At Ranjangaon, around 50 kms from Pune on the Pune-Aurangabad Highway, the deity is known as Mahaganapati because of the size of the of the statue. It has ten trunks and twenty arms. It is believed that Mahaganpati was hidden to prevent its destruction from non-believers. Thousands of devotees visit the place during the Bhadrapad festival.
It is believed that a demon called Tripurasur pleased the Lord with years of penance and in return, the Lord granted him a boon of protection and amulets of iron, silver and gold. The demon, who could now be killed only with a single arrow from Lord Shiva’s quiver, started harassing the Gods and the rishis. The Gods, obviously had to turn to Shiva. A war between Mahadev and the demon ensued on the mountains of Mandar but Shiva could not vanquish the demon. It was then that Narad reminded Shiva of several shlokas describing, “Pranamya Shirasa Devam”.
Shiva appealed to Ganesha with these lines and ensured the Lord’s support. Mahadev finally defeated Tripurasur with a single arrow demolishing his three amulets. The indebted Lord Shiva built a “Mahaganapati” temple in honour of Ganesha.
The temple’s shrine was built by Madhavrao Peshwa while the hall was built by the General of Indore. The idol is placed in a lotus position and its trunk is turned towards the left. The images of Ganapati’s wives – Riddhi and Siddhi- rest on his two sides. There is a smaller idol placed in the basement.