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Mumbai, the commercial and economic capital of India, is also the city of dreamers and a melting point of culture. Although this metropolitan city is known for the fast-paced life, it stands still during religious processions. You will find people, on their way to the office, bowing their head to the deity at a roadside temple and thronging to a Hanuman temple on Saturdays. There are several temples in Mumbai where you can witness this citys religious passion. Also Read - Pakistan: Muslims Join Hindus in Celebrating Diwali in Karachi
Mumbai is home to thousands of temples and each of these temples has diverse architectural styles, tradition and religious legacy. Some of them are iconic and are a must-visit to experience the spiritual grandeur. Here is a list of some of the most famous temples in Mumbai. Also Read - Hindu temple vandalised in US
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1. Mumbadevi temple
Dedicated to Mumba, the patron goddess of the native Somavanshi Kshatriya, Koli (fishermen) and Agri communities, Mumbadevi temple is said to be constructed in 1675 At Bori Bunder. The temple was rebuilt later at Bhuleshwar. The Koli community considers Mumbadevi as a guardian. Goddess Mumbadevi is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati and Mumbadevi temple is a Shakti temple. Situated on Bhuleshwar Road, the temple is very popular among devotees and tourists alike. Mumbadevi temple is among the oldest temples in Mumbai and the main deity here is made of black stone and her face is orange in colour. The deity, adorned with jewellery like nose pin, crown and necklace, stands on a decorated altar. The idol of the goddess does not have a mouth to symbolize earth. The temple complex also includes idols of other deities. The citys name Mumbai is derived from Mumbadevi.
Location: Mumba Devi Marg, Zaveri Bazar, Mumbai
Timing: The temple remains open on all days of the week except Monday. The timing for darshan is between 6 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm. The temple sees a maximum rush on Tuesdays. Thousands of devotees visit the temple on Tuesday, as it is a significant day at Mumbadevi temple.
2. Siddhivinayak temple
Siddhivinayak temple is one of the most important landmarks of Mumbai. Located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, the temple is dedicated to Ganesha, the elephant-headed god. The temple is known to fulfill the wishes and prayers of the devotees. It was founded in the year 1801 by Laxman Vithu and Devbhai Patil. The temple is among the Ashtavinayak temples in Maharashtra. The Siddhivinayak temple is also called Navasacha Ganapati and Navasala Pavanara Ganapati. Tuesdays are special at this temple as the timing for Aarti as well as darshan is different from the other days of the week. Thousands of devotees throng to this temple on Tuesdays to offer prayer and seek blessing.
The main deity of the temple is Ganesha or Siddhivinayak with his consorts Siddi and Riddhi. The idols are placed on a small mandapam. The most striking feature of the Ganesha idol is that his trunk is on the right side. The trunk of almost all other Ganesha idols is on the left side. The idol has four hands holding a lotus, a small axe, a bowl of modaks and prayer beads. Earlier the temple was small and it had a small idol of Ganesh made of black stone. The temple also has a statue of Hanesha’s ride or vahan, Mushak. People believe that if you whisper your wishes into the ears of the mushak, it will come true. Today Siddhivinayak temple is Mumbai’s richest temple. It is said that the temple receives up to Rs 25 crore as donation annually. This temple has a unique and innovative architectural style. The roof of the sanctum sanctorum is gold plates and the wooden doors have images of Ashtavinayaka. The temple is very popular among celebrities. Bollywood actors usually visit Siddhivinayak temple before their movies release.
Address: SK Bole Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai
Timing: The temple is open on all days of the week. From Wednesday to Monday, the timing for darshan is from 5:30 am to 10 pm and on Tuesday, it is between 3:15 am to 10 pm.
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Located near Juhu Beach, ISKCON is the place you should visit if you are searching for inner peace. The spiritual aura and the serenity of this place will take you to another world. You can sit and meditate here. One of the most famous temples in Mumbai, ISKCON attracts thousands of devotees and tourists. This beautiful temple is made of pristine white marbles. The intricate carvings and the architecture of the temple is a sight to behold. The main deity is Krishna along with Radha. The temple also has idols of other deities. This ISKCON temple in Mumbai was established by Acharya A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna movement, in the year 1978.
This sprawling structure includes an auditorium, guest houses, libraries and a restaurant. The auditorium hosts many religious performances. The temple is also known for its delicious food.
Address: K. M. Munshi Marg, Girgaon Chowpatty, Babulnath, Dadi Sheth Wadi, Malabar Hill, Mumbai
Timings: The temple is open on all days of the week from 4:30 am to 1 pm and 4:30 pm to 9 pm.
