About Prabhadevi Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple:
Shree Ganesh is the first to be worshipped before starting any new project or venture, since he is an obstacle destroyer (Vighnaharta). This Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple is located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, a two-century temple that fulfills the wishes of the devotees. The Mumbai city is a silent witness to places of worship and historical interest, not only popular but also of archaeological significance.
It can be argued that the most popular and important places of worship are Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir, located in Prabhadevi. This temple was consecrated for the first time on Thursday, November 19, 1801, which is observed in the government archives. The temple was then a small structure sheltering Shree Siddhivinayak’s black stone idol, two and a half feet wide. The remarkable characteristic of this deity is the inclination of the trunk on the right side. The four-handed idol (Chaturbhuj), which contains a lotus at the top right, a small axe at the top left, sacred pearls at the bottom right and a bowl filled with Modaks (a treat that is a perpetual favorite with Shree Siddhivinayak). The two sides of the divinity are Riddhi and Siddhi, goddesses that signify holiness, fulfillment, prosperity, and wealth. On the forehead of the deity is engraved an eye that resembles the third eye of Lord Shiva.
Prabhadevi Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple Architectural:
The old temple had an ancient architectural style, consisting of a hall, a sanctum sanctorum, some free open space, the temple’s administrative office to the right and a water tank in the front. One can get an idea of what it may have looked like by visiting the Kashi – Vishveshwar temple situated near the Matunga signal near Citilight Cinema.
The Temple’s New Architecture:
The architect Ar. Shri. Sharad Athale of SK Athale & Associates made an extensive survey of temples in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The climatic conditions in both states are dry, hot and semi arid for most parts of the year. However considering the hot and humid climatic conditions, heavy monsoon period for nearly 4 months and proximity of the temple to the sea, the architects came to conclusion that the Shiva Temple at
Ambernath would be the ideal role model for this new temple. This Shiva Temple has a solid stone elevation and had faced local climatic condition admirably. Today, the Siddhivinayak temple has undergone a complete architectural transformation, thanks to the efforts of Ar. Shri. Sharad Athale of SK Athale & Associates.
Keeping the idol intact, the temple has been built into unique multiangular, six storeyed structure, that reaches to the skies surmounted with a main central gold plated dome. The other small crowns that surround it are made of gold’s and panchadhatu (five metals). Three main entrances lead to the interior.
The Makhar (frame) of the sanctum sanctorum has been crafted by the father-son duo, Suresh and Mitesh Mistry, with a long-standing tradition in fine intricate design. They have rendered their services at prestigious religious centers which speaks volumes of their expertise. A Marathi artisan crafted the crown of the temple.
The temples renovation commenced in 1990. It was completed in 3 years with an expense of Rupees three crores. The main stones used were marble and pink granite. The temple was designed to be a fine architectural example. Thus, a 200 year old temple was renovated and restored into a magnificent, multistoried and palace like temple.
1) The first floor of the temple is a mezzanine floor mainly used for puja’s and darshan.
2) The second floor houses the kitchen used to make Shree’s Maha Naivedya (offering) and a restroom.
The Naivedya prepared in the kitchen is carried to the sanctum sanctorum by an elevater system. The floor is under constant security & vigilance through video cameras. This floor also has the administrative offices of the supervisior and assistant supervisor.
3) The third floor has the temple central office . It has the committee member’s chamber, the C.E.O. chamber , member’s chamber, conference hall and a computer room that handles all modern administrative and information data processing.
4) The fourth floor has the temple’s library with an exhaustive collection of 8000 books on religion, literature, medicine, engineering, economics etc. It is continuously updated with new titles and editions. The library also has a study hall for students who can avail of all the priceless collection of books on medicine and engineering for reference or study. This library and study hall is open for all the public free of cost.
The fifth floor is mainly used for food preparations required for festivals and fire offerings. It once housed a solar heater but was dismantled during the renovation phase
The summit of the temple is a cluster of crowns, 47 gold plated with the main 12 feet crown and 3 fine feet crowns and 33 3.5 feet crowns.
