Ashtavinayak Yatra Route and Guide

by Vineet
Going #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak Yatra

Ganesh Chaturthi is just around the corner and everyone is gearing up for the festivities. For ten days, the streets of Maharashtra will resemble a carnival, with local stages, music, dance and celebrations of all kinds. I have never seen Mumbai more vibrant than it is during the 10 days of Ganpati festival. The excitement about the festival reminded me of the last Ashtavinayak Yatra I went on.

It’s on that ride that I realized that as riders we get so caught up with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter that we tend to forget the real intention of the ride; that every ride need not have an intention. I think I enjoyed it much more when the camera was inside and the phone data connectivity was switched off, like I did on the Highest Blogger Meet road trip. You can read all about it here, here and well, here.

While the Ashtavinayak yatra by bike or car is very doable in two days, I would recommend stretching it to three days to really enjoy the country side which look nothing less than scenes from the Hobbit’s Shire, the best food, blissful darshans and small motels and bhakht niwas’ along the way.

All pictures on this post about Ashtavinayak Yatra have been taken by Deepti Kshirsagar

Ideal time for Ride

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Since longer distances need to be covered, before the end of monsoons is a good time. Bikers have traditionally preferred the weekend before Ganesh Chaturthi. But you can do it after that as well. I personally don’t associate any religious significance to the timing of the ride; but everyone is entitled to their beliefs. This time is also when the country side is the prettiest in Maharashtra with fluorescent green grass. So as long as monsoons are around; you should be ok!

Going #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak YatraGoing #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak YatraGoing #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak Yatra

 

Recommended Route for Ashtavinayak

Recommended Duration: Three Days
Day 1

Complete the following temples on Day 1

  • Varadavinayak Temple, Mahad on NH4
  • Ballaleshwar Temple, Pali on State Highway 93
  • Moreshwar Temple in Moregaon
Day 2
  • Head to Siddhivinayak Temple in Siddatek on SH67
  • Chintamani Temple in Theur off SH61 (or Shirur – Satara Road)
  • Mahaganapati Temple in Ranjangaon on SH27 (or Shirdi – Ahmednanagar – Pune Highway)
Day 3
  • Vighnahar Temple, Ozar off SH111 (Pune – Nashik Highway)
  • Girijatmaj Temple, Lenyadri which is around 14 kms away nearby

Going #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak YatraView the map here

The last two temples are on village roads, and there no state highways to boast off. A small warning, Google Maps will show a route 12 kms lesser than the route via Shirur which is not really not worth calling a road. We decided to take that route out of adventure and it didn’t disappoint. Unless you’re OK, with broken oil seals on the front forks; and an aching butt don’t venture into this route. In a car, your shock absorbers will be tested!

Recommended places to stay

Day 1 of Ashtavinayak

Comfortable Option
If you make decent time then the ideal place to stay on Day 1 would be Daund on further ahead of Patas on NH9. There are loads of motels and lodges here and can offer a decent stay.

Recommended Option
Stay at the Maheshwari Bhakt Niwas outside the temple. The cost of each room is Rs. 150 which is more like a donation. They’re neat with Indian toilets, and you can wake up to the temple prayers in the morning.

Going #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak Yatra

At Mahad

Going #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak Yatra

At Morgaon

Day 2 of Ashtavinayak

There are a lot of lodges in Ranjangaon and a few new ones have opened near the temple. There is one however run by an elderly gentleman further down the road from the temple by a walk. Avoid this place like plague because it probably has it thanks to an infestation by rats. Don’t remember the name of the owner or the place. Don’t care.

We stayed at Hotel Rajyog which is 3 kms on the highway from the temple. Has ample parking, decent food (you’ll get your Chinese and Punjabi if you must) and good beds.

Note: Most of the places wouldn’t need an advance booking but for Ranjangaon

Going #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak Yatra

Revving up the bikes in the morning at Ranjangaon

Revving up the bikes in the morning at Ranjangaon

Other stay options on Ashtavinayak

Every temple has a Bhakt Niwas except Siddatek. We heard that the one there is dilapidated and not functional. In fact some of the newest ones are at Ozar. If you do the route via Malshej from Mumbai, this should be the first pit stop on Day 1.

Must do things during Ashtavinayak

The good thing about this ride is not just the holy aspect of a pilgrimage but also the wonderful food trail, shopping experiences and trip down memory lane it is in it’s own way. I would recommend a experiences to everyone.

  1. Eat at the Farmer shacks at Siddatek (Brunch on Day 2)

Imagine piping hot food off a coal and wood oven. Rotis made out of Jawar and Bajra, authentic Maharashtrian food at a cost no one can beat! You’ll be sitting on the floor while the lady of the house cooks for you.

Going #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak Yatra

At one of the numerous farmer shacks outside Siddhatek

  1. Pakoras at Varanda (Bor) Ghats (Day 1)

There are a zillion places out there which make pakoras. Now imagine having that inconspicuous pakora with a view to die for! Ladies and gentlemen, behold the view chai and pakora stall owners wake up to everyday in the morning on state highway 70!

