There are many Ganesha temples all over India. It is a common sight, seeing a person rushing to work to pause a few minutes in front of a temple and pray. Nearly every neighborhood has at least a small Ganesha temple.
Andhra Pradesh :
- Bhadrachalam Ganesha: Bhadrachalam is located about 130 km from Rajahmundry. There are about 25 temples of different deities in the vicinity of the main Shrirama temple on the banks of river Godavari. One of them is a Lord Ganesh temple.
- Patala Vinayaka of Vijaywada : Vijaywada is located about 145 km from Rajahmundry. There are many hills to its east. An idol of Ganapati is located in one of the caves in these hills. The city of Kaalhasti is situated in Chittur taluka. The presiding deity here is Lord Shiva. A temple of 'Patala Vinayaka' is located in its vicinity. An idol of Lord Ganesha is present in one temple at Draksharam.
- Aarasawalli : An idol of Ganapati is also present in the temple of the Sun God at Aarasawalli. This temple is located in the Srikakulam district.
- Rajgruha Ganesha : This is famous as one of the Buddha Tirthasthan.A beautiful Ganesha temple is located to the south of Vipulachal mountain, which is near Rajgruha.
- Mandar Parvat : It is located about 50 km to the south Bhagalpur and is about 700 ft high. Rail facility is available from Bhagalpur till here. There is a lake called as Paapharini at the foothills. There are many temples in the vicinity. One of them is Lord Ganesh's.
- Ramgarh : Ramgarh is located in Shahabaad dist. at about 13 km from Bhabua railway station. It is at an elevation of about 600 ft. The temple of Mudeshwari is situated here. An idol of Ganapati has been found here. It is also mentioned that there used to be another Ganesha idol here.
- Uchaitha : It is about 50 km from Darbhanga district. In the temple of Durga Devi located here, a black stone idol of Ganesha is present.
- Masai : This village is located in Shahabad district. It is about 10 km from Arha. In the small bower here, there is a Shivalingam, Nandi, and a Ganapati idol.
- Devaghar or Devagruha : It is in Sansthal district. It is about 7 km from Jasidhi railway station on the Howrah - Delhi line. The Devaghar railway station is known as Vaidyanath Dham. It can be reached by road from Calcutta, Delhi, Bhagalpur, etc. A temple of Shankar is located here. There are 12 temples in the premises. One of them is Ganapati's temple. As per the book 'The Temples Of Deogarh', by Dr. Rajendralal Mishra (Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal, Part I, 1883), this temple was built in the year A.D. 1780 by Sardar Panda Tikaram.
- Khandolyacha Ganapati Khandole, Fonda taluka :
This Ganapati was located at Naveli in village Divadi at Tiswadi taluka. In the ongoing war of A.D.1560, this idol was relocated along with other idols to Khandepar in Fonda. While transporting the idol across the backwaters of the sea, the people of Navel were caught by the fishermen of Khandepar. After a long drawn argument, it was decided to relocate the idol at a spot convenient to both the villagers. It was thus consecrated in Khandole, which is about 12 km from both Panji and Fonda.
The place is about 0.75 km from Mashel.
Festival : Palanquin and Ganahom on every shuddha 4th. Ganesha Gayatri Purascharan every Vadya 4th. Birth date celebrated on Margashirsh 4th.
- Gopal Ganapati of Bandiwade, Taluka Fonda :
The Marathas were in possession of the Fonda palace in the 17th century. Chatrapati Sambhaji erected Fort Mardangad and camped with his army nearby. He ordered a Gudi to be erected one Anant Chaturhi on a hill nearby. From that they onwards, the area is known as Farmangudi. Even today, a Gudi is erected here every Anant Chaturthi. About 90-100 years back, a cow herder called Hapo, who was employed by King Soundhekar of Bandiwade, found a 1 ft stone Ganesha idol in the forests. He consecrated it in a mandap created of coconut branches.
The then Chief Minister Mr. Bandodkar was inspired to build a new temple here. The work was completed in May 1966. A new Pancharashi idol was sanctified along with the old stone idol in the same temple on Shake 1888 Vaishakh shuddha 4, which was a Sunday.
The temple is located on the Panaji – Madgaon main road about 3.2 km from Fonda near the foothill.
Festival : Ganesha Janmotsav on Magh shuddha 4th.
- Durgakuta Ganesha near Sorati Somnath - Bhadraganesha : This temple in Ahmedabad dates back to the period of the Peshwas.
