Ballaleshwar Ganpati Temple, Pali, Sudhagad, Raigad, Maharashtra, India

Ballaleshwar Ganpati Temple, one of the Ashtavinayakas, is situated in Pali village of Raigad district, in the state of Maharashtra, India.

In Ashtavinayaka, Ballaleshwar of Pali is known as the third Ganpati. This is the only Ganesha in Ashtavinayaka who is commonly known by the name of a devotee named Ballal.

Pali has a lovely stone temple dedicated to Ganpati. Before this temple, there is a Dhundivinayak temple. Dhundivinayak is the name given to the rock that Ballal worshiped. Before visiting Ballaleshwar, it is traditional to take darshan of Dhundivinayak.

Ballaleshwara’s previous temple was made of wood. During the Peshwa dynasty, it was rebuilt, and the stone temple seen today stands. The temple’s structure is exquisite, and it faces east. After viewing the temple’s outside construction, we enter the massive hall.

Ballaleshwar’s idol sits on a stone throne. The statue is around three feet tall. Riddhi and Siddhi stand in the rear on a silver lustrous circle. Diamonds have been embedded in this extremely joyful east-facing idol’s eyes and navel. The trunk of Ganesha is slanted to the left.

Legend has it that during the Tretayuga period, a merchant named Kalyansheth resided in Pallipur (Pali). He had a son named Ballal. Ballal was a devotee of Ganesha. He used to enjoy all day worshipping Ganesha by erecting a tent with his pals.

His companions’ parents were not pleased with Ballal and their children’s behaviour. They complained about ballal to Kalyansheth. He was saddened that his son had made his pals enamoured with Ganesha Devotion at such a young age. Kalyansheth, enraged, picked a stick and set out to beat Ballal. Seeing Ballal’s father’s rage, his pals fled for their houses.

Kalyansheth reached Ballal in rage. He grabbed the Ganesha statue and tossed it aside. He also defaced the tent. Nonetheless, Ballal was engrossed with Ganesha worship. When Kalyansheth saw this, he became enraged and beat Ballal till he bled. Ballal went unconscious. Kalyansheth left by tying Ballal to a tree.

After a few hours, Ballal regained consciousness. He immediately called out Ganesha. Hearing his devotee’s laments, Ganesha turned up as a Brahmin and released Ballal. Ganesha graciously healed his physique. Ganesha blessed him with a long life and instructed to ask for everything he desired.

Ballal requested Ganesha to remain there and relieve people’s sorrows. Ganesha said, “A part of me will always be here. Devotees will worship me as Ballal Vinayaka by putting your name first”. Ganesha then vanished inside a nearby stone. This stone idol is called as Ballaleshwar.

The Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayak temple opens at 5 a.m. and closes at 10:30 p.m., according to custom. In the months of Bhadrapada and Magh, the temple has a five-day celebration. The temple has made arrangements for devotee lodging.

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