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 19 November 1801.It is one of the richest temples in Mumbai.

The temple has a small mandap with the shrine for Siddhi Vinayak (“Ganesha 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. Apple CEO Tim Cook began his 2016 India trip with morning prayers at the temple.

Siddhivinayak is well known as “Navasacha Ganapati” or “Navasala Pavanara Ganapati” (‘Ganapati bestows whenever humbly genuinely prayed a wish’ in Marathi) among devotees.
History
It was Constructed 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 shikhara. 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.

Controversy

The Siddhivinayak temple receives donations of around ₹100 million (US$1.5 million)–₹150 million (US$2.3 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”.

In 2006 the Bombay High Court directed the state government, the Siddhivinayak Temple Trust and the petitioner Keval Semlani to prepare “suggestive guidelines” for using the temple’s trust funds.