4. Babulnath Temple
Babulnath temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Shiva and is located just a stone throw away from Girgaon Chowpatty. The temple is just a 15 minutes ride away from Marine Lines railway station. The temple is among the iconic temples in Mumbai. The beautiful architecture and the intricate interiors of the temple is a sight to behold. This magnificent temple will remind you of Mount Kailash, which is considered to be Shivas abode.
Originally, the idol and the Shiv Lingam of Babulnath temple were consecrated by King Bhimdev II of the area in the 12th century. This temple was lost over the course of time. However, during the period between 1700 and 1780, five of the idols were unearthed. Out of the five idols, one was broken so it was immersed in the sea. The other four idols, which are the Shiv Lingam and idols of Hanuman, Ganesha and Parvati, are kept in the temple. The temples first phase was built in 1780 after the five original idols were rediscovered.
People flock to this temple on Monday as this day of the week is dedicated to Shiva. The temple remains open for a longer duration on Mondays. The best time to visit this temple is the period between August and September.
Address: Babulnath Road, Charni Road, Malabar Hill, Near Chowpatty, Mumbai
Timings: The temple remains open on all days of the week from 5 am to 10 pm. On Mondays, it remains open for a longer duration.
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5. Mahalakshmi temple
Photograph courtesy: mahalakshmi-temple.com
Dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati, Mahalakshmi temple was constructed in 1831 by a Hindu merchant, Dhakji Dadaji. The temple overlooks the sea and is one of the landmarks of the city of dreams. Located on Bhulabhai Desai Road, near Worli, the temple has a unique architecture. This iconic temple is a heritage structure and a popular tourist attraction.
There is a stone-carved deepmala near the entrance of the temple. You will also find a wooden block wrapped in silver sheets. The Sabhamandap has a statue of a lion at the center, facing the main deity. The most important feature of the idol of Lakshmi of this temple is that it is ‘swayambhu’. The idol is decorated with bangles, nose ring, and a golden mask. The three main deities sit on beautifully carved thrones. You will find the idols of Vithal-Rukmini and Ganesha outside the garbhagriha.
According to legend, Lord Hornby Vellard wanted to connect Malabar and Worli via Worli creek. Ramji Shivji Prabhu was appointed to do the work. After Prabhu and hi engineers failed to build a road connecting the two islands, he dreamt of the idol of Mahalakshmi in the creek. Prabhu recovered the idol from the creek and constructed a temple for it.
The temple is decorated during the Navaratri period. Devotees from near and far flock to this temple to offer their prayers during this period. There are many shops near the temple selling puja items and flowers.
Address: Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mahalakshmi, Mumbai
Timings: The temple is open on all days of the week from 6 am to 10 pm.
6. Walkeshwar Temple
Dedicated to Shiva, Walkeshwar temple is a historically significant temple. It is among the oldest temples in Mumbai. Located close to the Banganga tank, the temple was built by the Silharas, who ruled the islands of Mumbai and Thane, about 1050 years back on Malabar hill. Walkeshwar temple is known for its ancient architectural style and design. The word Walkeshwar is derived from Valuka Ishwar, which can be translated to the lord of sand.
According to legends, Rama, on his way to Lanka, paused at this place. As he wanted to worship Shiva lingam, he asked his brother Lakshmana to find him one. After waiting for a long time for his brother to return, Rama made a Shiva lingam using sand. Rama placed it here and performed the puja.
The temple was re-modified in the year 1717 and later during the 1950s. The temple is usually crowded during the full moon day. It also hosts the Hindustani Classical Music festivals
Address: Banganga Cross Lane, Teen Batti, Malabar Hill, Mumbai
Timings: You can visit the temple on all days of the week from 6 am to 8 pm.
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7. Swaminarayan temple
Located at Bhuleshwar, this ornate and beautiful temple is one of the most popular temples in Mumbai. This temple is more than 100 years old and among the oldest temples in the city. The intricate carvings inside the temple will mesmerize you.
The temple has Radha, Gaulokvihari, Krishna, Ghanshyam Maharaj and Laxminarayan idols. The temple has intricate carvings and is a treat for your eyes. There are three spires on top of the temple. A flight of stairs will lead you to Sabhamandap or audience hall. The dome of this hall has paintings depicting the scenes of Krishna Leela. A total of 54 pillars support this dome. The Hanuman and Ganesha shrines are located on either side of the audience hall. The main shrine inside the temple is dedicated to Narayan, Lakshmi and Ghanshyam Maharaj.
