Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Visiting Vigneshwara Ganapati Temple at Ozhar

Most devotees setting out on the Ashtavinayak Yatra visit the Vigneshwara Ganapati Temple at Ozhar as a fifth halt, though it is generally said that it should be the seventh one (see route map here). Ozhar is located on the Pune-Nashik highway & is considered to be a very charming town.

It is located about 8kms from Narayangaon, on the banks of the river Kuk­di. Buses ply to Ozhar from Narayangaon and Junnar and it is accessible by road via the bridge over the Kukdi river. The road route is: Chakan – Rajgurunagar – Manchar – Narayangoan – Junnar.

About the Ozhar Vigneshwar Temple
The Vigneshwara Ganapati Temple was built in 1833 and its unique feature is its impressive golden dome which is said to have been built with funds donated by Chimaji Appa, the younger sibling of Bajirao Peshwa. In fact, it is believed that he came across this temple on returning home after conquering the Vasai Fort and decided to renovate the temple completely. The temple has strong fortifications on all 4 sides. Another special feature of the temple are the beautifully created large lamp towers called Deepmala which is located on the northern side’s large entrance door. The arches are also large & built very strong. There is a statue of a mouse at the entrance of the main sabhamandap. A long stone flooring allows devotees to do a pradakshina. On crossing the first two sabhamandaps, you get access to the graceful well-shaped idol. An emerald adorns the forehead and two rubies are set in the eyes of the deity. The idols of Ridhi and Sidhi are located on either side. The idol, like the temple, faces the east.

The Ganapati idol in this temple is worshipped in the incarnation of Vigneshwara, the one who removes all obstacles. It is believed that those who worship the deity of this temple are able to get over their problems.

Located on the northern side of the temple are a dharmashala and a temple dedicated to Lord Ram.

Must Visiti: Located nearby is Shivneri Fort, birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Legend of Vigneshwara
A demon by the name of Vignasur was always creating a nuisance for those who did virtuous & good deeds. Even the heavenly beings were fed up of his activities. The Gods approached Rishi Parthavnath to help them get rid of the demon, whereupon the Sage prayed to Lord  Ganesha who, pleased with his devotion, took the form of the Sage’s son. He battled the demon and defeated him. The demon requested Lord Ganesha for mercy and since Lord Ganesha was a compassionate deity agreed to his request to have the demon’s name prefixed to His own and Ganesha said, “You are free to trouble the person who does not take my name before doing a task, but those who worship me with devotion in this form must not be troubled by you.” Since that time, Lord Ganesha set up residence at Ozhar.

Temple Festivals
As is the case with all temples devoted to Lord Ganesha, the Vigneshwara temple at Ozhar too celebrates Ganesh Jayanti and Ganesh Chaturthi. The best time to visit the temple, though, is during Kartik Purnima when the large Deepmalas are lit, creating a beautiful sight.

Accommodation at Ozhar
The temple trust provides accommodation for devotees in single and double rooms (some rooms are air-conditioned) in the lodging facilities they set up a few years ago. Prasad is available between 12noon till 2p.m.

Contact Information of Vigneshwar Temple Trust Ozhar
Shree Vigneshwar Ganpati Devasthan Trust,
Shree Vigneshwar Mandir,
Taluk Junnar
District Pune
Pin Code - 410502.
Ph: +91-2132-288330

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