- Sisodra Village of Navsari district has a Banyan tree with a Ganesha idol in it. It is said that this Ganesha idol appeared nearly four hundred years ago.
- Dushdhiraj Ganapati of Baroda : The Late Gopalrao Meral, who was a devotee of Lord Ganesha, has erected this temple. His name has become synonymous with Lord Ganesha in Baroda.
Siddhanath temple & Revati Ganesha temple on the Girnar mountain are very famous.
- Saverkar Ganapati Mandir of Baroda :
Vasudev Sadashiv Mhaskar alias Ganapatibuwa Maharaj received an idol from God after rigorous penance. His subsequent pilgrimage took him to Saver (Holkar Sansthan, Madhaypradesh). After taking cognizance of the fact that this place lies on the way to Indore - Ujjaini and Kashi - Rameshwar, he consecrated the idol and built a temple. The temple in Baroda is the offshoot of the Saver temple and is known as the Saverkar Ganapati Mandir. It is located in the Ganesha bhuvan in the Babajipura area.
Festivals : Bhadrapad, Magh and Jyestha shuddha 4th on Vaishakhi Pournima.
- Pagedaranche Ganapati Mandir of Patwarora :
This small and privately owned Ganesha temple has been erected on April 10, 1902 by Yadavrao Ghonddev Pagedar for offering prayers.
- Modhera Ganesha :
Modhera is located about 30 km from Bechraji. It is famous for its Shreematangi or Modheshwari Devi. There is a temple of Lord Ganesha to the south of this village. He is accompanied by Riddhi and Siddhi.
- Ganeshwad Sesodra :
This place is a grove of banyan trees. Legend has it that about 425 years back, Lord Ganesha appeared from one of the trees. This place then came to be known as Ganeshwad. This temple is very reputed. Even Emperor Aurangzeb spared it from any carnage. It is about 8 km from Navasari. Festival : Bhadrapad Shuddha chaturthi and Chaitra vadya Ekadashi.
- Ekdant Ganapati of Dhragadhra :
There is a fable that a cowherd established this temple. This idol is about 7 ft and is carved in a single stone. It has only one tooth. It is rare to find such an idol.
Himachal Pradesh :
- Shadbhuja Ganesha (Baijanath, Dist:Kangada) : The great saint Gnyaneshwar, while describing Shri Ganesha in his book Gnyaneshwari has named the six weapons held by Shri Ganesha. The same weapons are found in the hands of this Shadbhuja (six hands) Shri Ganesha.
- Shri Ganesha in Ganesha Gumpha. It is here, that Ganesha is supposed to have written the Mahabharata.
- Amarnath Gumpha: An ice idol of Bal Ganesha is seen here.
- Kaudinya Mahaganapti of Kurdamale in Kolar district : Idol of Mahaganapati is 9 feet high & is made of green marble. It was here that Koudinya Muni lived in his ashrama. Before fighting Tripurasur, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and other Gods had prayed to this deity. The Lord Ganesha had promised to render them assistance. Hence it is also known as Ganeshgiri or Kutachal. This place was the Capital of Hoysal dynasty. It is about 10 km from Kolar.
- Vighnantaka Vinayaka, Hampi : This idol is not elephant headed but instead has the head of a man. Vighnantaka Vinayaka killed the demon Gajamukhasura. The Mahadwar, Prakar and Mukh-Mandap of the temple are from the Vijaynagar era. There are 24 pillars about 12 ft high in the Mukh-Mandap. The Navrang is 20 sq. ft. The idol of Subrhamaniyam i.e. Kartikeya is sanctified here.
- Pancha khadya priya Ganapati : Edgunji, taluka Honawar, dist Karwar, Karnataka.
The importance of Edakunj kshetra has been mentioned in the Sahyadri khand of the Skandapuran. 'Eda' (Wamnadi) means 'to the left' and 'kunj' means garden. The place thus got its name, as it is located on the left banks of the river Sharawati.
People desiring of progeny offer prayers here. There is a tradition of offering an idli like eatable (called Mashbhaksha) on all the sides of the idol till it reaches its head.
Edgunji is located about 40 km from the famous Gokarna Kshetra and about 7-8 km from Honawar.
- Saute Ganapati Kokkad, Taluka Belantgadi, Dist. South Kanara, Karnataka :
'Saute' in Tulu language means cucumber. The Ganesha temple in Kokkad is located underneath a tree called 'Saute tadak'. It is said that the cattle grazers of this village used to offer cucumbers as 'prasad' to this Ganapati. Hence the name.
