of Sant Gajanan Maharaj
The temple dedicated to Gajanan Maharaj is the principal object of interest in Shegaon which attracts lakhs of pilgrims from not only Vidharbha region but also from the distant parts of Western Maharashtra and Marathwada. Allegorically Shegaon can be described as the Pandharpur of Vidharbha.
Thousands of devotees pay their respect to the Samadhi on every thursday. Which is regarded as a special day for Veneration to the Maharaj. It is on every thursday that the Palkhi of
Shri Gajanan Maharaj is taken round in procession. A large class of devotees believe in and narrate the miracles performed by and the spiritual power of the Maharaj which they say to have
experience themselves. Many of them also believe that generation to the Saint and Vows are rewarded in the form of
fulfillment of desires.
The origin of Shree Gajanan Maharaj is rather obscure though not legendary. He appeared at Shegaon on
February 23, 1878 of whom and when he was born and his family history is not known and as per the information given by the local resident no one has heard him speaking about his
When he appeared at Shegaon the local population saw in him the qualities of a saint or a prophet. Since no one has seen or heard as to the place from where the Maharaj came at Shegaon and since no one did have any talk with him about his origin his appearing at
Shegaon was considered by many as a miracle. According to some sources Shri Gajanan
Maharaj must have been either the descendent of the Peshwa Nanasaheb who led the war of
independence of 1857 and was living in obscurity after his defeat at the hands of the British or of those patriots who fought in the battle along with the Peshwa and who were putting up at Pppatkheda in Vidharbha at the foot of the Satpuda range.
Many people support this conjecture in view of the fact that he was not only present in the public meeting held at Akola in 1907 but was sitting on the dias by the side of Lokmanya Tilak who addressed the same. After hearing about the life imprisonment of Lokmanya Tilak, the Maharaj blessed the great patriot of India, and prophested that the cause for which Tilak was fighting would meet with success.
The temple dedicated to the Maharaj is to the east of the town and occupies about a hectare of land, and faces the north. The gateway of the temple court-yard is magnificent and imposing. There is another gateway on the western side of the court-yard. There are many rooms alongside of the court-yard the back side which are meant for pilgrims coming from distant places.
The main shrine of Shri Gajanan Maharaj has a sabhamandap supported by three rows of nine pillars each on both sides. The entire sabhamandap is covered with marble tiles.
The gallery over-hanging the sabhamandap is adorned with picture frames depicting the life of shri Gajanan Maharaj. At the entrance to the shrine, both the sides are flanked by the images of dwarpalas, viz., Jay and Vijay, besides those of Devi and Ganapati.
The inner shrine contains the padukas and the facial plaque of Shri Gajanan Maharaj. In the inner shrine on the marble platform are the idols of Rama, Laxman and Sita, besides the padukas and the facial plaque of the Maharaj.
Exactly below the inner shrine containing the inages of Rama, Laxman and Sita in a celler which can be reached by descending down about 16 steps is the Samadhi of Shri Gajanan Maharaj.
The way to the celler is from both sides, one usually used for going down and another for climbing up.
In front of the inner shrine is an idol of Hanuman under a canopy. The temple has a pinnacle which could be seen from a distance. By the side of the inner shrine is a shayangar, bed room. In the court-yard are the Samadhi of Balabhau Maharaj and Narayan Maharaj who rendered personalservices to Shri Gajanan Maharaj.
Towards the left of the main shrine in the courtyard is a double storied structure with 45 rooms which provides lodging facilities to the pilgrims.
The arch above the west entrance displays beautifully carved creeper designs. By the side of the road to the main entrance. I.e., north entrance, are a few buildings constructed recently which house the ayurvedic, homoepathic and allopathic dispensaries conducted by the temple authorities. The allopathic ispensary is quite well-equipped with necessary amenities.
The temple authorities serve daily prasad to all devotees attending the temple at lunch time. The temple authorities have organised a trust which is registered under the Public Trusts Act. Handsome donations are received by the Trust from the devotees of Shri Gajanan Maharaj..