Shri Girijatmaj - Lenyadri
Mother of universe, beautiful wife of Lord Shiva Goddess Parvati performed long penance of Shri Ganesh & at last obtained Shree Ganesh as her son. I salute Girija Parvati’s son Girijatmaj who stayson mountain Lekhanadri(i.e.Lenyadri)
Lenyadri is the only place among Ashtavinayaka places,which is situated on mountain & in the vicinity of the Buddhist caves.
Out of 18 Buddhist caves on mountain, Girijatmaj Vinayak’s temple is in the eighth cave. These caves are also called as Ganesh caves. The temple is reached after climbing 307 steps. The entire temple is carved out of single stone and is facing south. In front of Main Mandir, there is huge Sabhamandap (Hall) which is nearly 53 feet long and 51 feet broad and to your surprise there is not a single pillar in this Sabhamandap. It has 18 small apartments for meditation. Shree Girijatmaj’s idol is placed in the middle apartment.
Sabhamandap of main temple is only 7 feet high. It has six stone pillars with cow, elephant etc. carved on them. From the main temple one can view river flowing and the Junnar town spread near the river.
Girijatmaja’s idol faces east. Parvati consecrated Ganesh idol in the cave wherein she had performed penances.
Idol here is not a separate and distinct one. It has been carved on stone wall of the cave. Previously idol was covered with armour. Now, since the armour is fallen Girijatmaj’s idol with neck turned to left side can be seen. As such only one eye of the idol can be seen.
Other Important Information
Though the caves on Lenyadri are under control of Archeological Dept. of India, adminstration of Ganesh temple is looked after by Temple Trust.
Fort Shivneri, where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born is at a distance of 5-6 kms from Lenyadri.
Since the Ganesh idol is attached to the wall one can not circumnavigate Girijatmaj.