Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is one of the distinguished shrines of the city, located at the Bhulabhai Desai road. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is an abode of peace amidst the hectic metro life.
Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai History
Constructed in 1771 AD, this shrine has several folklore surrounding it. It is believed that the three deities of Goddesses Mahalakshmi were immersed into the Arabian Sea, near Worli to prevent destruction of the idols by the Muslim invaders.
Later, during the British rule, Lord Horneby planned to join the two hill creeks of Worli and Malbar and Shri Ramji Shivji Prabhu was appointed as the chief for the task. Shri Ramji along with his colleagues tried several times but failed to connect the creeks due to the waves. One night Goddess Mahalakshmi appeared in his dreams and instructed him to bring out the immersed idols from the creeks of Worli and place them on the top of a hillock. Shri Ramji did the same and after that, he was able to construct the bridge. Later he built the temple on the hillock where the deities are still worshiped with great pomp.
Significance of the temple
When in the city, the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is a must visit due to the unique characteristics that it comes with:
- The Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai houses three different incarnations of Adi Shakti; Shree Maha Kali or Ma Durga, the destroyer of evil, Shree Mahalakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity and Shree Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. Goddess Mahalakshmi is found to be mounted on a tiger.
- The months of March-April and September-October are auspicious here as at this time, the holy rays of the rising sun fall on the deities.
- The Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai complex is impressive with multiple statues. While the 10.6 metres high wooden plank is wrapped with silver, the stone deepmala gains a divine aura when lit during the aarti.
- The Sabhamandap of the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is grand. It is spacious and airy with an area of 12.10*9.10. At the heart of the sanctum stands a statue of silver plated lion, facing the three goddesses. The 27 apex tops of the Sabhamandap is spectacular while there are couple of wooden idols of Jay and Vijay, which are also covered with silver, at the main entrance of the Gabhara, also known as the sanatorium. There are also idols of Lord Ganapati, Vithal and Goddess Rukhamini at the gateway of the Gabhara. The Gabhara is also spacious with an area of 11*11 metres. The Gabhara also comes with a Laxmi Yantram, also known as Shree Yantra; it is a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
- The deities are seated on a beautifully crafted throne, known as Simhasan; part of which is plated with silver. Images of elephants and peacocks are designed at the front pillars of the throne. The ceiling of the temple, also known as kalash is 15 metres high.
- The three idols of the goddesses are beautifully decorated with jewellery, like pearl necklaces, gold bangles, earrings and nose pins while the garlands and cluster of flowers; a true symbol of wealth and prosperity.
- The intricate designs and large statues of the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai reflect gorgeous Indian architectural style while the backdrop of the Arabian Sea creates a perfectly divine atmosphere.
Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai Timings
Fridays are special days to visit the temple. Day starts early at the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai and as the devotees state gathering at the shrine, the temple complex fills with the sound of bells, aroma of incense and fresh flowers.
- You can visit the temple from 6 am to 10 pm.
- Aarti is performed three times in a day:
- Morning aarti is from 7 am to 7.20 am.
- There are two types of evening aarti done here. Dhoop aarti is done from 6.30 pm to 6.40 pm and the main aarti is done from 7.30 pm to 7.50 pm.
- Night aarti is known as Shejarti. It is done at the time of closure of the temple, at 10 pm.
There is no entry fee to the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai. Photography is also not permitted within the temple complex.
Festivals Celebrated At the Temple
Dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi and her incarnations, every festival dedicated to the goddess is celebrated here.
- Navaratri: Navaratri is celebrated two times at the Mahalakshmi temple of Mumbai. Chaitra Navaratri is celebrated during Hindu month of Chaitra, the months of March and April. Ashwin Navaratri is celebrated during the Hindu month of Ashwin, the months of September and October. The temple is beautifully decorated with colourful lights, bright flowers, fresh garlands, from the Gabhara to the main gateway.
To accommodate huge rush of devotees, the temple committee makes special arrangements; pandals are erected along with railings at the adjoining footpaths from where the devotees can view the three idols.
- Diwali: Diwali, the festival of lights is a time of joy at the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai. Celebrated at winters, during the months of October and November, this festival is celebrated for three to four days here. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped at this time and rush of devotees is no less than that of Navaratri.
- Annakut: Celebrated on the day of Kartik Purnima, this is an auspicious occasion. 56 kinds of sweets and food platters are dedicated to the goddesses, known as ‘naivedya.’ After worshipping Mahalakshmi, the sweets and food items are distributed among the devotees. There is a mass gathering at Mahalakshmi temple this day, as 500 pilgrims are treated with food, known as Prasad.
