Mumbadevi To Babulnath, Here Are Some Must-Visit Temples In Mumbai

These age-old temples of Mumbai should be on the agenda of every sightseeing tour
An aerial view of the Siddhivinayak temple at Prabhadevi, Mumbai
An aerial view of the Siddhivinayak temple at Prabhadevi, MumbaiWikimedia Commons

The temples of Mumbai are as old as the land they preside over, each one has seen the Maximum City transform through the ages, and they are still standing strong in these turbulent times, purely due to the power of devotion they inspire. You can reach these places of worship via the local trains, hire a taxi, or get on the efficient BEST bus service -- the temples are on direct routes. 

Siddhivinayak Temple, Prabhadevi

A two-hundred-year-old temple, Siddhivinayak is where devotees head to before beginning a new task, as the presiding deity, Ganesha, is said to be the destroyer of obstacles or vighnaharta. The temple was first consecrated in 1801 and was a small structure housing the two-and-half-foot-wide black stone idol of Shree Siddhivinayak. The uniqueness of this idol is that the trunk of the elephant god turns to the right. A new structure was started in 1990. Since then, due to the contribution of the devotees, the temple has gone from strength to strength. You can get a better idea of the temple's original structure by visiting the Kashi-Vishveshwar temple in Matunga. On Tuesdays, Sankasht Chaturthi and Aangarak Chaturthi days, which are auspicious days, lakhs of devotees visit the Siddhivinayak to seek Darshan and fulfil their wishes. 

Mumbadevi is considered to be the patron of Mumbai city
Mumbadevi is considered to be the patron of Mumbai cityTrip Adviser

Mumbadevi Temple, Bhuleshwar

Built in the 18th century, the Mumbadevi temple is dedicated to the goddess Mumbadevi, said to be an embodiment of feminine power, mahashakti, created by the preserver of the universe, Vishnu. Mumbadevi is said to have destroyed an evil energy named Mumbaraka, who then begged the goddess to take his name from him and reside in the temple he built for her. The goddess is considered to be the patron of Mumbai city. The temple, currently in the midst of chaotic markets dealing in steel, cloth, and jewellery, was first built in Bori Bunder in 1675, but was moved to its present location in 1737. the ancient idol of Goddess Mumba Devi is adorned with a gold necklace, a crown, and a nose stud. It holds special significance for the Koli fishermen's community and the Agri community (salt collectors), the original inhabitants of the coasts of Mumbai.

The Babulnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva
The Babulnath Temple is dedicated to Lord ShivaWikimedia Commons

Babulnath Temple, Charni Road

At nearly 1,000 feet above sea level, overlooking the Arabian Sea, in the heart of Mumbai City, the Babulnath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Standing in a posh area, the end of Marine Drive and south of Malabar Hill, Babulnath temple was built in 1780. In 1900, a spire was added to its crown. The walls of the temple are intricately carved from limestone. The pillars and ceilings are decorated with stories and figurines from the Hindu mythology. Also, the marble flooring has been brought from Rajasthan. For centuries, the faithful have climbed their way up 110 steps to reach the temple. However, nowadays, devotees can also take the elevator for a darshan of the lord.

The Walkeshwar Temple was built during the reign of the Silhara dynasty
The Walkeshwar Temple was built during the reign of the Silhara

Walkeshwar Temple/Baan Ganga Temple, Malabar Hill

The famed Walkeshwar temple and the freshwater Banganga Tank next to it were commissioned to be built in 1127 AD during the reign of the Silhara dynasty. Silharas ruled over Thane and the islands of Mumbai from 810 to 1240 AD. During Portuguese rule in the 16th century, the temple was destroyed, but was later rebuilt in 1715 under the aegis of Mumbai businessman and philanthropist Rama Kamat. The temple’s architecture is a blend of traditional Hindu style and modern influences. The intricate carvings on the temple walls depict various mythological scenes and stories from ancient scriptures. Regularly raided by pirates in the 16th and 17th centuries, it is now a site of the annual Hindustani classical music festival, which in the past has had performances by stalwarts such as Rajan and Sajan Mishra and santoor maestro Shivkumar Sharma.

The Mahalaxmi temple was built in 1831
The Mahalaxmi temple was built in 1831 Wikimedia Commons

Mahalakshmi Temple, Bhulabhai Desai Road

Located on Bhulabhai Desai Road, the Mahalakshmi temple was built in 1831 by Dhakji Dadaji, a merchant. The Mahalaxmi temple contains images of the Tridevi goddesses -- Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, and Mahasaraswati. All three images are adorned with nose rings, gold bangles and pearl necklaces. The image of Mahalakshmi is in the center, holding lotus flowers.

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