The Mahad Ganpati Varadvinayak Temple is located on the highway linking Mumbai and Pune. Mahadcha Varadvinayak is considered to be one of the Ashtavinayak 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).
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.
Shree Varadvinayak is worshipped thrice a day. Two festivals Bhadrapada & Magha Shudh Pratipada to Pancahmi are celebrated on grand scale. Shree Varadvinayak has his own ornaments & they are put on festive occasions.
By Road: In Khalapur taluka of Raigad district Shri Varadvinayaka is situated in the village Mahad.
The newly constructed Bhakta Niwas (Tel: 02192-266912 & Tariff: Rs 200) is the ideal place to stay here. The rooms and loos are clean and well-maintained. Lunch is provided as prasad by the temple (noon-2 pm). Else, villagers (temple officials guide visitors to them) provide good meals for Rs 40 per thali.
Mahad is surrounded by picturesque surrounding. In monsoon beauty of Mahad is undescrible. Population is very thin. Mahad is very good for meditation & doing penances. The great saint Gagangiri Maharaj’s math is also a beautiful & peaceful place. Walwan dam’s water flows near this dam. Gagangiri Maharaj had performed panance in the water.