- Margashirsh Month: The months of December and January are considered holy and devotees, especially women gather at the Mahalakshmi temple to offer their prayers to the goddesses. People sit in front of the Sabha Mandap as the deities are worshipped.
- Palkhi of Mataji: The day of Marathi New Year occurs at the Hindu month of Chaitra (March or April) and is a special day, known as Gudhi Padwa. The goddesses are carried on a palanquin and the large procession is a colourful affair. This procession also takes place on the anniversary of the construction of the Dhwjasthambha, which adorns the front of the shrine. The Dhwjasthambha has been dedicated to Jayendra Saraswati Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamkoti.
Besides these major festivals, Durga Ashtami, Vaat Purnima, Purnima, Guru Purnima, Nag Panchami and Gauri Poojan are some of the events performed annually.
Poojas and Rituals
Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is an ideal place to witness the unique Hindu rituals; while the holy chants create a pious environment here, the sacred fire of havans is believed to purify the hearts. You can get all the necessary items for worship at the stalls which crowd both the sides of the temple. From flowers, garlands, puja accessories to incense sticks and sweets, everything is available here.
- Special Havan: Besides the regular pooja, devotees can arrange special havans within the temple complex.
- Monthly Havan: These havans are performed by the temple trust on every ‘Ashtami.’
- Mahapooja: Devotees can request this type of havan on their desired day.
- Abhishek: This is a regular ritual performed every day at the Mahalakshmi temple.
- Archan: This is also a part of regular worship at the temple.
How to reach: Road, Rail and Air
Located at the heart of the Mumbai metropolitan, the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is easily accessible from all parts of the city and also from other cities of the country. From low-cost buses to premium cabs, transportation to the Mahalakshmi temple is easy.
- By Air: the nearest airport to the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, located at 14 km from the temple. Besides international flights, this airport also connects domestic flights from Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and other major cities of the country.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to the temple is the Mahalakshmi railway station. The temple is located within 1 km of the railway station. Local trains from Virar and Churchgate (on the western line), from Karjat or Kasara to CST (the central line) and Panvel to CST (Harbour Line) are some of the regular trains to the Mahalakshmi temple. People travelling on the western line or from Kasara and Karjat, need to take another train from Dadar to the Mahalakshmi station.
- By Road: The BEST buses and the cabs are the most convenient road transport to reach the Mahalakshmi temple. If you are travelling from parts of South Mumbai, like Colaba, Nariman Point, Charni Road or Grant Road or from Central Mumbai, then the temple is easily accessible.
Where to stay
Mumbai being one of the most important cities of India has both budget and premium hotels, located near the Mahalakshmi temple. From private hotels to lodges, devotees from all round the world can spend some hassle free time at these hotels. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, the location of the hotels is impressive.
Where to eat
Besides the Prasad served at the temple, there are numerous food stalls near the Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai. Most of the eateries serve vegetarian food. Both budget friendly eateries and luxurious restaurants are available near the temple. If people want to change the taste, they also have the option of Mughlai, Continental and Chinese cuisines at these restaurants.
There are several shrines around Mahalaxmi Temple Mumbai:
- Dhakleshwar Temple: Also located at the Bhulabhai Desai Road, this Hindu temple is one of the oldest temples of Mumbai. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple with its lashing water body is spectacular.
- Kali Mata Mandir: Dedicated to Goddess Kali, this temple worships the Goddess following unique Hindu rituals and hence is worth a visit. This temple is located at Borivali East, near the Western Express Highway.
- Param Rameshwaram Mahadev Mandir: This temple offers a soulful atmosphere with its quiet surroundings. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Maha Shivratri is one of the major festivals celebrated at the temple.
- The Haji Ali Dargah is also located near the Makalakshmi Temple. Located on an islet off the coast of Worli, it is known to fulfil the wishes of devotees.
- Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple: located in Nashik district of Maharashtra, the Trimbakeshwar temple is easily accessible from Mumbai. It is one of the most popular temples of the state after Mahalakshmi temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of the God. Panch Jyotirlinga are located in and around Aurangabad.
Hence, Mahalakshmi temple along with its classic surroundings provides you with a unique experience, quite different from the glitters of the city of Mumbai. Besides worshipping the goddess of wealth, devotees can also enjoy shopping at the nearby Heera Panna and Atria shopping mall.