Vigneshwar Temple (Ozar) is one of the most impressive and majestic temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and success. It is located on the banks of the Kukadi river, in the village of Ozar, about 85 km from Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is also the seventh among the eight Ashtavinayak temples, which are the eight holy shrines of Lord Ganesha in Maharashtra.
Timing / Entry Fees Vigneshwar Temple
Vigneshwar Temple is open for visitors from 4 am to 11 pm every day. There is no entry fee for visiting the temple, but devotees can offer donations or perform rituals as per their wish. The temple also provides accommodation and food facilities for pilgrims at nominal charges.
Rituals of Vigneshwar Temple
The main ritual performed at the temple is the darshan or viewing of the idol of Lord Ganesha, which is believed to grant blessings and fulfill wishes. The idol is made of gold and has two arms, holding a modak (sweet dumpling) and a lotus. It also has a cobra hood on its head and a mouse as its vehicle. The idol faces the east and has a left-sided trunk, which is considered auspicious.
Other rituals performed at the temple include abhishek (bathing of the idol with water, milk, honey, etc.), panchamrit (offering of five nectars), naivedya (offering of food), aarti (waving of lamps), and pradakshina (circumambulation). Devotees can also perform special rituals such as sankashti chaturthi (fasting on the fourth day after the full moon), angarki chaturthi (fasting on the fourth day after the new moon that falls on a Tuesday), ganesh chaturthi (the birthday of Lord Ganesha), and magh shukla chaturthi (the anniversary of the temple).
Importance of Vigneshwar Temple
Vigneshwar Temple is considered to be very important for several reasons. According to legend, it was here that Lord Ganesha defeated and killed a demon named Vighnasur, who had created obstacles for the gods and sages. The temple was built by King Abhinandan of Vidarbha to worship and honor Lord Ganesha for his help. The temple is also said to be the place where Lord Indra, the king of gods, worshipped Lord Ganesha to regain his lost kingdom from Ravana, the king of Lanka.
Vigneshwar Temple is also believed to have miraculous powers and grant various boons to its devotees. Some of these boons include protection from enemies, removal of obstacles, success in endeavors, wealth and prosperity, health and happiness, marriage and children, and liberation from sins and cycles of birth and death.
Significance of Vigneshwar Temple
Vigneshwar Temple is significant not only for its religious value but also for its historical and cultural value. The temple is one of the oldest and finest examples of Hindu temple architecture in India. It dates back to the 17th century CE and has been renovated and restored several times over the centuries.
Vigneshwar Temple has a grand and majestic structure with a shikhara (spire), a mandapa (hall), a garbhagriha (sanctum), and a nandi mandapa (a hall with a statue of Nandi, the bull mount of Lord Shiva). The temple walls are adorned with carvings and sculptures depicting various scenes from Hindu mythology and history.
The temple is also a center of cultural activities and festivals throughout the year. The temple hosts various musical and dance performances by renowned artists and groups. The temple also organizes various social and charitable events such as free medical camps, blood donation camps, educational programs, etc.
How to reach the temple?
The temple can be reached by road or by rail from Pune or Mumbai. There are regular buses and taxis available from both cities. The nearest railway station is Pune Junction, which is about 85 km from Ozar.
What are the best times to visit the temple?
The best times to visit the temple are during the festivals of Ganesh Chaturthi (August-September) and Magh Shukla Chaturthi (January-February), when the temple is decorated with lights and flowers and attracts thousands of devotees from all over India.
What are the other attractions near the temple?
Some of the other attractions near the temple are:
Lenyadri Ganesh Temple: The sixth among the Ashtavinayak temples, located about 15 km from Ozar. It is dedicated to Lord Ganesha as Girijatmaj, the son of Goddess Parvati.
Shivneri Fort: A historical fort located about 40 km from Ozar. It is the birthplace of Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire in the 17th century.
Junnar Caves: A group of rock-cut caves located about 30 km from Ozar. They date back to the 2nd century BCE and contain Buddhist sculptures and paintings.
Vigneshwar Temple (Ozar) is a powerful abode of Lord Ganesha and a place of historical and cultural significance. It is a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience the divine grace and glory of the elephant-headed god.🙏