The magnificent and graceful temple’s crown installation and Kumbhabhishek ceremony took place on 13 June 1994 (Hindu Calendar: – Jestha Shukla Chaturthi Shaka 1916) by the auspicious hands of Shree Shankaracharya Dakshinamnay, Shree Shraddha Pitha, Shamgeri, Shree 2008 Bharti Tirtha Mahaswamiji.
During the renovation, the crown of the temple was brought down systematically and as per the customary rites, decorated and mounted in the hall for public viewing. All care and precautions were taken during renovation to preserve the sanctity and purity of the temple and the idol.
The multistoried structure of the temple is designed with walls circling the center in such a manner that there is open space up to the summit, which also serves the purpose of keeping the area above the holy sanctum sanctorum away from footsteps.
The main crown of the temple, a magnificent gold plated dome, represents the Shree’s magnificence, power and presence. Devotee’s who are unable to see the main idol, during rush hours or time constraints, often take darshan of the dome which givens them the same solace. In Pandharpur, during Aashadhi and Kartika Ekadashi, when devotees (varkari) come in huge members to set a glimpse of the diety Vithal, they often take darshan of the Vithal Mandir’s crown.
Shree’s devotees share this same sentiment.
The sanctum sanctorum of the renovated temple is spacious with fine entrances of which three are main entrance with a height of 13 feet. Their tallness enables more than 300 devoteees to see the idol from the main hall, as well as the mezzanine floor, all at one time. The central hall around the sanctum sanctorum has tall seating with stairs. Beyond the stain is a huge platform for pooja’s, mahapujas etc.
This platform too has a view of Shree Siddhivinayak which adds to the satisfaction of the pooja’s taking place. The platform is also used for taking Shree’s darshan on specific days like Tuesday, Sankashthi Chaturthi and Angarkhi Chaturthi, when the number of devotees reaches to about 2 lakhs. On these days the pujas are carried out on the mezzanine floor, which too has a view of Shree Sidhivinayak.
After the pooja rites are over, after 1 a.m. devotees can have darshan from the mezzanine floor, which facilitates devotees who can go back to work within ten to fifteen minutes.
The whole architectural design is centered around the convenience of the devotees. The renovation and restoration was done not only to the structure of the temple but also to the faith of the devotees.
About the Kalash:
A Hindu temple begins with the foundation and continues in height up to the Kalash (pinnacle). The Kalash is a pointed dome at the top and is of religious significance. The Kalash, which adorned the earlier temple was lowered with proper rituals and is now kept as an exhibit within the temple premises. The temple as it stand now has been constructed after deliberations with experts on Hindu religion and customs so as to maintain the sanctity of the idol as per the Hindu Shastras. The idol of Shree Siddhivinayak has not been touched in the process of rebuilding the temple.
So as to ensure that there is no human transgression or trespass in the area from the point at which the idol is situated in to the up to the Kalash, which is a pointed dome of 12 feet high Gabhara (sanctum sanctorum) weighing 1500Kgs. and plated in gold. The devotees can thus earn the satisfaction of seeking the blessing of Shree Siddhivinayak by taking a devoted look at the Kalash.
The consecration ceremonies culminated with the ‘Kalash Pratishthapana’ and ‘Kumbha-bhishek’ ceremony at the hands his holiness Jagad-guru Shree Shankaracharya of Shree Shardapeeth Shringeri Shree 1008 Bharati Tirth Maha Swami on Monday the 13th of June 1994 i.e. Jyeshtha Shudha Chaturthi as per Hindu calendar.
The Gabhara (sanctum sanctorum) of the new temple structure has been designed with an aim to attain maximum convenience and comfort of devotees. It is a spacious enclosure with 3 main doors of about 13 feet height. This facilitates the ‘Darshan’ of Shree Siddhivinayak from either the area surrounding the Gabhara or the stage (Sabha Mandap) constructed to conduct poojas and festivities, under the directivesof the Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir Trust.