Going #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak Yatra

Enjoy your chai and pakros with this view. Please don’t litter

  1. Eat at the Prasadalaya of Ranjangaon (Day 2)

The food is free, it’s great and it’s prasad of one of the most revered Ashtavinayak.

  1. Shop for local stuff at every temple

There are loads of shops which sell everything from keychains, books, keep sakes, knick knacks, food, sweets and dry fruits. Stock up on all of them while you ride/drive. It’s a bargainer’s paradise!

  1. Lenyadri’s love for lime juice and photography

You could have a gallon of this and it would still seem like less. Have this only when are coming down the long flight of stairs. Lenyadri offers some of the best views amongst all eight temples of the Ashtavinayak. It’s not a bad idea to carry your tripod to the top and spend time photographing. Be mindful of the monkeys. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!

Going #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak Yatra

Lenyadri up close and personal

Going #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak Yatra

Lenyadri temple from the foothils

Going #aageseright on the Ashtavinayak Yatra

Lenyadri caves while going up the stairs

You could check the Ashtavinayak route map here. You can customize the road trip and make it your own. Feel free to chat with us, if you have any questions. This trip also features in our calendar of the long weekends of 2020, and there are a few more to go so do check it out! Monsoons are a good time for this trip, and you should check this post about driving during monsoons.

Long weekends are good time to relax. You can do a lot of things like going on a ashtavinayak road trip or do something else. Need help with what you can do? Check out list of things to do on a long weekend.  If you do choose to go on a road then try to avoid these mistakes and you will enjoy your road trip even more.

 

 

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16 comments

P.R.Patil March 25, 2018 - 2:13 pm

kalyan to ozar by train route which is nearest railway station from ozar?

Reply
Bhushan Amrutkar January 4, 2019 - 6:05 pm

Pune and Talegaon are the two nearest Railway Stations and after that, another option is Kalyan Railway Station. The Pune station connects to major Indian cities.

Reply
P.R.Patil March 25, 2018 - 2:15 pm

which is nearest station from ozar?i have to go ozar from kalyan.

Reply
Bhushan Amrutkar January 4, 2019 - 6:08 pm

Nashik, Pune and Talegaon are the two nearest Railway Stations.

Reply
Shrinivas Iyer April 24, 2018 - 12:37 pm

Very Good Information!!! Thanks,
In your route map 1,2 Ganpati temples are not marked.

Reply
Vineet May 18, 2018 - 10:01 am

Hi Shrinivas, the maps are not showing because it’s being overlapped by other markers. Can you open this link and check this map: https://scoutmytrip.com/1237/going-aageseright-on-the-ashtavinayak-yatra

Reply
Rajesh singh May 4, 2018 - 8:15 am

Your blog your map and your hotel tips helped a lot. Thanx a lot your your share about the trip. I just want to add that the road conditions are bad in some parts. And please do carry water if you are traveling in this month of year. Rest all the temples are very beautiful. The people are very helpfull. At every temple we kept our bags tied with the bunjee cord on the bikes and our helmets on the road. No one touched them.

Again thnx to ScoutMyTrip.

Reply
Neha Ramneek Kapoor May 10, 2018 - 9:44 pm

Thanks Rajesh for the tips. Very helpful! And glad you appreciate our work 🙂

Reply
Long Weekends in 2019: The Holiday Calendar - ScoutMyTrip Blog September 27, 2018 - 10:19 am

[…] weekend of 7th,8th and 9th would be a good time for the Ashtavinayak Yatra in Maharashtra. The crowds at temples would also be less considering deities would either be at home or visarjan […]

Reply
Ameet bhutada January 7, 2019 - 4:11 pm

Apart from temple any special place…. In pune or lonavala or lavasa

Reply
Ganesh January 21, 2019 - 5:13 pm

The Ashtavinayak pilgrimage is considered to be a milestone in every devotee’s life. Many devotees also go for the Ashtavinayak darshan before taking any big decision in their life, or before they begin a new stage in their life. Most of the time, this darshan is taken by elderly people or people in a group.

Reply
Swasti Verma March 18, 2019 - 5:44 pm

Really amazing guide. Thanks for sharing

Reply
Sonam subhash salunke April 1, 2019 - 5:30 pm

Hi sir, we r planning to go ashtavinayak along with family total 14pepole r there we need to know how to book room t bhaktanivas, we want to complete it in 3days and 2 night, then which place is better to stay, and if we plan to stay inhotels how much it will cost, As there r kids with us hence we want good food. We r planning to book tempo traveller.
Pls guide us

Reply
Suchona Koma May 3, 2019 - 1:35 pm

Really amazing blog. Thanks for sharing

Reply
Explore These Five Places To See in Ahmedabad in Just 48 Hours! June 22, 2019 - 11:19 am

[…] of the first Swaminarayan temples all over India, this is another example of wonderful architecture where you can observe immense […]

Reply
kamlesh ramesh jhawar August 24, 2019 - 3:25 pm

Hi, Staying in mumbai near shivaji park.
I am planning to do Ashtvinayak tour . We are two couples, all senior citizens. Car can arrange.
Need guidance on travel itinery and place of stay with cost idea enroute. Place of stay should have AC super delux rooms with facilities and good vegetarian food.
Plan for 2 nights and 3 days with departure on Sep 21.
Please suggest.

Reply

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