About the Temple:
Devoted to Goddess Vajreshwari, the temple is located in Vajreshwari town which is 75 km away from Mumbai, Maharashtra. Earlier, the town was known as Vadvali. Later, it was re-named Vajreshwari in honour of the temple deity. Vajreshwari town lies on the banks of the river Tansa, in Bhiwandi city of Thane district, Maharashtra. The temple stands on the Mandagiri hillock, which was formed out of a volcanic eruption.
Temple History and Temple Architecture:
In 1739, Chimaji Appa, the younger brother of Peshwa Baji Rao I had set up a camp in Vadvali region. He was on his way to defeat the Portuguese. The Bassein fort was unconquerable even after the three-year war. Chimaji Appa prayed to goddess Vajreshwari and pledged he would build a temple for her after conquering the fort. Goddess Vajreshwari appeared in his dream and helped him to conquer the fort. Finally, he defeated the Portuguese. To celebrate the victory and fulfil the vow, Chimnaji Appa built Vajreshwari temple.
The main gate entrance has a Nagarkhana or drum house. The temple is surrounded by a stone wall. Devotees need to climb fifty-two stone steps to reach the temple A golden tortoise is carved on one of the steps. The main shrine has three sections: the main sanctum, another sanctum, and a pillared assembly hall. The main sanctum houses six idols. The saffron idol of goddess Vajreshwari holds a sword and a mace in her right and left hands, respectively. A trident besides her stands in the centre. Idols of goddess Renuka with a sword and a lotus in her hands, goddess Saptashrungi Mahalakshmi and a tiger, mount of goddess Vajreshwari are seen on the left of the main idol. On her right images of Parshurama armed with a parsu and goddess Kalika with a lotus and a water, pot is enshrined. Goddesses are adorned with silver jewellery and crowns. The idols stand on silver lotuses and are sheltered by silver umbrellas. Another sanctum has idols of Lord Ganesha, Bhairava, Hanuman and local deity Moraba Devi. The temple premises has small shrines which are dedicated to Kapileshwar Mahadeva, Datta, Lord Hanuman and sages of Giri Gosavi sect. A Peepal tree near Hanuman shrine has assumed a form of Ganesha and is worshipped as a deity. The tomb of the 17th century Giri Gosavi saint Godhadebuwa is further atop the Gautam hill, behind the Mandagiri hillock.
Another legend says that Lord Indra and other devtas went to goddess Parvati and requested her to help in defeating demon Kalikala. Goddess Parvati assured them. In the battle, demon swallowed all the weapons thrown at him. Finally, Lord Indra threw the Vajra at the demon, which he broke into pieces. Goddess emerged from that Vajra and killed the demon. The devtas called her as Vajreshwari and built a temple.
Festivals and Celebrations:
The temple celebrates the festival of Chaitra Navaratri and Ashvin Navratri. Apart from this festival of Ram Navami, Kojagiri Poornima, Holi, Datta Jayanti, Hanuman Jayanti, Godhadebuwa Jayanti, Vijayadashami, and Diwali are also celebrated in the temple.
A huge fair is held on the day of Amavasya in the month of Chaitra. The fair begins on the 14th day of the fortnight of the waning moon. On the first day of the Hindu month Vaisakha, a procession with a palanquin carrying an image of the goddess is taken out.
How To Reach:
By Road: Bhiwandi is nearby town. Buses and private vehicles are available to reach Vajreshwari.
By Train: The nearest railway stations are Vasai Road (26 km), Bhiwandi (27 km) and Thane (37 km).
By Air: The nearest airport is located at Mumbai.