Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Siddhivinayak of Siddhatek - July 21, 2013

It was the only Ashtavinayakas I haven't visited as yet; and hence was a long pending trip.

Ganesh idol of Siddhtek is the only one among other Ashtavinayakas with its trunk turned towards Right. Normally such Ganesh is called as Siddhivinayak - the giver of accomplishments - a powerful Lord but difficult to please.

Temple is located on a hillock along the banks of river Bhima. The devotees often perform the Prada-kshina (Circumambulation) around this hillock - similar to the one at Ganpati-pule. A well laid down path is constructed.

Legend says that while Lord Vishnu was battling two demons - Madhu & Kaitabh. However, he was not able to succeed. Later he invoked Lord Ganesha (the deity of beginning & obstacle removal) by performing penance at Siddhatek. After Ganesha bestowed his blessings, Lord Vishnu was able to kill those demons. The original temple is believed to have constructed by Lord Vishnu; however the current structure what we see is built by Ahilyadevi Holkar.

We started off at 7 am on this Sunday. We took the Pune-Solapur Highway (NH-9). Take an exit at Kurkumbh towards Daund. A flyover construction was going on. Hence this exit becomes slightly tricky. However, we seeked guidance of some locals and were rightly on track. Just prior to Daund, a road goes towards Right for Siddhatek.
We need to cross the river Bhima. Earlier there was no other option but a boat ride. But, now a bridge is constructed.
After crossing bridge, a hillock that we see in the front is the temple complex. You need to take a left and encircle the hillock on the other side, which is the entry. A large Nagaar-khana can be prominently seen.

A large banyan tree is seen at this entry. It's girth huge. It might have been standing here for years together.
The temple is North facing. A well paved road is seen from the Nagaar-khana to the Sabha-mandap with shops lined-up on both sides. Temple is made of black stone.

We found a very unique temple here. Exactly in front of the road coming from the bridge (i.e. the back-side of main temple). This Lord Vishnu temple is constructed at a platform about 10 feet in height. However, the funny part is that there are no steps to reach. Some stones are just kept over each other which you have to literally trek up the platform. We asked a local who told that the steps whenever constructed won't last at all. They get destroyed due to some reason or the other. Hence onwards, anyone who has reach the temple, they have to trek their way up. Secondly, the main entry door for the Sanctorum is very small. You need to squeeze yourself inside as seen in the photo below.

Main Temple seen from the high platform of Vishnu Temple
River Bhima seen from the high platform of Vishnu Temple
After a peaceful darshan, we decided to return. Since we had some time in hand before we reach Pune, we planned to visit another of the Ashtavinayaks - Theur.

On the way we had a lunch at one very interesting restaurant on the Kurkumbh-Daund Road.

We took same road back. Just after Uruli-Kanchan there is a road towards Right (towards Left while coming from Pune). This goes towards Theur.

This is the place that holds the memories of Madhavrao Peshwa and his wife Ramabai.

Theur is well-known to be the spiritual place for the Peshwas, especially Madhavrao Peshwa. He used to visit this Lord before & after his battle expeditions. He renovated the temple complex & made additions to the structure. He constructed wooden hall, garden & a fountain outside the temple. Behind the temple is the Peshwe-wada where Madhavrao used to stay.

He even chose to breathe his last here. When his health weakened due to tuberculosis, he decided to spend his last days near his favorite Ganesha temple. After his death, his wife Ramabai performed Sati during his cremation on the banks of River Bhima, not far from here.
Place where Ramabai performed Sati during cremation of Madhavrao Peshwa
The condition of this place is very depressing. However, some work seems to be going on here. Hopefully, whenever I visit next time, the place shall stand in the honor it deserves.
(16-Nov-13: Just today's newspaper has as article on this, the place has been restored & aptly renovated)

The temple has a wooden Sabha-mandap, I think the only one among Ashtavinayakas. The Ganesh idol is East facing, while the entry to the temple complex is North facing.

As per Puranas, there was this greedy King Gunasur who stole a wish-granding jewel (Chintamani) from a Sage Kapila. Kapila worships Lord Ganesha, who beheads Gunasur and gives Chintamani back to Kapila. However, the sage chooses to have Ganesha to keep the jewel. So Ganeshs stays at Theur with the name Chintamani.
Another story says that Lord Brahma meditated here. Lord Ganesha got rid of his worries (chintas) to help him meditate better. Hence the name Chintamani.

Both these temples are managed by the Chinchwad Devasthan Trust which governs the Moraya Gosawi Temple of Chinchwad.


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