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Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai

Shree Siddhivinayak Ganesha Temple, also known as Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai, is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva’s son, Lord Ganesha. The Siddhivinayak Temple is located in SK Bole Marg, Prabhadevi in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The temple was built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil in 1801, in honour of Lord Ganesha, who is popularly known as Lalbaugcha Raja (King of Lalbaug) in Maharashtra. The temple consists of Lord Ganesha’s shrine, the inner roof the Temple shrine is plated with pure gold. The doors of the shrine are carved with images of Ashtavinayaka that refers to eight manifestations of Lord Ganesha. There is also a Lord Hanuman shrine present in the Siddhivinayak Temple complex.

Mumbai Siddhivinayak Temple is an important place of worship for Hindus. Many famous personalities in India worship the deity regularly as they believe it to be the most sacred temple. Huge donations are being offered by these personalities to the temple, as a part of thanksgiving to Lord Ganesha. India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, Most loved cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, Most popular actor, Amitabh Bachchan are some of the famous personalities in India who worship Lord Ganesha regularly in this Temple. The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook started his visit to India by visiting Siddhivinayak Temple in 2016. Many other non-Hindu celebrities have also visited the Temple, making it an important part of Mumbai tourism.

What Makes the Temple So Special?

More than 130 years ago, there was a saint, Late Ramkrishna Jambhekar Maharaj, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha and also used to chant Gayatri Mantra on a daily basis, had attained Siddhi (enlightenment). His guru, Shree Akkalkot Swami Samartha told Swami Jambhekar to bring divine idols. Out of these divine idols, Swami Samartha accepted two idols and asked Swami Jambhekar to bury the remaining idols in front of the courtyard, where Swami Samartha used to temporarily reside. During this time, Swami Jambhekar had predicted that a Mandaar tree would grow at the place of burial after 21 years, and a Swayambhu (self-manifested) Ganesha would appear at the sacred place, which did come true after the period of 21 years.

When his words came true, Swami Jambhekar had set up the Ganesha idol in his matha, and after a few years, he asked late priest Swami Govind Chintaman Pathak to look after the idol and do the regular worship. For many years, the priest’s family took care of the idol, later on, the Mumbai Siddhivinayak Temple was built.

Since the idol is believed to be self-manifested, it is believed that Lord Ganesha fulfills the wishes of those who humbly and genuinely pray to him. Late Deubai Patil, one of the founders of the temple was a rich lady of the Agri community, was childless post marriage. She was a big devotee of Lord Ganesha and had genuinely prayed to the idol for a child, and her wish was fulfilled indeed. Hence it is believed that Ganesha fulfills wishes of those who pray genuinely. Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai is now one of the richest temples in India.

Some of the fascinating facts about the Siddhivinayak Temple

Lord Ganesha’s idol usually turns the trunk towards the left side. But at the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai, the trunk is turned on the right side. The idol of Siddhivinayak is often referred to as the most unusual idol of Lord Ganesha. The structure of the idol was originally 3.6m x 3.6m and was a square brick formation with a dome-shaped shikhara.

Siddhivinayak Temple Trust is one of India’s richest temple trusts, which receives donations from all over the world. The temple records suggest that even non-Hindus have donated to the temple trust. Personalities from various fields like acting, sports, politics, etc. donate huge funds to the Temple Trust.

The Hanuman Temple in the Siddhivinayak Temple complex was built in 1952 when the Mumbai Corporation Body had excavated an idol of Lord Hanuman while working on a road extension project. The head priest of the Siddhivinayak Temple decided to set-up a shrine for the excavated idol of Lord Hanuman. Devotees worship Lord Ganesha primarily, followed by Lord Hanuman, as it is mentioned in Hindu scriptures to worship Lord Ganesha primarily before worshipping any other deity.

Every Tuesday, at around 4:45 am, there is a grand aarti (a religious ritual) for Lord Ganesha. There is a huge gathering of devotees, who start entering the temple premises as soon as the tickets are issued, due to which the queue is very long, even at midnight. The belief of devotees in Lord Ganesha is so strong that they wait patiently in a long queue for hours to attend the aarti.

The temple authorities go hand-in-hand with the latest technology, they offer e-Seva facilities to the devotees, through which devotees can book their tickets online for darshan. Even the tokens for prasadams can be availed online, avoiding the huge queue that lines up at the counters, to buy tokens. Tourists who are non-Hindus can also offer their prayers to Lord Ganesha, as there is no restriction.

There is a small Mandapam (pavilion) in the Temple complex, where the idol of Lord Ganesha has been enshrined. The wooden doors of the temple have been carved very beautifully the eight manifestations of Lord Ganesha. The temple complex was also the home for the caretakers of the temple, once upon a time.

Timings of Siddhivinayak Temple

Monday-Sunday (excluding Tuesday)

The Temple opens early in the morning, even before sunrise, beginning with Kaakad Aarti at 5:30 am, followed by other Aartis. The worshipping concludes with the last aarti of the day, Sej Aarti at 9:50 pm. The doors of the temple close after the completion of Sej Aarti.

Timings on Tuesday

The temple opens early on Tuesdays, starting with Shree Darshan from 3:15 am to 4:45 am. The day concludes with Sej Aarti at 12:30 am.

Things to Remember

It is recommended to wear traditional Indian clothes like dhotis, kurtas, etc. while worshipping Lord Ganesha. There are many flower vendors outside the temple. It is believed in Hinduism that Lord Ganesha loves to be offered with flowers, hence do buy flowers from the vendors and offer it to Lord Ganesha.

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