One of Mumbai’s most ancient temples, Mumbadevi Temple also happens to be in based in one of the city’s liveliest spots. Surrounded by the bustling bazaars, flower shops, and cloth markets of South Mumbai’s Bhuleshwar district, Mumbadevi Temple remains serene. Worshipped by Mumbai’s native Koli fishermen for many centuries, Mumbadevi is the eight-armed Hindu goddess this temple was built for, and she is also the deity that Mumbai gets its name from.
Thought to have been built in 1675, travelers are welcome at Mumbadevi Temple. Mornings and evenings are an especially beautiful times to visit the famous temple, as this is when devotees come to attend religious aartis, when candles are offered to the goddess. But the highlight of a visit to Mumbadevi must be seeing the great deity on her altar, replete with a silver crown, golden necklace, and garland made of brilliant marigolds. Look out for the stone idol of Annapurna seated on a peacock, and a particularly fearsome-looking sculpture of a wild tiger too.
Right outside the temple is Zaveri Bazaar. Its liveliness can be quite a shock after enjoying the peacefulness of Mumbadevi Temple, but on this narrow street you can buy all kinds of Hindu religious objects including incense, saffron, and paintings of the gods.
To get to Mumbadevi Temple, head to the northern end of Zaveri Bazaar in the Bhuleshwar district of South Mumbai. The station nearest to the bazaar is Charni Road, from which you can take a cab or auto rickshaw to get to the market area. The temple is open every day but Monday.