India is a country where thousands of Gods are worshipped in their different forms, but one of the most beloved and most popular God among all the deities has been the elephant headed God, Ganesha. No pooja or festivities can begin without worshipping Ganesha who is known to remove obstacles for his devotees. Most of the Hindus believe that anything begun without giving due respect to Lord Ganesha is destined to be stopped by various obstacles thrown in its path.
The city of Mumbai has rung with the shouts of ‘Ganapathi Bappa Mourya’ so often. This is the place where thousands of worshippers of the Ganesha live. In the heart of Mumbai in Prabhadevi is situated one of the most striking and beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the very lovable and recognizable Hindu God. Legally registered as Shree Siddivinayak Ganapati Temple, Prabhadevi, it is commonly referred by people just Siddivinayak. Son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesh is not just respected and worshipped but loved by many people who is known for his love of mother, wisdom and helping those in trouble.
Siddivinayak means the Vinayaka (Ganesha) who grants wishes. Built more than 2 centuries in 1801 by Deubai Patil and Laxman Vithu, the temple is visited by thousands of devotees and tourists every day. With growing visitors the temple had to be reconstructed to accommodate growing number of devotees. The temple has been popularized by many politicians and movie stars who visit it frequently. At present it is estimated that nearly 25,000 devotees visit the temple for darshan of Lord Ganesh and most of them make huge donations. This has made the Siddivinayak temple the richest temple of Mumbai. Tuesdays are the days when special prayers are held in the temple and blessings sought from the elephant God. Today the temple is spread around 2550 sq meters which includes a lake, rest house for visitors and residence of the caretaker.
People who visit the temple are often astounded by the amazing architecture and style of the monument. The statue of the Ganesha in the sanctum with gold plated roof is made from a single black stone. The beautiful wooden doors leading to the sanctum are beautifully carved with the images of eight different avatars of Ganesha. Though the style of the temple is ancient, it stands out majestically among the surroundings, attracting even those tourists who have no belief in Hindu Gods and are not interested in Hindu religion. The unique architecture of the temple is known to be inspired by the Shiva Temple of Ambernath is built to withstand the harsh climatic conditions of Mumbai. The beauty of the temple is astonishing, which especially stands out in the busy area of Prabhadevi.
Initially the temple was a small construction done by Laxman Vithu who was financially helped by rich woman named Deu Bai Patil who was could not bear children of her own. She donated for the construction of the temple with deep feelings in her heart that no childless woman should go back disappointed from the temple. The wish fulfilling Vinayak should remove the obstacles in their path and bless them with children. Couples with child issues visit the temple seeking blessings of the God from all over India. People believe that the Mandar tree with branches which resemble Ganesha in front of the temple was grown from the seeds of to divine idols buried there 21 years earlier. Another attraction of the temple is the Mushik in whose ear the devotees make the wish to be granted.
During the construction of Sayani Road, a small icon of God Hanuman was found buried under the ground. Taking it as a hint, a small shrine was built within the Siddivinayak Temple complex dedicated to Hanuman. After the construction of Hanuman temple, the news spread and people began to visit the temple in throngs.
On some auspicious days like the Angarki Chaturthi, people wait in queues which seem to go on for miles. Traffic will be disrupted on nearby roads like Gokale Road, Gadgil Marg, Sayani Road AM Marg, SK Bole road, SVS road etc while traffic is totally banned on some roads. Though the temple is crowded, it is maintained peacefully and very cleanly.
Siddivinayak Temple is just 15 minutes drive from Dadar Railway Station. The temple remains open from 5.30 a.m – 9.50 p.m. other than on Tuesdays when it opens at 3.15 a.m and closes at 12.30 a.m. Keeping up pace with the development of the city of Mumbai the temple has facility of lockers for visitors where they can safe keep their cameras and laptops and other devices which are not permitted inside the temple premises. To help foreign visitors, a PRO’s office is set near the main gate.
Siddhivinayak Temple Address:
SK Bole Rd, Prabhadevi, Dadar, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 028, India
Phone: +91 22 2437 3626