One of the richest temples in the country, Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is situated at Prabhadevi, in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The temple is a 10 minutes drive from the Dadar railway station. It was built in 1801 and its construction was commissioned by a childless Agri woman.
It is believed that Ganesha worshipped at this temple will grant the wishes of his devotees. That’s how he got the name Siddhi Vinayak (Vinayak who grants wishes). Images of the Ashtavinayak (the eight manifestations of Lord Ganesh) are carved on the wooden doors opening to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. The sanctum has a gold-plated inner roof. The principal diety is Ganesha. Outside the main temple, there is also a Hanuman temple.
Ganesh, Ganesha or Vinayak is the son of Shiva and Parvathi. He is the God of knowledge and the remover of obstacles. Ganesha is also known to place obstacles in the path of those who need to be checked.
He is a prominent deity worshipped all over India. He assumes supreme importance in Mumbai and Maharashtra. Here no other deity is worshipped with as much devotion.
Importance and status
The Siddhivinayak Mandir used to be a small place of worship. The grand temple that stands today was built in the latter half of the 20th century. Today, it is perhaps the most famous Hindu temple in Mumbai. People from all walks of life including politicians, writers and film stars visit the temple frequently to seek the blessings of Ganesha.
For devotees, Siddhivinayak is “Navasala Pavanara Ganapati” (‘Ganapati grants a wish when it is made humbly and genuinely). Ganesha can’t stand the arrogant or the proud. He constantly places obstacles in their path.
The Siddhivinayak temple receives over 40,000 visitors a day. On Tuesdays these numbers can swell up to 100,000 – 150,000. During the festival season the temple gets about 200,000 devotees a day. If you are visiting on a Tuesday, you must be prepared to stand in line for several hours.
What to do at the temple
The street outside the temple is called Phool Gali. It is full of stalls selling flowers, coconuts, sweets and other accessories that you can offer to the Lord. Buy a puja thali and offer it to the Lord. A thali costs about Rs. 150. On Tuesdays Aartis are performed inside the temple.
After completing darshan devotees can buy the mahaprasad laddus from the counter outside the temple. One packet contains two laddus and costs Rs. 10. Only two packets are sold to a person.
How to reach
Dadar is the nearest railway station. You can hire a taxi from outside the station.