Ranjangaon is a village located at a distance of about 50 km from Pune, enroute to Aurangabad in Maharashtra, and it houses a shrine to Mahaganapati. Ranjangaoncha Mahaganapati 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 demon by name Tripurasura built three powerful citadels (the evil Tripuram forts); with a boon o invincibility granted to him by Shiva he caused suffering to all beings in the heavens and on earth. Upon hearing the fervent appeals of the Gods, Shiva intervened, and realized that he could not defeat the demon. It was upon hearing Narada Muni’s advice that Shiva saluted Ganesha and then shot a single arrow that pierced through the citadels, bringing an end to the demon.Shiva, the slayer of the Tripura citadels is enshrined at Bhimashankaram nearby.
A variation of this legend is commonly known in South India. Ganesha is said to have caused the axle in Shiva’s chariot to break, as the latter headed to battle the demon without saluting Ganesha before he set out. Upon realizing his act of omission, Shiva saluted his son Ganesha, and then proceded victoriously to a short battle against the powerful demon. (See Acharapakkam) – an ancient temple in Tamilnadu glorified by the 1st millennium tamil hymns enshrining Shiva associated with this legend, as well as Tiruvirkolam and Tiruvatikai – both over 1200 years old, associated with the legend of Tripurasamhaaram).
(The tamil lines of 15th century saint poet Arunagirinathar: Muppuram eri seida, Acchivan urai ratham, acchadu podi seida athi deera’ where he describes Ganesha as the valiant hero, who caused the axle of Shiva’s chariot to crumble to dust, as Shiva headed out to destroy Tripurasura, narrate this legend.)
Managanapati is potrayed, seated on a lotus, flanked by his consorts Siddhi and Ridhi. The temple dates back to the period of Peshwa Madhav Rao.
As with all other Vinayak temples, Ganesha Chaturti is celebrated in great splendour here.
By Road: In Khalapur taluka of Raigad district Shri Varadvinayaka is situated in the village Mahad. Ranjangaon is situated on Pune-Ahmednagar Highway. As such all state transport buses going from Pune to Ahmednagar halts at Ranjangaon.
The Bhakta Niwas (Tel: 02138-243200 & Tariff: Rs 250) has decent rooms, though it is best to drive down to Pune for stay and food. There are only some small lodges outside the temple.
In Ranjangaon, villagers do not bring Ganesh idol in their houses, instead everybody comes in the temple for Ganesh pooja,in the month of Bhadrapada.The Ganesh festival is celebrated for first six days. In the first four days palanquin of Shree Mahaganapati is taken to different places in the village. It is called as Dwaryatra’.For the first four days villagers are allowed to enter the sanctum & perform pooja on their own.
On the fifth day Mahaprasadis distributed among the devotees. In the afternoon boxing competitions (kusti) are held in the village. On the sixth day devotees take darshan of murti & then go to Mahaganapati’s temple by performing Lotangan (prostration) on the way (lotangan means proceeding by rolling one’s self over & over).
Temple facing east has huge & beautiful entrance gate. Idols of two door keepers namely Jay &vijay are present near the gateway. Nagarkhana is situated above the entrance gate. This Nagarkhana was inaugarated by Maharashtra’s honourable Chief Minister Shri Monohar Joshi on 3rd May,1997.
Main temple looks like temple from Peshwa’s period. Temple is so constructed that sun rays fall directly on Shree Ganesha’s idol. Since, this temple was on his way to war, Shreemant Madhavrao Peshwa used to halt here have Mahaganapati’s darshan. He had constructed a stone sanctum around this swayambhu or self emanated idol. In 1790 A.D he gave a hereditary right to perform pooja of Mahaganapati to shri Anyaba Dev. Temple hall was built by Sardar Kibe & Owaris (several small apartments erected along the course of enclosing wall of temple) were built by Sardar Pawar & Shinde. Famous hermit Morya Gosavi had presented an idol made of five metals to Shri Anyaba Dev. This idol is taken out in procession on festive days.
Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj had given a grant to this temple.Similarly Madhavrao Peshwe,Malharrao Holkar, Mahadji Shinde had also given charities.
From the year 1942 administration of the temple is suprvised by trustees appointed by court.
Abhishek (Rs.11), Sahastravartan (Rs.101/-),Satyavinayak Pooja (Rs.51/-), etc. virtuous work are done by temple trust.
Lodging arrangements of devotees can be done by temple trust. Single room & common hall are available for the
purpose. Address for advance booking.Shree kshetra Ranjangaon Ganapati Devastan Trust Tal.Shirur,Dist: Pune.
Chief Trustee & ancestral Poojary of Ranjangaon Ganapati is Vasant MOreshwar Dev. He can arrange for all virtuous deeds like Abhishek,Sahasravartan etc. Lodging & Boarding arrangements can be made by him.
Annapurna Bhojanalaya is available in temple complex. A beautiful garden namely Swanand Udyan is being prepared outside the temple.
Temple is open for Darshan from 5.30 A.M. to 10.00 P.M.
Rs. 101/- are charged for video Shooting & Rs.51/- are charged for photography.
Official Website: http://ranjangaonmahaganpati.org/