Apart from the temple, the phool galli or the flower market near the temple is also very famous. Janmashtami, Ram Navami and Mahashivratri are some of the main events of the temple.
Address: Shree Sahajanand Marg, 3rd Bhoiwada, Near Panjarpole, Bhuleshwar, Mumbai
Timings: The temple is open from 7:30 am to 12 pm and from 4 pm to 8:30 pm.
8. Babu Amichand Panalal Adishwarji Jain Mandir
Mumbai has several Jain temples, but Babu Amichand Panalal Adishwarji Jain Mandir is one of the most famous Jain temples in Mumbai. Built in the year 1970, the temple is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful architecture. The temple is famous for the two sculptures of elephants at the entrance, the pillars and the ceiling. The dome ceiling has stunning paintings.
The temple is dedicated to Adishwar, the first of 24 Tirthankaras of Jain religion. Adishwar is also known as Rishabhdev and Adinath. The temple also houses other idols of Jain Tirthankaras. There are several tableaux depicting images from Jain scripture. This Jain temple also has an idol of Ganesha. Most of the visitors of this temple are from the Jain Deravasi Community.
Address: Walkeshwar Road, near Police Station, Malabar Hill, Mumbai
Timings: You can visit the temple on all days of the week from 5 am to 9 pm.
9. Mini Sabarimala
Photograph courtesy: minisabarimala.com
Located on a hillock in Kanjurmarg, Mini Sabarimala is the first ancient temple dedicated to Ayyappa outside the state of Kerala. This temple is similar to the Ayyappa temple located at Sabarimala in Kerala. Mini Sabarimala is visited by thousands of devotees from across Mumbai.
Earlier, there was a small Ayyappa temple and a huge Devi temple at the location where the Mini Sabarimala temple is situated today. The earlier temples were demolished by the foreign invaders, who also killed its priests. The ruins of these temples can be seen even today near the Mini Sabarimala temple. The new temple was constructed after performing purification rites by the temple trust. The temple was built according to the Thachu Shatra and Tantyra Vidhi of Kerala. The Ayyappa temple was built in the center, Ganesha temple to its right and Bhuvaneshwari temple to its left. The Nagadevtas or Sarpakavu were also built in the Northeast corner.
Unlike Keralas Sabarimala temple, you can visit this temple in Mumbai throughout the year. Special rituals and pujas are performed for Devi and Ganesha on Fridays and Tuesday. There is a small stream near the temple and it adds to the beauty and sanctity of the place.
Address: Kanjurmarg, Mumbai
Timings: The temple opens at 4:45 am and closes by 11 am. It reopens at 4:30 pm and then closes at 9 pm.
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10. Balaji temple
Photograph courtesy: balajinerul.com
Located at Nerul on a small hill, Nerul Balaji temple resembles the Balaji temple located at Tirupati. Nerul Balaji temple is close to the railway station. Balaji is the main deity of the temple. The temple complex is huge and houses many other temples like Lakshmi Narasimha temple, Ramanuja temple, Vishwaksena temple, Padmavati Devi temple, Hanuman temple and Vidya Ganapati temple. You will also see idols of Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Krishna, Rukmini, Anjaneya and Shrinivasa with Bhoodevi and Sridevi in the temple.
The Nerul Balaji temple was inaugurated in 1990 by Director Nehru Planetarium, S Venkata Varadan. It has a tall ‘dhwaja stambha’ and ‘bali peetham’. A flight of steps will lead you to the ‘Tiru Mamani Mandapam’. The Rajagopuram of this temple is around 60 ft high. The temple complex also include a garden.
Address: Plot No 2/3, Sector 22 /A, Near Swami Naryan Temple, Nerul, Navi Mumbai
Timings: The temple is open from 6 am to 11 am and from 4:30 pm to 9 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It remains open from 6 am to 9 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
11. Vaishnodevi temple
Located in Malad, Mata Vaishnodevi temple resembles the original Vaishnodevi temple located in Jammu and Kashmir. This temple offers you an opportunity to experience the divinity here in Mumbai. Malad’s Vaishnodevi temple is a beautifully made structure with an intricately designed idol. There are artificial caves and streams inside the temple and you will have to walk through them to reach the inner sanctum.
Address: Subhash Road, Malad East, Maharashtra, Mumbai
Timings: The temple is open from 8 am to 1:30 pm and from 2:30 pm to 10 pm.