Mumbai is a vibrant and lively city which is always on the move. Over the centuries it has become home to many visiting communities and cultures. Mumbai is well known as the land of Opportunities. During the 60s & 70s, it was said that any person seeking a job would have at least five offer letters in a day at a time. Such was the availability of employment opportunities in Mumbai.
Migration to Mumbai was mainly from the Konkan area and the southern part of the country. There was a growing textile, manufacturing and engineering industry in the city which attracted a large work force from all parts of the country. This migrant population also brought along their customs and traditions with them.
Most of the population which came to Mumbai belonged to the Hindu faith and hence, there are numerous Hindu temples across the city. Some of them have attained world renowned stature and attract visitors from all parts of the globe.
Some of the famous Mumbai Temples could be listed thus thirukadaiyur temple:
Mumbadevi Temple: This temple is dedicated to the Patron Goddess of Mumbai, Mumba Devi. The English word Bombay is said to have been originated from this name only. The original temple of the goddess was built by the Kolis, who belong to the fishermen trade and are considered to be the original residents of this city. It was built in the area where the present day Victoria Terminus stands.
But in 1737, it was destroyed and rebuilt in Bhuleshwar. The Kolis are followers of the Mother Earth and the Goddess at this temple personifies this image. The original deity did not have any marked features on her face. But the present day Goddess is dressed in a beautiful robe, with a silver crown on her head, gold necklace around her neck and a shining nose stud. In front of the shrine is the carrier of the Goddess i.e. the Tiger. This is a six centuries old temple which is one of the most visited attractions in Mumbai.
Walkeshwar Temple: This temple is one of Mumbai’s ancient Hindu pilgrimage sites which is dedicated to Lord Valukeshwar (the Sand Lord). The original Walkeshwar Temple was built by the Silharas in 1050 AD. According to the Hindu mythology, this temple stands at the site where Lord Rama formed a Shivalinga (Phallus) from sand and performed his prayers. It is also said that the original temple contained the Lingams, the one ferried by Laxman from Benares and the one which was created by Lord Rama.
It is also said that the Banganga Tank which is located near the temple was also created by Lord Rama when he fired an arrow to get water. Today devotees immerse themselves in this tank to get their bodies and souls purified.
Siddhivinayak Temple: This is one of the most visited religious places in Mumbai. This 200 year old temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, who is said to be the God of Wisdom and is always invoked first before any prayers. He is said to drive away all hurdles and difficulties of his devotees. Siddhivinayak Temple is located in Prabhadevi and has a Ganesha idol made of black stone which is two and a half feet long and two feet wide. On either side of the idol, the Goddesses of Wealth and Prosperity, Riddhi-Siddhi are engraved.
Mahalaxmi Temple: There were three temples dedicated to Goddess Laxmi, Saraswati and Kali which stood to the north of Malabar Hill which were totally destroyed by invaders. Several decades later when the British decided to connect the Mahalaxmi area to Worli by building the Breach Candy, it was destroyed by several ferocious tides which swept away the structure. After many such failed attempts, the Goddess Laxmi appeared in a dream to Ramji Shivji, a contractor. She asked him to remove the three statues from the sea and establish them in a proper shrine. After Ramji did as bidden by the Goddess, the task of Breach Candy was completed successfully.
The Mahalaxmi Temple in Breach Candy has the deities of Mahalaxmi, Mahakali and Mahasaraswati; all of whom are adorned with nose rings, gold bangles and pearl necklaces. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Wealth, Mahalaxmi.
ISCKON Temple: One of the most important landmarks of Mumbai is the ISCKON or the Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple which is located at Juhu. This temple is dedicated to the Lord Raasbihari or Krishna. It is managed by the ISCKON and is situated on a sprawling 4 acres of prime land. This temple was built in 1978 and attracts a lot of crowd from all parts of the globe.