Mumbai is a fast-paced city where a hullabaloo is very common. This oasis juxtaposes the hustle with its serenity and calm atmosphere. The tank is a representation of Mumbai's embedded history and evolution. It gives an insight into the infrastructure and the island settlements of the economic capital surrounding the tank.
History of Banganga Tank Banganga dates back to the time of the royal epic, Ramayana. It is said that Lord Rama visited the area to seek blessings from Lord Shiva during his life crisis of Sita's abduction. Before he headed to Lanka, he stepped foot in this region. It holds mythological importance due to this reason.
History says that to quench his thirst, he shot an arrow (Ban in Hindi) into the ground that penetrated the earth which led to the formation of this freshwater tributary of Ganga. It was his creation and thus it was called Banganga as it was created from his Ban.
The surrounding Walkeshwar temple also holds a similar significance. To pray to Shiva, Ram created a Shiv Linga which was known as Valuka Ishwar, hence the temple is named Walakeshwar.
The Surroundings The tank is surrounded by temples, quaint and colorful houses. In due time, it became a holy spot of Bombay where Brahmin families reside and a number of dharamshalas were built. Due to the inevitable commercialization, you see the area adorned by commercial buildings turning it into a typical metropolis area. But somehow a little part of it has remained holy and sacred, often being referred to as the Benaras of Bombay.
Alleys lead one to the tank and the temple. They are embellished by murals, vibrant colors even though they had been destroyed and partly demolished. The murals on the alleys reflect scenes from mythology. These alleys add to the enchantment of the area.
The tank is being currently run by Gaud Saraswat Brahmin Temple Trust. Gaud Saraswati was one of the first inhabitants of this area, who was a minister of the Silhara dynasty. He has supervised the construction of the area, the tank and the temple.
BangangaThe tank is flanked by steps on all four sides. It is rectangular and has temples in its surroundings. The point where the arrow was shot and the waterbody sprouted, a pole stands on it, marking the point. You usually see sages, performing rituals, aartis, and chants, sitting on the steps of the tank. It's a typical temple area that is bound to remind you of the Ghats of Varanasi, the difference being the size. You can sit by the step, soak yourself in the spiritual vibes of the area, pray or simply witness the activities around you. The temple bells, the aartis, the aroma from the incense sticks truly makes a very calming and peaceful area.
Best time to visitThe ideal time to visit the tank would be early morning at sunrise. The morning calm, the breeze, and the holy activities at this hour are truly a sight to behold.
Address: Banganga Tank, Teen Batti, Malabar Hill, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400006If you want to see a whole new side of Mumbai, head to the Banganga tank and witness the very spiritual side of the city.
Have you already visited tank? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!