Temple Run: Must-visit temples in Mumbai this festive season

Mumbai may be celebrated as the financial capital or hi-glitz Bollywood but there’s another side to the Maximum city – one that is high on chants, fragrance of incense sticks, beautiful floral decorations and reverberates inner peace. We are talking about the numerous temples abounding the city that add to Mumbai’s cultural charisma.

Step inside one of them, if looking at a different Mumbai is on your mind. Tourists have these temples clearly marked on their itineraries, for locals they are a part of life. From the Bachchans to Ambanis to Tendulkars to the local chaiwalas – everyone visits these temples to seek blessings or simply find peace in this city, where life moves in the fast lane!

Located at the posh Malabar Hill area in South Mumbai, Walkeshwar Temple is dedicated to the Hindu God, Shiva. One of the oldest in the city, the temple is a heritage site standing tall at the highest point in the city with the famous Ban Ganga in vicinity.

Legend has it that Lord Rama, while searching Sita was advised to worship Shiva Lingam. When Lakshman failed to find an idol, Rama created a Shivaling out of sand (Valuka Ishwar) at the spot where Walkeshwar stands today and offered his prayer. That’s how Walkeshwar (Valuka + Ishwar) got its name.

The world famous temple of Lord Shri Ganesha, Siddhivinayak is located in Prabhadevi. Touted as the richest temple in Mumbai, this Ganpati shrine has a gold plated ceiling!. Ganesha in this temple is fondly addressed as Navasacha Ganapati or Navasala Pavanara Ganapati i.e. the wish fulfilling Ganpati among the devotees. The wooden doors to the sanctum are carved with images of the Ashtavinayak (the eight manifestations of Ganesha in Maharashtra) and the inner roof is plated with gold.

This ancient Shakti temple located in Bhuleshwar is dedicated to goddess Mumbā, who is believed to be the patron Goddess of Mumbai. In fact, Mumbai is said to be named after her – Mumba + Ai (ai means mother in Marathi language).