Divine Traveller
Divine Traveller

Vighnahar Ganapati,Ozar

Vighnahar Ganapati
Vighnahar Ganapati-(file picture)

The Ozar temple is another one of the Ashtavinayaka, the eight revered shrines of Ganesha in Maharashtra.   

The Ganesha here is called Vigneshwara or Vignahar (spelt also as Vignahara) and is associated with the legend of Ganesha defeating Vignasura, the demon of obstacles.

According to the Mudgala Purana, Skanda Purana and the Vinayaka Purana, King Abhinandana performed a huge yagna (sacrifice) in which he did not give any offering to the God Indra. The angered Indra ordered Kala (Time,Death) to destroy the sacrifice. Kala took the form of the demon Vignasura or Vigna (obstacle) and he created all sorts of obstacles such fire,rain,floods during the yagna and ruined it. Further he created havoc in the universe, creating obstacles in the good deeds and sacrifices of sages and other living beings. The sages approached Lord Shiva for help and Shiva advised the worship of Ganesha. Hearing the prayer of the sages, Ganesha began to battle the demon,and the demon realized that it was impossible to win Ganesha and surrendered to Him and agreed not to harass the living beings of the world. Hetook refuge under Ganesha and aooferred himself as his assistant and it was from then arranged that Vigna (obstacles) will not touch Ganesha's devotees and would affect only in places where Ganesha was not invoked or worshipped. Vignasura also requested Ganesha to take the name Vigneshwara (The Lord of Vigna or obstacles). The relieved sages constructed a temple here at Ozar for Ganesha as Vigneshwara to mark the event.

Like all Ashtavinayaka shrines, the Ganesha is believed to be swayambhu (self existent), naturally occurring in the form of an elephant-faced stone. The central icon of Ganesha faces east and is flanked with brass images of his consorts Siddhi and Riddhi. He has a trunk turned to left and is covered with sindoor. His eyes are emeralds and his forehead and navel are adored with diamonds

Ozar temple
Entrance to the Temple

The temple is situated on the banks of Kukadi river. The temple faces east and features a a grand entrance,spacious courtyard,sculptural and mural work". It is surrounded by a walled compound with a large gateway flanked by two large stone Dvarapalaga sculptures and a row of four musicians in bas relief on the lintel. Two large stone Deepamalas (lamp towers) stand near the gateway in front of a fine corridor of seven cusped arches.

The central temple has three entrances with sculptured side posts and lintels. The central one has a lintel with a Ganesha in relief surrounded with monkeys and parrots on trees. The temple has two halls, with first one (20 feet high) having the entrances to the north and south too and has the imagee of Dhundiraj Ganesha. The next hall which is 10 feet high has a white marble mushika (the mouse) facing Ganesha.

The temple walls are filled with murals and colourful sculptures. The shikhara (gopuram),over the sanctum, is covered with gold foil.It also has two wide stone Prakarams,outer path outside the sanctum.

deepmalas shops
Deepmalas (lamp towers) Shops

The entrance to the temple is covered with fibre glass sheets and on both sides of the path you can find many shops in front of the temple where you can buy souvenirs of the Ashtavinayaka idols, pictures, pooja items, sindoor etc.

kukadi river
Sunset at Kukadi river
Temple location It is situated at around 85 kms from Pune.

Temple Timings The temple is open from 5:00 AM till 8:00 pm

Temple's daily Pooja and Festivals

The temple celebrates the Ganesh Chaturthi and Ganesh Jayanti in a grand scale. There is another five-day festival starting on Kartik Poornima is also celebrated when the Deepamalas are lit

How to reach?
1) State transport bus service available between Shivaji Nagar(Pune) to Ozar
2) If you are driving by your car ,it is on Pune-Nashik highway near Junnar.

As per my experience,the best alternative is to take a group travel to Ashta Vinayaka yatra from reputed travels in Pune or Mumbai.

Where to Stay? There are not many hotels in Ozar, Pune is the nearest place for stay. There is a lodging complex built by the temple trust to accommodate 3000 devotees.
Contact Shree Vigneshwar Ganapati Devasthan trust, PO Ozar,Junnar Taluk, Pune Dist.
Useful data
State: Maharashtra
District: Pune
Famous for: Pilgrimage
Languages: Marathi,Hindi
Best Season: Throughout the year. Summer( from May to July) could be very hot when the mercury shoots to 40 degree celsius. Monsoon during the month of June brings plenty of rain
Weather: Summer 33-42°C, Winter 16-28°C
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