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Mumbadevi temple, oldest temple in Mumbai Mumbadevi temple, situated in the crowded area of Zaveri Bazaar in South Mumbai, is an iconic shrine and one of the oldest in the city. My visit to Mumbadevi temple has been long overdue, and I finally went there few days ago.

The city derived its name from Goddess Mumbadevi, the patron goddess of the Kolis (fishermen community), and literally speaking this temple has withstood test of time. Lets take a walk down the temple complex and winess few ancient customs that still exists within the holy confines.

Here's a bit of history about Mumbadevi Temple:

Originally Mumbadevi temple was built at the present CST station (Victoria Terminus) in Fort, in 1737 and soon brought down by the British government and shifted to its current location at Zaveri Bazaar. While certain Hindu sects believe that the temple came up even before that at Boribunder in 1675.
The road where the temple is located, known as Mumbadevi Road is blocked for vehicles, for security reasons, as several attempts have been made to bomb this place - in 1993 and in 2004. So there is police security 24x7 near the temple.

A common sight at any Hindu temple are small shops selling sweets, flowers, pictures of different Hindu Gods, and other items used for worship. Temple shops selling garlands and coconuts The main temple, which is generally crowded on weekends, had few devotees offering their prayers. Goddess Mumbadevi is dressed in a robe with a silver crown, a nose stud and a golden necklace. To the left is a stone figure of Annapurna seated on a peacock while in front of the shrine is a tiger, the carrier of the Goddess. Mumbadevi temple Cows are worshipped by the Hindus, so you will find lot of cows around Zaveri Bazaar and people pay a small amount to the owner to feed the cow with grass. Cows grazing in Mumbadevi temple at Zaveri Bazaar Here's a better view of Mumbadevi temple. Unfortunately there are so many buildings in this area which are so close to each other, hardly at an arm's length, that the temple gets covered in this clutter. Carvings of Mumbadevi temple, between Zaveri Bazaar and Bhuleshwar Within the complex are several pujaris, who reside there, perform rituals and customs for families who come for various purposes. They have small corners where they sit on their mats and sometimes they are chanting prayers, or just looking around at passerbys.Pujaris taking break in temple complex This was coordinated effort to make chapatis and rotis, many temples have a communal kitchen where they serve food to the devotees, pujaris, sadhus etc. Making rotis in temple complex of Mumbadevi Caught in action, a goldsmith heating some metal. Goldsmith at Mumbadevi temple I liked this shop, there were lot of interesting items being sold here. Turbans embellished with ornaments, metal rings, bangles, and many items. Shops selling puja items Conches or shankhs in Hindi, I love the sound of it. They are considered as auspicious objects and often blown during ceremonies. Conch or Shankh sold at Mumbadevi Hindu temple Also available are metal lamps or diyas, bells and Shiva trishuls. I couldn't ask the price since I was getting lot of stares from the shopkeepers and pujaris. Temple shop One pujari who I actually saw not sitting idle that day, performing puja for the family. Many kids get their mundan done here, where the child receives his or her first haircut. Pujari conducting Hindu rituals at Mumbadevi temple Idols of goddesses kept on a platform, outside Mumbadevi garden, which remains shut most of the time. Next to the garden is a municipal school as well. Idol of Hindu goddess There are many small temples within the main complex, this one is Kamnath Mahadev temple, it was quite peaceful there. The entrance of the temple had statues of sadhus playing different musical instruments. Mahadev temple at Kalbadevi on Mumbadevi road This one was playing the tabla. Statue of a Sadhu in a Hindu temple I caught his attention while the temple pujari was giving his blesings to a devotee. Pujari giving blessings to devotee If you like beads, then you will find lot of colorful ones on the road outside Mumbadevi temple, along with Rudraksha beads, considered to have spiritual and religious value. Colorful beadsI was glad in the end that I finally visited Mumbadevi temple, and I found lot of changes from the last time I went inside. Its far more developed then what it use to be, but most temples in Mumbai are like that.

The pedas sold here are quite tasty, especially doodh pedas, made from milk and sugar. These are used to offer Goddess Mumba and after its blessed the pujari returns it back to you, and this is called 'Prasad'.

2 comments

  1. parag Says:
  2. hi,
    this is very interesting.
    as i am staying close to mumbadevi temple. i called it my mother home.

     
  3. Kris Says:
  4. Thanks for this post. Helped me with a college project

     

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