Location of Siddhi Vinayak : - The famed Siddhi Vinayak Temple is situated in the Prabha devi area of Mumbai city. You can use the Mumbai local stations Dadar, Parel, Prabhadevi all at proximity to the temple. This area of Mumbai is very densely populated so local train is a very good option, The worli sea link is also not very far from the temple.
History of Siddhi Vinayak temple : - The elephant god Ganesha is revered throughout India but in Maharashtra and specially Mumbai Ganesha is the most revered God. The temple is around 200 years old and was built by a rich maharashtrian lady Deuba patel who herself was childless so she built the temple to facilitate the other childless women to be blessed by the lord. The temple since then has grown not only in physical appearance but the number of devotees today stand in billions and it is one of the richest temple of Mumbai, Maharashtra and India.
Architecture of Siddhi Vinayak : - The present building is a six storied modern building with a large sanctum sanctorum. The top floor has a classical towering shikhara atop a modern building. The gate of the temple has effigies of Ashtavinayak ( the eight forms of Ganesha). The idol inside is carved out of black granite and is supposed to bless the devotees with the siddhi (The trunk of the elephant god is shown turning towards right). Siddhi is believed to be the spiritual blessing while Riddhi is the material blessing. The six floors of the temple are used for different purpose:
1. First floor- Has the sanctum sanctorum where the main idol of the lord Ganesha is held, it has Gold covered ceiling. The temple also has idols of other Hindu Gods such as Hanumana.
2. Second floor- This floor houses the temple kitchen, here food for the offering is prepared. This floor also has a resting area.
3. Third floor-Houses the administrative office of the temple, this floor has computer room, conference room etc to facilitate the smooth functioning of the temple.
4. Fourth floor-When the children start their education they are blessed by the lord Ganesha for high intellect and knowledge. This floor contains a library to encourage the devotees jest for knowledge. There is also a reading room at this floor.
5. Fifth floor- This houses another kitchen which serves the festive occasions specially the Ganesha festival day.
6. Sixth floor- This is the top floor having the shikhara which is the epitome of the building visible from a long distance, the shikhara also has multi coloured lighting light effects.
Timing & Rituals of Siddhi Vinayak : - The idol is viewed and served as a live God having material presence just like a royal noble the God is offered meals and has time to retire at night. There are seven discreet rituals right from the morning arti.
• The morning starts with an arti known as Kakad arti the arti is actually an act of praise, an act of gratitude to the deity.
• The Shree Darshan is the second ritual of the day it signifies the time when people can seek the blessings and feel the physical presence of the deity.
• Naivedhya-The deity is seen as a physical embodiment just as normal live person the deity is offered Prasad as the food.
• The evening arti is done everyday at the sandhya the lime when the day falls this ritual is similar to the morning arti.
• Just similar to the morning the deity again blesses the devotees with his physical presence but now the time is just around an hour.
• Time for the lord to retire for the night and the temple closes for the devotees everyday at around 10: pm.
Best Time to visit Siddhi Vinayak : - Though there is no set or prescribed time to visit the almighty God, The devotees seek blessings of the lord every day. if you are travelling to Mumbai and are staying in Mumbai then any day is good and auspicious to seek the blessings. Evening Arti is perhaps best time in day to visit the temple. The temple and the lord is in best attire and look on the festival days such as the Ganesha festival every year.
Siddhi Vinayak Entry fees : - There are two modes to enter the temple premises. The normal devotees can enter and seek the blessings through the Siddhi gate, here the entrance is free but it may take a while as its mostly crowded. The Riddhi gate has a fixed amount as an offering to facilitate the smooth darshan without any hassles.
Security at the Siddhi Vinayak : - The temple has a very tight security and the devotees are frisked properly before they make entry to the temple area. The devotees are supposed to go through a metal detector.
Favourite Prasad at the Siddhi Vinayak : - Lord Ganesha is offered the Modak a sweet dumpling made from milk extracts, you can purchase the Modak Prasad at the shops adjacent to the temple before you seek the darshan at the temple. The Modak are a special sweet in Mumbai.