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Old 26th May 2023, 19:26   #1
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Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

It's been a decade since we last visited AshtaVinayak temples. We were planning for the same since last couple of months. The trip got delayed due to some unavoidable reasons and we finally visited Bhagwan Ganesha's all 8 abode a fortnight back.

I also got the new tires installed on my car and what better way to test it than to embark on a road trip.
Day 1
Without worrying about the soaring temperature in Pune, we started on 13th May around 6 AM.
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5489.jpeg


The planned route -
Pune - Morgaon - Siddhtek - Theur - Ranjangaon - Ozar - Lenyadri - Mahad - Pali - Pune.

During our April 2013 trip, the route followed was -
Pune - Theur - Morgaon - Siddhtek - Ranjangaon - Ozar - Lenyadri - Mahad - Pali - Pune.

As one can see, not much of change. Its said that the first temple in order is Morgaon and so we started accordingly. We visited rest as per the optimum route to cover remaining seven.

I have posted on route condition here.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route...ml#post5550373 (Ashtavinayak Route from Vashi & Pune)


Reached Morgaon at around 7:45 and were done by 8:15 AM after having a beautiful darshan.

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5492.jpeg

The ever graceful Nandi Maharaj
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5493.jpeg

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5494.jpeg

Left around 8:30 from Morgaon and reached Siddhtek temple at quarter to 10. Not much rush and we were out soon after having a peaceful darshan of Bhagwan Ganesha.

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5496.jpeg

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5497.jpeg

Found a good parking spot
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5500.jpeg


Left around 10:30 from Siddhtek and reached Theur a while before 12PM. Just like Siddhtek, not much rush at Theur.

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5502.jpeg

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5506.jpeg

We left around 12:30 and were at Ranjangaon at around 1:15 PM. Just like most of the time, this place was crowded. We didnt took the VIP pass and waited in queue since this was the fourth temple of the day and we planned for night stay at Ozar. We forgot to click pics here due to heat as well as crowd. :(


Left around 2:30 PM from Ranjangaon and reached Ozar at around 3:45 PM. Temple was almost empty and we paid obeisance to the deity to our heart's content.

Temple name couldnt come due to canopy
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5509.jpeg

So tried with different angle and was barely able to capture the name
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5532.jpeg

The area around temple has been developed beautifully over the years.

Day view
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5510.jpeg

Night view
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5514.jpeg

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5526.jpeg

Bhakt Sansthan where we stayed. Check-in starts after 4 PM. Check out - 10 AM
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5522.jpeg

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5523.jpeg

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5529.jpeg

Our room. Bed sheet and blanket belongs to us. Quite shabbily managed despite having hell lot of budget at hand. Bathrooms were strictly below average for a room type marketed as 'Luxury' with staff not giving a damn. Cost INR1000 per night for A/C room
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5512.jpeg

Inside lobby
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5513.jpeg

Looks like a newly developed beautiful Ram Temple
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5521.jpeg

The river front. You can sit for hours with cool breeze flowing here. We sat here for quite a while. Want more solid proof?
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5516.jpeg

..Here you go.
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5527.jpeg

Beautiful parking spot at river front
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5528.jpeg

Last edited by abhi_tjet : 26th May 2023 at 23:28. Reason: Adding pics and more details!
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Old 26th May 2023, 20:38   #2
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Day 2:

After having a quick peaceful darshan again of Ozar Ganpati at around 5:45 AM, left for Lenyadri at 6 and reached around 6:20 AM. On reaching close to the gates of stairs from where the climb begins, we came to know that it opens only at 7 AM.

Waited there for half an hour and started after 7AM when the first batch of crowd started the climb towards temple and gate area had less amount of people. The cave where temple is situated had crowd and it took us a short while before we were able to pray and have darshan of Bhagwan Ganesha.

Didn't took much pics upstairs due to crowd and monkeys.

Few pics where I thought it was safe enough to click. No temple click again though :(
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5537.jpeg

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5540.jpeg

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5541.jpeg

We came downstairs by 7:45 AM. Had a quick and tasty breakfast and left around 8:30 for Mahad.

This place served nice breakfast. Owner was quite good as well.
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5551.jpeg

We reached Mahad around 11:30 AM and had a very nice darshan with minimal rush and crowd.

Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5552.jpeg

Left around 12:15 PM from Mahad and reached Pali within an hour. Just like Varad Vinayak at Mahad, had a nice and calm darshan at Ballaleshwar Ganpati, Pali. We checked with Pandit at temple about visiting the first temple again once you have completed all eight. As per him, it was not at all required.

