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Siddhivinayak Temple, Maharashtra

Siddhivinayak Temple MaharashtraShree Ganesh is the first to be worshipped before beginning any new project or venture as he is the destroyer of obstacles (vighnaharta). This beautiful temple is situated at Prabhadevi area of Mumbai, this popular temple dedicated to Ganesh was rebuilt on the site of a 200-year old temple. This temple was first consecrated on Thursday 19th November 1801. Siddhatekcha Shri Siddhi Vinayak is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.Siddhivinayak is also one of the names of Ganapati. Siddhtek is a remote little village along the river Bhima which flows southwards in the Ahmednagar district and Karjat taluka in Maharashtra. One remarkable thing about the river is that however rapid its flow it does not make any sound while flowing. The Siddhivinayak at Siddhtek is considered an especially powerful deity. It is believed that it was here on the Siddhtek Mountain, that Vishnu acquired Siddhi. At Siddhatek Lord ganesh gave Darshan to God Vishnu.The temple is said to have been built by Lord Vishnu. Near the temple there are small temples of other Gods Like God Shiva, Goddess Shitala, Lord Vishnu.

Siddhi Vinayak temple devoted to Ganesh, the elephant-headed God of Good Fortune is located at Prabhadev in Mumbai. Temples dedicated to Ganesh are very famous as Shree Ganesh is the first to be worshipped before beginning any new project or venture as he Vighnaharta, the destroyer of obstacles. Tuesday is the main day of darshan and puja, but this temple is frequented by hundreds of devotees everyday.. Even the never-ending long hours of wait do not discourage the devot from seeking the blessing of Lord Ganesha. Shree Siddhinvinayak is the source of all arts, knowledge and intelligence. Prayers are offered to Shree Ganesh before any other worship or before any auspicious work. Prayers to Shree Siddhivinayak from Kakad Arti in the morning to Shayanarti in the nights evokes Ashtasatvi Bhav in the devotees.

Temple of Siddhivinayak in MumbaiLegend
Legend has it Mahavishnu who was engaged in a serious battle against the demons Madhu and Kaitabha, was dismayed by his inability to bring the battle to a quick and decisive finish. Shiva advised him to propitate Ganesha. Upon doing so, Ganesha appeared on the battlefield, and his appearance strengthened Mahavishnu's resolve and abilities and enabled him to vanquish the demons with ease. Ganesha's appearance on the battlefield is marked by the Siddhivinayak shrine at Siddhatek, said to be capable of granting Siddhi. Mahavishnu is worshipped as the destroyer of the demons Madhu and Kaitabha at Tiruvallur near Chennai in Tamilnadu, and as the restorer of the Vedas from the same demons, at Indalur in Mayiladuturai near Thanjavur again in Tamilnadu, both these temples being over 1200 years old. Another Legend,It is said that, years ago there was a heap of ashes from this sacrificial fire. However, this place is now covered by water. The road leading to the main temple was built by the Peshwa's Senapati Haripant Phadke. Shree Siddhivinayak's temple is on a hill top facing north. The sanctum of the temple, which is fifteen feet high & ten feet broad was built by Ahilyabai Holkar.The swayambhu idol of Shree Siddhivinayaka is placed in a brass frame. Brass idols of Jay & Vijay are placed on both sides of Siddhivinayaka. In the sanctum itself there is a Shivapanchayatan & goddess Shivai's small temple. The hall of the temple was previously built by Baroda's landlord late Shri Mairal. It was broken in 1939 & was rebuilt by Ganesh's devotees in 1970. Nagarkhana on the main gate was built in memory of Shree Haripant Phadke.

