Earlier known as Manipur, Ranjangaon near Pune is believed to have been created by none other than Lord Shiva. This was after Shiva prayed to Ganesha to make him victorious in a battle with the demon Tripurasur. It is said that this incident took place on the day of Tripuri Pournima, following which Shiva set up Ganesha’s idol in the form of ‘Mahaganapati’. The temple here is now known by that name. It is one of the ‘ashtavinayakas’ (8 Ganeshas) of Maharashtra.
There are several references to Ranjangaon in the Puranas and according to one of the legends Rishi Grutsamada was an ardent devotee of Ganesha. A boy was born out of his sneeze. This red-skinned boy, named Tripurasur, was highly ambitious and cruel too. Grutsamada asked him to worship Lord Ganesha who, pleased with the boy’s devotion, gifted him three cities of gold, silver and iron. Inflated with pride at the grant of this gift, Tripurasur then conquered heaven, hell and earth in his quest for absolute power. The people residing there prayed to Lord Shiva and requested him to relieve them from the demonic ways of Tripurasur. Shiva pitched a fierce battle but could not wield control over the demon because of having forgotten to ask for Ganesha’s blessings before the commencement of the battle. He then prayed to Ganesha to grant him victory. Thus blessed, he destroyed the three cities of the demon with a single arrow.