Ballaleshwar Temple
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5559.jpeg

Parking at some abandoned govt structure
Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip-img_5556.jpeg

Left around 2 PM and were home by 4:30 PM after having safely completed the trip.
Total distance was around 650Kms.

Some noteworthy points -
1. Infra has been improved drastically in terms of roads,parking and signages. We got beautiful roads for more than 90 percent of
our route without paying any toll.
2. Clean washrooms/urinal is still a dream for men, just forget about women.
3. Apart from washrooms, rest of the place have become cleaner with no foul smell.
4. More decent staying options have come up at quite a few places like Ozar, Lenyadri.
5. Ozar was a revelation. It has grown drastically with beautiful roads, gardens, parking, river front, hotels, etc. Apart from
religious tourism, this is a nice place to spend weekend with Shivneri fort, Lenyadri caves and Malshej near by.
6. Sitting in Ozar river front with cool breeze minus any foul smell or insects was just a priceless experience. It took away
almost all the exertion of day.


Regarding the car
Linea performed splendidly. Right from the AC to the silent ride, courtesy the new tires.

It gave an approx mileage of 12 kmpl which is on expected lines considering it kept the cabin chilled in 40 plus degree weather.

Last edited by abhi_tjet : 26th May 2023 at 23:32. Reason: Added pics
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Old 27th May 2023, 04:40   #3
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 27th May 2023, 06:43   #4
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi_tjet View Post
Day 2:

After having a quick peaceful darshan again of Ozar Ganpati
Thanks for the great travelogue. It felt like being there myself. I have visited the Ashta Vinayak temples through a tourism bus about 14 years back when I was in Mumbai. Now out of Bangalore, but re-lived fond memories of the darshan many years back.
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Old 27th May 2023, 12:01   #5
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Hi Abhi,
Thanks for writing this travelogue!

It just came up at the right time for me. I am sitting on the fence to do this from Mumbai, but something or the other kept delaying it. I will be accompanied with my parents. Is there any alternate to climbing yourself at the Lenyadri Temple? My mother has a knee issue and she can't climb big steps for long.
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Old 27th May 2023, 13:19   #6
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselAnna View Post
Is there any alternate to climbing yourself at the Lenyadri Temple?
Hi DieselAnna, there is a ĎPalkií arrangement in Lenyadri. Four people will carry it to the top and bring back the devotee who isnít able/want to climb. You can check for prices once there.
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Old 27th May 2023, 17:35   #7
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Nice travelogue, I did ashtavinayak in April and what you suggested is right Ozar and Lenyadri has come up with good stay options, I feel lenyadri has better facilities to stay and it's convenient if you stay night at lenyadri and climb up early in the morning.

My initial plan was to stay at Ranjhangaon as I thought with so many stay options in premises itself I can get a decent place but they are all in very bad condition for 1600-1800 rupees so decided to drive and reach lenyadri instead and stay there.

I have been doing ashtavinayak trips almost every year regularly other than the COVID years so now familiar with stay options and plan my darshan accordingly.
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Old 27th May 2023, 21:04   #8
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Wonderful review, Sir. I was planning to visit my maternal uncle's place in Mumbai soon. These places look quite promising. I shall definitely be considering going to them. Cheers!
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Old 28th May 2023, 01:27   #9
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Very helpful thread. As we are planning to do our trip soon.
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Old 29th May 2023, 10:50   #10
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi_tjet View Post
Our room. Bed sheet and blanket belongs to us. Quite shabbily managed despite having hell lot of budget at hand. Bathrooms were strictly below average for a room type marketed as 'Luxury' with staff not giving a damn. Cost INR1000 per night for A/C room
Attachment 2455453
Timely travelogue for me, as I plan to embark on the AshtVinayak darshan soon.
I would say the route was very well optimized.
Few questions regarding the Ozar Bhakt Nivas: does hot water come throughout the night and early in the morning? Were there mosquitos in the room?

Also, any idea on till when in the evening is Lenyadri temple open for darshan?
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Old 29th May 2023, 13:35   #11
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

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Originally Posted by turbospooler View Post
Few questions regarding the Ozar Bhakt Nivas: does hot water come throughout the night and early in the morning? Were there mosquitos in the room?
Bathroom had a geyser and few stickers were pasted in reception which said that hot water facility is available for morning hours. Considering the weather during our visit, we didnít used the hot water.

No mosquitoes!

Quote:
Also, any idea on till when in the evening is Lenyadri temple open for darshan?
No idea on this buddy.
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Old 30th May 2023, 10:50   #12
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Good job buddy.

