Babulnath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is ancient Shiva Temple near Girgaun, Chowpatty, Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is on top of hillock, 1000 feet above sea level, being one of the tallest structures in Mumbai. Though the Shivalinga and other idols were consecrated in 12th century by King Bhimdev, it was unknown for long time.
It was rediscovered in 18th century. A mythological story is attached to it. A rich goldsmith Panduranga had cows, which were taken for grazing in the pastures by his cowherd Babul. One day Panduranga noticed that one of the cows, Kapila, did not give a single drop of milk. Babul told his master that that cow never gave milk and it always emptied its milk at particular spot on the hill. Panduranga verified that it is true and got place dug to see what lies in there. To his surprise a Shivalinga was seen. A temple was built.
Five idols were discovered on digging, Shivalinga, Ganesha, Parvathi, Hanuman and the fifth which was broken during extraction was submerged in the sea.
First temple was built in 1780. A bigger temple built in 1890 by the contributions from Gujarati merchants. The architecture of temple is beautiful. The pillars and ceiling have intricately designed sculptures of gods, goddesses, with stories from Hindu mythology. The interior of the temple is amazing with Lord Shiva in the form of Shivalinga in the sanctum sanctorum.
As the temple is not very well known, the atmosphere is very peaceful and pleasant. As it is Shiva temple most devotees visit it on Mondays and on Mahashivarathri. The steps to the temple are more than hundred, a lift is operated to take devotees to the temple, but while coming down steps have to be used. On the way down, in hall like area a family of sadhu lives. Along the way out we see idols of Dattatreya under the shade of tree.
Babulnath temple is a powerful temple in midst of chaos in the centre of Mumbai that showers the devotees with peace and calmness when visited and worshipped.