Ashtavinayaka (Marathi: अष्टविनायक) literally means “eight Ganeshas” in Sanskrit.
Ganesha is the Hinduism/Hindu deity of unity, prosperity & learning and removes obstacles. The term refers to eight Ganeshas.
Ashtavinayaka yatratrip refers to a pilgrimage to the eight Hindu temples in Maharashtrastate of India that house eight distinct idols of Ganesha, in a pre-ascertained sequence.
The Ashtavinayaka yatra or pilgrimage covers the eight ancient holy temples of Ganesha which are situated around Pune. Each of these temples has its own individual legend and history, as distinct from each other as themurtis in each temple.
The form of each murti of Ganesha and His trunk are distinct from one another. However, there are other temples of eight Ganesha in various other parts of Maharashtra; the ones around Pune are more well known than the former.
It is believed to be for completion of Ashtavinayak Yatra visit the first ganpati after visiting all the eight ganpati’s again, to complete the yatra.
The eight temples/idols of the Ashtavinayak in their religious sequence are:
1. Moreshwar TempleMorgaon,Pune district
2. Siddhivinayak TempleSiddhatek,Ahmednagar district
3. Ballaleshwar TemplePali, Raigad district
4. Varadavinayak TempleMahad, nearKhopoli,Raigad district
5. Chintamani TempleTheur, Pune district
6. Girijatmaj TempleLenyadri, Pune district
7. Vighnahar TempleOzar, Pune district
8. Mahaganapati TempleRanjangaon, Pune district
According to Shastra, first you have to visit Moreshwar of Moregaon. Then visit Siddhatek, Pali, Mahad, Thevur, Lenyandri, Ozar, Ranjangaon, and then again Moregaon will end your Ashtavinayak Yatra.
All these murtis are called Swayambhueffigies, or the self-existent in Sanskrit. This is to indicate that no human created thesemurtis, they were found completely formed by nature.