Mumbai: For the first time in its 220 year history, the famed Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi sports a gilded look courtesy a 35 kg gold worth Rs 14 crore, made by an 'anonymous' Delhi devotee, a top official said here on Monday.
The gold was utilized to cover the wooden doors with golden leaves, and lining the sanctum sanctorum and the inner ceiling of the main temple in pure gold, creating an ethereal ambience.
"The entire process took around six months to complete. This is the first time that the temple wears a golden look and has been highly appreciated by the thousands of devotees," Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple Trust (SSGTT) Chairman and film actor Aadesh Bandekar told IANS.
When asked he declined to reveal the name of the 'anonymous' donor who, Bandekar said, wished to remain in the shadows and do social work without claiming any credits.
The finishing touches for the gold-plating works were given when the temple remained closed for the annual 'pran pratishtha' ceremony between January 15-19, and reopened with a new look here on Monday.
On the donations, Bandekar said that till 2017 the temple used to receive annual donations worth around Rs 3.20 billion, which has now touched over Rs 4.10 billion mainly due to the good work done by the SSGTT.
From these funds, the SSGTT helps thousands of needy people upto Rs 25,000 and spent over Rs 38 crores on this so far, besides other social and community activities that are undertaken round the year.
The Siddhivinayak Temple is among the most revered in Mumbai among commoners and celebs like the Thackerays, the Ambanis, the Bachchans, etc. who throng there on various festivals or family occasions.
'Shree Ganesh' is the first to be worshipped prior to taking up any auspicious venture since he is considered the 'Vignaharta' or destroyer of obstacles, and known by many other names.
The temple was consecrated on November 19, 1801, when it was a tiny structure housing a black stone idol of Shree Siddhivinayak, around 2.5 feet wide.
The unique feature here is that the deity's trunk is tilted to the right side, the idol has four arms (Chaturbhuj) with a lotus, a mini-axe, holy beads and a bowlful of his favourite sweet, 'modak'.
Flanking the idol on both sides are Riddhi and Siddhi, the goddesses signifying sancrity, fulfillment, prosperity and etched on the deity's forehead is an eye resembling the 'Third Eye' of Lord Shiva.
Over the years, the temple grew in size, dimensions and attained huge popularity among its devotees who make huge donations annually in cash, gold, silver, precious stones, etc, and draws tourist-devotees from around the country.