Image: Darwininan/Wikimedia Commons

Image: Darwininan/Wikimedia Commons

When Sanjay Dutt was released out of prison earlier this month, one of the first few places he visited on arriving in Mumbai was the Siddhivinayak Temple. The temple that is dedicated to Ganesha isn’t just one of the most popular places of worship in the city, it is also the most heavily guarded sites. Despite it seemingly modern construction, Siddhivinayak isn’t from this century or the previous one for that matter. The original temple was much smaller in size than its current avatar — a mere 3.6 sq m brick structure with a brick dome — and was commissioned by a rich agri woman, Deubai Patil. The temple was built with the purpose of granting the wishes of barren women. Over the years, though, Siddhivinayak Temple has expanded over the centuries as has the repertoire of wishes that its deity grants. Today, Siddhivinayak Temple is one of the richest temples in the country with the inner roof of its sanctum being plated with gold. It is also particularly favorite among Bollywoodwallahs who visit it on auspicious occasions in their personal life as well as before the release of their movies. Here are 5 amazing facts about the Siddhivinayak Temple:

1. Shree Siddhivinayak temple is one of the richest temples in the country with huge amounts of donations, in the range of Rs 100 million to 150 million a year, pouring in from all corners of the world.

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2. The original temple was a modest 3.6 sq.m. brick structure which was then renovated into a building due to the generous donation by a rich Agri woman named Deubai Patil.

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Image: Abhijeet Rane/Creative Commons

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3. The playground that you see near the Siddhivinayak complex was formed by filling up a 19th century lake facing the eastern and southern side of the temple. The complex also once housed a living colony for its caretakers.

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Image: Swaminathan/Creative Commons

4. The Hanuman temple in the complex was built in 1952 when a Hanuman idol, unearthed and abandoned during road repairs nearby, was brought over to the Siddhivinayak complex by its then head priest.

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Image: Siddhivinayak temple Facebook page

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5. The Siddhivinayak Ganesha idol is quite unique and unusual as it was carved out of a single black stone and has Ganesha’s trunk to the right instead of left.

Image: Siddhivinayak temple Facebook page

Image: Siddhivinayak temple Facebook page

So next time you are in Mumbai, do pay a visit to this magnificent temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord ganesha!

Address: SK Bole Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400028

Phone: 022 2437 3626