Kudos to one and all !!! As all ardent devotees of Lord Ganesha in and outside India are celebrating the ten days Ganesha(click on the hyper link to know more about Lord Ganesha) festival with utmost devotion even amidst the pandemic situation following all the required health protocols. Even though the fanfare and extravaganza element is missing the mornings are pleasant with the chants of “Ganpati Bappa Morya” heard in all the households and evenings are fun filled with gorging on delicacies with near and dear ones.
Here in this blog I would like to discuss the most ancient but not much discussed ancient temples of India dedicated to Lord Ganesha spanning across all various states from Himachal to Kanyakumari and Maharashtra to Kolkata which are known to manifest the 12 forms of Lord Ganesha described in the Sankat Nashan Ganesh Stotram in the literary work Naradiya Puran (one of the important puranas). The most salient feature of these Ganpati temples built centuries back is that they are built with temples of Lord Shiva as the primary deity except one but more importance is given to the Sub deity Lord Ganesha. It is believed that Swami Ramdas, spiritual guru of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a famous poet of Maharashtra found out and visited these exact temples mentioned in Narada Puran.
For your better understanding First Sharing the stotram lines in English :
The learned one, who wishes,For more life, wealth and love,
Should salute with his head,Lord Ganapathi who is the son of Goddess Parvathi
Think him first as god with broken tusk,Second as the Lord with one tusk, Third as the one with reddish eyes, Fourth as one who has the face of Elephant, Fifth as one who has a very broad paunch, Sixth as the one who his cruel to his enemies, Seventh as the one who is remover of all obstacles, Eighth as the one who has the colour of smoke(grey), Ninth as one who has crescent on his forehead, Tenth as the one, who is leader of remover of obstacles, Eleventh as the leader of the army of lord Shiva and twefth as one who has the face of an elephant, Anyone reading these 12 names, at dawn, noon and dusk, will never have fear of defeat, anad would always achieve whatever all he wants,…………..
Vakratund (God with Broken tusk) – Velam Mahaganpathy temple is an ancient temple almost 2000 years old located on Kannur- Mayyil route at Velam in Kannur. The presiding deity is Lord Shiva but is famous for sub deity Lord Ganesha. It is one of its kind temple with two sanctum sanctorum dedicated to lord shiva inside a single inner wall. The main offerings to Lord Ganesh in this temple are Muttarakkal (coconut0, swarna Kombu (Golden tusk ), vellikomb (silver tusk), srakara paayasam and neypayasam. Tipu sultan attempted to destroy the temple but failed miserably. Therefore you can visit this amazing temple and take blessings of Lord Ganesh
Ekadanta (God with one tusk) – This temple is known to be located in Kolkata city of West Bengal state. The exact details of the Ganpati temple mentioned by Narada Puran cannot be traced as of now. Either it must have been demolished or destroyed in due course or there is no complete info regarding the existing temples of lord Ganesha.
Krishnapingaksha (One with reddish black eyes) – Adhisaya Vinayakar Temple (Mahadevar temple) built in kerala style architecture is located in keralapuram in kanyakumari district of Kanyakumari. The temple was built in 12th century with idols comparatively older than the temple. There are two temples in the premises. Even though primary deity is Lord Shiva, Lord ganesha is worshipped here with much importance. “Adhisayar Vinayakar kovil” means Miracle ganesh temple. It is called so mainly because the idol of Ganesha is black in colour during Uttarayan(March – June) and white in colour during Dakshinayan (July – Feb) The well water in the temple premises also changes colour in contrast to the idol. Even in absence of fall season in kerala, the banyan tree in the premises sheds its leaves and new leaves sprout every year, uncommon feature of Banyan tree.
Gajavaktra (Face of elephant) – Mahavinayak temple located in Chandikhole in Jajpur district of state Odisha is a major centre of pilgrimage and oldest Ganesha temples in odisha. Built in 12th century by kings of Keshari dynasty, the temple is known to be the place where the detached head of Lord Ganesha fell. It is a place of worship for Ganapati. Since Ganapati is revered here so its name is ‘Mahavinayak’. Five gods – Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Sun and Ganesh are worshiped as one deity in one lingam here. Because of five gods in one lingam there is no Pahada in the temple. Normally, Hindu temples close after pahada, which is sleeping time for the Gods.
