Banganga – The Varanasi of Mumbai

Banganga is a divine gem in the concrete cosmopolitan jungle of Mumbai. Here is how I felt when I saw this place at first.
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We all know Mumbai is the Economic Capital of India. Several of them come here with so many dreams and some do go ahead and achieve them. Here people are busy chasing their dreams and more immersed in their work. There’s no time for big-time family dramas and thoughts of being a sanskaari person ever (based on my observation).

But a world exists in the concrete cosmopolitan jungle that too adjacent to the most prominent and uphill market of Malabar Hill. These people believe in ancient folklore connected to Lord Ram and Ramayan. Not essentially they are true, but it is an emotion which one cannot ignore as that is a question of identity.

One fine Sunday morning, I went to explore Banganga. This is situated on the tip of Malabar Hill and is famously known as Walkeshwar. I took my bicycle to reach this place. It took almost 2 1/2 hours to reach as I was driving from Andheri. I drove in the early morning hours to stay away from the mad traffic the city faces. I reached the place by 6 in the morning and had to walk for a while by parking my bicycle on the side of a Jain temple nearby.

After a brief walk, I reached Banganga Lake. Well, the significance is Lord Ram and Lakshman came to this place searching for freshwater while they were on the quest to rescue Sita.

Ram pointed an arrow asking for Fresh Water towards the ground and he got it. The surprising fact is the availability of freshwater in this place as it is a very small island and freshwater is hardly a possibility in general terms.

Based on this folklore in 1127 AD, Lakshman Prabhu. This person served as a Minister in the court of Silhara Dynasty. He commissioned to build Banganga as a proper tank or temple pond and over the years it existed with belief and faith from the locals.

There are several factors which fascinate me towards this place. Number one, despite being part of a very affluent locality it hasn’t changed much. Number two, the divine aura which exists here pulls me further and further. Most important of all is the lake. It reminds me of the days when I had spent at the temple pond in my village. Well, I grew up in a countryside atmosphere. It seems fulfilling and the aura surrounding it heals all the negatives around me.

Since that day’s visit, I have been directing anyone coming new to the city. Well, it is not that I’m spreading my religious thoughts through those efforts. But the aura and divine energy attract me.

Also, read my Taj dining experience at Souk.

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