Ozar Ganpati

Ozar Ganpati – Vighneshwar Vinayak Ashtavinayak Temple

Ozar Ganpati Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh is one of the eight Ashtavinayak Temples of Pune in Maharashtra. The temple is located at Ozar in Junnar Taluk, in Nashik District. If one has to follow a sequence when visiting the Ashtavinayak Temples, the Vighneswar Vinayak Temple has to be visited seventh. Since Lord Ganesh defeated a demon named Vighnasur at this place, the Lord was called Vighneswar Vinayak – The one who removes obstacles.

Ozar Ganpati

History and Legend of Ozar Ganpati Temple

  • The Ozar Ganpati Temple was built during the reign of Peshwas. Chimaji Appa, military commander of the Peshwas covered the shikhara with gold retrieved from Vasai Fort. The temple was again renovated in 1967 by Appa Shastri Joshi, an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesh
  • Legend of Vigneshwar: According to the Puranas, a king by name Abhinandana performed a sacrifice, during which he missed out on making an offering to Lord Indra. The angry Lord sent Lord Yama to create chaos and stop the sacrifice. Lord Yama took the form of a demon Vighnasur – the one who creates obstacles. Vighnasur not only disturbed the sacrifice but also created several obstacles for all good deeds in the universe. The people and sages approached Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva with their problem. The Lords advised the people that they request Lord Ganesh for his help.
  • The people started worshiping Lord Ganesh, and pleased with their prayers, the Lord appeared and defeated the demon in a fierce battle. The demon requested Lord Ganesh that he be called as Vighneshwara – the one who removes obstacles. The overjoyed people installed an idol of Lord Ganesh at Ozar and addressed him as Vighneswara Vinayak.

Significance of Ozar Ganpati Temple

  • Vighneshwar Vinayak, as the name suggests, means the Lord of Vighna or the Lord who removes obstacles
  • The temple is also known as Vighnahar Temple
  • The temple entrance features four Muniputras or sons of saints. The first and fourth Muniputras hold a Shivlinga in their hands. This signifies that Lord Ganesh greatly reveres his parents and that, devotees who revere the Lord should also have the same devotion to their own parents
  • The entrance also features two saints holding holy books and chanting. This suggests and encourages devotees to chant hymns while entering the sanctum sanctorum
  • The Vighneshwar Vinayak idol is believed to be self-manifested and is covered in vermillion
  • The idol has a left-turned trunk. The eyes are supposedly made of emerald while the Lord’s forehead and navel have diamonds
  • The Lord is accompanied by his consorts Riddhi and Siddhi
  • A Seshnag and a demon can be seen on the top of the Lord’s idol. The demon is believed to be a local deity called Vastupurush
  • Ozar Ganpati Temple is east-facing. The temple has small rooms for meditation. The rooms are called Owaris.
  • The temple walls have beautiful murals and sculptures that are a treat for the eyes. The shikhara of the main sanctum sanctorum is covered with gold
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Ozar Ganpati Temple Timings

  • Daily: 5:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Angarkhi: 4:00 am – 11:00 pm

Poojas and Rituals of Ozar Ganpati

  • Maha Aarti: 7:30 am
  • Maha Prasad: Mornings – 10 am and Afternoons -1:00 pm
  • Madhyan Aarti: 12 noon
  • Shejaarti – the last Aarti of the day: 10 pm
    (The temple doors remain closed after Shejaarti)

Rituals for Ozar Ganpati Temple

  • Atharv Shirsh Abhishek
  • Maha Abhishek
  • Bramhnaspati Supt Abhishek
  • Pavamaan Supt Abhishek
  • Vaarshik Abhishek
  • Sahastra Avartan Abhishek
  • Maha Rudra Abhishek
  • Tah Hayaat Abhishek
  • Atharv Shirsh Abhishek

Festivals at Ozar Ganpati Temple

  • Bhadrapat: Lord Ganesh’s birth celebrations known as Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi is a key festival in the state of Maharashtra. In Ozar, Lord Vighneshwar Vinayak’s birthday is celebrated in a big way during Bhadrapat Shudh (August / September). During this festival, the people of all nearby villages gather together and organise celebrations on a grand scale.
  • Magh: Magh Shudh (January/ February) is another important time for festivities at the Vighneshwar Vinayak temple. The second day of the festival features an auction for wrestling ring. The person who wins the auction bid is given the privilege to inaugurate the first match.
  • Kartik Purnima: Kartik Purnima is celebrated during the month of November/ December. During this five-day festival, several Deepmalas are lit up at the temple.

