The Ballaleshwar Vinayak temple at Pali is located at a distance of about 160 km from Pune. Palicha Shri Ballaleshwara is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.
Kalyansheth was a merchant in Pallipur and was married to Indumati. The couple was childless for quite some time but later was blessed with a son known as Ballal. As Ballal grew, he spent much of his time in worshiping and praying. He was devotee of Lord Ganesha and used to worship stone idol of Shri Ganesha in the forest along with his friends and companions. As it used to take time, the friends would reach home late. Regular delay in returning house used to irritate the parents of the friends of Ballal who complained to his father saying that Ballal was responsible for spoiling the kids. Already unhappy with Ballal for not concentrating on his studies, Kalyansheth was boiling with anger when he heard the complaint.
Immediately he reached the place of worship in the forest and devastated Pooja arrangements organized by Ballal and his friends. He threw away the Stone Idol of Shri Ganesh and broke the pandal. All the kids got frightened but Ballal who was engrossed in Pooja and japa, did not even know what was happening around. Kalayan beat Ballal mercilessly and tied him to the tree saying to get fed and freed by Shri Ganesha. He left for home thereafter.
Ballal semiconscious and tied to the tree in the forest was lying as that with severe pain all over, started calling his beloved God, Shri Ganesha.
“O Lord, Shri Ganesha, I was busy in praying you, I was right and humble but my cruel father has spoiled my act of devotion and hence I am unable to perform Pooja.”
Shri Ganesha was pleased and responded quickly. Ballal was freed. He blessed Ballal to be superior devotee with larger lifespan. Shri Ganesha hugged Ballal and said that his father would suffer for his wrong doings.
Ballal insisted that Lord Ganesha should continue to stay there at Pali. Nodding His head Shri Ganesha made his permanent stay at Pali as Ballal Vinayak and disappeared in a large stone. This is famous as Shri Ballaleshwar.
In the above mentioned story the stone idol which Ballal used to worship and which was thrown away by Kalyan Sheth is known as Dhundi Vinayak. The idol is facing west. The birth celebration of Dhundi Vinayak takes place from Jeshtha Pratipada to Panchami. From ancient time, it is a practice to take darshan of Dhundi Vinayak before proceeding to main idol Shree Ballaleshwar.
The two festivals celebrated here during Bhadrapada & Magha (Shudha Pratipada to Panchami). It is the experience of many devotees that Ballaleshwara fulfills all their desires & demands. Hence worshippers throng this kshetra either to express their desires & to thank him after their desires are fulfilled.
“Whoever comes here on Bhadrapada Shudha Chaturti & has my darshan, all his desires will be fulfilled.” is the boon given by Ganesh to Ballal. On the night of Bhadrapada Chaturthi there is Mahanaivedyam & on Panchami there is Annasantarpan.
Devotees make 21 pradakshinas (holy rounds) of Ganapati to get their desires fulfilled & problems solved.
There is a firm belief among the devotees that at midnight of Magha Shudha Chaturthi Shree Gajanan actually comes to the temple to physically parttake the food offered as Naivedyam. Hence there is heavy rush then.
By Road: In Sudhagad taluka of Raigad district,near the village Nagothane, Shri Ballaleshwar is situated in the village Pali.
The rooms at Bhakta Niwas (Tel: +91-2142-242263 OR +91-2142-241129 OR +91-2142-242429 & Tariff: Rs 250) are clean, and they are the only option at Pali. For food, Brahmins in the village provide good Maharashtrian meals (approx Rs 40 per thali). Temple officials or roadside vendors can tell visitors how to reach them.
As per advise of Lomesh Rishi, Jajali Muni performed Ganesh Varta for four months drinking only milk. Due to that Ballaleshwar appeared before him. Jajali induced Vibhandaka Rishi who also completed Ganesh Varta & had Ballaleshwar’s darshan on Kartiki Purnima.
1. Hot water springs at village Unheri are at a distance of 4kms.from Pali.
2. Bhoraidevi on fort Sudhagad is at a distance of 15 kms. from Pali. It is a spiritually.
Official Website: http://www.ballaleshwar.com/