Mumbai: After Revamp, 8th Century Mandapeshwar Shiva Caves To Glitter This Mahashivaratri

Mumbai: After Revamp, 8th Century Mandapeshwar Shiva Caves To Glitter This Mahashivaratri

The silver-made 'shivalinga' will be placed inside the cave thrice every year.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Wednesday, March 06, 2024, 12:49 AM IST
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Mumbai: Diwali-like preparations are underway at the Mandapeshwar Caves in Borivali as the eighth century cave is being beautified for the Mahashivaratri festival. With funds from the central government and donations from the locals, the conserved site of this rock-cut shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva will get a new 'shivalinga' weighing 12 kg made from silver. A three-day festival has been organised on the occasion of Mahashivaratri, which will include recital of Akhand Ramayana on Wednesday, cultural programme on Thursday and Laghu Rudra puja on the day of Mahashivaratri. The silver-made 'shivalinga' will be placed inside the cave thrice every year; during Mahashivaratri, Tripurari Purnima and last Monday of the Shravana month.

Historical Significance And Religious Importance of Mandapeshwar Caves

One of the three ancient caves situated in Mumbai, Mandapeshwar Caves are believed to have been built more than 1,500 years ago. The cave, which was originally cut by Buddhist monks, also contains the sculptures of Nataraja, Sadashiva and Ardhanarishvara along with statues of Ganesha, Brahma and Vishnu. With an elaborate sculpture representing the marriage of Shiva and Parvati, the spot has been a religious site for the Hindus.

Restoration Efforts For Dilapidated Cave Monitored By Archaeological Survey

Although protected by the Archaeological Survey of India, the cave has been in a dilapidated condition for many years. The beautification work is being carried out from Rs75 lakh granted by the Centre last year and from MP Gopal Shetty’s personal funds. Repairing of uneven ground, deep cleaning of the temple, construction of a garden and installation of street lights will be carried out, which will turn the cave into a tourist destination in the near future, as per the trustees.

Mandapeshwar Gufa Samiti secretary Sunil Kapoor said, “Due to complete darkness in the vicinity, the temple cave had turned into a spot for anti-social activities. Earlier, the Portuguese had tried to destroy the caves. Later, Christian missionaries tried to prove the temple site as a church, but we have been successful in saving the temple site.” MP Shetty said, “The movement to revive the temple was started in the 1980s by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and was later carried ahead by the BJP.”

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