Ranjangaon is a village located at a distance of about 50 km from Pune, en route to Aurangabad in Maharashtra, and it houses a shrine to Mahaganapati.
Ranjangaoncha Mahaganapati is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.
The eight sacred temples are housed in a very determined sequence. Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, who is also considered as the God of Unity, Lord of obstacles, Prosperity, and learning.
Each temple has a specific history and more specifically, the trunk of Lord Ganesha differs from each of the eight temples. The holy visit of Ashtavinayaka temples is believed to be satisfied only after the Revisit to the first temple of Ashtavinayaka temples. The following precedence of worship to Ashtavinayaka temples is based on the Shashtra, a sacred Hindu scripture. The Ashtavinayaka Temples are:
- Shri Ballaleshwar Temple
- Shree Chintamani Vinayaka Temple
- Girijatmaj Temple
- Mahaganpati Mandir, Ranjangaon
- Mayureshwar Ganpati Mandir
- Siddhatek Ashtavinayak Mandir
- Varad Vinayak Ganpati Mandir, Mahad
- Vighnahar Ganesh Temple, Ozar
Legend has it that a demon by name Tripurasura caused suffering to all beings in the heaven and on earth. On hearing the pleas of the Gods, Shiva intervened but he realized that he could not defeat the demon. Later on listening to Narad Muni’s advice, Shiva salutedGanesha and then shot a single arrow which destroyed the demon and Tripura citadels. Shiva, the slayer of the Tripura citadels is enshrined at Bhimashankaram nearby. In South India, the legend is commonly known as Ganesha broke the axle of Shiva’s chariot since Shiva headed to battle the demon Tripurasura without saluting Ganesha Upon realizing his act of negligence, Shiva saluted his son Ganesha and then proceeded to battle against the powerful demon and achieved the victory.
Mahaganpati Mandir was believed to be built by Shakuntala, the wife of Dushyanta (a great king in classical Indian literature and mythology) and the mother of Emperor Bharata. Shakuntala was believed to be born at this place. The current structure of the Mahaganpati Mandir was believed to be initiated and contributed by one of the Gold Smith family of Ranjangaon. The presiding deity of this Mahaganpati Mandir is Lord Ganapathi (Lord Ganesha) also called as Mahotkat, who is found with ten trunks and 20 hands, with His eyes and navel adorned with ruby stones.
The main entrance of this Mahaganpati Mandir has a separate shrine for Shivalingam, the infinite nature of Lord Shiva. The Shikhara or Vimanam (tower above the sanctum sanctorum) contains the sculptures of all forms of Lord Ganesha in Ashtavinayaka temples. This temple contains the footwear of Shri Vengaonkar Josh, the great devotee of Lord Ganesha and the gateway of the temple has a bright lamp tower.