The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shri Ganesh. It is located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was originally built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil on November 19, 1801. Though it is one of the richest temples in Mumbai, the current generation of Patil is staying in state of despair near the temple. The temple has a small mandap (hall) with the shrine for Siddhi Vinayak ("Ganesh who grants your wish"). The wooden doors to the sanctum are carved with images of the Ashtavinayak (the eight manifestations of Ganesha in Maharashtra). The inner roof of the sanctum is plated with gold, and the central statue is of Ganesha. In the periphery, there is a Hanuman temple as well.
Importance and status
The Siddhivinayak Mandir evolved from a small, tiny place of worship to the Grand Temple that stands today in the later half of the twentieth century. Temple glory was bought not only by the politicians who frequented the temple but also Bollywood film stars who continuously visit to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha.
Consecrated on 19 November 1801, the original structure of the Siddhivinayak Temple was a small 3.6 m x 3.6 m square brick structure with a dome-shaped brick sikhara. The temple was built by the contractor Laxman Vithu Patil. The building was funded by a rich Agri woman named Deubai Patil. Childless, Deaubai built the temple so that the Lord should grant children to other barren women. Ramakrishna Jambhekar Maharaj, a disciple of the Hindu saint Akkalkot Swami Samarth, buried two divine idols in the front of the presiding deity of the temple on the orders on his guru. As prophesied by Swami Samarth, after 21 years after the burial of the icons, a mandar tree grew at that spot with a svayambhu Ganesha in its branches.
The Siddhivinayak temple receives donations of around Rupee 100-150 million every year, which makes it Mumbai city's richest temple trust. In 2004, the Siddhivinayak Ganpati Temple Trust, which operates the temple, was accused of mismanaging donations. Consequently the Bombay High Court appointed a committee headed by retired judge V P Tipnis to scrutinize the trust's donations and probe the allegations. The committee reported that, "The most shocking aspect of the matter is that there is no method or principle followed for particular institutions. The only criteria for selection was recommendation or reference by trustees or the minister or a political heavy-weight, generally belonging to ruling party".