A trip to Ashtavinayak Temple, Ozar
I had a plan to visit the Ozar Temple, lenyadri caves, Shivneri fort ( birth of Shivaji) and Chakan Fort in one stretch in a single day. The plan proved to be well feasible as all these fall in one line.
My entire itinerary ( 4 days) was as
|Day 1||Pune started 4.30 AM ->Ozar temple-> Lenyadri -> Shivneri Fort-> Reached at 8.30 PM night at Mahabaleshwar At this time I had covered 350 KM.|
|Day 2||Mahabaleshwar -> Raigad. Come back to Mahabaleshwar by 6 PM 85 KM|
|Day 3||Mahabaleshwar->Panchgani local site seeing 6 hrs time taken)|
|Day 4||Abhishek Puja at Kshetra Mahabaleshwar temple -> Pratapgad Fort (20 KM)->Mahabaleshwar Bus stand to catch Pune. Reach Pune by 7 PM.|
|Total distance covered start to end was 690 KM|
Ozar is located about 85 km from Pune, off the Pune-Nashik highway and about 9 km north to Narayangaon.Location
Chimaji Appa, brother and military commander of the Peshwa Baji Rao I, renovated the temple and covered the shikhara (temple spire) with gold after seizing the Vasai Fort from the Portuguese.The temple was also renovated in 1967 by the Ganesha devotee Appa Shastri Joshi.
I started from Pune airport at 4.30 AM and reached Qzqr temple at 7 AM (95 KM).
Parked the car at a walking distance from the temple. There are not too many houses near this temple and place looks to be serene. There is a small water body I could see near the parking place. I think this body might be created in monsoon season. Photography is not allowed inside the temple.
Do not miss this temple when you are visiting Shivneri Fort. This temple is ancient and has high religious values.
The Vigneshwara Temple or Vighnahar Ganapati Temple of Ozar s a Hindu temple dedicated to Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom. The temple is one of the Ashtavinayaka( Ganesha carved by nature) , the eight revered shrines of Ganeshain Maharashtra, India. The Ganesha form worshiped here is called Vigneshwara ( “Remover of obstacles”) and is associated with the legend of Ganesha defeating demon Vignasura, the demon of obstacles.
Note that another Ashtavinayak temple of Lenyadri ( group of caves) located in the Junnar which is about 8 KM from this temple.
Basically there is no order of visiting 8 astvinayaka temples but mostly this temple is visited as fifth.
The Mudgala Purana, Skanda Purana and the Tamil Vinayaka Purana record: King Abhinandana performed a sacrifice in which he did not give any offering to the god-king Indra. The infuriated Indra ordered Kala (Death) to destroy the sacrifice. Kala takes the form of the demon Vignasura (obstacle-demon) who created obstacles in the sacrifice and ruined it. Further, he created havoc in the universe, creating obstacles in the good deeds and sacrifices of sages and other beings. The sages asked god Brahma or Shiva for help, who advised the worship of Ganesha. Hearing the prayer of the ascetics, Ganesha began to battle the demon, who soon realized that it was impossible to win and surrendered to his opponent and agreed not to harass the beings of the world. It was arranged that Vigna (obstacles) would be dwell only in places where Ganesha was not invoked or worshipped. In some versions, the remorseful Vigna was made an attendant of Ganesha, who would trouble those who fail to worship his Lord. Vignasura also requested Ganesha to take the name Vigneshwara to commemorate the event. The relieved sages consecrated an image of Ganesha as Vigneshwara at Ozar to mark the event.
I saw the high walled compound around the temple. Just at entrance there are two towers. The same design also I had seen in Badamai in Ganesha Temple.The temple is surrounded by wide courtyard.
The temple has two halls, with first one (20 feet high) having the entrances to the north and south too and has the image of Ganesha. The next one (10 feet high) has a white marble mushika (the mouse, which is the vehicle of Ganesha) seating in attendance.
The central icon of Ganesha faces east and is flanked with brass images of his consorts Siddhi and Riddhi. He has a left-turning trunk and is covered with sindoor (vermillion). His eyes are emeralds and his forehead and navel is also adored with diamonds.
Photography inside the temple is not allowed.