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Banganga: Sacred Tank on Malabar Hill

The stepped tank called Banganga surrounded by temples – the most important being Walkeshwar – samadhis (memorials), matths (hermitages) dharmshalas (pilgrim rest houses) and residences, stands on the western fringes of Malabar Hill, close to Raj Bhavan, the Government House estate at Malabar Point in Bombay. Many ancient myths and legends are connected with the site.
The sacred geography of Malabar or Walkeshwar Hill originally derived from several natural phenomenon, including the ancient and mystical Shri-Gundi or Magic Stone formation, which was reputed to have powers to absolve the sins 0f those who passed through its fissure. The original Walkeshwar temple and the Banganaga Tank built by the Shilahara rulers around the 10th century were destroyed, probably during Portuguese rule in the 16th and 17th centuries, the temple was r4econstructed in the 18th century on land made available in the vicinity by the British authorities.
The intensive development of Malabar Hill from the 1960s has resulted in this historic centre of pilgrimage being virtually engulfed by high-rise buildings. Despite these transformations the complex continues to resist these changes and serves as a sanctuary if calm in an otherwise bustling city.



Sharada Dwivedi & Rahul Mehrotra




Gizelle Cordo, Aerials and panorama Jehangir Sorabjee


Rajesh Vora


© Sharada Dwivedi & Rahul Mehrotra 1996, 2006 1996 sponsored by HSBC
2006 supported by Hutch