Varada Vinayak Temple, Mahad is the 4th of Ashtavinayak Temples in Maharashtra. The story regarding Shri Varada Vinayak of Mahad is really interesting.
Sage Vachaknavi’s wife Mukunda cursed Prince Rukmangad to suffer from leprosy when he refused her illicit call.Later she bore a child named Grutsamad through Indra who successfully deceived her as Rukmangad. After some years, the mother revealed the real story to her son but Grutsamad got angry and cursed Mukunda to be a Bori tree. In return his mother cursed him to bore a demon son named Tripurasur. It is to be noted that Tripurasur was badly defeated by Shiva after praying the Ranjangaon Ganesha.
Grutsamad worshipped Ganesha after getting badly cursed went to the forest of Pushpak. The mantra GaNanaN Tva is famous after Sage Grutsamad. He founded the temple and called this Ganesha as Varada-Vinayak.
In the form of Varada Vinayaka, Ganesha is said to residing here. Varada Vinayaka means the giver of success and bounty. In 1690AD, Mr. Dhondu Paudkar found the idol in the adjoining lake in an immersed position so it had a weathered look. The Varadavinayak temple was built by Kalyan subhedar, Mr. Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar in 1725 and named the village as Mahad.
In this Temple, an oil lamp is said to be continuously burning since 1892. The idol has its trunk towards the left and it faces the East. On the four side of the temple, there are four elephant idols. The central hall is in the measurement of 8feet by 8feet. It is to be noted that the dome is golden at the top, designed as cobra and is 25feet high.
The devotees are personally allowed to pay their respect and homage to the idol. They can directly perform prayer to the idol. This temple is closest to Mumbai city, is located three kilometers near Khopoli, off the Pune-Mumbai highway. The temple is 80 km from Pune. The nearest Railway station is Karjat on Mumbai-Pune railway.