Shree Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi is a distinguished Ganesha temple in Mumbai. The two-century-old shrine is a standing testimony of splendour and architecture. Siddhi Vinayak means “Ganesha who grants your wish”; and devotees worship Ganesha here to get their wishes fulfilled.
Big architectural complex
The palace-like temple complex is indeed a feast for the eyes. From being a modest place of worship, Siddhivinayak Mandir evolved into the present grand structure thanks to a series of renovation and expansion works. In 1990, a large restoration work was undertaken to convert the old-fashioned 200 year old temple into a splendid multi-angular, six-storeyed and grandiose structure. The renovation to the tune of three crores was completed in 3 years.
The temple underwent a complete architectural transformation under architect Shri. Sharad Athale of SK Athale & Associates. The temple is unique for its main central gold plated dome. Other small surrounding crowns are made of gold and panchadhatu (five metals). The sanctum sanctorum is unique for fine intricate designs. Beautiful images of ‘Ashtavinayak’ or ‘eight manifestations of Ganesha’ are carved on the sanctum’s wooden doors. The temple compound also features a Hanuman temple.
The temple complex houses a small mandap with a magnificent idol of Shree Siddhivinayak carved out of a single black stone. The 2.5 feet high and 2 feet wide idol features a right-ward tilting trunk and four hands holding a lotus, a small axe, holy beads and a bowl full of Modaks. Goddesses Riddhi and Sidhi flank both sides of Ganesha. The deity’s forehead features an eye, bearing a close resemblance to the third eye of Lord Shiva.
One of the rich and most-visited temples
Shree Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi is one of the richest temples in Mumbai. Large numbers of devotees pay tribute to the deity here. Thanks to its magnificent design and architecture, a number of tourists also visit the place. This is a pilgrim centre that grabbed popular attention with the frequent visits of prominent politicians, celebrities and Bollywood stars.
Siddhivinayak Ganpati Temple Trust, which operates the temple, is said to be Mumbai city’s richest temple trust. It receives donations to the tune of 100 million (US$1.5 million)–150 million (US$2.2 million) every year.
The temple that is remarkable for its grandeur structure was a small construction earlier. The temple was built by Deubai Patil and Laxman Vithu. Deubai Patil was a rich childless woman who funded the temple construction. She wanted other childless women to be blessed by lord Ganesha. This temple was first consecrated on 19th November 1801.
As per the legend, Hindu saint Akkalkot Swami Samarth (or Akkalkot Maharaj) instructed his disciple Ramakrishna Jambhekar Maharaj to bury two divine idols in front of the presiding deity of the temple. He prophesized that after 21 years, a mandar tree would grow at that spot with a svayambhu (not man made) Ganesha in its branches.