Ganpatipule Swayambhu Ganesh Temple


Swayambhu Ganapati Temple is a tourist destination located on the Arabian Sea, at a distance of 1 km from the town of Ganpatipule in the Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra. Ganpatipule is a small town in the middle of the Sahyadri hills, surrounded by mango and cashew mango trees located 25 km north to Ratnagiri. Ganpati Temple is a major pilgrimage site and a historical temple in Maharashtra. As there is no railway station, there is only a road to reach Ganpatipule. The nearest railway station to Ganpati Poole is Ratnagiri. Ganapati Temple in Ganpatipule was built over 400 years ago and the Swayambhu Ganapati idol self proclaimed over 1600 years ago was established in the temple. 

Pule means white sand in Marathi. The town is known as Ganpatipule as Lord Ganesh is self-proclaimed in the sand.

Ganpatipule Ganesh Temple View-Ratnagiri

Ganpatipule is a small town and there is a beautiful beach that attracts tourists. Thousands of devotees flock to Ganpatipule to visit the Swayambhu Ganesh and spend a happy time on the nearby beach. The place is lush with coconut, palm trees and mangrove forests.

As per to a local legend, Lord Ganesh lived in Ganpatipule for some time. The Ganapatipule Temple built over 400 years ago, has a self-proclaimed idol of Lord Ganesh dating back to 1600 years. The idols of the deities establish everywhere facing east but in Ganpatipule temple the idol of Ganapati established facing west. Legend is it that a copper idol of Ganapati riding on a lion originated in the sand itself was erected in the temple along with other deities. The idol of Rat, vehicle of Lord Ganesh made of copper can be seen outside the temple.

As per legend, Basmasur is a worshiper of Lord Shiva. Basmasur performed penance for Lord Shiva on the advice of Shukracharya, guru of the demons and blessed with authority on birds, animals, humans, creatures, demons, ghosts, etc., further boon to get burn anyone to ashes with placing his hands on their head. The gift given by Shiva made Basmasur arrogant. The gods and humans feared his terrible deeds and prayed to Shiva for end of Basmasur. Basmasur went to Kailash with the desire to conquer the three worlds and saw Shiva and Parvati. A thought came to his mind that Lord Shiva was not fit for the beautiful Parvati. He tried to seduce her. Basmasur told to Shiva that he was not good enough to Parvati and that he should hand her over to him. Basmasur said that if Lord Shiva hesitate to hand over Parvati, he would lay his hands on Shiva and burn him.

As soon as Bhasmasur stepped towards Parvati, she disappeared. Since Parvati disappears, Bhasmasura tries to catch Shiva. Lord Shiva went to Vaikunth, the abode of Lord Vishnu, for protection. Lord Shiva told Vishnu what had happened and asked him to save him from Bhasmasur. Vishnu said that he could not fight with Bhasmasur because of the boon bestowed by Lord Shiva. Lords Shiva and Vishnu thought of a way out and prayed Lord Ganesh to lead them safely. Lord Ganesh entered into the heart of Vishnu and suggests that Bhasmasur has nostalgia on women and thus his life may be put an end with that reason. Lord Vishnu understood the hint and said that he would destroy Bhasmasur.

Bhasmasur searched for Lord Shiva. Vishnu appeared before Bhasmasur in the form of Mohini who is more beautiful than Parvati. Bhasmasur was amazed at her beauty. He headed towards her with an intention to marry her. She stipulates that she will marry a dancer who imitates her dance. Bhasmasur said with confidence that he could abide with the condition. While Bhasmasur was dancing with Vishnu in the form of Mohini, Vishnu put his hands on his head in beautiful feminine attire. As soon as Bhasmasura imitated that posture, the blessing given by Shiva came to fruition and Bhasmasur burned and turned into ashes. Lord Shiva praised Vishnu as the protector of the world. Vishnu said that the real protector is Lord Ganesh called as Lambodar and who is the form of Omkar. Lord Ganesh is  able to withstand obstacles.  He entered into his heart and given the advice.

According to the legend of the temple, a Brahmin named Balbhatji Bhide lived in the area where the present temple is located around 1600 years ago. Bhide had to face a problem and decided to go on fast to get rid of the problem. Bhide performed penance about Lord Ganesh in the forest. Lord Ganesh appeared to Bhide in a dream and told him that he had come to Gule to fulfill the desires of his devotees, that the hill is his counterpart and that all the hardships would be removed of worshiping him. One of   the cows of Bhide stopped to give milk. The herdsman kept an eye on the cow and was amazed to see the cow pouring milk at the place where the idol of Ganesh exists. The herdsman told the incident to Bhide. Bhide cleaned the place, found the idol of Lord Ganesh. He built a shrine and started worship Lord Ganesh. In Ganpatipule, ‘Poole’ means sand dunes. The name Ganpatipule came into existence to this place since Lord Ganesh originated from the sand dunes.

Magha Shuddha Chaturthi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali etc. are the major festivals celebrated at this temple. The temple is located at the bottom of a hill. Pilgrims roam around the Ganesh-shaped hill with devotion. The temple is open from 5-00 am to 9-00 pm. There is a resort for lunch. It is convenient to visit the shrine from October to March.