Banganga Tank

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"Banganga" redirects here. For other uses, see Banganga (disambiguation).
Banganga Tank

Banganga or Banganga Tank is an ancient[1] water tank which is part of the Walkeshwar Temple Complex in Malabar Hill area of Mumbai in India.

Banganga Tank and Walkeshwar Temple c 1855

History[edit]

Tank was built in the 1127 AD, by Lakshman Prabhu, a minister in the court of Silhara dynasty kings of Thane.[2][3]

The tank was rebuilt in 1715 AD, out of a donation for the Walkeshwar Temple by Rama Kamath.[4] The main temple, has been reconstructed since then and is at present a reinforced concrete structure of recent construction.

Banganga in Mythology[edit]

Banganga Temple sikhara

According to local legend, it sprang forth when the Hindu god Ram, the exiled hero of the epic Ramayana, stopped at the spot five thousand years ago in search of his kidnapped wife Sita.

As the legend goes, overcome with fatigue and thirst, Rama asked his brother Lakshmana to bring him some water. Laxman instantly shot an arrow into the ground, and water gushed forth from the ground, creating a tributary of the Ganges, which flows over a thousand miles away, hence its name, Banganga, the Ganga created on a baan (arrow).[5]

The Banganga also houses the 'Shri Kashi Math' and 'Shri Kaivalya or Kawle Math' of the Goud Saraswat Brahmins at its banks and samadhis of their various past heads of the Math.[6]

The area also has a Hindu cremation ground[7] which after 2003, received a makeover to house a Gas crematorium.[8]

The area still has an old Hindu cemetery consisting of samadhi shrines of various Advaita gurus, such as Sri Ranjit Maharaj (1913–2000) and his guru Sri Siddarameshwar Maharaj (1888–1936).[9][10]

Today[edit]

The tank today is a rectangular pool structure surrounded by steps on all four sides. At the entrance are two pillars in which oil lamps called diyas were lit in ancient times.

The tank, as well as the main Walkeshwar Temple and the Parshuram Temple belong to the Goud Saraswat Temple Trust, which once owned most of the property in the complex. Many Goud Saraswat Brahmin families (Rege, Anaokar, Mulgaonkar, Kenkre, Sakhardande, Sukthankar, Keni, Marudkar, Naik, Wartikar, Warerkar, Bidikar, Bhende, Prabhawalkar, Pagnis) used to reside / still reside in the Temple Trust buildings in the complex.

The tank is spring fed and so its water remains sweet, despite being located only a few dozen meters away from the sea. Apart from being a cultural hub, the place over the years has provided inspiration to many artists, be it on film or on canvas.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 18°56′48.78″N 72°47′36.93″E / 18.9468833°N 72.7935917°E / 18.9468833; 72.7935917