Babulnath Temple (Babulnath Mandir)
This temple houses a Shiva lingam and four other idols that were unearthed on-site during the 18th century, though it's believed the idols were first consecrated in the 12th century by the Hindu King Bhimdev. One was discovered broken and was ritually sent to the sea, while the lingam and three others (of Ganesh, Hanuman, and Parvati) sit in the temple to this day. Visit Babulnath Temple independently or on a half-day Mumbai sightseeing tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
The temple is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in architecture or spirituality.
To enter the temple, you must dress modestly, in clothes that cover your knees and shoulders.
Reaching the temple involves climbing up lots of stairs, though there is an elevator that will take you part of the way.
How to Get There
The temple is located across the street from the Bombay International School on Babulnath Road, in the upscale Malabar Hill area. It's a 10-minute walk to the temple from Chowpatty Beach, while the nearest railway station, Grant Road, is a 15-minute walk away. The Fort area is about 10 minutes away by car.
When to Get There
The temple is open from 5am to 10:30pm Tuesday through Sunday, and from 4:30am to 11:30pm Monday. Monday is the busiest time here, as this day of the week is traditionally associated with Lord Shiva. The temple also gets more crowded during the annual Maha Shivratri festival, which usually falls in late February or early March.
The form of Shiva worshiped here is Shiva the lord of the Babul tree, also known as the gum arabic and the Egyptian acacia tree. This tree has been in use across South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa for millennia, and its sap, also known as gum arabic, is commonly used as a binding agent, in everything from food production to printmaking.
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