Thursday, August 30, 2012

Visiting Ballaleshwar Temple Pali on Ashtavinayak Yatra

The Ganapati temple at Pali in Sudhagad taluk, Raigad district is the third halt of devotees on the Ashtavinayak yatra. It is here that the temple dedicated to Shri Ballaleshwar is located. The distrance from Sidhatek to Pali is 222kms & it takes approx 3 ½ hours. 

How to reach Ballaeshwar Temple Pali
One can reach the temple via State public transport buses starting from Mumbai, Pune, Karjat, Khopoli & Panvel. The nearest railway station to Pali is Karjat, which is approx 30kms from the temple. 

About the Ballaleshwar temple
It has been written in historical records that during the Peshwa regime, when all other avenues for getting justice were closed, for ultimate justice it was to this temple’s deity that people would go to. 

The present temple’s construction work is said to have been done by Shri Phadnis of Moradabad . It was built in such a way that it was in the form of the word श्री (Shree) & faced the east so that the rays of the Sun would fall directly on  the deity. The main feature of this temple is the 15foot high sanctum & the gigantic metal bell of the temple. The bell is said to have belonged to Chimaji  Appa and was gifted to the temple by the Peshwas of that era.

The Balleshwar idol is 3feet high and is seated on a stone throne. The idol’s trunk is turned towards the left and there are diamonds in its eyes and navel.
Ballaleshwar Vinayak
There are 2 small lakes opposite the temple & located nearby are the ruins of a fort from the top of which you can see the expanse of the whole region. 

Ballaleshwar Temple name origin
At the back side of the temple is the Shree Dhundivinayak temple with the idol of Dhundivinayak. Devotees who come to Pali first make offerings to this idol and pray here before making offerings to the idol in the Ballaleshwar temple. There is a story behind this...

In a bygone era, a young lad named Ballal, who was the son of a local trader named Kalyan Shetty, was always absorbed in worshipping Lord Ganesha. Not only was Ballal a devout devotee of Lord Ganesha, but so also were his close friends. Ballal and his friends were constantly engaged in the prayers and pujas of an idol which they worshipped as Ganapati's idol, so much so that they would stay away from their homes for many hours, not caring even about food. Consequently, the parents of Ballal’s friends got fed up of their children not being at home at regular times, especially at meal times, and complained to Kalyan Shetty about his son’s influence on their children. Kalyan Shetty got so angry with Ballal that he started beating him with a stick. He even took the temple idol and broke it. He tied Ballal to a tree to punish him & told him that he would see how Ganesha would rescue him from this predicament.

However, though Ballal started bleeding from the bruises he got when his father hit him & was tied to a tree, he was totally unaffected because, even at that time, he was absorbed in the thoughts of Lord Ganesha. Pleased with Ballal’s devotion, Lord Ganesha himself suddenly appeared in the form of a Brahmin before Ballal and told him he would grant any wish he wanted. Immediately Ballal said “Let Shree Ganesha always remain permanently here. Let this place be ganeshmay (full of Ganesha)”. Lord Ganesha right away granted his wish by saying “Tatastu (So be it)” and vanished. At the very place Lord Ganesha vanished appeared a huge stone slab which was immovable. It is this slab which today is the idol of Ballaleshwar & one of  the many names of Lord Ganesha is Ballal Vinayak.

Unique Temple Celebrations
It is believed that as per Lord Ganesha’s blessings, whichever devotee visits the temple to pay obeisance during bhadrapad shukla chaturthi, that devotee’s good wishes will be fulfilled. Hence, from the onset of bhadrapad and magh months’s shukla pratipad till panchami (that means from the 1st to the 5th day), there are festive celebrations each year during which thousands of devotees throng the town of Pali. Besides regular kirtan sessions & discourses, cultural programs are also organised. 

A unique occurrence is said to take place on the 4th day of Bhadrapa, when Maha Bhog is offered to the temple’s deity: it is believed that the imprint of the deity’s fingers can be seen on the offerings. That is why on this day you will the maximum number of devotees at this temple. A not to be missed occasion is the palki procession on the 3rd day of Magh. On this day, the temple deity is taken around the town in a beautiful flower-bedecked palki (palanquin) with devotees walking along behind it, singing the Lord’s praises.

Ballaleshwar Temple Puja Timings
  • Inner sanctum: 5a.m. to 11.30a.m.
  • Outer sanctum: 5a.m. to 10.30p.m.
Puja Timing : till 11.30a.m. daily & Sankat Chaturthi is till 9a.m. Devotees can perform various pujas, including:
  • Abishek (Rs.21/-)
  • Abhishek Puja (bathing the idol with milk & offering honey, fruit, etc) (Rs.25/-)
  • Puja Ekadasi (Rs.51/-)
  • Durgh Abhishek (Rs.101/-)
  • Maha Puja (Rs.251/-)
  • Sahastra Avartan (Rs.501/-)
  • Laghu Rudra Avartan (Rs.751/-)
  • Varshik Puja (Rs.551/-)
Accommodation in Pali
For budget accommodation during your visit to Pali, you should contact the temple trust directly. The trust will make arrangements for your stay. There are 2 options: 24 Rooms & 2 Halls.
  1. In Bhaktnivas No 1 there are a total of 10 rooms available, with the room charges being Rs.250/- for 5 persons in 1 room.
  2. In Bhaktiniva No.2 there are 14 Rooms, with the room charges being Rs.300/-.
  3. For the hall accommodation, the charge is Rs.10/- per person.
As for food, you can purchase a meal coupon from the temple office (timing: till 1.30p.m.) for Rs.10/-. 

Contact Information of Ballaleshwar Temple
Vyasthapak Trustee , Shri Ballaleshwar Devasthan 
Pali Taluka 
Pin Code -410205
Ph: 02142-242263 / 241129 /242429.

Next temple on Ashtavinayak yatra: Varad Vindayaka Temple at Mahad

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the information which devotees lord ganesha.Ganesh worship is popular not only in India but also there in other countries.