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Temples of Maharashtra

Maharashtra is an ancient land with rich culture and traditions. This state has many famous temples that are visited by innumerable devotees every year. Maharashtra also owns two of the ancient rock cut temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. These famous temples are the Elephanta Cave Temple and the Kailashanatha Temple at Ellora.

Famous Lord Ganesha is the most respected and worshiped gods in Maharashtra. There are eight shrines dedicated to him, which are located around Pune. These shrines are collectively known as the Ashta Vinayak temples. The Mahalakshmi temples at Kolhapur and Mumbai are also famous. The city of Nashik in Maharashtra is a renowned Hindu pilgrimage center, where many famous temples are located like the Kalaram Temple, Kapaleshwar temple, Muktidham Temple etc.

Elephanta Caves

The famous Elephanta Caves are major tourist attraction in this region. The Elephanta island is located 10 km away from the Gateway of India at Mumbai. There are rock cut temples in these caves dating back to the 5th century BC.

The island was named by Portuguese after the statue of an elephant near the landing area of the island. The temples on this island are dedicated to Lord Shiva Mahadeva. These temples are rich in sculptural content.

Kailash Temple

The Kailasha Temple is situated near the village of Ellora about 30-kms from Aurangabad. This famous temple is famous for its amazing architecture. This is the largest excavation out of 34 excavations at Ellora, which took almost a century. The Kailash temple is carved out of one piece of rock. It is considered as the world's largest monolithic structure and also the most extensive rock-cut projects ever undertaken. This temple is the venue of Ellora festival organized by MTDC in the month of December. The Ellora festival is a celebration of music and dance and is attended by a large number of people.

Girijaatmaja Vinayak

This temple is situated on the beautiful Lekhan Hills, located along the Kukdi River. These hills are situated on the Pune -Nashik highway about 150-km from Pune. In Ganesh Puran (a festival) this place is called as Jirnapur or Lekhan Parbat. The Girijaatmaja Vinayak is one of the Astha Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra. This is the only Ashtavinayak temple to be situated on a mountain and set in a Buddhist cave-temple. The Girijatmaj Vinayak refers to the Ganesh as the son of Parvati. Girija is another name for Parvati and Atamaj means son.

Siddhivinayak Temple

Siddhi Vinayak temple is located at Prabhadevi in Mumbai, Maharashtra. This famous temple is devoted to Ganesha, the elephant-headed God of Good Fortune. The Siddhi Vinayak temple is one of the Ashtavinayak Temples and it dates back to the 18th Century. The highlight of temple is the right side tilted trunk of the elephant headed God, Ganesha, which is usually tilted towards the left.

Varadvinayak Temple

The Varadvinayak temple is located in the Mahad village of Raigarh district in Maharastra. This temple is dedicated to Varadvinayk (Ganapati or Ganesha). It is considered to be one of the Astha Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra. It is believed that Ganesh as Varad Vinayak fulfills all desires of the devotees. This region was known as Bhadrak or Madhak in ancient times. A unique feature of this famous temple is a lamp that is burning constantly since 1892 AD. There is Gomukh on the northern side of the temple. It is a visage of a cow from which the holy water flows. There is also a holy pond on the west of the temple.

Mumbadevi Temple

Mumbadevi Temple is located at Bhuleshwar in Mumbai. The temple is devoted to city's patron Goddess Mumbadevi and is almost 6 centuries old. She is regarded as Mumbai's resident deity. The city of Mumbai is named after the Goddess Mumbadevi because the Mumbadevi temple was once located on the site the present Victoria Terminus in the central island which was called Mumbai.

Mahalakshmi Temple

The Mahalaxmi Temple is located at the northern foot of the Malabar Hill in Mumbai. The temple is oldest temple in Mumbai dedicated to Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. The famous Mahalaksmi temple has many idols of Hindu gods here and is visited by many devotees every year. One of the festivals celebrated here is the Navaratri festival, when innumerable devotees throng the temple to offer coconut, flowers and sweets to the goddesses.

Other Temples

Apart from these important temple, Maharashtra has many more famous temples, present almost in every part of the state. Some of these temples are Balalji Temple, Vrajeshwari Temple, Kapaleshwar Temple, Dattatreya temple, Muktidham Temple, Jain Temple and the Fire Temple, etc.

Nine Unknown Men

Nine Unknown Men are a two millennia-old secret society founded by the Indian Emperor Asoka.