Temples of Maharashtra
The State of Maharashtra has to its credit hoary pilgrimage centers as well as landmarks in the evolution of Indian Temple architecture. Two of the grand ancient rock cut temples of India dedicated to Shiva - The Elephanta Cave Temple and the Kailasanatha Temple at Ellora are in Maharashtra. Also in this state are three of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines, two of the Shakti Peethas, the eight Ashta Vinayak shrines and the revered Vitthala shrine at Pandharpur - glorified by the saints of Maharashtra.
Elephanta Caves: The ancient rock cut shrine in the Elephanta island off the coast of Bombay houses an imposing image of Trimurthi Shiva. Kailasanatha Temple at Ellora:This ancient monolithic rock cut monument built in the Dravidian idiom is a masterpiece of creation. Tryambakeshwar - The origin of the river Godavari is intimately linked with this Jyotirlinga shrine near Nasik. Bhimashankar - Jyotirlinga Shrine is associated with the legend of Shiva destroying the demon Tripurasura. Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Shrine is a temple located in the vicinity of Ellora. Saptakotishwar shrine in Goa: This is an ancient Shiva temple located in New - Picholim, near Panaji. Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur: This revered pilgrimage center referred to as Karavira Kshetra enshrines Mahalakshmi. Kanheri Caves near Mumbai: Read a traveller's account of his experiences on his way to Kanheri from Mumbai. The Ashta Vinayak shrines: The State of Maharashtra holds Ganapati in great reverence. 8 of these shrines around Pune are collectively referred to as the Ashta Vinayak temples. Bhavani Temple at Tuljapur: Bhavani the tutelary deity of the great Maratha ruler Shivaji is enshrined at Tuljapur and is visited by thousands throughout the year. Moreshwar in Moregaon, is one of the most popular of the Ashta Vinayaka shrines in Maharashtra depicting Ganapati on a peacock mount. Ranjangaon in Maharashtra enshrines Mahaganapati depicting the legend of Shiva invoking Ganesha during his battle with the demons. Mahad in Maharashtra enshrines Varadvinayak associated with the legend of Rukmangada, Indra and the Bhadravana forest. Girijaatmaja Vinayak at Lenyadri hills in Maharashtra is a representation of Ganesha in the form of an infant. Ozar in Maharashtra depicts Ganapati as Vigneshwar who quelled the arrogance of the demon Vignaasuran.
Ballal Vinayak at Pali in Maharashtra is associated with the legend of a young lad Ballal's devotion to Ganapati. Chintamani Vinayak in Maharashtra is associated with the legend of the Chintamani gem and Kapila Muni. Siddhi Vinayak in Siddhatek in Maharashtra commemorates the legend of Vishnu invoking Ganesha, during his battle with the demons. The Siddhi Vinayak temple in Bombay is a modern shrine visited by thousands throughout the year. Vitthala at Pandharpur: This ancient pilgrimage center enshrining Vithoba has been associated with the revered saints of Maharashtra. The Maharashtra Temple Index provides pointers to several temples located all over the state of Maharashtra.