Mumbai

Banganga comes alive on Kartik Purnima

Illuminated: Devotees perform maha aarti at the Banganga on at Walkeshwar Temple in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Illuminated: Devotees perform maha aarti at the Banganga on at Walkeshwar Temple in Mumbai on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

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Over 1,000 lamps lit at tank, maha aarti performed on occasion

Banganga, the heritage precinct in Walkeshwar, wore a resplendent look with with the light of more than 1,000 diyas (lamps) on the occasion of Kartik Purnima on Tuesday. A maha aarti similar to the one held in Varanasi added festive fervour to the evening.

Thousands of devotees flocked to the site to witness this grand event organised by Gaud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) Temple Trust, which has been looking after the temple premises for the past 140 years. “The GSB Temple Trust was established in 1879 and is one of the oldest trusts in the city. Apart from Walkeshwar temple, we have three other prominent temples under our administration — Bulleshwar Mandir, Shitladevi Mandir and Shanta Durga temple,” said Praveen Kanvinde, chairman of the trust.

The maha aarti started with the recitation of the Vedas, also called a veda ghosh, followed by Ganesh Vandana, a dance offering to lord Ganesha. Several small platforms were put up near the shore from where the pandits performed the maha aarti. Children were dressed as lord Shiva and Shivaji Maharaj and women wore traditional nine yard sarees for the occasion.

“We are residents here and have a very different bond with the Banganga. Every year, we help the GSB trust make arrangements and light diyas all over the place,” said Akshata Mhatre, a local resident. Another resident, Mangala Borade said, “We were born here and have so many memories with the place. Every year, we come here to celebrate Kartik Poornima.”

The event was attended by personalities like Sharmila Thackeray, wife of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray; Nitin Sardesai, MNS leader, and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mangal Prabhat Lodha. It was presided over by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) leader Gauranga Prabhu. “I am attending this event for the fourth year. Every year, I have seen an increase in the number of attendees. It is a pleasure to be here. I only hope the cleanliness they have maintained for the occasion stays throughout the year,” Ms. Thackeray said.

“Built in the 13th century, the Walkeshwar temple is one of the oldest in the city. The legend goes that Lord Ram, while on his quest to rescue Sita, halted at this site and wanted to worship Lord Shiva. So he made a Shivalinga from the sand. He wanted to perform an abhishek (washing the idol), but couldn’t use the saline water of the sea. So he shot an arrow in the ground and a tributary of the Ganga sprouted from below the surface, with which he performed the abhishek. Till today, the water of this talao (tank) is sweet water,” a GSB trust spokesperson said.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 2:50:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/banganga-comes-alive-on-kartik-purnima/article29957608.ece

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