Deities: Lord Ganesha
Location: Prabhadevi, Mumbai
Built In: 1801
Built by: Laxman Vithu & Mrs. Deubai Patil
Attraction: A major temple of Lord Ganesha
Best time to visit: all around the year
The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ganesh. It is located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was originally built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil on November 19, 1801. Though it is one of the richest temples in Mumbai, the current generation of Patil is staying in state of despair near the temple.
The temple has a small mandap (hall) with the shrine for Siddhi Vinayak (“Ganesh who grants your wish”). The wooden doors to the sanctum are carved with images of the Ashtavinayak (the eight manifestations of Ganesh in Maharashtra). The inner roof of the sanctum is plated with gold, and the central statue is of Ganesh. In the periphery, there is a Hanuman temple as well.
Importance and status
The Siddhivinayak Mandir evolved from a small, tiny place of worship to the Grand Temple that stands today in the later half of the twentieth century.Temple glory was bought not only by the politicians who frequented the temple but also Bollywood film stars who continuously visit to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha.
Siddhivinayak is well known as “Navasacha Ganapati” or “Navasala Pavanara Ganapati” (‘Ganapati bestows whenever humbly genuinely prayed a wish’ in Marathi) among devotees.
History of Sidhi Vinayak Temple
Consecrated on 19 November 1801, the original structure of the Siddhivinayak Temple was a small 3.6 m x 3.6 m square brick structure with a dome-shaped brick sikhara. The temple was built by the contractor Laxman Vithu Patil. The building was funded by a rich Agri woman named Deubai Patil. Childless, Deaubai built the temple so that the Lord should grant children to other barren women. Ramakrishna Jambhekar Maharaj, a disciple of the Hindu saint Akkalkot Swami Samarth, buried two divine idols in the front of the presiding deity of the temple on the orders on his guru. As prophesied by Swami Samarth, after 21 years after the burial of the icons, a mandar tree grew at that spot with a svayambhu Ganesha in its branches.
The 2550 sq m temple complex had two 3.6 m Deepamalas, a rest house and living quarters for the caretaker. It had an adjoining lake 30 x 40 sq. m. in size on the eastern and southern side of the temple. The lake, dug by Nardulla in the early 19th century to counter the scarcity of water, was filled up in the later years and the land is now not part of the temple complex. Around 1952, a small Hanuman shrine was built in the temple complex for the Hanuman icon that was found during the road extension project of Sayani Road near Elphinstone Road. In the 1950s and 60s, the fame of the temple spread and a significant number of devotees began visiting. However, in the same period, the owner of the plot sold some of the temple land, reducing the complex area. After 1975, the number of devotees increased dramatically.
Hundreds of thousands of devotees throng the temple, especially during Angaraki and Sankashti Chaturti days, when there is a continuous stream of visitors for as long as a 24 hour period. The temple was renovated to hold the huge crowd. During the festive time of Ganesh Chaturthi, Siddhivinayak Temple is thronged by incalculable number of people. Many television sets are installed for the knowledge of those, who do not have much time to wait in the long queues that lead to the main shrine.
Architecture of Siddhi Vinayak Temple
The temple is built in Dravidian architectural style. The temple posse’s vast courtyards spacious hall and sculptural pillars with cement. The garbh graham is made with enshrining big sized black granite idol of lord sddhi, budhi, sameja vinayaga with mouse. Several mandaps are installed with adorable deities like durga Devi, lord hanuman placing on the left valli deivanai, sameda the rules and regulation underlines the principles of Sabarimalai Idol.
Lord Shiva linga is place under the pimple tree. Navgrihas are placed in the right side of the temple attracting devotees from all over the places with several devotional activities conducted throughout the year for all the deities. The temple top is constructed with raja gopuram at a height of 45 feet from the ground sculptured with 80 dolls of deities in gopuram rajagopuram are the special treat for eyes, 19 feet cement idols of hanuman also reminds the history of Ramayana mentioning the war in Srilanka on the Rajagopuram.
Auspicious worship day
Tuesday is considered to be the most auspicious days to visit Siddhivinyak temple when devotees converge in great numbers to pray. In the Hindu religion and mythology Lord Ganesha hold the most revered position and all the new works begin with His prayer. And hence, the Shri Siddhivinayak Temple is regularly visited by the renowned persons. Millions of devotees congregate to Vinayak Temple every month just to have a glimpse of the deity and offer their prayers.
The Shri Siddhivinayak temple has a narrow lane outside its precincts called the ‘Phool galli’ lined with innumerable stalls. Here you can buy tulsi flower garlands, coconuts, and sweets including the pear shaped favorite yellow sweet of Lord Ganesha, the ‘modak’. You may also love to explore several of the religious paraphernalia here.
Like all religious spots within India, the Vinayak Temple too is agog with beggars and you cannot escape their glare and the chaos to get something out of you. There are however adequate security measures within Shri Siddhivinayak temple with the presence of security guards at strategic points. The upper floors house the residential quarters of the priests. There is a great volume of faith attached to Lord Ganesha and it is said that the seeker never goes empty handed from the Shri Siddhivinayak temple.
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