Architecture
The temple as it stands now was re-constructed five years ago after deliberations with experts on Hindu religion and customs, so as to maintain the sanctity of the idol as per the Hindu Shastras. The temple has a Kalash, which is a pointed dome of 12 feet high Gabhara (sanctum sanctorum) weighing 1500Kgs and plated in gold. The Kalash, which adorned the earlier temple was lowered with proper rituals and is kept as an exhibit within the temple premises. The devotees earn the satisfaction of seeking the blessing of The Lord by taking a devoted look at the Kalash. The idol has not been touched in the process of rebuilding the temple, so as to ensure that there is no human transgression in the area from the point at which the idol is situated. The Gabhara of the new temple structure has been designed with an aim to attain maximum convenience and comfort for the devotees. It is a spacious enclosure with 3 main doors of about 13 feet height. This facilitates the 'Darshan' of Sri Siddhivinayak from either the area surrounding the Gabhara or the stage (Sabha Mandap) constructed to conduct pujas and festivities. The area surrounding the Gabhara has been designed as a sitting area and the stage adjoining the same is utilised as a platform for common Darshan sought by the devotees who are unable to spend hours in serpentine queues to go inside the Gabhara. It is an octagonal enclosure, about 10 feet wide consisting of a silver plated Makhar (a smaller structure within the Gabhara housing the idol of The Lord). The dome inside the Gabhara is gold plated - designed to enhance the beauty of the idol. An exquisite chandelier lights up the Gabhara, making it a sight never to be forgotten. The three main doors, which are used for entry and exit by the devotees, are made of perforated wood, depicting Ashta Ganapati, Ashta Laxmi and Dashavatar. The priests and the employees assisting them to carry routine functions use the two side doors. The first floor of the five-storied structure comprises of a mezzanine gallery, from where Darshan of The Lord can be easily obtained. It is also used for performing pujas, and Abhisheks on Tuesday, Sankashti Chaturthi and Angaraki Chaturthi.

About the Deity
The idol of Ganpati has four arms therefore He is also called Chaturbhuj. A lotus is held in the upper right hand symbolises auspicious piety and a small axe in the upper left, a holy rosary of beads (Japmala) are held in the lower right and a bowl full of Modaks (a delicacy which is a perennial favorite with Sri Siddhivinayak) in the lower left. The seated glowing idol of Shree Siddhivinayak with deity on both sides are Riddhi and Siddhi, a sign of great purity and power or ’jagrata’. On the forehead of the deity there is an eye, which resembles the third eye of Lord Shiva. Shree Siddhivinayak himself follows Bhramhatva. His snake shaped sacred thread with Brair Tej bestows knowledge & wisdom to all. Lord Shiva has provided his dutiful son Shree Siddhivinayak with his fiery eye to destroy evil (thoughts) from within the wicked. This is a unique feature this particular vigilant deity. It cannot be seen in any other Ganesh idol. The idol of Shree Siddhivinayak is of black stone and is 2.5 feet high and 2 feet wide, with the trunk on the right is considered to be the dynamic form of Ganpati. The idol is Gajmukh, however the belly of the idol is not big. Riddhi & Siddhi are sitting on each lap of Vinayaka. The face is very calm & serene. The statue is in one corner of a hillock. The pradakshana (circumnavigation) of this God is said to be very fruitful. One has to travel 5 km to complete one Pradkshana as the idol is attached to the hill itself. Devotees who wish to circumambulate the temple have to go round the entire hillock. This takes about thirty minutes. The idol made of black stone was placed in a small structure; the existing temple was rebuilt on the site of a 200-year old temple. The sanctum sanctorum housing the deity was altered time and again and finally gave way to a monolithic and magnificent structure, which was accomplished by a series of rituals, which lasted a fortnight.

About Puja- Archana
On auspicious Tuesdays, the serpentine queue of worshippers is over 2kms long. People stand for several hours with offerings of flowers and coconut, waiting patiently for a two minute "Darshan" or meeting with the Lord. The path to the divine is never easy, but it is said that those who tread it with true devotion will always have their wishes fulfilled.
A wide variety of Poojas (religious rituals) can be performed within the temple premises on payment of a nominal fee : the Panchamrut Pooja, Shree Satyanarayana Pooja and Laghurudra. The Temple opens at 4.00 o' clock in the morning. From 4.30 a.m. to 5.00 a.m. Ganesh Pooja is performed. Khichadi Naivedyam is offered at 10.00 o' clock in morning, Panchamrut (milk, curd, honey, ghee) pooja is done at 11.00 a.m. & Mahanaivedyam is offered at 12.00 noon. Third pooja is performed after sunset. Dhooparati takes place from 8.30 p.m. to 9.15 p.m. & the temple closes for the day.
Bhadrapada & Magh Shudh Pratipada to Panchami (from 1st day to 5th day) are celebrated on a grand scale. Maha Pooja & Maha Naivedyam are offered continuously for three days. Palanquin of Siddhivinayak sets out at 8.00 p.m. continuously for 3 nights. Shree Dharanidhar Chintaman Dev is the landlord of Siddhatek. The morning karpoor (camphor) Aarati is sponsored by him.The land revenue is utilised towards the expenses of the festivals, Naivedyam & Nandadeep. Large number of devotees attend the Magh festival.

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