Ballal, a child, was an ardent devotee of Ganesha. His father, unable to accept his son's extreme piety, once beat up the boy who was deep in prayer in the forest, and left him tied to a tree. Ganesha heard his devotee's pleas for help and appearing in the guise of a Brahmin, released him from his bonds. He granted Ballal a wish; all that the boy wanted was for his beloved Ganesha to take up residence right there. The Ganesha-shaped stone idol found at this spot is thus named Ballaleshwar Vinayaka – the only temple to be known by a devotee's name.
Located in picturesque Pali, off the Mumbai-Pune highway, Ballaleshwar has two lakes close by. On the days of the equinoxes, the sun’s rays fall precisely upon the idol.
Ballaleshwar's navel and eyes are diamond-studded; his squat form is dressed in a Brahmin’s clothes. It is believed that impressions of Ganesha’s fingers appear on the sacred offerings prepared for festivals.