One of the Ashtavinayak shrines of the Hindu deity Ganesha is Mahad Ganpati Temple or Varad Vinayak also spelled as Varadavinayaka. It is located in the village of Mahad in Khalapur taluka close Raigad District of Karjat and Khopoli, Maharastra, India.
The Temple of Varad Vinayak Mahad Ganpati is the Seventh Temple of Ganesha to be visited during the Darshan tour of Ashtavinayak. Swyambhu is the idol at the Varad Vinayak Mahad Ganpati Temple, and the temple is in fact recognized as math.
The temple is designed with a tiled roof, a 25-foot-high dome with a golden pinnacle and a golden peak (Kalas) with a cobra carving (also a Hindus-revered deity). The temple is eight feet long and eight feet wide.
Varad Vinayak’s original idol can be seen outside the sanctum. Since the idol was in bad weather, the temple trustees in that location immersed that idol and consecrated a fresh idol. However, few people objected to such a decision of trustees and a suit was filed in the district court. This case is still expected to result. Now it is possible to see two idols, one inside the sanctum and one outside the sanctum. The stone sanctum, encircled by beautifully sculpted elephant stone sculptures, houses the idol.
Ganesha, in the form of Varada Vinayaka, the giver of bounty and success, is said to reside here. This shrine of Ashta Vinayak faces south (Purvabhimukh) and is consecrated in the seated posture, with his trunk turning left. Riddhi and Siddhi’s stone idols are seen in the sanctum. As Varad Vinayak, Lord Ganesha fulfills all wishes and gives all bounces.
A Gomukh (meaning a cow’s face) is seen on the temple’s north side from which the holy water flows. On the west side of the temple is a holy pond. Also, this temple has Mushika’s idol, Navagraha Devtas, and Shivalinga.
How to Reach the Mahad Ganpati Temple
By Bus: Mahad Ganpati Temple at Mahad is 63 kilometers from Mumbai, 85 kilometers from Pune, 25 kilometers from Karjat, 21 kilometers from Lonavala. The temple is 1.5 km away from the Mumbai–the old highway of Pune. Mahad Bus Station, operated by Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), links the site to other main cities such as Khopoli, Mahabaleshwar, Karjat, Alibag, and Shivthar Ghal. Mahad can be there as well
By Train: The nearest railway station for Mahad Ganpati Temple is Khopoli / Karjat Railway Station on the central railway line. At Karjat station, all express trains stop.
By Air: The nearest airbase is Mumbai Airport / Pune Airport. Both are nearly the same distance from the Temple of Mahad Ganpati (75-80 km).
Festivals and Pujas
Major festivals are celebrated in this temple in the month of Bhadrapad Shuddh (the waxing period) from day one to Panchami and in the month of Magh Shuddh to Panchami.