Mumba Devi Temple
|Location:||Bhuleshwar, in South Mumbai|
|Built in:||18th century|
|Dedicated to:||Mumba Devi (a form of Shakti)|
|How to Reach:||One can easily reach here by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.|
According to the legends, Mumbadevi Temple was the result of attacks by Mumbarka – a cruel monster, who used to plunder the city for fun. Frightened by the violence of Mumbarka, the city inhabitants kept their situation before Lord Brahma. It is regarded that Lord Brahma made a Goddess, who had eight arms, to slaughter the demon. The Goddess killed the demon and consequently, she came to be known as ‘Mumba’.
In 1739, the temple of Mumbadevi was constructed at Bori Bunder that currently makes the site of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. It was later destroyed and rebuilt at the present site of Bhuleshwar. The temple doesn’t have any extraordinary architecture. In the sanctum sanctorum, the image of Mumba Devi appears divine, dressed in rich clothes and adorned with a silver crown, a nose stud and a golden necklace.
On the left side, you can see Goddess Annapurna mounted on a Peacock. Goddess Mumba is depicted without mouth, which symbolizes the Mother Earth. There are other shrines dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Maruti, Mahadev, Indrayani, Murlidhar, Jagannath, Narsoba and Balaji in the temple complex. Till date, Mumba Devi is worshipped by Koli fisher folks and Dravidians in the most sumptuous manner.
|Location:||On B. Desai Road, Breach Candy, Mumbai|
|Dedicated To:||Goddess Lakshmi|
|How to Reach:||One can easily reach Mahalaxmi Temple by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.|
Distinguished for its probing history and piousness, Mahalakshmi Temple boasts of a richly ornamented main gateway. In its complex, you can see numerous stalls selling flower garlands and paraphernalia that make an offering to the Goddess. Inside the sanctum sanctorum, the presiding images are of Goddess Mahalakshmi, Mahakali and Mahasaraswati. However, Goddess Lakshmi is the principal deity, from whom the temple imbibed its name.
The bejeweled images of the Goddesses augment the spiritual aura of the temple. It is believed that the Goddess grants boons and fulfills all the wishes of her ardent devotees. With firm belief, people come to this holy shrine to get blessings from the Goddess. The historical evidences reveal that the temple was constructed as per the instructions of Goddess Lakshmi. Its origin is connected with the creation of Hornby Vellard.
As a result of violent tides, the engineers were not able to join the Mahalaxmi area with Worli by constructing Breach Candy. The plan was difficult and eventually, engineers dropped the plan. On one fortunate day, Mahalakshmi appeared in the dream of the Chief Engineer of the project and asked him to make her shrine at the current place. Consequently the temple was built somewhere around 1785. After it, the Breach Candy was successfully built.
|Location:||Prabhadevi in Mumbai|
|Built By:||Mr. Laxman Vithu and Mrs. Deubai Patil|
|Dedicated To:||Lord Ganesha|
|How to Reach:||One can easily reach here by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.|
The wooden main gate of the shrine is engraved with various images of Ashtavinayak, which symbolize the eight manifestations of Lord Ganesha. In the sanctum sanctorum, the gold-plated ceiling makes the worthy crown of the Lord. Ganpati is depicted with four arms, while holding a lotus flower, an axe, platter of modakas and a garland of beads respectively in each of his hands. The image is flanked by Riddhi and Siddhi, two consorts of Lord Ganesha.
Near the main entrance of the temple complex, there is a beautiful image of Lord Hanuman. Tuesday is believed to be the ruling day of Lord Ganesha, so people come in large numbers on this day. In the year 1994, Siddhi Vinayak Temple was renovated to embrace the huge crowd. During the celebratory time of Ganesh Chaturthi, the temple is visited by inestimable number of people. It is said that Lord fulfills all the wishes of his loyal devotees.
A major landmark of Prabhadevi, Siddhi Vinayak Temple is well-known among the Hindus. ‘Phool Gali’ is a narrow street outside the temple that is a hub of many flower sellers. You can see a tight security within and outside the temple, to ensure safety of the people and the temple. At the time of Angaraki and Sankashti Chaturthi, the minutest space available at the temple gets occupied. Come to Mumbai, pay a visit to Shri Siddhi Vinayak and receive his blessings.
Mount Mary Church
|Location:||Bandra West, Mumbai|
|Dedicated to:||Virgin Mary|
|Special Attraction:||Bandra Fair|
|How to Reach:||One can easily reach Mt Mary Church by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.|
The church is the pride and hallmark of the former city of Bombay and holds a special place in the hearts of the residents. The Marathi community refers to the Mother Mary as Math Mauli and pays due homage to her. The main attraction of the church is the Bandra Fair, which is celebrated in the month of September. The week long festival is a fun filled extravaganza, wherein the church as well as its surroundings is embellished with beautiful decorations. Thousands of people visit the church on this occasion.
Besides, the church complex is dotted with stalls selling Goan sweets and wax idols of Virgin Mary. The sick and suffering, light candles in the church, which are in the shape of hands, feet and other parts of the body. This is done with a hope that Mother Mary will cure them and free them from their afflictions. The statue present in the Church is also an interesting object and has many stories linked with it. The original statue of the Lady was brought here by the Jesuit priests from Portugal, who also built a chapel in16th century.
