The Siddivinayak Temple is situated in Mumbai on the corner of Kakasaheb Gadgil Marg and S.K.Bole Marg in Prabhadevi. It is the most famous temple in Mumbai.
Who built the temple and when
This Divine old temple was consecrated on Thursday, 19th November 1801. According to the Hindu Calendar it falls on Kartik Shudha Chaturdashi, Shake 1723 in “Durmukh Sanvatsar”. The Siddivianayak mandir is on the corner of Kakasaheb Gadgil Marg and S.K.Bole Marg in Prabhadevi, which is facing heavy vehicular traffic. It was built by a professional contractor, Late Mr.Laxman Vithu Patil according to the financial support and instructions of Late Mrs.Deubai Patil, who was a rich lady of Agri Samaj from Matunga.
Since the days it is been constructed the idol has been kept as it is and the temple structure has been built into a unique six-storeyed construction, which almost touches the sky. The top of the temple is clad with a golden dome, which dazzles brilliantly in the sun.
Significance of the Temple
This famous temple is build-up in an area of 3.60mtr. x 3.60mtr. square. It has 450mm thick brick walls and old type dome, again of brick with a Kalash above. Around the dome, a parapet wall with grills forms structure of the temple. The floor level of the temple and road level are also same.
The idea of the construction of the temple was struck to Late Deubai during the prayer time, as she was humbly requesting Lord Ganesh and said, “Although I cannot have a child, let other ladies who are childless get the pleasure of child on visiting the temple and praying you”.
As one looks at successful subsequent history of the temple, it appears like the Lord Ganesh nodded to this humble request and pious thoughts and deeds of Late Deubai Patil. It is, therefore, this Siddhivinayak is famous for it and known as “Navasacha Ganapati” or “Navasala Pavanara Ganapati”. I n Marathi it means that Ganapati bestows whenever the devotees humbly and genuinely prayed a wish.
The idol of Shree Siddhivinayak or the Lord Ganesha was carved out of a single black stone and is 2'6” (750mm) high and 2' (600mm) wide with the trunk on the right. This is rather unusual appearance of Lord Ganesh. The upper right and left hands hold a lotus and an axe respectively while the lower right and left hands hold a rosary (japmala) and bowl full of “Modak” respectively. As it resembles the sacred thread, a snake appears on the left shoulder to right side belly.
On the forehead of deity is an eye, which almost looks like the third eye of Lord Shiva. On both sides of the Lord Ganesh idol, are placed one idol each of Riddhi and Siddhi goddesses who are appearing like peeping out of the Ganesh idol from behind. Because of these two deities along with Lord Ganesh, this temple is known as the Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple.
The legend goes that around 125 years ago, Shri Akkalkot Swami Samarth's great disciple, Late Ramakrishna Jambhekar Maharaj, who was also an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesh and Gayatri Mantra was blessed with Assyssinian (Siddhi). One day Swami Samarth asked Shri Jambhekar to bring divine idols. Out of the idols, except two idols, Swami Samarth told to bury in the front courtyard of the house of Swami Samarth's another disciple Shri Cholappa, where Swami Samarth used to temporarily reside. Shri Jambhekar was also told to construct remaining two idols in front of Lord Ganesh that he usually worshipped. During his attendance with Swami Samarth, Shri Jambhekar foretolded that a Mandaar tree would grow on the place after 21 years; Swayambhu (Swayambhu) Ganesh would appear on the sacred place. From that time onwards people's devotion grew in leaps and beyond.
After a few years, Jambhekar Maharaj whose Math is near sea-shore at Dadar in Mumbai, asked Late Priest Govind Chintaman Phatak to look after, perform regular religious pooja, etc. of Shree Siddhivinayak Temple.
From the available information and records, the land of the famous temple complex today is around 2550 sq.mtrs. There was a lake towards eastern and southern side of temple admeasuring approx. 30 x 40 sq.mtrs. This lake was built by Nardulla in early 19th century, to overcome the scarcity of the water, faced by the area. The lake was, later on, filled up, and now it is playground and a part of Kakasaheb Gadgil Marg.
There is also a rest house near the temple which is sought of Dharmashala and a pair of beautiful 3.6 in high, stone masonry “Deepmalas”. There is also a dwelling unit for the owner of this complex. The devotees in large numbers started visiting the temple only after 1952 and the long standing queues were seen from 1965 onwards.
Since the owner had divided the original plot and subleased it to different parties and naturally the space available around this old temple has reduced and became quite small. After 1975, the number of devotees visiting the temple started growing by real sense of Geometrical Progression. It became difficult to enter the temple or even to have “Darshan” of Lord Ganesh, the devotees were finding it quite troublesome to enter through the two small doors.
Earlier, the Siddhivinayak temple was a very much small construction highlighting the black idol of Shree Siddhivinayak, carved out of stone. It was only two and half feet wide then. The most remarkable feature of this idol of Lord Ganesh is that, His trunk is tilted to the right side. The deity has four hands , which is why it is also called Chaturbhuj. The four hands contain a lotus, a small axe, holy beads and a bowl full of Modaks, a sweet considered to be a favorite with Shree Siddhivinayak. On both the sides of the deity are Siddi and Riddhi, two Goddesses standing for holiness, fulfillment, wealth and prosperity. The Siddhivinayak has an eye engraved on his forehead
Time to Visit
Hundreds of thousands of devotees throng to the temple, especially during Angaraki and Sankashti Chaturti days, when there is a continuous stream of visitors for as long as a 24 hour period.
The Best day to visit the temple is Tuesday and at Ganesh chathurti. The temple’s opening Schedule daily begins at 4 a.m. The devotees visit timings are from 11.00 a.m - 12.00 Noon and the Pooja Schedule is 4.30 a.m. to 5.00 a.m & 8.30 p.m. to 9.15 p.m.
Rules and Rituals of the temples
• Kakad Aarti – done in the early morning prayer: at 5.30 a.m. to 6.00 a.m.
• Shree Darshan - morning at 6.00 a.m. to afternoon 12.15 p.m.
• Naivedhya - afternoon at 12.15 p.m. to afternoon 12.30 p.m.
• Shree Darshan - afternoon at 12.30 p.m. to evening 7.20 p.m.
• Aarti -Evening - The evening Prayer : 7.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m
• Shree Darshan - at 8.00 p.m. to 9.50 p.m
• Shejaarti - The last Aarti of the day before bedtime : night 9.50 p. m. (The temple doors remain closed after shejaarti)
• The Temple is fully closed till next morning after 'Shejaarti.