Mumbai for sure is one of the best and the most diverse cities in the country. There are so many contradictions one sees in their day to day life while living or visiting this ‘mayanagri‘. There is so much about Mumbai that we don’t know and haven’t seen. One such place that we are sure many of you are oblivious of is Banganga – Mumbai’s Mini Varanasi.
Located in one of the most posh areas of the city, Malabar Hills, banganga today stands quietly narrating us stories of the era gone by. In between all the development the city has seen, Banganga is still as historis as it can be.
It was built in AD 1127 by Lakshman Prabhu, a Goud Saraswat Brahmin minister in the court of Silhara dynasty of Thane, this place holds a lot of religious importance and mythological significance for all hindus.
As per the legend, when Lord Rama was on his way to Lanka, he paused at this spot to pray to Lord Shiva to help him find his wife Sita who had been kidnapped by King Ravana. To do so, he created a Shiva linga from sand, which came to be known as Valuka Ishwar (meaning an idol made of sand in Sanskrit), thus lending the temple its name. When Rama, thirsty and tired, asked his brother Lakshman for a drink of water, he shot an arrow into the ground, which resulted in a spurt of freshwater. It was believed that this water came from a tributary of Ganga and the spot was hence named Banganga (baan means arrow in Hindi).
Most of the property here, including the Banganga tank and the Walkeshwar temple, belongs to the Goud Saraswat Temple Trust. As a matter of fact, after the Portuguese destroyed the temple in the 16th century, it was rebuilt from a generous donation made by businessman and philanthropist Rama Kamath, also from the same community. Many Goud Saraswat Brahmin families still reside within the temple complex.
This is a beautiful place with temples on the sides and stairs that descend to water tank that has many ducks swimming. It is believed that if you make a wish, it will come true and once it is granted you must leave a duck here.
Reminding you of Varanasi, this place too has the similar atmosphere with
the sounds of aarti, religious chants, the ringing of temple bells and the quacking of ducks echoing in all directions.
It surely is a place to go to if you want to spend some time with you and your thoughts. Best time to visit this place is during the early hours when you can watch the magic of sunrise happening.
Where: Banganga Tank, Walkeshwar Rd, Teen Batti, Malabar Hill, Mumbai, Maharashtra