Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is one of the most visited and richest temples of India. It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. It is located on Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is one of the iconic structures of the city. People from all around India come to visit the temple. It was originally built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil on November 19, 1801. The temple is about 200 years old. The temple is highly visited by the general public of the city and as well as the important politicians and celebrities. The Mumbai city is the place with many famous temples and religious sites. Most of them have archaeological importance besides being a religious place. The Mumbaikars worship Lord Ganesha with utmost devotion and celebrate the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi in a grand manner and with great enthusiasm. Thus, the temple of Siddhivinayak holds great importance to them. Siddhivinayak is well known as “Navasacha Ganapati” or “Navasala Pavanara Ganapati” among the devotees. The Siddhivinayak Mandir was once a tiny place of worship which later evolved into a grand temple. The Temple had gone a complete makeover in the recent past, from a small place of worship to a grand six storeyed structure which almost touches the sky. At the top of the temple, a golden dome is placed which dazzles beautifully in the sun.
The temple was built under the supervision of Lakshman Vidhu Patil on the orders of Late Mrs.Deubai Patil. Mrs Patil was a very rich lady from an affluent family but she did not have any child of her own. She was a strong devotee of Lord Ganesha. One day, while offering her daily prayers she selflessly asked lord Ganesha that if she can’t have children then let other ladies with same misfortune may get his blessings while praying in this temple and become mothers. It seems that the god answered her humble request and pious thoughts. It is said that all wishes are granted in this temple if genuinely prayed to the Lord Ganesha. Around 125 years ago, Swami Samarth asked Shri Jambhekar, an advert devotee of Lord Ganesha to bring divine idols and bury them in front of the courtyard of his old house where he once resided. Shri Jambhekar was also told to plant two idols in front of the Ganesha idol which he worshiped daily. Shri Jambhekar predicted that after 21 years a Mandaar tree would grow from that place and Lord Ganesh would himself appear from that sacred place. From that day onwards the belief and devotion of the people had increased a hundred times fold. After few years, he told Late Priest Govind Chintaman Phatak to look after and perform regular pooja and religious rituals in the Siddhivinayak Temple.
Siddhivinayak temple features the idol of Lord Ganesh carved out of black stone and is 2’6” high and 2’ wide. The unique feature of this idol which differentiates it from all other idols of Lord Ganesh is that the trunk of the lord is on right hand side. This is rather an unusual appearance of Lord Ganesha. The deity has four hands with a lotus in his upper right hand and an axe in his upper left hand. He also holds a jaomala in his lower right hand and a bowl of Modak in his lower left hand. From the left shoulder to the right side of the belly of the Lord, there appears a snake which looks like the sacred thread worn by men in the Hindu religion. The idol of Lord Ganesha also features an eye on his forehead which appears as the third eye of Lord Shiva, the father of Lord Ganesha. On both sides of the idol of Lord Ganesha are placed the idols of goddesses Riddhi and Siddhi. The goddesses signify wealth and prosperity while Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the god who removes all hurdles and problems of life and gives success. He is worshipped before any other deity and before the start of any good work.
There is also a small Hanuman Temple in the complex of the Siddivinayak temple. It was built in 1952 when an idol of Lord Hanuman was found during the road extension project of Sayani Road near Elphinstone Road. The Hanuman Mandir had been recently renovated and given a new look. The Hanuman temple has its schedule of aarti and pooja. It is most visited by its devotees on Saturdays. The devotees are provided with oil and rui garland at a very cheap cost on Saturdays.
The holy temple is most visited on Tuesdays. In the city of millions of people this is the place where you will feel the absolute presence of Lord Ganesha. The temple is filled with vibrations of spirituality and is known as the temple of miracles. The view of the golden kalash at the top of the temple with an orange flag fluttering in the breeze is itself a lovely sight. There are rows of shops of sweets, modaks, flowers, etc along the perimeter of the temple. The Maharashtrian government also realises the importance of the temple. A police station had been set up outside the temple to ensure law and order in the area. People from all over the world, irrespective of their age, religion and beliefs, bowing their heads come to visit this place throughout the year.