After some time, a few scholars were in favor of changing the name to Urvaskapur or Gopalpur, but the villagers did not like it. It is said that even the Lord Himself did not favor the renaming. In a vision, he said " I am happy with the name which has been given to me by my devotees." Even in the recent past, a wealthy man started to build a bigger temple. However, the Lord decried even this attempt. The person had a dream in which the Lord dissuaded him from imprisoning Him in the confines of a temple. The gentleman then dropped his plans.
- Sharau Ganapati Mangalore, Karnataka :
This temple, located in Mangalore is a famous holy place in Karnataka and Kerala. The Tantri Brahmin community had established it. One interesting tradition about this temple is that only married people can offer prayers here.
Other Ganapati temples in Karnataka
- Gokarna Ganapati :
This Ganapati is famous as the incarnation in the form of a Brahman 'batu' who saved the Shivalingam from Ravana, the king of the demons. The idol is about 5 ft tall. It is necessary to offer homage here before proceeding to visit Gokarna Mahabaleshwar. It is one of the famous and very ancient two-handed Ganapati in Karnataka (the other being Idgunji). It is also called as a 'siddha' Ganapati. The spot where Ravana hit Ganapati's head is impregnated in the idol. This temple, albeit located in the same premises as Gokarna Mahabaleshwar, has its own identity.
- Patta Ganapati :
The Ganapati here is called as 'Patta' or 'Chintamani' Ganapati.
- Ketaki Ganapati :
The third temple in Gakorna is that of Ketaki Vinayaka.
- Lavanesh Ganesha( Uppina Ganapati) :
The temple of Lavanesh Ganesha is located on the banks of river Sugna in the premises of the Kumtha village deity Kumbheshwar Mahadev.
- Agnihotra Ganapati :
This Ganapati is located in the temple of Kumbheshwar temple in Kumtha.
- Chintamani Ganapati :
The Chintamani Ganapati is situated in Kumtha taluka near the river Aghanashini.
- The Maha Ganapati of Shirshi :
It is treated as the main Ganapati of this village. There is one more Ganapati in the temple of the Goddess Marikamba.
- Halebeed :
The Halebeed village in Hasan district is famous for its stone carvings. There is a beautiful Ganesha idol in a corner of the Hoysaleshwar temple. It is about 8 ft. tall.
- Sasuwekalu :
This city was formerly known as Hampi, which was the capital of the Vijaynagar Empire. There is a 7-8 ft tall Ganesha idol in the ancient ruins of Hemakut hill. It is located in a stone bower and is called as 'Sasewekalu Ganesha'. In Kannada language, sasuwekalu means linseed. One wonders why such a huge idol is called by such a name!
- Kadlekalu :
There are many temples, caves and idols in the periphery of about 40 km from Hampi. There is a village called Anagundi along there banks of river Tungabhadra. There is a cave called 'Chintamani guha' adjacent to this village. There are 5 Ganesha temples in Hampi.
- 'Wadhanari Murti' (The growing idol) :
There is a massive and ancient temple of 'Nandi' on a hillock (called Basavangudi) near Bangalore. In the huge periphery of this temple, there is a 7-8 ft tall and 12 ft wide Ganapati idol in the adytum (gabhara) carved out of jet black stone. It is reputed that after sanctifying the idol, its width keeps on increasing every year.
- Belur :
Belur is an important place in Karnataka. There is a Ganapati idol in the temple of Chennakeshva.
Heramba Ganesha :
There is a famous temple of Kartikeya called Kumarswami which is located on a hill near Sondur, which is about 10 km from Hubli. The Heramba Ganesha temple is located in the premises of this temple.
- Muttur Ganesha :
The Subhramanya Kshetra is located in Muttur taluka in south Kanara district. There is a temple of Uma-Maheshwara here. A Ganapati idol is also present in this temple.
- Shirali Ganesha :
Shirali Bazaar is located on the road going from Kundapur towards Gokarna Kshetra. This is a Ganapati Tirtha. A 'Maha' Ganapati idol is located in its temple.
- Kigga :
Located near Shringeri, this Ganapati is famous for granting prayers offered to start or stop the rains.
- Lambapur :
The Ganapati temple located here, which is near Siddhapur, is famous for granting wisdom to the devotees.
