Location: The Hindu shrine ‘Walkeshwar temple’ is built in Walkeshwar situated near Malabar Hills in South Mumbai region of the metro city Mumbai, India. Beside the BanGanga Tank, it is dispersing the reverence and devotion while being at the highest point of this city of dreams.
Another name of the temple: Baan Ganga Temple
Etymology: The word ‘Walkeshwar’ is extracted from Sanskrit language. Its original word is Valuka Iswar that means ‘incarnation of Shiva’.
Prime deity: Lord Shiva
Testimonial scripture: Ramayana
Occasion to visit: Full moon and new moon day (Amavasya), Hindustani Classical music festival
Foundation year of the Banganga tank: 1127 A D
Architect of the Banganga tank: Lakshman Prabhu (a Gaud Saraswat Brahmin)
Dynasty: Silhara dynasty (reigned the island of Mumbai in Thane during 810 to 1240 AD)
Revamped in: Rama Kamath (Gaud Saraswat Brahmin) in 1715
Legend: As mentioned in Hindu’s great epic ‘Ramayana’, the place ‘Walkeshwar’ came in route from Ayodhya to Lanka for Lord Rama and brother Lakshman. Both were on their expedition to Lanka for bringing ‘Sita’ back since the king of Lanka ‘Ravana’ had kidnapped the wife of lord Rama.
For winning Sita back from the clutches of Cruel Ravana, Lord Rama was advised to consecrate Lord Shiva’s Linga there for worshipping. On anticipating delay in the arrival of his younger brother Lakshman, who was sent to bring idol, he built it with sand.
As Lord Rama’s thirst intensified, within no minute he pierced the surface of the earth with an arrow. Since it was an Arrow (known as ‘Baan’ in Sanskrit script) that sprang out of the earth, thus everyone started calling it ‘Baan Ganga’ that clogs the tank. Albeit, it is proximal to the sea but still the water springing out of it is suitable to drink.
History: In 1127 AD, an architect Lakshman Prabhu was hired to build the fresh water tank ‘Banganga’. It was the sovereign of Silhara kings in Thane during 810 AD to 1240 AD. Then, Portuguese invaded and thrashed the Hindu shrine to collapse in the 16th century.
Though it was ruined but the philanthropist and trader ‘Rama Kamath’ in 1715 took charge to revamp the temple in 16th century. It was by 1860, numerous people thronged this shrine. Consequently, its religious significance increased that motivated people to go for the establishment of 10 to 20 other temples and around 50 Dharamshalas have been built there.
This region was one of the favourite destinations for pirates to infiltrate during 16th and 17th century.
Significant venue: The border of ocean is perfect for music performances. Therefore, classical singers namely Rajan and Sajan Mishra and Santoor Maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma had already paved there to enhance its religious vitality.
The northern and western banks of the tank have branches of Shri Kavle Mathh and Shri Kashi Mathh. Even, the religious place of Gaud Saraswat Brahmins are also located around this sacred pilgrimage.