With the firm belief that nothing new should ever be embarked upon without invoking the blessings of Lord Ganesh, the Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple at Prabhadevi is understandably the most popular of places of worship in Mumbai. It was but a humble consecration by Mrs. Deubai Patil in early 19th century that is supposed to have started attracting hordes of worshippers soon after India’s independence to ‘Siddhivinayak’, as it is popularly known.
Located at Prabhadevi in central Mumbai, the temple’s idol of Shree Siddhivinayak was carved out of a single black stone with the trunk on the right. This is considered a rather unusual appearance of Lord Ganesh. The upper right and left hands hold a lotus and an axe respectively while the lower right and left hands hold a rosary (japmala) and a bowl full of ‘modak’ respectively. On the forehead of the deity is an eye, which almost looks like the third eye of Lord Shiva. On both sides of the Lord Ganesh idol are placed one idol each of goddesses Riddhi and Siddhi and it is because of these two deities along with that of Lord Ganesh that the temple is called the Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple. These goddesses signify sanctity, success, wealth and prosperity.
The wooden doors to the sanctum are carved with images of the Ashtavinayak (the eight manifestations of Ganesha in Maharashtra). The inner roof of the sanctum is plated with gold. Consecrated on November 19, 1801, the original structure of the Siddhivinayak Temple was a small 3.6 meter x 3.6 meter square brick structure with a dome-shaped brick ‘shikhara’. The temple was built by a contractor called Laxman Vithu Patil and was funded by Mrs. Deubai Patil so that Lord Ganesh should grant children to barren women.
An additional five-storied temple complex has been built over the years and special ‘pujas’ are performed on the mezzanine floor. The fourth floor houses a library and a reading room while the kitchen and dining area are on the top floor. A dedicated enclosure inside the temple is for Hanuman, whose statue was unearthed during a road construction project in 1952. It is believed that the two big silver mice statues in the main hall grant the wishes of the faithful if they whisper their requests into their ears.
Interestingly, the temple has adopted modern eco-friendly techniques of rainwater harvesting and is self-sufficient in energy with its own solar unit. The daily floral waste is recycled as compost. At the temple’s entrance are many shops that sell flowers, fruits and sweets that are bought as offerings to the god. Packets of ‘prasad’ containing ‘laddus’ and coconut ‘barfi’ are available at the temple’s outlet within the complex.
Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple
Mumbai 400 028
Tel: +91 022 24373626
Siddhivinayak Temple e – mail Address:
Tuesday is a special day to visit the temple but is also the most crowded. Saturdays and Sundays are crowded too. Call the temple reception office on + 91(022) 24373626 (10am to 5 pm) and find out about crowd status. There is a PRO office just inside the main gate where NRIs and foreigners will get assistance and guidance.
Things to Do
Visit the Neighborhood
In the vicinity of the temple are two interesting places that you could visit. One is the Shivaji Park, the city’s largest park that has historical and cultural value because of the political and social gatherings it has witnessed, both in pre- and post-independence Mumbai. The park is named after the legendary 17th century warrior king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and was created in 1925 by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. The grand statue of Shivaji in the park is one of the very few statues in which the Maratha king is depicted without having drawn out his sword. Instead, Shivaji is shown simply leading the way with his arm outstretched. The other place of interest is the Ravindra Natya Mandir which is a preferred auditorium for drama and music groups to hold their shows.
Shop at the Dadar Market
A shopper’s paradise, the market at Dadar near the Plaza theatre is very famous for the purchase of day to day goods like the shopping bags, purses, clothes, sarees, dress materials, imitation jewelery and other such items
If you are a first time visitor to Mumbai, the city has a lot to offer in terms of tourist attractions. From Caves dating to the first century BCE at Kanheri Borivali and Elephanta, a paradise of flora and fauna which is the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, a long list of museums as also shopping centres, beaches, places of spiritual interest for people of all faiths and even a Bollywood tour; Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra will provide a mesmerizing experience
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