Lambodar (Very broad paunch) – Two temples i.e Ganapatipule and Panchmukhi ganpati come under this form. Come lets have a look at the two temples Ganpatipule temple is located in ratnagiri district of maharashtra and has a swayambhu idol of ganesha facing west as if guarding western ghats. The idol is 1600 years old but the temple was built 400 years back. The mesmerizing glimpse of the fountain spurring from the naval of Lord Ganesha on a typical monsoon day, fills every devotee witnessing it with utmost divinity and purity. Lord Ganesha in Panchmukhi Ganesha temple in Madhya pradesh is known to be “pratham pujya”. One has to take blessings of the ganesh idol before visiting the famous main temple of Omkareshwar. The idol is believed to be self manifested in the same stone as the Omkarashwer idol. The idol has four faces in four directions and one face in the front. The five faces represent five elements of nature. Grand Yagya is performed on Chaturthi in the month of Bhadon.
Vikat (cruel to his enemies) – The 13 storeyed magnificent Trymbakeshwar temple also known as Swarg Niwas is located in Rishikesh besides the famous Laxman Jhula. It is 400 years old temple which was constructed as abode of Lord Shiva and is considered as Jyotirlingas of lord Shiva. It also houses an idol of the Vikat Form of Lord Ganesha. Mighty Lord Ganesha took this Vikat form to kill demon named Kamasura. The idol is seen holding weapons like hammer, axe, serpent noose in his arms.
Vignarajendra (Remover of Obstacles) – Sthaneshwar Mahadev temple is located in the land of Mahabharata Kurukshetra.It is more than 5000 years old. It has Lord Shiva as presiding deity but also has Ganesh Idol which is considered more pious. The pandavas alongwith Shri Krishna visited this temple and took blessings before the legendary war of Mahabharata.
Dhumravarna (One who has colour of smoke or ash, grey) – Thali Sree Ganapathy Sri Balasubramanya Temple, located near the famous Thali Mahadeva Temple is situated at the heart of Kozhikode city. The temple is a magnificent monument representing the glory of the erstwhile royal dynasty of Zamorins. The Thali Mahaganapathi Temple is also known Ganapathian Kavu – shrine of Ganapathi where Ganesha faces south. This temple is more than 800 years old according to the archeological department and is situated in Ongallur center in Palghat _Pattambi state highway.Otta appam and Carolappam Ongalur are offered to lord Ganesha. Annual festival is celebrated in the kumbam month.
Bhalachandra (One who has crescent on his forehead) – The ancient temple of lord GaneshLord Ganeshaa at Dhanushkodi near Rameswaram was destroyed in the devastating cyclone of 1964. Now only some parts of the temple are remaining and not much is known. Dhanushkodi is the place where Lord Ram and his army built the setu (bridge) connecting Rameswaram island (India) and Mannar island (Sri lanka). Lord ram took blessings of Lord Ganesha for the completion of his mission to find his wife Sita.
Vinayak ( leader of removal of Obstacles) – Dhundiraj Ganesh temple is located in Kashi near the Annapurna devi temple. It is situated at the main gate of Kashi Vishwanath temple, Varanasi. Also known as Bada Ganesh temple. The temple is built on 40 pillars and is 2000 years old. It is swayambhu idol found in pure form. The idol has three eyes and is placed with his wives and sons.
Ganpati ( Leader of army of lord Shiva) – Shree Mahaganpati temple is located besides Mahabaleswar temple in Gokarna area in Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka . According to Indian mythology, According to a popular legend, it is said that Ganesha in the form of a sage tricked Ravana who was carrying a Shiva Lingam to Sri Lanka and Ravana dropped it here and thus the temple was built on this place. Lord Ganesha is worshipped first and foremost and people visit this temple before praying to the Atmalinga at the Mahabaleshwar Temple. Mahabaleshwar temple is also known as “Uttar Kashi”. the idol of ganesha is 5 feet tall and two handed, with a hole at the top of head due to a violent blow inflicted by ravana. The statue was made before advent of lord Krishna, in the beginning of Dwapar yuga. The idol is a young brahmin with two hands known to recover the shiv lingam and in standing posture,
Gajanan (One who got the face of elephant) – Mundkatiya temple is the only temple in the whole world where Lord Ganesha is worshipped without a head. Located in the enchanting Kedar valley enroute Gauri Kund at 3 km from Sonprayag in Uttarakhand, it is very less frequented by devotees and tourists. It is on the old route to Kedarnath surrounded with lush green forests, hills of Kedar Valley and tranquil flow of Mandakini river. As per mythology, Lord Shiva had severed lord Ganesha’s Head as Ganesha had prevented him from entering private chambers of Goddess Parvati at this very place. Hence called “Mundkatiya “.
Hope you all like this rare information gathered after a lot of in depth research. May lord Ganesha shower his blessings on all of us.