Siddhivinayak Temple - The famous Ganesh Temple of Mumbai

Siddhivinayak TempleSiddhivinayak Temple is one of the major tourist attractions of Mumbai, the maximum city of India. The old temple is believed to have started way back in the beginning of the nineteenth century. This famous Ganesh temple is situated in Prabhadevi in the heart of Mumbai.

The Ganesh idol in this temple is sculpted from a single black rock approximately two and a half feet in height and two feet in width. The trunk of Lord’s idol faces to the right. It is an unusual idol as the upper right hand holds a lotus while the upper left hand holds an axe. The lower right hand holds a rosary, while the lower left hand holds an open container of modaks (Sweet delicacies popular in the state of Maharshtra as offerings to Lord Ganesh). A snake is entwined from the left shoulder on to the right of the pot belly. A eye on his forehead represents Lord Shiva’s all powerful third eye. Goddesses of success, sacredness, wealth and prosperity Riddhi and Siddhi stand behind either sides of his shoulders. From Siddhi comes the name Siddhivinayak. Vinayak is another name of God Ganesh.

The new temple which was built recently is an imposing structure in Mumbai. On Tuesdays people of Mumbai start walking from various corners of the city, some as early as midnight from far flung areas. Barefooted rich and poor throng the arterial roads of the city to reach the Siddhivinyak Temple to offer their prayers and ask for blessings. It is a sight to watch the queues that are a few kilometers long in the early morning when the temple opens it door to its devotees.

Film personalities come to pray here to ask for Lord Ganesh’s blessings for their next release. Cricketers pray here to recover from their bad slump in form. Politicians visit to pray for a ministerial berth or victory in the elections.

People from all over India and also abroad come to pray here and take back memorabilia available at various shops that dot the surroundings of the temple. The very first renovation of the old temple to its new self was possible through the financial assistance of late Mrs. Deubai Patil, a rich childless lady from the Matunga area in Mumbai. It is believed she requested the Lord in her prayers to bless all women who visit him with children although she was childless herself. It is said the Lord was moved by her piety and appeared before her and asked her to build a bigger temple in the old premises. Deubai appointed Late Mr. Laxman Vithu Patil as the contractor and both fulfilled the wish of Lord Ganesh.

It is believed that it was in 1952 when the popularity of this temple started to grow, and the unbelievably long queues were witnessed from the year 1965 onwards. By 1975 the crowds were too much for the temple management to control. The state authorities move in and designed a system, by employing volunteers, policemen and devotees to make the Darshan (visit to see the Lord) a pleasant experience.

The iconic presence of the Siddhivinayak Temple makes Mumbai a divine destination for devotees of Lord Ganesh from all around the world.