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Mahalaxmi Temple is one of the most famous temples of Mumbai situated on Bhulabhai Desai Road in Mahalaxmi area. It is dedicated to Mahalakshmi the central deity of Devi Mahatmyam. The temple was built by Dhakji Dadaji, a Hindu merchant. Mahalaxmi Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to honor ‘Goddess Mahalaxmi’ who is also known as the ‘Goddess of Wealth’.Built around 1785, the history of this temple is supposedly connected with the building of the Hornby Vellard. Apparently after portions of the sea wall of the Vellard collapsed twice, the chief engineer, a Pathare Prabhu, dreamt of a Devi statue in the sea near Worli. A search recovered it, and he built a temple for it. After this, the work on the vellard could be completed without a hitch.
The temple contains images of the goddesses Mahalakshmi, Mahakali and Mahasaraswati. All three images are adorned with nose rings, gold bangles and pearl necklaces. The image of Mahalakshmi is in the center shown holding lotus flowers in tandem. The compound of this temple contains several stalls that sell flower garlands and other paraphernalia used by devotees for worship and as offering. During Navaratri and Diwali celebrations, devotees from distant places throng to the temple, which is decorated for this occasion, to pay obeisance. They have to stand for hours in long queues holding coconuts, flowers and sweets which they offer to the goddess. It is only 1 km from Mahalakshmi railway station in Mumbai. There are two more temples viz. Tryambakeshwar temple and Mahadev dhakleshwar temple near to the temple. Devi Tattva, is the supreme power of the Parabrahman that is the prime force. She is called Adi Shakti. She is also known as the transcendental power ‘Para Shakti’. She is known as the superlative, the great power of Maha Maya Shakti. The supreme mysterious power of World Illusion, which we call Maya and Adyashakti are in fact one and the same. According to ‘Sankhya Darshan’ of Hindu Philosophy the creation of our Universe is result of coming together of ‘Purusha and Prakruti’. Purusha is the ‘Parabrahmah’ and Prakruti is the ‘Nature’. Prakruti is ‘Trigunatmak’, that is it consists of three ‘Guna’ – Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic depicted by three deities, Shree Saraswati depicting ‘Sattvic Guna’, Shree Mahalakshmi depicting ‘Rajas Guna’ and Shree Mahakali depicting ‘Tamas Guna’. Shreemad Bhagvad Gita is based on this ‘Sankha Philosophy’. This great power of all powers is conceived of by the devout worshipper in different forms in her three Avatars namely Shree Mahakali or Durga, Shree Mahalakshmi and Shree MahaSarswati.
Mahalaxmi Temple is adorned with intricate designs and is structured in the most exquisite manner. The main doorway leading to the temple complex is luxuriously ornamented that adds to the beauty of this gorgeous shrine. On entering the shrine, one can see the idol of Goddess Mahalaxmi decorated elegantly with gold bangles, pearl necklaces, nose studs and flowers. Other idols of ‘Goddess Mahakali’ and ‘Goddess Saraswati’ in the temple are also ornamented with jewels.
Centuries ago, the British wanted to connect Malabar Hill with Worli. This was not possible during those days due to marine disturbances. It is believed that one night the chief engineer dreamt of Goddess Mahalaxmi who asked him to find three idols located at the bottom of the ocean and place them inside a temple dedicated to her. Some say that after he followed the Goddess’s instructions, the Breach Candy, that linked Malabar Hill and Worli, was built.
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