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Shri Ballaleshvara Ashtavinayak



Ballaleshvara at Pali is one among the Ashtavinayak (Eight temples of Lord Ganesha in Maharashtra). Ballaleshwar idol is 3 feet high and it faces east and its trunk turns towards the left. The navel and eyes of the idol are studded with precious stones. Lord Ganesh in this aspect appeared as a Brahmin and so this is one of those rare statues where Ganesh is shown wearing clothes as Brahmins do. On both sides of the idol are statues of Riddhi and Siddhi.

History

In the Konkan Pallir village now known as Pali there lived a young boy Ballal who was a very sincere devotee of Lord Ganesh. Son of a rich family, his pre-occupation with worship at a young age displeased his father. Ballal spent a large part of his time in worship and influenced his friends to do so too. His friends parents felt that Ballal was misleading their children by showing them the Bhaktimarg (the path of devotion) at such young age. They asked Ballal's father to restrain him. His father went to look for Ballal and found him in the forest engrossed in his worship of Ganesh. He disrupted the puja, threw away the idol of Ganesh and beat his son. Not content with this he also tied him to a tree. He then left Ballal in the forest asserting that 'let Ganesh Himself come and rescue him'.
Ballal was in great pain but he kept calling upon Ganesh who took the form of a Brahmin and appeared before him. He set Ballal free and then asked him to make a wish. Ballal entreated Lord Ganesh to reside in this region. The God acquiesced and, resided in a stone which is now believed to be the idol of Ballaleshwar Vinayak, that people worship at Pali. The idol that Ballal's father had desecrated too was placed in the temple. The idol of Dhundivinayak nearby is believed to be that idol.

Ballaleshwar

Shri Ballaleshwar
The Ballaleshwar Vinayak temple faces East and is shaped like the letter Shree in the Devnagiri script. There are two lakes in the vicinity of the Temple. Water from the lake on the right side is used for Ganesh's worship and other auspicious occasions.
The trunk of the Deity turns to the left. The navel and eyes of the idol are studded with precious stones. Ganesh in this form appeared as a Brahmin and so this is one of those rare statues where Ganesh is shown wearing clothes as Brahmins do. On both sides of the idol are statues of Riddhi and Siddhi.
Yatra : Magha Shukla Chaturthi.
By road : 40 km from the Khopoli-Shil Phata Road, off the Mumbai-Pune highway, about 11 km before Nagothane on the Mumbai-Goa highway.