Ashtavinayaka Temple: Chintamani, TheurHistorical places, Places — By Vandana Prasad on September 1, 2009 at 10:36 AM
After our visit to the Mayureshwar temple last week, now let’s pay our tribute to the second of the eight Ashtavinayaks, the Chintamani Ganpati in Theur. Located at a distance of about 25 kms from Pune, Theur falls in the Haveli Taluka of the Pune District. To be more precise, Theur is the meeting point of the Bhima, Mula and Muthu rivers.
The Ganesh temple at Theur houses the idol of Chintamani Vinayaka. There are two main folklores behind the creation of the Chintamani Temple. According to the first legend Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, was once feeling restless and was unable to find any peace of mind. When he reached the point where he could no longer endure living with this state of mind, he finally called upon Lord Ganesha and urged him to help him ease his tensions. Lord Ganesha came to his rescue and helped Lord Brahma attain serenity and finally relieve him from his chinta .The place where this happened was in the Sthavar region which is now known as Theur and hence the Ganpati temple here is called the Chintamani temple or the temple of Chintamani Vinayaka.
Others believe that the temple is named after the Chintamani gem. According to this folklore, a sage named Kapila possessed a gem called Chintamani which had the power to satisfy anybody’s wishes. One fine day, a person named Gunaraja came to take shelter at the sage’s place. However, this was just a cover because Gunaraja had found out about the special powers of the Chintamani gem and hence had decided to steal it from Kapila, which he did. After he realised that his gem has been stolen, the sage then approached Goddess Durga who advised him to seek help from Lord Ganesha to get the gem back. Lord Ganesha agreed to help Kapila on the condition that he would have to fight Gunaraja to earn the gem back. This historic fight took place at Theur under the Kadamba tree in which Kapila emerged victorious. For this reason, Theur is also known as Kadambanagar and the Ganesh temple is called Chintamani.
Whatever the case, there is one thing which binds these stories together and that is the belief that anyone who wants to attain peace of mind and relieve themselves of all their worries should visit the Chintamani temple and pay their tribute to the second Ashtavinayaka.
The Chintamani temple was actually built in the reign of the Peshwas by Shri Dharanidhar Maharaj Devji. A well built concrete road leads you to the main temple from the Mula-Mutha River. The main archway of the temple faces north whereas the Ganesh idol is seen facing in the eastward direction. The temple hall is made of wood and houses a beautiful fountain made of black stone. The 400 years old temple has a separate section for meditation called the ‘Overry’ which is just as big as the temple’s courtyard built to accommodate the hundreds of devotees that visit this temple. The courtyard houses a Shiva temple and is surrounded by a garden. Another feature of the temple is its big bell which is believed to have been specially imported from Europe by the Peshwas.
The idol of Chintamani is said to have self emanated. The eyes of the idol are studded with precious stones and its trunk is turned towards the left. The Chintamani Vinayaka is visited mostly during the months of Bhadrapad Shuddha and Magh Shuddha. The temple wears a festive look during this time of the year. The Ganesh Chaturthi is also celebrated with great festivity and draws a lot of devotees from all around Maharashtra.
To visit Theur from Pune one needs to take the Pune-Solapur highway. It is about 3 kms from Loni and from there on a small road to the left takes you to holy town of Theur.