03 January, 2022
15 mins read
Located on the Bhulabhai Desai road, Shri Mahalaxmi Temple in Mumbai is the epitome of faith and worship. One of the most popular temples in Mumbai, the Mahalaxmi temple, is dedicated to three Hindu deities – Goddess Mahalaxmi (Goddess of Wealth), Goddess Durga/Mahakali (The Destroyer of Evil), and Goddess Mahasaraswati (Goddess of Learning).
The glorious beauty of the temple, gorgeous surroundings, mythological importance, and proximity of the temple to the Arabian Sea makes it a prime tourist attraction in Mumbai. Tourists from all over the world flock to see the temple, especially during the month of March-April and September-October, when the rays of the Sun fall on the deities of the temple.
During the festive months of October and November, the Mahalaxmi Mumbai is heavily decorated with lights, garlands and flowers, and hosts special arrangements, festive programs, and hundreds of devotees.
Apart from being the forbearer of religion, the Mahalaxmi Mumbai also believes in the uplifting of society. The temple grants scholarships to financially weak students, sponsors the medical treatment of economically weaker sections of the society, and much more.
Built in 1831 by a Hindu merchant called Dhakji Dadaji, the Mahalaxmi Mumbai adorns beautiful images of the three Goddesses – Mahalaxmi, Mahakali and Mahasaraswati wearing pearl necklaces, gold nose rings, and gold bangles. The Goddess of wealth, Mahalaxmi, is placed in the centre holding a lotus flower.
As per historical text, during the rule of Islamic invaders in India during the 1761-1771 CE, Hindus immersed the idols of three deities in the sea close to Worli to save them from destruction. During the British rule, when Lord Hornby wanted to connect Worli with Malabar Hill, his multiple attempts failed. Even the best of the world’s engineers could not create a safe passage between Worli and Malabar Hill.
It is believed that during this time Goddess Mahalaxmi appeared in the dream of the project’s lead engineer – Ramji Shivji Prabhu. She asked him to take out the idols from the sea and securely establish them on the hillock. The engineer did so and the project was completed without any trouble.
Later, the engineer also acquired land on the hillock from the British Government to create a temple commemorating the three idols secured from the sea. The temple was called the Mahalaxmi temple. At that time, a huge sum of ₹80,000 was spent to construct the magnificent Mahalaxmi temple in Mumbai.
The Mahalaxmi temple in Mumbai personifies Indian architectural skills. The temple is built in the traditional Indian style with a Kalash (the top), nearly 15 meters high. The gate of the temple is intricately carved and as you enter the temple compound, you see a 10.60-meter-tall single wooden block enclosed with silver. There is also a structure with diyas (clay lamps) carved in stone.
As you move forward towards the Sabha Mandapa, you see a silver lion facing the deities. Inside, the devotees receive the blissful sight of the three devotees. The throne where the devotees sit is carved beautifully. Some part of the throne of the deities is covered in silver and looks splendid. At the entrance of the Gabhara or Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) in Mahalaxmi Mumbai, there are also wooden idols of Jay-Vijay (the mythological gatekeepers or Dwarapalakas).
The top of the Mahalaxmi Mumbai is 15 meters tall and stands out from quite a distance. On the sides of the temple, you also see silver-plated elephants and peacocks on the pillars. The area around the Mahalaxmi temple is spread across 100 square meters, supported by 27 ornamented wires.
The Mahalaxmi temple in Mumbai is a one-day tourist attraction. You can visit the temple and seek blessings from the three deities. You can offer coconut, sweets, and flowers to the deities along with your prayers.
However, you might have to stand in a long queue to get the coconut, flowers and sweets. After seeking blessings, you can go around and visit the different stalls within the Mahalaxmi temple compound.
If you can time your visit, it is best to visit the Mahalaxmi temple during March-April and September-October. The temple hosts Navratri celebrations in these months and the temple compound is impressively decorated with flowers, lights, and garlands.
During Diwali, the clay lamps make the temple glow bright. Even during the rush hours, the temple makes special arrangements so that all devotees can get the proper darshan of the deities.
If you do not want to visit the temple during the peak hours, you can go to the Mahalaxmi temple in Mumbai a few days after Diwali at the time of Annakut or during December-January in the Margashirsha month. Visiting the temple during Gudi Padwa in March-April is also a good option.
If you want to visit the glorious Mahalaxmi temple in Mumbai, you can visit between 6 am to 10 pm. There is no fee for entering the temple. There are scheduled timings for the events, such as aarti, in the temple. You can check the schedule and witness the live aarti in the temple between 7 am to 7:20 am, and 7:30 pm to 7:50 pm.
The Mahalaxmi temple in Mumbai also hosts a grand Dhoop aarti at 6:30 pm. The timings can vary depending on the time of sunset. There is also another Shej aarti at 10 pm before the temple gates close for the night.
At 12 pm, the priests of the Mahalaxmi Mumbai perform the Naivedya ritual by offering food and fruits to the deities. You can also request the priest to perform a special pooja for you. However, there are special timings for such Mahapuja.
Generally, the Mahapuja costs around ₹251 and a havan session in the temple premises costs around ₹2500. The charges might differ based on the type of pooja you want to conduct, so it is better to get the final cost from the temple premises.
Mumbai is a well-connected city. You can visit the Mahalaxmi temple in Mumbai by air, train or road.
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