Lord Ganesha i.e. the elephant headed God of wisdom, is one of the most beloved and ardently worshipped Gods all over India . He is the one who is known to be giver of happiness and the one who eradicates all the sorrows. Also he is considered to be the first God to be worshipped during any Pooja or any other such godly ceremonies or rituals. Lord Ganesha has many names like Ganpati, Atharva, Chintamani, etc. One of the names of Lord Ganesha is Vinayaka. Worship of Lord Ganesh prevails all over the country, but especially in Maharashtra Lord Ganesha is worshipped enthusiastically and on a very large scale. There are a famous set of eight Ganesha temples in Maharashtra which are to be worshipped in a certain sequence which are known as the Ashtavinayaka. The seventh in order to be visited in the Ashtavinayaka Temple Pilgrimage is the Vighneshwar temple located in Ozhar in Junnar in the Pune district. Scenically situated on the beautiful banks of river Kukadi, this temple attracts a lot of tourists towards itself.
The dates of the origin or either the renovation of the temple are yet unknown, but it is believed that this temple was restored and renovated by Chimaji Appa from the Peshwa dynasty. The legend that follows the inception of this temple goes as, once there was a King Abhinandana who was performing a sacrifice and did not offer anything to the Lord Indra. Enraged Lord Indra ordered "Kala" (Time or death) to destroy the sacrifice. Then Kala took the form of demon Vignasur and started created "Vighna" i.e. obstacles in the sacrificial puja. Thus when all three worlds were suffering the austerities of the demon Vignasur, the Gods went to seek the help of Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. Upon which they were advised to pray to Lord Ganesha. The demon Vignasur was defeated by Lord Ganesha in the battle as he surrendered realizing the supreme power of Lord. Thus the sages called this place as Vighneshwar i.e. the Lord who removes all the obstacles from one's life.
The East facing Vighneshwar Temple is a masterpiece and a classic example of exceptionally marvelous sculpture, craftsmanship and mural work, and flaunts a widespread courtyard. Also the holy chancel is covered with a Shikara made of gold foil which is really beautiful. It is said that one can see the Lenyadri temple and the Fort of Shivneri from this temple.
This temple is known for its five day long festival that starts on Kathik Poornima, where the temple dazzles and glitters as all the deepmalas are lit with lamps.
All the Hindu festivals are celebrated here with gaiety, enthusiasm and high spirits. Most popular amongst them are the Ganesh Chathurti, The Vinayaka Chathurti and the Ganesh Jayanti i.e. the birthday of Lord Ganesha. Also there are a huge number of devotees who throng the temple on Tuesdays as this day is considered to be auspicious for the worship of Lord Ganesha according to the Hindu mythology.