The Varadvinayak temple at Mahad is
located on the highway linking Mumbai and Pune.
Mahadcha Varadvinayak is
considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines
of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.
Legend has it that a rishi by name Vachaknavi
was visited by a ruler by name Rukmangada, and during the visit the
rishipatni Mukundaa expressed her attraction to the king. The king turned
her down leaving her seething in anger. In the meanwhile, Indra, the king of the Devas
came down to the earth in the disguise of Rukmangada and accepted her amorous moves. An
illegitimate son Grutshmadha was born out of their union. The son,
learning of the story of his birth was grief stricken, and prayed to Ganesha in
Bhadrakavana for absolvement of the sins of everyone concerned. His prayers were granted
by Varadavinayak of Bhadrakavana (now Mahad).
The Temple: Varadavinayak
is portrayed, seated on an east facing throne. Stone images of his consorts Siddhi
and Riddhi are also seen in the temple. A lamp in this temple is said to have been glowing
uninterrupted for over a hundred years.