This temple in Mumbai is the prime worshipping place of the Koli and Dravidian communities.
Surrounded by various flower shops, one can catch a glimpse of the Mumba Devi Temple within the congested Zaveri Bazaar. Said to be built first in 1675, this temple was initially located at the Bori Bunder creek against the north wall of Fort St. George. With various legends and myths around its destruction, the actual facts remain unknown to this day. The temple was reconstructed at its present location in Bhuleshwar in the year 1737, dedicated to the Goddess Mumba, who is regarded as the guardian of this region by its inhabitants.
The myths & legends of Mumba Devi Temple
Legends have it that this temple was in fact built by a Hindu woman, named Mumba, which is why it is called so. However, some people believe that this magnificent shrine of Mumba Devi was built by Mumbaraka, an evil demon, after being defeated by the eight-armed Goddess Mumbadevi, who was sent by Lord Brahma to annihilate the devil. It is also said to be dedicated to the Hindu deity Parvathi, who according to another legend, was reincarnated as a fisherwoman named Matsyaa or Mumba.
Architecture of the temple
Built in classic ancient Hindu architecture with a red flag wavering atop its towering spire, the temple boasts of simple yet beautiful architecture. The idol of Goddess Mumbadevi, installed on an altar, is embellished with a golden neckpiece, silver crown and a nose stud.
To symbolise Mother Earth, the idol of the presiding deity has no mouth. The temple complex also houses other Hindu deities and it is also the prime worshipping place of the Koli and Dravidian communities, to date.
Marine Drive, Crawford Market & other tourist attractions nearby
Nested in the heart of the city, this temple is in close proximity with a lot of other tourist attractions like Marine Drive, which is 4.4 kilometres away and Crawford Market which stands at a distance of 1.2 kilometres, from the temple. One can also walk through the shops of the Zaveri Market and explore the variety of jewellery available here.
Know before you go!
The temple is open to anyone irrespective of caste, creed or religion and welcomes donations too but it is not compulsory to do so. This temple also has special morning and evening rituals at 7 AM and 7 PM, respectively. Further, it is to be noted that the temple remains closed on Mondays, except on special occasions. The best time to visit the temple is during festivals like Navratri, when special ceremonies and rituals are conducted for nine days straight.
According to legends, Mumbai gets its name from Goddess Mumba, who is regarded as aai (mother) in Marathi-(Mumba+mai=Mumbai). The timings of this temple is from 6 AM to 9 PM, however, the timings may vary during festivals. Carry your sanitiser and masks as you head out.