How to reach Ozar Ganpati Temple

  • By road: Ozar is nearly 85 km from Pune and 8 km from Junnar. There are several State-run bus services operating from Pune and Mumbai. However, they don’t directly connect with Ozar. Travellers are required to disembark at Junnar and take taxis or auto-rickshaws to Ozar.
  • By rail: The nearest railway station is at Pune, at 85 km from Ozar. The Pune station is well connected by trains operating to major Indian cities.
  • By air: The nearest airport is at Pune, which is well connected to all major Indian cities.
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Where to stay

The Vighneshwar Vinayak Temple Trust runs a Bhakta Bhavan which offers rooms and dormitories at nominal charges.  There are quite a number of hotels offering accommodation options for all budgets. Pilgrims may also choose to stay at Pune, which is 85 km from Ozar.

Where to eat

Ozar has a good number of restaurant options. One can choose from dhabas to street food kiosks and restaurants serving popular Maharashtrian delights.

Nearby Temples

  • Shivneri Fort and Temple: Shivneri Fort is the birthplace of Chatrapathi Sivaji. The fort is visible from the Vighneshwar Vinayak Temple and also houses a small temple dedicated to Goddess Shivani, after whom Chatrapathi Sivaji was named. Devotees travelling to Ozar and Lenyadri Ashtavinayak temples also stop at this Fort as it is a place of interest.

Other Ashtavinayak Temples

  • Mayureshwar Temple, Morgaon: This is the first of the Ashtavinayak temples. Devotees begin and end their journey at the Mayureshwar Temple. The temple got its name from the legend of Mayureshwar – Lord Ganesh riding a peacock, who defeated a demon at this place. The Mayureshwar Temple is located at Morgaon, 165 km from the Vighneswar Vinayak Temple.
  • Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Siddhatek: This temple is the second in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Vishnu is believed to have appeased Lord Ganesh at this place before slaying the demons Madhu and Kaitabh. Lord Siddhi Vinayak is considered to be the only idol with the trunk pointing towards the right. The Siddhi Vinayak Temple is in Siddhatek, 150 km from the Vighneswar Vinayak
  • Ballaleshwar Temple, Pali: This temple is the third in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. As the name suggests this temple is named after Lord Ganesh’s devotee Ballal. This is the only Ganesh Temple named after a devotee. The Ballaleshwar Temple is in Pali, 250 km from the Vighneswar Vinayak
  • Varadha Vinayak Temple, Mahad: This temple is the fourth in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Ganesh is referred to as Varadha Vinayak, the Lord who grants boons and wishes. The Varadha Vinayak Temple is in Mahad, 150 km from the Vighneswar Vinayak Temple.
  • Chintamani Temple, Theur: This temple is the fifth in the list of Ashtavinayak temples. Lord Ganesh is believed to have retrieved the invaluable jewel – Chintamani from a greedy demon and given it back to sage Kapila. The sage rewarded Lord Ganesh by placing around Lord Ganesh’s neck and hence was known as Chintamani Vinayak. The Chintamani Temple is located at Theur, 105 km from the Vigneshwar Vinayak Temple.
  • Girijatmaj Temple, Lenyadri: This temple is the sixth in the list of Ashtavinayak Temples. Goddess Parvathi is believed to have performed penance at this place to have a child. Her prayers were answered when Lord Ganesh was born. The temple gets its name from the words Girija (Parvathi) and Atmaj (son). The Girijatmaj Temple is in Lenyadri, 87 km from the Vighneswar Vinayak
  • Mahaganapati Temple, Ranjangaon: This is the last of the Ashtavinayak Temples. Lord Shiva is believed to have worshipped Lord Ganesh here before proceeding to defeat the demon Tripurasura. The Mahaganapati Temple is located at Ranjangaon, 74 km from the Vigneshwar Vinayak Temple.
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