- Urkeri, Halangadde, Agrahar (Haldipur) :
Lord Ganesha is revered as the village God in these villages, in the north Kanara district. The chariot ceremony of Ganapati is celebrated on Maghi Pournima.
- Banwasi :
The Madhukeshwar kshetra is located here. The Kadamba dynasty was the rulers here. It is said that the current Ganapati idol had been desecrated by anti social elements and a part of the idol is now in Kashi.
Apart from these, various other Ganesha temples are located in Siddhapur (Siddha Ganapati), Madurai, dist. Mangalore (Madaneshwar Siddhivinayaka), Belantgadi taluka, dist. south Kanara (Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala and Mundaje), south Kanara (Sedi),dist. Tumkur (Kunigal), Kundapur (Girkemath) etc.
- Shri Ganesha of Madhupur.
- Traigartsthapit Ganesha : King Dharmagupta of Trigarta consecrated the Ganesha idol in Shreemadnanta temple. The Mysore King, Tipu Sultan came here to destroy the temple. His intentions changed after drinking the water from the well in this temple. Tipu Sultan then gave gifts & annuities to this temple.
Madhya Pradesh :
- Shri Chintamani of Ujjain
- Bada Ganesha in Indore : The Ganesha idol here is 12 feet high.
- Dwibhuja Siddhivinayaka of Amarkantaka
- Ajanatha Ganesha in Jagannatha Temple of Puri.
- Ganesha caves in Ganesha gumpha of Khandagiri.
- Bali Ganapati : Consecrated by king Bali.
- On the banks of river Tapi, Lord Shriram had consecrated Ramaji Ganesha before killing the demon Tratika.
Tamil Nadu :
- Kurumbithar Vinayaka of Kumbhakonam : Vinayaka is another name of Lord Ganesha. This Vinayaka is also called as Sudha Ganesha. At the time of Amrut Manthan when amrut (heavenly nectar) did not come out of the sea, Gods consecrated a Ganesha idol here at Kumbhakonam & worshipped him & prayed for their success. Ganesha was pleased & the gods got amrut from the sea.
- Jambukeshwara of Sreerangam : Here is a temple of Bhagwati Jagadamba. The goddess is known as 'Akhilandeshwari'. Her idol had been consecrated by Shri Shankaracharya. It is said that the goddess was so bright and ferocious that anyone looking at Her lost his or her life. To appease Her, Aadi Shankaracharya built a temple of Her son Ganesha opposite Her temple. This appeased Her maternal instincts and She became calmer.
- Ganesha of Trichy : There is a 235 ft high hillock located about 2 km to the north of Trichy. There are a many temples on the way right up to its zenith. It is said that this hillock is a part of Mount Everest.
An idol of Ganapati is located in a bower just inside the gate. People nearby worship Him everyday. There are about 208 steps leading to the temple of Ganapati, which is at the top of the hillock.
- Tondi vinayaka : There is a famous Ganesha temple in Tiruvadanai taluka of district, Ramanad. The nearest railway station is Devakotti. This temple is located about 2.5 km from Tondi.
- Kurumbiyiram Vinayaka : This Vinayaka is located in the city of Kumbhakonam. There is a lake besides the temple. 'Kurumbiyiram' means 'one thousand sugarcanes'.
- Mayawaramche Ganeshkhetra : This place is known as 'the Kashi of the south'. This junction is situated on the Chennai - Trichy rail. It is about 250 km from Chennai. It is about 40 km from Chidambaram. There is a huge temple of Shiva Parvati here. There are three Ganesha idols in this temple. They are known by three names. The Peri Vinayaka i.e. the Maha Ganapati is also called as the Sthala Vinayaka. The Ganesha consecrated by Agastha rishi, is known as Agastya Vinayaka is also located here. The third Ganapati is called as Kalanjiya or Kothi Ganesha. This has been sanctified to provide abundant food grains for all.
- Amrutsiddhi Vinayaka : There is one more Ganesha temple in this area along the banks of river Kaveri. This small place plays host to a temple of Shiva. There is a small pond called 'Amrutpushkarni' nearby. There is a Ganapati temple here, which is known as 'Amrutsiddhií' Vinayaka.
- Uchi Pilayayar at Tiruchirapalli or Trichy : Here Ganesha is known as Uchi Pillayar .It is also referred to as 'Dakshin Kailas' (Kailas of the south).
- Walampuri Vinayaka : There is a temple of Sundarraj (or Paramswami) on a hillock called 'Ajagar tekdi' about 20 km to the northeast of Madurai. One can worship the Walampuri Vinayaka here. Its specialty is that the trunk of the idol curves to the right.
