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Pali : Shree Ballaleshwar
It is situated between fort Sarasgad and river Amba flowing on the other side in Raigad district. Among Astavinayakas,Ballal Vinayak at Pali, is associated with a legend where Ganapati is said to have come to the aid of a young lad, who was a fervent devotee of Ganapatiand is famous by his devotee's name. This place is very famous and spiritually awakened.
Mythological Story
In krityuga there was a staunch child devotee of Ganpati called Ballal living in village Pali of country Sindhu. He was the son of businessman called Kalyan & his wife Indumati. From childhood itself Ballal was very much addicted to worshipping Shri Ganesh. Along with other children he used to worship with small stones being treated as Gods.Once the children went outside the village & saw a big stone . At the instance of Ballal, the children treated the stone as Ganpati & started worshipping. All of them got so engrossed that they forgot about hunger & thirst or about day or night. Their parents were waiting for the children at their homes . When the children did not return on time , they all went to Kalyan's house and complained about Ballal as he was the leader of all the children. Kalyan seth become furious.He took a stick and went out. He saw children listening Ganesh purana outside the village. With anger gone into his head he broke the small temples build by the children & started chasing them . Ballal's companion fled away,but Ballal was caught by his father as he was submerged in meditation.He was beaten till blood started flowing from his body. His father tied him to a tree. He also smashed all pooja materials collected by the children & threw away the big stone which children treated as Ganpati. " Let me see which God protects you now ," saying this he went home. Ballal started entreating Vinayaka. He was not concerned about his being beaten up or being tied to the tree.But he became furious seeing the temple smashed & idols thrown away. Though he was affected by pain, hunger & thirst he kept on chanting the name of Gajanana till he fainted. Lord Ganpati was moved by the childs devotion. He appeared in the form of a Brahmin before Ballal & touched him. Immediately the thirst & hunger vanished , wounds were healed & Ballal felt a new vigour moving in his body. He prostrated before the Brahmin whom he recognised as Gajanan & worshipped him. Ganpati told him to ask for a boon. Ballal said " Let me have unshaken devotion towards you. You must stay at this place & remove the miseries of the people , who come to you." Ganesh said , "I shall ever remain here in my part form , I will take your name before mine & be called as Ballal Vinayak." Then he embraced Ballal & vanished into a nearby stone.That stone statue is called Ballaleshwar. The stone idol which Kalyan vaishya threw away is also called as Dhundi Vinayak. This is a swayambhoo Moorti. He is worshipped before Ballaleshwar is worshipped.
About Idol
Idol of Vinayak a sitting on stone throne , faces east & its trunk is left turned . The shining diamond are embedded in the eyes & naval . The background is of silver where one finds Riddhi & Siddhi waving chamaras On being pleased by devotion of Ballal a devotee, Shri Ganesh remained in the stone worshipped by Ballal & hence is called Ballaleshwar of Pali. Among Ashtavinaykas , Pali, Ballaleshwar is the only Vinayak who is famous by his devotee's name & who is dressed up as Brahmin. Since Vinayaka gave his darshan in the guise of Brahmin, idol of Vinayaka at Pali is dressed up as Brahmin.
About Temple
Original wooden temple was renovated & a new stone temple was built in 1760 A.D. by Shri Fadnis. Temple complex is tiled & it encircles two lakes. Shape of the stone temple is in the form of letter "shree" facing east. During Dakshinayan at sun rise the sun rays falls exactly on the Vinayaka .There are two sanctums.Temple walls are made quite strong by mixing lead with cement.
Geographical Location
In Sudhagad taluka of Raigad district , near the village Nagothane , Shri Ballaleshwar is situated in the Village Pali. It is at a distance of 111 kms from Pune. Regular bus services are available from Mumbai& Pune.
Other Important Information
Trustee - shree Ballaleshwar Devasthan Post - Pali, Tal. Sudhagad, Dist - raigad. Tel - STD - 02142 42263 Another authorised poojary at Pali is Shri Govind Anant Puranil.He also performs various religious rituals and also has lodging arrangements. His address is Shri Govind A Puranik Po-Pali Tal: Sudhagad Dist: Raigad Std 02142 (office 42077 ; res 42245 )
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