Set along the western coast of Maharashtra, is a small little village, called Ganapatipule. It is known for its serene beach and the 400-year old Swayambhu Ganapati temple. Ganapatipule offers itself as an ancient pilgrim centre bearing a Swayambhoo, a naturally formed idol of Ganapati. The Temple is at the foot of a hill adjacent to a glorious beach. The hill itself is considered sacred and a perennial spring flows from the hill to a pond besides the Temple.
During 16th Century AD, a villager, fed up with frequent quarrels in his village, escaped to the Kerda jungles. On his way there, he stumbled upon a naturally formed Ganapati idol. Seeing this as a good omen, he built a temple there. As the word spread, people gathered and gradually even settled there. They worshiped the idol, performed prayers and made additions to the shrine. The Temple becomes the hub of grand activity for five days celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. Villager's and pilgrims join enthusiastically in a procession honoring Ganapati. A taller idol is placed in an ornate palanquin and carried on the shoulders of the devotees through the village. The idol in the sanctum is placed in a way that also makes it visible.
Swayambhu Ganapati Temple
Swayambhu Ganapati Temple is known for its unique idol of Ganapati built on pule (white sand). It is swayambhu (self-originated) and not man made. The idol of Ganapati is made out of copper and depicts the God astride a lion. It is placed in the Sanctum Sanctorum and at sunrise and sunset, a shaft of golden light penetrates and illuminates the idol. Early in the morning, the rhythmic beat of the nagaras can be heard from the Temple.