A mezzanine floor with a viewers gallery has been constructed in symmetry with the Gabhara thus enabling scores of devotees to seek the Lord from there.
The area surrounding the Gabhara has been designed as a sitting area and the stage adjoining the same is utilised as a platform for common Darshan sought by
the devotees who are unable to spend hours in serpentine queues to go inside the
Gabhara. An estimated 1.5 to 2 lakh people use this facility every Tuesday, and on Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi the common Darshan begins at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning halts only at about 1 a.m. i.e. Wednesday morning. On Tuesdays the mezzanine floor is made open after 1 p.m. i.e. after all poojas, abhishek etc. are conducted.
The Gabhara is an octagonal enclosure, about 10 feet wide and consists of a silver plated Makhar (a smaller structure within the Gabhara which houses the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak). The dome inside the Gabhara is gold plated and has been designed to enhance the beauty of the idol. An exquisite chandelier lights up the Gabhara, making it a sight never to be forgotten.
Donation box made of white marble and decorated with meenakari. This .has been placed before the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak. The two side doors are for use by the priests and the employees assisting them to carry routine functions.
As compared to the Gabhara of the earlier temple structure, the Gabhara of new temple structure is at a lower height owing to which the devotees,
seeking Darshan of Shree Siddhivinayak from outside the Gabhara can do so easily are able to get a complete uninterrupted view of the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak.
Arrangements for the preparations of Naivedya during the festivities of the temple have been made on the fifth floor. There is also a hall to enable the devotees to take benefit of Prasad on such days. Solar energy producing cells have also been installed on the temple. These produce electricity, which make the temple electrically independent.
Thus the Shree Siddhivinayak temple is a castle-like structure with a principle Kalash, which is 12 feet high, 3 others which are 5 feet high, and other 33 which are 3.5 feet high, thus making a total of 37 gold plated domes adorning the magnificence of the temple.
The temple trust is managed by a board of trustees led by a Chairperson. This board outlines policy parameters. The execution and day to day management of the temple affairs is in the hand of the Executive officer, Shri. S. S. Chitnis, the employees who work in extraordinary and exemplary zeal to attain maximum convenience to the devotees who throng the temple day in and day out to catch the glimpse of their favorite deity Shree Siddhivinayak. The idol of Shree Siddhivinayak has a special aura and one glimpse of the idol of all that it takes to experience a thrill and a joy, which can not be described in words.
A wide variety of Poojas (religious rituals) can be performed within the temple premises on payment of a nominal fee : the Panchamrut Pooja, Shree Satyanarayana Pooja and Laghurudra.
About the Ganesh Idol:
Ganesh, the son of Shree Shiva is one of the most prominent altars, faithfully invoked and dedicatedly worshipped by a large number of devotees. The idol of Shree Siddhivinayak is of black stone and is 2.5 feet high and 2 feet wide, with the trunk on the right. The upper right hand holds a lotus, the left an axe. The lower right hand holds a rosary and the lower left holds a ‘modaka’. Around the neck is the snake like sacred thread. The idol is carved out of a single stone. The idols of Riddhi and Siddhi are on either side of Shree Siddhivinayak.
Riddhi and Siddhi are Goddesses of success, riches and prosperity. The auspicious idol of Shree Siddhivinayak with its trunk bent towards the right is unique, as the trunk is usually found curving leftwards.
Festivals Celebrated Prabhadevi Ganesh Temple:
Angarki Chaturthi pooja
Shri. Ramnavami pooja
The sanctum sanctorum housing the deity was altered time and again and finally gave way to a monolithic and magnificent structure, which was accomplished by a series of rituals, which lasted a fortnight.
Prabhadevi Ganesh Temple Timings:
All Days: 5:30 AM to 9:50 PM
Tuesday: 3:15 AM to 12:30 AM
Prabhadevi Shree Siddhivinayak Temple Address:
Siddhi Vinayak Ganapati Temple Links:
Siddhi Vinayak Ganapati Temple Architectural Details