Lord Shree Girijatmaj Ganpati Temple is at Lekhan hills and is the sixth temple on Ashtavinayak temple pilgrimage. Girijatmaj temple is on a mountain andset along with the Buddhist caves.
Atotal of eighteen Buddhist caves are present.Girijatmaj temple is in the eighth cave. These caves are also called Ganesh Gufa. This temple is the only Ashtavinayak temple located inside a cave on a mountain.
This mountain is present in the place called Lenyadri which is located on the north-west bank of river Kukadi. The meaning of Lenyadri, a combination of Marathi and Sanskrit, is mountain cave.
To reach the temple you have to climb 307 steps.Palanquins are available for those who cannot climb the steps.
As per legend
It is said that Parvati meditated for twelve years to have Ganesh as her son. In the end, Ganesh, being pleased, decided to fulfil her wish. So one a special day when Parvati created an idol of Ganesh, it suddenly became alive. Actually, it was destined, that the evil king Sindhu can be killed only by Lord Ganesh and so an avatar was required.
The idol told Parvati that her wish had fulfilled and this is his avatar in her house. He was named Ganesh. Ganesha means a person who can keep under control three qualities which are; Satva, Raja and Tama. Ganesh, it is said, had killed many demons in this place during his childhood.
Since in this place, Ganesh spent many years so he is worshipped as Girijatmaj. Girijatmaj means Parvati’s son. The Girijatmaja’s idol has been carved on the stone inside the cave and is facing east side.
About the Temple
Located in a breathtaking place on a mountain and inside a cave, the journey itself is quite exciting. Also, the structure of the Girijatmaj temple is not of the same pattern which can be found in almost all the other temples.
Once inside you will be amazed to see that Girijatmaj temple area is carved from a single stone. Not a single pillar can be found to support the cave. Yes, it is a cave but man-made, that too from a single stone, definitely a wonder which should be seen.
How to reach
The distance of Lenyadri from Pune is 94 Km on Pune-Nasik highway. State transport buses from Pune and Mumbai runs till Junnar, a place five km from Lenyadri. In Junnar you can find private vehicles like jeeps, local buses, rickshaws and cabs.
If you are staying in a faraway place from Pune or Mumbai then the best option will be to reach Pune either by train or by air. Pune is a very well connected place from across India. From Pune, you can take State transport bus or private bus or hire a cab.