- Vishala Ganesha : The Matti Ganesha Mandir is located on the way from the Meenakshi temple to Sundareshwar temple. This huge Ganesha idol was discovered in lake Wandiyar Teppakulam, which is about 3.5 km from Madurai.
- Weyyamulanath Vinayaka : This temple is about 32 km northeast of Rameshwaram. This is the Vinayaka that Shriram offered prayers to before building the sethu. It is on the Rameshwaram-Appur road.
- Gajamukha nasalela Vignantaka : The Nannilam Railway station is about 24 km from Mayawaram on the Mayawaram-Karekkudi line. A short distance from here is Tiruchenha Gattangudi. The specialty of this idol is that it has a human head. It is reputed that this Ganesha killed Gajamukhasura. Offering prayers to him rids one of all obstacles.
- Shweta Vinayaka : This idol is in the temple of Bhagwan Kapardishwar and Bruhannaya Devi, which is in Tiruwalanchuli, Darasuram, dist. Tanjavur. It is also known as 'Wellai Pulliyar'. It means 'White Ganesha'. This temple is an excellent example of architecture. A big 'yatra' is held here every year on Ganesha Chaturthi day.
- Indrakanta Vinayaka : This temple is located in the second wing of the famous Kanyakumari temple. According to a legend, Indra, the King of Gods built it.
Uttar Pradesh :
- Omkar Ganesha (Prayag)
- Dhundiraj Ganesha in Kashi : This Ganesha is in the Kashivishveshwar temple.
West Bengal :
- Ashtabhuja Ganesha in village Vadanagar on the banks of river Hooghli.
Famous Ganesha temples & idols abroad:
Abroad Ganesha is recognized by different names. There is a big Ganesha Temple in Nashville city of U. S. A. In Nepal, he is called as Suryaganapti, Mahapini in Burma, Dhotakar in Mongolia, Sokaprak in Tibet, Prahakness in Cambodia.
In Japan, Ganesha is called as Vinayaksha & Kalantak on Java island. In Japan, Ganesha temples are known as Kangiten.
It is said that Emperor Ashok’s daughter Charumati constructed a Ganesha Temple in Nepal. In Nepal, Herambh Ganesha with ten hands & five heads is very popular. There is big Suryavinayaka Temple in Bhalgaon district near Kathmandu. Suryavinayaka, with one head & four hands is sitting on two rats. The bronze idol of Ganesha in Cambodia belongs to 13th century. The idol has a broken elephant tusk in its right hand & a holy book in its left hand. However, Ganesha is wearing a crown in the typical Cambodian style.
Ganaesha in Java is known as ‘Boro’s Ganesh’. The head of this Ganesha is very big & he is eating prasada with his trunk. Specialty of this idol is that the soles of his feet are attached to one another. A stone idol of Ganesha is found on Bali island. Here Ganesha is called the Fire God. He is sitting on a throne of flames & has a burning stick in his right hand & a bowl in his left hand. In Vietnam, an ancient sayami book has been found. It has 6 photos of Ganapati. It also has photo of Ganesha standing on a tortoise. Ganesha idol in Borneo has four arms & has matted hair like Lord Shivashankara.
While excavating in Luristhan in Iran (i.e. Persia) a Ganesha idol was found carrying a sword in his hand. This idol is now kept in the national Museum of Paris. It is thought that the idol is around 1200 years old. This warrior Ganesha possesses a snake in his left hand & a divine trident in his right hand. The specialty of this idol is that Ganesha has a beard.
In Afghanisthan, a Ganesha idol, in the form of ‘Alidharuna’ has been found. People of Kabul worship this Ganesha. From the words inscribed on the base of the idol, it appears that this idol belongs of 6th century. Mexican people in South America still worship an elephant headed God. Ganesha idol found in Kopan’s temple is recognized as the God of rain. It has two light lines in both its hands, which symbolises lightening.
Greek mythology also mentions the presence of a God of wisdom known as Janus. The idol of Janus is elephant headed & has two trunks. Janus is worshipped before starting any new work. We, Indians also worship Ganesha before starting any new work & call him the God of wisdom. As such, there is a lot of similarity between Ganesha & Janus.
In Sri Lanka, 200 kms from Colombo, a Ganesha idol can be seen in the Subramanyam Temple of Kadargam. Even today, Shri Ganesha is worshipped here according to the Vedic system.