Most worship services in India commence with a brief invocation to Ganesha, believed to be the remover of obstacles and the source of good luck. There are several modern shrines to Ganesha across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent, especially in the southern state of Tamilnadu. All Saivite temples bear several shrines to the elephant faced Ganesha. Templenet takes you on a tour of prominent Ganapati shrines, some of which have been held in reverence for centuries.
All about Ganesha : Ganesha the elephant faced God is usually worshipped first before any other worship service is carried out to any other deity. The Siddhi Vinayak temple in Bombay is a modern shrine visited by thousands throughout the year. Pillayaarpatti near Karaikkudi in Tamilnadu houses an ancient temple with a rock cut shrine to Ganesha, Karpaka Vinayakar. It is rich in festivals and traditions.
The Ashta Vinayak shrines : The State of Maharashtra holds Ganapati in great reverence. 8 of these shrines around Pune are collectively referred to as the Ashta Vinayak temples.
Ganesh Chaturti: Here is a special Templenet feature brought out for Ganesh Chaturti 1999, with links to related websites.
Vatapi Ganapati is an image of Ganapati said to have been brought back by the Pallava King during his conquest of Badami, formerly known as Vatapi.
The hill temple dedicated to Taayumanavar – Shiva of the 1st millennium CE, is popularly reffered to as the Ucchi Pillayar temple (Rock Fort – Malaikkottai temple complex) and is associated with legends from the Ramayana.
Ranjangaon in Maharashtra enshrines Mahaganapati depicting the legend of Shiva invoking Ganesha during his battle with the demons.
The Tiruvalanchuzhii Shiva temple near Kumbhakonam in Tamilnadu is known more popularly for its shrine to Sweta Vinayakar, said to be made of the foam of the milky ocean (Ksheera Sagaram).
Moreshwar in Moregaon , is one of the most popular of the Ashta Vinayaka shrines in Maharashtra depicting Ganapati on a peacock mount.
Chintamani Vinayak in Maharashtra is associated with the legend of the Chintamani gem and Kapila Muni.
Mahad in Maharashtra enshrines Varadvinayak associated with the legend of Rukmangada, Indra and the Bhadravana forest.
Girijaatmaja Vinayak at Lenyadri hills in Maharashtra is a representation of Ganesha in the form of an infant.
Ballal Vinayak at Pali in Maharashtra is associated with the legend of a young lad Ballal’s devotion to Ganapati.
Ozar in Maharashtra depicts Ganapati as Vigneshwar who quelled the arrogance of the demon Vignaasuran.
The Gokarana Shivastalam in Karnataka and the Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple at Deogarh in Bihar are prominent centers of Shiva worship. Ganesha is said to have been the cause of the origin of these worship centers.
Siddhi Vinayak in Siddhatek in Maharashtra commemorates the legend of Vishnu invoking Ganesha, during his battle with the demons.