Legend of Ballaleshwar Temple
Legend has it that in the days of yore, a merchant by name Kalyan and his wife Indumati had a pious young son by name "Ballal". The lad was a fervent devotee of Lord Vinayaka. Along with other peers Ballal used to pray to Ganapati. Slowly under Ballal’s influence they began getting engrossed in their worship even forgetting about their hunger and thirst. Their parents worried and tensed lodged a complaint against the lad Ballal with his father Kalyan. The enraged merchant tied the boy to a tree and beat him up. The lad out of pain resorted to prayer. Legend has it that his prayers were answered as Ganapati appeared in front of him and relieved him of his distress and took up abode permanently at Pali with the name "Ballal Vinayak".
Architecture of the Ballaleshwar Temple
The original structure of the Ballaleshwar Temple was built some 200 years ago and the present temple structure is supplanted in about 1760. The temple complex encircles two lakes and is tiled throughout. The temple is enclosed with brass plate and has a red flag adorned with representations of the sun and moon. There are two sanctums in the temple, an inner and an outer sanctum. The inner sanctum is 15 feet high, while the outer sanctum is only 12 feet high. Ballaleshwar is built of black stone with an ornamental, octagonal dome. The Ganesh idol in the inner sanctum is 3 ft tall which sits on a stone throne. The lord facing eastwards is flanked by Siddhi and Riddhi on either of his sides. His trunk is curved to the left side. The eyes and naval of the Ganapati are studded with diamonds. The inner shrine also contains images of Parvati. The Outer Sanctum is around 12 feet and has the idol of Lord Ganesha with his rat holding a Modak in its hands. The main hall of the temple is 40 feet long and 20 feet wide and contains 8 pillars resembling Cyprus trees.
Special feature of Ballaleshwar Temple
The lingam at Ballaleshwar is said to have miraculously risen to its position. One specialty of this temple is that during sunrise the rays of the sun fall directly on the Ganesh Idol. There is also an extra Ganesh Temple, known as "Dhundi Vinayak" just behind the temple.
How to Reach Ballaleshwar Temple
The nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Mumbai. Tourists can also access this place either from Panvel or Khopoli Railway Stations. It is easily accessible as number of buses ply from Mumbai and Pune connecting Pali.