Just a correction on an important topic. The sequence of the Yatra:

According to the books, this is the correct sequence for performing a complete Ashtavinayak Yatra and no, you can't come back home anywhere during the trip:
  • Moreshwar Ganesha Temple at Morgaon
  • Siddhivinayak Ganesha Temple at Siddhatek
  • Ballaleshwar Ganesha Temple at Pali
  • Varadavinayak Ganesha Temple at Mahad
  • Chintamani Ganesha Temple at Theur
  • Girijatmaj Ganesha Temple at Lenyadri
  • Vighnahar Ganesha Temple at Ozar
  • Mahaganapati Ganesha Temple at Ranjangaon
  • Moreshwar Ganesha Temple at Morgaon

If Pune is one's base, as mine is, this trip can be done comfortably in 2 days with no pushing for time anywhere. I mean, I have seen people just run from one Mandir to next without understanding the reason for such Yatras. Doing it just for the sake of it is no good. You not only find God, but also yourself during the Yatra. You get time to contemplate, bond with your co-travellers, pay attention to your body (it was meant to be done on foot, mind you), live by the means available etc. And the Mandirs are now so beautifully decorated and areas developed, that you tend to get all the energy back by the time you complete one darshan.

For convenience, it made sense to do Mahad and then returned to Pune and stay at a hotel at Hadapsar, Pune. This meant that we could leave early the next day, pay our respect at Theur and then climb the mountain of Lenyadri early. That way, the climb would be done before the Sun was at his angriest. Worked out well since the steps at Lenyadri were really tall and at places, uneven, and mum had real trouble climbing them. At the start, dad enquired about the Palki for her and got a quote of INR 750. However, mum insisted on doing it on foot. We stopped close to 15 times and sat on the side walls which are very comfortable. Mind you, you need to be vigilant for Monkeys here. Snatching of bags of Prasad, Coconuts and bottles is very common and a backpack is recommended.
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Old 30th May 2023, 18:57   #13
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

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Originally Posted by DevilzzzzOwn View Post
According to the books, this is the correct sequence for performing a complete Ashtavinayak Yatra and no, you can't come back home anywhere during the trip:
Yes, you are correct on both points.
Itís said that one should return home only after completing entire route.

I too was aware of the correct sequence of visiting the temples. Itís just that I didnít had the guts to cross Pune city times 2-3 times extra.

Further, as mentioned in the log, I checked with the pujari of Ballaleshwar temple regarding visiting the Morgaon temple again after completing all 8 temples. He responded in negative and I followed that.
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Old 4th June 2023, 00:49   #14
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbospooler View Post
Also, any idea on till when in the evening is Lenyadri temple open for darshan?
Hello, temple at lenyadri closes around 6pm if I remember correctly.
For stay options you can look at lenyadri itself as lenyadri has better rooms and facilities than at Ozar and you can climb lenyadri early morning avoiding the heat and crowd if you stay night at lenyadri.
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Old 5th June 2023, 10:55   #15
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Re: Deity Calling - My AshtaVinayak Roadtrip

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhi_tjet View Post
Day 2:
Some noteworthy points -
1. Infra has been improved drastically in terms of roads,parking and signages. We got beautiful roads for more than 90 percent of our route without paying any toll.
2. Clean washrooms/urinal is still a dream for men, just forget about women.
6. Sitting in Ozar river front with cool breeze minus any foul smell or insects was just a priceless experience. It took away almost all the exertion of day.
I just came back from my weekend Ashtavinayak Yatra and I completely agree with all your points, but especially, the road condition was a pleasant surprise to me!
I was ranting till last week how Maharashtra doesn't have any good highways, but after driving from Chaufula to Morgaon, from Ozar to Ranjangaon, from Siddhatek to Morgaon, I am really happy with the awesome 2 lane roads created by our previous Government.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbospooler View Post
Timely travelogue for me, as I plan to embark on the AshtVinayak darshan soon.
I would say the route was very well optimized.
Few questions regarding the Ozar Bhakt Nivas: does hot water come throughout the night and early in the morning? Were there mosquitos in the room?

Also, any idea on till when in the evening is Lenyadri temple open for darshan?
Answering my queries for the benefit of others.
Ozar gets quite full as everyone flocks to Ozar for night stay. Please book your rooms in advance.
We had to stay at a place called Morya Lodge (Location), but this place didn't have a lift, didn't have AC, didn't have any ambience of any sort. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. It had very hot water, which was really essential for us. Also, staying here meant we get to have Darshan very quickly.

Lenyadri temple hike opens at 7:00 AM, so no point reaching here early. Thanks BHPian @Sa!lor to clarify that the temple closes at 6:00 PM (understandably so as it is an Archaelogical site as well). The Archaelogical Survey of India charges INR 25/- as entry fee if the climb is not started before 8:00 AM.
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