of the temple are engraved with figurines of different mythological characters and deities. The festival of Shivratri is celebrated with huge pomp and show wherein people from all over the country come and pray to Lord Shiva.
Photo by American Center Mumbai
Mumba Devi Temple
One of the oldest Hindu temples in Mumbai, the Mumba Devi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Mumba. The idol of the Goddess is decorated with silver robes, stunning nose ring ,and a gold necklace. The goddess doesn’t possess a mouth and her face is colored in orange color. Resembling Mother Earth, the Kolis worship Goddess Mumba with full dedication and belief. There are numerous stalls that sell garlands required for offering prayers. Beautiful flowers like orange marigold, lotus, Jasmine are considered to be holy and can be bought from the shops outside the temple premises. Pedas prepared using sugar and milk are offered as Prasad in the temple.
Photo by magiceye
Around 375 km away from Mumbai, Ganapatipule is a picturesque town which derived its name from the temple of Lord Ganesha. The Ganapatipule temple is present on the fine white sand beach with an idol of Ganesha carved out of a huge rock. The beach is one of the relaxing getaways for those in search of peace. With the temple adding an incredible backdrop to the beach, this is where nature and holiness come together in a harmonious whole. Lying in the lush green Sahayadri range, Ganapatipule is rich in flora and has a variety of trees like the mango, jackfruit, palm, cashew, coconut ,and much more.
Photo by 4nitsirk
What would you call a village where shops, temples and homes have no doors? Yes, that’s true, it is the place called Shani Shingnapur which is an exclusive pilgrimage destination. Shani Shingnapur is situated in the Ahmednagar district and is 265 km away from Mumbai city. The village is a prominent pilgrimage center for Hindus who worship Lord Shani- the Saturn, a feared planet in astrology. The deity is present in the form of a black stone which is 5.5 feet high and 1.5 feet wide standing upright on an open air platform. There’s a Trishul present next to the stone along with “Nandi” – the bull on its south. One of the unique features about the village is that there are no doors for any of the establishments present here. Devotees in large number visit the temple especially on Saturdays, Shani Amavasya, Shani Jayanti and Shani Trayodashi.
Shirdi is a small town in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra. It is known as the home of the famous guru Sri Sai Baba. An Indian spiritual guru and a fakir is regarded with great respect by both Hindus and Muslims. Lord Sai lived in a mosque and after death, his body was cremated in a temple. It is believed that around 70000- 75000 devotees and tourists come to Shirdi every day with the numbers crossing a lakh on holidays, Sundays and Thursdays. Visitors will find here a simple and slow pace of life thus connecting with a true sense of peace.
Photo by prachisurya
So, if you are planning to seek the blessings of God, visit these famous temples in Maharashtra, and make your pilgrimage tour a rather memorable journey.
Featured Photo by 4nitsirk