Built about 125 years ago, between 1890 to 1895, this heritage temple is believed to be erected by the #kolicommunity of Mahim.
Legend also has it that Raja Bimbadev, in the 13th century, brought the Goddess to Mahim from Kelve, a place in Thane, which was his initial capital after shifting base from Patan.
The idol of the revered Goddess is Swayambhu, a Sanskrit word for self-born or self-manifested or that’s created of its own accord. Shital means cool in Marathi. That’s how the Goddess gets her name ‘Shitaladevi’, the deity who cures small pox by the sprinkle of cool water from her pot she daintily holds to her waist.
This ebony temple sits in serene verdant courtyard, just behind that of Vithoba Rakhumai.
The idols are born of black granite, the only stone embodying a perfect balance of the 5 natural elements – earth, water, fire, air and space.
Deep grey walls, dangling cobwebs, strewn leaves, a ceiling fan with a broken blade that may have been switched on decades ago and never after that, a deepastambh hued of charcoal black patches due to years of weathering, ricochet one to the bygone era when the cacophonous road outside the temple gates would have been traversed by tip-tapping horses and bullock carts, when people believed more in prayers than in medicines for cure…
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