Shravan’ month which is considered to be the most auspicious and spiritual month in Bharat has just begun. Devotees visit temples in large numbers this month. The rituals of worship and Puja are part of our tradition. Thus these rituals are as much the heritage as is the structure of the temple. Temple structure facilitates these rituals. Spaces in the temples are designed for these rituals as well as to create appropriate spiritual ambience.
Babulnath temple situated on the hillock in the Churchgate area in Mumbai is one of the ancient temples of Mumbai. The temple dates back to the Solanki dynasty which reigned over Western India until the 13th century. The temple structure and architecture is exclusive. Over the time, several renovations and additions were made to the temple structure. Until 1890 the temple was recognised as the tallest structure in Mumbai, lightning struck and destroyed its gopuram, but it was rebuilt again.
Many facilities have been added (including lift tower) in the temple structure for the comfort of the devotees. The materials used for the additions, constructions and for the facilities at many places do not conform to the original materials of the construction and are not in tune with the original design. The original beauty of the structure is hidden behind these new constructions and additions.
The atmosphere of the temple is important to create bhakti rasa in the minds of the devotees. Non conforming alterations may at times fail to generate such feelings.
The prime function of the temple structure is to arouse the sensitivity of the devotee through five senses to touch the soul of the devotee so as to facilitate his connection. Careful interventions for renovations are must to protect the original purpose of the space.