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Walkeshwar Temple

Location Banganga Road, Malabar Hill, Mumbai
How to reach Board a local that will take you here, or hire an auto or taxi
Presiding Deity Valuka Ishwar - Lord of Sand
Special Attraction Banganga tank, Annual Hindustani Classical Music Festival
Best Time to Visit January and October to March

Walkeshwar temple is among the most ancient temples of Mumbai having earned a heritage status for its architecture and popularity among the pilgrims. Originally built by the Silharas around 1050 years ago on Malabar Hill, Walkeshwar temple derives its name from Valuka Ishwar meaning Lord of Sand. Destroyed by the Portuguese in 16th Century, the Walukeshwar temple was rebuilt by Rama Kamath in 1715. However, the temple in its present form came up only in 1950's.

Legends have it that Walkeshwar temple is established at the same spot where Hindu God Ram paused during the raid of the kingdom of demon king Ravana, who had kidnapped his wife Sita. Here Lord Rama had built a lingam (Phallus, symbolic of Lord Shiva) out of sand, when his brother Lakshman got too late to bring a lingam for puja. And the name Walukeshwar is inspired from this event.

Walkeshwar is also the spot where Lord Rama got thirsty and not finding any source of water, he shot an arrow into the ground leading to a stream of sweet jet of water, which is said be the source of water for the present day Banganga tank.

History speaks that Banganga tank attached to the Walkeshwar temple was built in 1127 AD by Lakshman Prabhu, a minister in the court of Silhara dynasty kings who ruled Thane region during 810 to 1240 AD. A branch of the Shri Kashi Mutt, a famous religious seat of Saraswat Brahmins, is located on the western bank of the tank.

Walkeshwar temple is agog with pilgrims and devotees on the Full Moon and Amavasya (No Moon). Now a days Banganga tank in Walukeshwar temple is the cherished site for an annual Hindustani classical music festival when maestros and amateur singers come and participate at a grand scale. Organized early in the month of January by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), the festival is a vibrant occasion when live musical performances and concerts conjure an eclectic musical extravaganza in the whole of the atmosphere.