Banganga Tank

Banganga or Banganga Tank (Hindi: बान गंगा) is an ancient [ [http://www.mumbaimirror.com/net/mmpaper.aspx?page=article&sectid=2&contentid=2008010220080102050212875b34b07 Repairs at Banganga, January 02, 2008] ] water tank which is part of the Walkeshwar Temple Complex in Malabar Hill area of Mumbai in India.

Banganga today

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 is spring fed and so its water remains sweet, despite being located only a few dozen meters away from the sea. It is cleaned and spruced up each year, for the annual 'Banganga Festival', of Music organised by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), which takes place here in every January [ [http://www.mumbai.org.uk/banganga-festival.html Banganga Festival] ] , and now has become an important event in the cultural calendar of the city [ [http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/asia/india/mumbai/attraction-detail.html?vid=1154654624795 Banganga at NY Times] ] . Apart from being a cultural hub, the place over the years has provided inspiration to many a artists, be it on film or on canvas [ [http://www.rayhassard.com/dataviewer.asp?keyvalue=5609&subkeyvalue=116504&page=WorksDetail Banganga in Pastel] ] . Earlier the site was used for many film shoots, which was banned in November 2007, to protect this heritage site, which is also one of Mumbai's oldest surviving structures [ [http://www.mumbaimirror.com/net/mmpaper.aspx?page=article&sectid=2&contentid=200711072007110702340696826c94cdb Shooting banned at Banganga, November 2007] ] .

Banganga in History

The Tank was built in the 1127 AD, by Lakshman Prabhu, a minister in the court of Silhara dynasty kings of Thane [ [http://www.gsbkonkani.net/TEMPLES/BANGANGA%20SHRI%20WALKESHWAR.htm Banganga, Walkeshwar history] ] [ [http://www.explocity.com/Mumbai/News/detailednews.asp?newsfeatureid=3932&tc=MUM&city=MUM&types=Static&channelname= Banganga] ] .

The tank was rebuilt in 1715 AD, out of a donation for the Walkeshwar Temple by Rama Kamath [ [http://theory.tifr.res.in/bombay/architecture/building/walkeshwar.html Walkeshwar Temple History] ] . The main temple, has been reconstructed since then and is at present a reinforced concrete structure of recent construction.

Banganga in Mythology

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 Laxman 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 out on a 'Baan' (Arrow) [ [http://www.frommers.com/destinations/mumbai/A21959.html Destinations in Mumbai] ] .

The Banganga also houses the 'Shri Kashi Math' of the Goud Saraswat Brahmins at its banks and samadhis of their various past heads of the Math [ [http://www.gsbkonkani.net/TEMPLES/BANGANGA%20SHRI%20WALKESHWAR.htm Gowd Saraswat Brahmin Math at Banganga] ] .

The area also has a Hindu cremation ground [ [http://www.lifepositive.com/Spirit/Nisargadatta_Maharaj/Of_Death_and_the_Deathless102006.asp Banganga cremation grounds] ] which after 2003, received a makeover to house a Gas crematorium [ [http://www.taph.com/restoration/banganga-to-undergo-makeover.html Banganga Crematorium Makeover] ] .

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) [ [http://www.nisargadatta.in/WebCMS/CMSPage.aspx?PageID=2 Meet the Sage] ] [ [http://www.straight.com/article/gurtu-takes-a-musical-trip?# Journey to Banganga, Trilok Gurtu] ] .

References

External links

* [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/india/mumbai-banganga-tank.htm Banganga Tank History]
* [http://worldofstock.com/search_pages/banganga.php Images of Banganga]


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