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.
|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|