Moreshwar Temple also known as Mayureshwar Temple is the starting and ending point of a pilgrimage of eight revered Ganesha temples called Ashtavinayaka.
A Hindu legend relates the temple to killing of the demon Sindhu by Ganesha. The exact date of building of the temple is unknown, though the Ganapatya saint Moraya Gosavi is known to be associated with it. The temple flourished due to the patronage of the Peshwa rulers and descendants of Moraya Gosavi.
According to the Ganesha Purana, Ganesha incarnated as Mayuresvara or Mayureshwar (Mayuresvara), who has six arms and a white complexion. His mount is a peacock. He was born to Shiva and Parvati in the Treta yuga, for the purpose of killing the demon Sindhu.
Sindhu was the son of Cakrapani – the king of Mithila and his wife Ugra. Ugra conceived due to the power of a solar mantra, but was unable to bear the extreme heat radiating from the foetus, so she abandoned it in the ocean. Soon, a son was born from this abandoned foetus and the ocean returned him to his grieving father, who named him Sindhu – the ocean.
Parvati underwent austerities meditating on Ganesha – "the supporter of the entire universe" – for twelve years at Lenyadri (another Ashtavinayak site, where Ganesha is worshiped as the son of Parvati). Pleased by her penance, Ganesha blessed her by the boon that he would be born as her son. In due course, Ganesha was born to Parvati at Lenyadri and named as Gunesha by Shiva. Little Gunesha once knocked an egg from a mango tree, from which emerged a peacock. Gunesha mounted the peacock and assumed the name Mayuresvara.
Sindhu was given the ever-full bowl of amrita (elixir of life) as a boon from the Sun-god. The demon was warned that he could drink from the bowl as long as it was intact. So to protect the bowl, he swallowed it. Sindhu terrorized the three worlds, so the gods asked Gunesha for help. Gunesha defeated Sindhu's army, cut his general Kamalasura into three pieces and then cut open Sindhu's body, emptying the amrita bowl and thus killing the demon. The creator-god Brahma is described as having built the Morgaon shrine, and marrying Siddhi and Buddhi to Ganesha. At the end of this incarnation, Gunesha returned to his celestial abode, giving his peacock mount to his younger brother Skanda, with whom the peacock mount is generally associated. Because Ganesha rode a peacock (in Sanskrit, a mayura, in Marathi – mora), he is known as Mayureshwar or Moreshwar ("Lord of the peacock"). Another legend says that this place was populated by peacocks giving the village its Marathi name, Morgaon ("Village of peacocks"), and its presiding deity the name Moreshwar.
A Ganapatya legend recalls how the creator-god Brahma, the preserver-god Vishnu and the dissolver-god Shiva, the Divine Mother Devi and the Sun-god Surya mediated at Morgaon to learn about their creator and their purpose of existence. Ganesha emerged before them in form of an Omkara flame and blessed them. Another legend records that when Brahma created his son Kama (desire), he became a victim of desire and lusted for his own daughter Sarasvati (Goddess of learning). Upon invocation by all of the deities, the sacred Turiya Tirtha river appeared and Brahma bathed in her waters to cleanse his sin of incest. Brahma then came to Morgaon to worship Ganesha, carrying water from the river in his water pot. Entering the Ganesha shrine, Brahma stumbled and water fell from the pot. When Brahma tried to pick it up, it was turned into the sacred Karha river, that still flows at Morgaon.
On Ganesh Jayanti (Magha Shukla Chaturthi) and Ganesh Chaturthi (Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi) festivals on the 4th lunar day in the bright fortnight of the Hindu months Magha and Bhadrapada respectively, devotees flock to the Mayureshwar temple in large numbers. On both occasion, a procession of pilgrims arrives from Mangalmurti temple, Chinchwad (established by Morya Gosavi) with the palkhi (palanquin) of Ganesha. The Ganesha chaturthi celebrations last for more than a month, until Ashvin Shukla (10th lunar day in the bright fortnight of the Hindu month Ashvin).Fairs and celebrations also occur on Vijayadashami, Shukla Chaturthi (the 4th lunar day in the bright fortnight of a Hindu month), Krishna Chaturthi (the 4th lunar day in the dark fortnight of a Hindu month) and Somavati Amavasya (a new moon night coinciding with a Monday).
The Morgaon temple is not only the most important temple in the Ashtavinayak circuit, but also is described as "India's foremost Ga?esa (Ganesha) pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is considered incomplete if the pilgrim does not visit the Morgaon temple at the end of the pilgrimage.
From Pune Airport Moreshwar Temple is 69 KM and 65 KM from Pune railway station. The other way a pilgrim can take is to go to Jejuri from Pune and from Jejuri can proceed to Morgaon which is 15 km away from Jejuri. By this route the distance between Pune and Morgaon is 64kms. On the Pune -Daund rail route one can get down at Kedgaon and take a bus from there to Morgaon. On the southern rail route one can get off at the railway station called Nira and then take a bus from there to Morgaon. From Jejuri MSRTC Bus Stand the temple is 17.3 KM.
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