THE GREAT MOTHER OF MUMBAI
The Mumba Devi Temple which is one of the most interesting places to visit in Mumbai is dedicated to the goddess Mumba which means Great Mother and by suffixing it with ‘ai’ means mother in Marathi (local language of Mumbai). That is how the name of Mumbai came about. The goddess Mumba is believed to be the patron of the fishermen, known as Koli who were the original inhabitants of Mumbai. They worshipped her and built a temple around 1675 which was later demolished around 1737. A new temple was erected which is now known as the Mumba Devi Temple in Bhuleshwar in South Mumbai.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MUMBA DEVI TEMPLE
Even though the temple is not the most revered in the city it remains the oldest and is considered to be a very sacred place. The temple is visited by thousands of people daily and is a big destination for tourists.
THE TEMPLES STORY
According to fable the temple is believed to be the creation of Mumbaraka, a heartless giant who robbed, cheated and created destruction in the city. The local people who suffered from his crimes pleaded with Lord Brahma to protect them. In response, the Lord shuddered with anger and an eight-armed goddess popped out of his skin who fought and overpowered Mubarak. Mubarak requested that the goddess carry his name and built a temple in her honor. This is how the eight-armed goddess became known as Mumba Devi.
THE POWER OF THE MUMBA TEMPLE
It is believed that all those that visit Mumbai are being called by the deity herself and the followers of the temple have the faith that people who seek the Mumba Devi blessings will never be disappointed and will have all their prayers answered.
HOW TO ARRIVE at THE TEMPLE
The temple is situated in the heart of one of the most crowded market places in Mumbai known as Bhuleshwar. It is approximately 10 minutes by foot from Charni Road Station (East).
MUST SEE TEMPLE RITUALS AND FEATURES
1) The Goddess: The Mumba Devi is decorated in a silver robe and embellished with nose studs and a necklace
2) Pundits: Watch the pundits perform rituals inside the temple for individual family pujas
3) Devotees: Walk with all the swarms of devotees who go to the temple in huge numbers to get a real feel of the holiness of the temple
4) Stalls: Walk around the stalls outside the temple where sellers offer garlands and flowers to the devotees which are considered an auspicious offering to the deity
Not to be missed:
5) The Aarti: The temple is famous for the aartis that are performed in the evening at 7:30 and also early morning. These are special prayers for the goddess.
So next time you are in Mumbai go and hear the temple bells and all its rituals. It is worth a visit.