Mumbai city, the city of dreams, houses a lot of largely popular sacred places of historical significance. Most of these are of great archaeological value and are also a national heritage. Among other festivals, Ganesha Chaturthi- the birth day of lord Ganesha is celebrated with great pomp and show in Mumbai. Shree Siddhivinayak temple, prabhadevi, is the most significant place for lord Ganesha’s worship all over India.
One of the most stunning temples in Mumbai, the Siddhivinayak temple is an amazing example of beauty and architectural brilliance. The lovely Siddhivinayak temple was built in 1801 and is almost two centuries old. It was built in dedication to the, ‘Lord Ganesha”, the elephant headed deity worshipped wholeheartedly in Hinduism. It was by Deubai Patil, a wealthy childless woman and Laxman Vithu, a contractor, that this beautiful Siddhivinayak temple was originally created. Deubai patil, herself was not blessed with children, but her motivation behind building Siddhivinayak temple was to help other women bear the fruit of children with the lord’s blessing. Thousands of women visit this temple each day in hopes of a child. Lord Ganesha is known for being the granter of wishes, and so millions of devotees from all over the world, visit shree Siddhivinayak temple in hopes that the almighty would hear their prayers and bestow upon them their heart’s desires.
The idol of Ganesha is carved a single black stone, which is about 2 ft high. The trunk of the Ganesha is tilted towards its right, this being the most extraordinary feature. The figure is represented with four hands, justifying the alternate name for the deity, chaturbujh. The hands hold, a lotus, a small axe, holy beads and a plate full of Modaks. On either sides of the idol, figures of ‘Goddess Riddhi’ and ‘Goddess Siddhi’ are hoisted, who represent wealth, prosperity and fulfillment. The beautiful idol has an eye on Ganesha’s forehead, ironically identical to the third eye of lord Shiva. The Siddhivinayak temple consist a small hall where Ganesha’s sculpture is placed. An octagonal shelter about ten feet wide covers the magnificent sculpture.
The inside of the shelter is gold plated and adds to the charm of the idol. Spell bounding intricate designs and different images of Lord Ganesha are carved out beautifully on the wooden doors to the temple. The Siddhivinayak temple complex is almost 2550 sq. meters.
People often visit the Siddhivinayak temple before starting any new venture in their lives, so as to gain protection against unfavorable events in the form of blessings of lord Ganesha, who is also known as the vighanharta, meaning the one who destroys all the obstacles in the path.
You cannot help but instantly love Siddhivinayak temple’s ancient style of architecture and its many beautiful characteristics. Anyone who has ever visited this architectural gem lays testimony to its nocturnal beauty. Not even the bollywood stars, politicians and other known faces, are immune to the spiritual peace and aesthetic value the Siddhivinayak temple offers. Many of them are often seen visiting the temple in various individual hopes and aspirations.
The originally constructed Siddhivinayak Temple was a small 3.6 m x 3.6 m square brick structure with a dome-shaped brick. The 2550 sq m temple complex had two halls, a rest house or a dharamshala and living spaces for the caretaker. It had a lake 30 x 40 sq. m. in size on east-south face of the temple. The lake, dug by Nardulla early in the nineteenth century, to manage the scarcity of water, was filled up to the brim in the later years and the land is not a part of the temple complex any more. Around the year 1952, a little shrine of hanuman was built in the Siddhivinayak temple complex for the Hanuman icon that dad been found during the extension of the road. The hanuman temple has its own schedule and is almost in the periphery of the Siddhivinayak Ganesha temple. The place had become a great name and a huge attraction during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The number of visitors it had every day was mind boggling. Around the same period, however, the owner sold a portion of the temple land, which reduced the area of complex. It was 1975, that the number of devotees reached an entirely different level. Reconstructions were later done to the Siddhivinayak temple for accommodating more devotees after careful consideration by many religious experts.
The temple has undergone a drastic renovation in the recently passed years. The idol and all its glory have been kept as it was and not altered. However, the Siddhivinayak temple has now been further built into a fine architectural specimen. It is now a lovely structure consisting of six storeys, and almost kisses the sky. The peak of the Siddhivinayak temple is covered in a dazzling golden dome, which sparkles and shines brilliantly in the sun. It is a breathe taking and eye pleasing temple, which doesn’t really warrantee a good reason to visit.
Each and every day, over 25,000 devotees visit the temple to offer their prayers and yearn for the blessings of Lord Ganesha. Tuesday is particularly auspicious for ‘puja’ and ‘darshan’ at the temple. So when planning a trip, do keep in mind the traffic that will have to be faced to get to Siddhivinayak temple on a Tuesday. On Ganesha chaturthi, the temple is even more swamped with devotees. With such an elegant architecture, Siddhivinayak temple is a total hotspot for Mumbai tourists. It is also one of the richest temples all over Maharashtra.
It is the peace, the scenic and architectural beauty, the spiritual atmosphere, and the promise of having their wishes fulfilled, that attracts devotees from across the globe, like moth to a flame. Shree Siddhivinayak temple trust, which actually manages the temple, is highly involved in philanthropy, and has recently donated almost one crore to the various districts of Maharashtra as a contribution to their water projects, for the betterment of poor. The Siddhivinayak temple now also has the ISO certification, of the quality standards. This will lead to even better service for the devotees.