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      Mumbai's Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple at Prabhadevi is a two hundred old structure and it is believed that the Lord fulfills the desires of his worshipers. Siddhivinayak is the reigning deity of Mumbaikars who have an amazing faith in the Lord. So much so, that a few years back when the city was facing an acute water shortage, almost all of Mumbai, right from its film stars to its mill workers prayed to Siddhivinayak for rains and it did rain !

        The temple was consecrated in 1801 as a small structure housing the black stone idol of the Lord. The striking feature of this idol is the tilt of its trunk to the right side. The idol has four hands holding a lotus in upper right, a small axe in upper left, holy beads in the lower right and a bowl full of modaks. On both sides of the statue are Riddhi & Siddhi, goddesses signifying sanctity, fulfillment, prosperity and riches. There is an eye etched on the forehead of the deity resembling the third eye of Lord Shiva.

        The area housing the deity has been altered several times in the past. The final result was a monolithic structure that was accomplished by a fortnight-long series of rituals. The consecration ceremonies ended with the Kalash Pratishthapana and Kumbhabhishek ceremony. These ceremonies were performed by Shree Shankaracharya of Shree Shardapeeth Shringeri Bharatitirth Mahaswami on Monday, the 13th of June 1994.

        In a normal temple, the foundation carries on up to the Kalash, which is a pointed dome at the top. This has a religious significance. The Kalash was lowered with proper rituals and is now kept as an exhibit within the temple area.

        The temple's garbhagriha has been designed to provide maximum convenience to devotees. It is a spacious enclosure with three main doors of almost 13 feet height facilitating the 'darshan' of 'Shree Siddhivinayak' from either the area surrounding the garbhagriha or the stage (Sabha Mandap) constructed to conduct pujas and festivities.

        A mezzanine floor with a viewers gallery has also been constructed to enable devotees to see the Lord from there. The area surrounding the garbhagriha has been designed as a sitting area. The stage adjoining the sanctum sanctorum is used as a platform for darshan sought by the devotees unable to form queues for entering the site. As many as 1.5 to 2 lakh people use this facility every Tuesday. On Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi the darshan begins at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning halts only at about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning. On Tuesdays the mezzanine floor is opened after 1 p.m after all pujas are conducted.

        The sanctum sanctorum or the garbhagriha is an octagonal enclosure having a width of 10 ft and comprises a silver plated Makhar. Makhar is a smaller structure within the garbhagriha housing the idol of Lord. The dome inside the garbhagriha is gold plated and has been designed to enhance the beauty of the idol. It is lighted with an exquisite chandelier. The main doors are made of perforated wood depicting Ashta Ganapati, Ashta Laxmi and ashtavatar.




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