In 1700, the Arab pirates disfigured the statue to obtain a gold lined object in her hand. The church was rebuilt and the statue was replaced with the statue of Our Lady of Navigators, of St. Andrew’s church, in 1760. According to a letter published in the book ‘St. Andrew’s Church’, Bandra (1616-1966), a Koli fisherman, dreamt that he would find a statue in the sea. Later, he actually found this statue floating in the sea. However, in 1761, the original statue was renovated with a child in her arms and is worshiped here ever since.
Located on a hillock, at a height of about 80 m above sea level, Mother Mary Church overlooks the splashing waters of the Arabian Sea. It is thronged by millions of devotees every year and even boasts of miraculous powers which have further strengthened the faith of the pilgrims. The Church is a venerated spot for the people of all religions. Apart from its spiritual fervor, it is also a picturesque location to enjoy the scenic beauty around. The view of serene sunsets and calm waters of the sea from the hillock are awe inspiring.
|Built by:||ISKCON Foundation|
|Highlights:||Vedic Educational and Cultural Complex, Architectural Beauty|
|How to Reach:||One can easily reach ISKCON Temple by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.|
The Iskcon temples are not just places of worship or architectural wonder but are representation of intellectual development. This society was founded by Swami Prabhupada – the divine soul, who preached the philosophy of love and happiness to the mankind. In the close vicinity of Prithvi theatre in Mumbai, Iskcon temple is a major landmark of the Juhu locality. Both, its interior and exterior walls are festooned with frescoes and sculptures.
In the main hall, there are paintings depicting the incidents from the life of Lord Krishna. The unsurpassed architectural magnificence of the temple is worth-seeing. On your visit to this temple, you will see numerous devotees working and chanting the ‘Mahamantra’ (literally the great syllable) granted by Swami Prabhupada. The temple authorities also conduct various educational, cultural and social programs to augment the Vedic wisdom.
The Vedic Educational and Cultural Complex (the Heaven on Earth) is a must-visit place, where the Robot Show presents religious knowledge by using electronic power. If you are feeling hungry, then try the typical Vaishnavite cuisine at Govinda Restaurant. Every evening, the temple gets reverberated with prayers and bhajans (devotional songs), attracting devotees from the nearby areas. Visit the Iskcon Temple of Mumbai and experience the divine ecstasy.
St Thomas Cathedral
|Location:||D.N. Road, Fort, Mumbai|
|Kind of Church:||Anglican|
|How to Reach:||One can easily reach St Thomas Cathedral by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.|
The church derived its name from St. Thomas – a disciple of Christ, who came to establish the faith of Christianity in the southwestern part of India, all along the Malabar Coast. The Cathedral of St. Thomas has been a calm and serene abode for scores of Britons, who were laid to rest beneath marble tablets imprinted with poignant elegies. The cathedral confine has a cemetery, which houses the tombstones of generals, clerks and young maids.
St. Thomas Cathedral draws a congregation of devotees from all parts of the country. At the time of Christmas and similar festivals, the church is festooned with buntings and decorations. Devotees as well as tourists visit St. Thomas Cathedral to spend some moments of peace and solitude. The marvelous architecture of the church is worth-seeing and admiring. On your trip to Mumbai, do pay a visit at this first Anglican church of Mumbai.
|Located:||On an island off the coast in Worli, Mumbai|
|Attraction:||Beautiful architecture, picturesque backdrop|
|How to Reach:||One can easily reach Haji Ali by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.|
As per the legends, Haji Ali left this world during his journey to Mecca and a coffer carrying his body hovered back to Mumbai. Other stories state that the great saint drowned at the place, where the mosque stands at present. On Thursdays and Fridays, the shrine is visited by at least 40,000 pilgrims. Irrespective of faith and religion, people visit the ‘dargah’ to get the blessings of the legendary saint.
The edifice is a brilliant specimen of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. Built on a small island, the mosque is sited about 500 yards from the shoreline, in the middle of Worli Bay. This island is connected to the Mahalakshmi area by a narrow walkway, which is not even constrained by railings and is prone to sea waters during high-tide. Consequently, you can reach the mosque only during low-tides.
The walkway, offering 500-yard-walk, is the highlight of this expedition, where the touch of cool waters and pleasing breeze altogether will make this a divine experience. Sprawling in an area of 4,500 meters, Haji Ali Dargah has a tomb that is always covered with a brocaded red and green sheet, supported by a delicate silver frame. The marble pillars inside the main hall are decorated with multihued mirrors and embrace the ninety-nine names of Allah.
St Michael’s Church
|Kind of Church:||Catholic|
|How to Reach:||One can easily reach St Micheal’s Church by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.|
When Bishop Hartmann lost his control over the church in 1854, he collected resources and constructed ‘Our Lady of Victory Church’ in the vicinity of St. Michaels. In the present day Bombay, both the churches are still present at their respective sites. The present structure of St Michael Church was reconstructed in 1973. Nowadays, this church is notable for its Novenas that take place on Wednesdays.
St. Michael’s Church, being the catholic legacy of Mumbai city of India, is keeping pace with the changing times. Catholic devotees congregate at the church to attend the daily sermons and prayers, which are held here. During the festive time of Christmas, the church is decorated in the most sumptuous manner. People from all faiths and religions assemble to take part in the celebrations and revel at this occasion.