Walkeshwar Banganga Water Tank at Malabar Hill Mumbai

Banganga, located at Walkeshwar (Malabar Hill), is the only sacred water tank in Mumbai. It is also known as the Sub-Let of the River Ganga, which is located at Varanasi in India. This Grade ‘A’ heritage tank is a 600-year-old monument with natural spring water inside the tank and is a very sacred place to perform Hindu rituals like Antyesti (also called ‘Antim Sanskar’ or ‘Late Rites’) for centuries now.

Below are the updates about the place history, the latest facelift plans, the Banganga festival, and upcoming plans to attract tourism and encourage Hindu rituals, for which a hidden Ram Kund located a few hundred meters from Kund (the water tank) will be revived and restored to its original glory.

The Sacred Water Tank
The Sacred Banganga Water Tank

Updates November 2023: The Grade 1 heritage and sacred water tank hosts the annual maha aarti on Tripurari Poornima day, which falls on 26th November. The grand ceremony commences at 7 PM.

Various Historic Stories about Banganga Tank

The history and related stories go back about 5000 years (11th century), and below are two different versions to be believed.

How Banganga Tank Came into Existence, Story Version 1

The name Banganga is split into two words: ‘Ban’, which means ‘Arrow’ in Hindi, and ‘Ganga’, which is a famous holy river in the north of India located at Varanasi. It is called the Sacred Water Tank of Mumbai due to the fact that it is called a Natural Fresh Water Spring Tank, which was historically created by an Arrow Digger in the area by Brother Laxman. Lord Ram visited this place and was looking for fresh drinking water in this vicinity.

The spiritual era had many magics and things that may not be believed in today’s world. Banganga water tank is said to be a sub-let of the original Ganga River located in Varanasi, North India. As per Hindu mythology, the spiritual powers of the arrow in Satyuga (1127 AD), which miraculously got a fresh water spring digged in by that arrow, is a story if someone believed.

A proper structure digged and built as seen today by some Ancestor called ‘Laxman Prabhu’ which was again rebuilt in 1715 by Ancestor ‘Rama Kamath’ is now a Grade 1 heritage owned and maintained by GSBTT (Gaud Saraswat Brahmin Temple Trust) of Mumbai.

The story goes back 5000 years, when Lord Ram was going through a 14-year-long vanvasa (staying away from home, deep inside forests and jungles). During the same Vanvas period when they were around and visited, they created this little water body and also did the ‘Last Rituals’ of their father at a place a few hundred meters from this Kund called ‘Ram Kund’. Today, the hidden Ram Kund is nowhere to be seen as slums and shanties have covered the same and is called ‘Ram Kund Nagar’ as seen on the old Google map on this page.

Rituals Followed At Banganga
Rituals Followed At Banganga

How Banganga Tank Came into Existence, Story Version 2

Another story goes this way. When Lord Ram visited this location 5000 years ago, this was just another island, and there was no name to it as we know it, called Mumbai, Bombay, or Bambai. People in the locality requested that Lord Ram help get some fresh water to worship Lord Shiva and do the daily needful rituals like Antim Sanskar (Last Rites), Pitru Pooja (Worshipping and Doing Rituals for Late Ancestors), etc.

Lord Rama himself used his spiritual powers and shot an arrow, which magically created this sacred water spring, which is now a tank properly built and is believed to be the holy water of the Ganga, as read in the previous story, as a sub-let of the Ganga as prayered and spiritually gifted by Lord Rama.

Since then, during the yearly ritual days of ‘Pitru Paksha’, Antyesti, which is a spiritual and ritual period for final rites proceedings and also to immerse the ashes of the deceased in any Hindu family, various rituals are performed here at Banganga Water Tank.

Holy Banganga Water Tank Today

Lots of good news is coming up for this tourist attraction and the holy, sacred location of Mumbai. The uphill water tank location is one of the most famous and elite places in Mumbai, called ‘Walkeshwar’, which stays on the famous Malabar Hill, as many know.

Temples at Banganga Water Tank

Surrounded by different 16 Hindu temples, The Banganga is a smaller version of famous Kashi in North of India. Some of the temples surrounded around this sacred water tank are Jabreshwar Mandir, Shri Ram Mandir, Shri Venkatesh Balaji Mandir, Shrimali Bhraman Mahalaxmi Mandir, Shri Gaudpadacharya Kavale Math of Walkeshwar, Shri Hanuman Mandir, Shri Kashi Math, Vithoba Rukhmani Mandir, Shri Walkeshwar temple, Shri Laxminarayana Mandir, Rameshwar Shiv Mandir, Omkareshwar Mahadev Temple, Parshuram Mandir, Khandoba Mandir, Siddheshwar Mandir, Shri Jagannath Mahadev Mandir, Shri Rakt Dantika Mata Mandir, Shri Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple, Shree Gorakhnath Temple, Shri Ganapati Mandir,

First, a brief about the past bad decade at Banganga

A decade or so ago, when I wrote about the bad condition of this tank, I personally felt bad enough to go into detail about it being a Grade 1 heritage site. The period was when the tank went dry and was empty, with filth and garbage all around. It seemed like nobody actually cared and maintained the same. There were suicides, accidents, and drowning cases observed in the same spiritual tank gifted by Lord Rama for such an important need of Hindus.

People were seen washing clothes, taking soap baths with drying, and dead fish coming up often. During any visits, clothes were seen drying on the footsteps. Locals used this heritage site for smoking and drinking, with bottles spread and floating around the remaining dirty water. Poor conditions of living for those beautiful ducks and swans who made this home. At times, kids were seen swimming inside, but the water went so dirty that they ignored it completely.

Not very sure, but such conditions existed until 2006, and then some good started happening.

A new beginning

NGO’s like Bafna Foundations, along with a few other private organizations, and the owners and maintainers of Gaud Saraswat Brahmin Temple Trust (GSBTT) came together with a cleap-up drive, and the final results were astonishing and wonderful.

A huge amount of debris deep inside—wafers and biscuit packets, broken pots, plastic bottles, liquor bottles, artificial dental teeth, filth, vehicle tires, and lots of sludge, debris, and garbage—was removed. Old Hindu god idols were also inside and were given to the Archaeological Department for further investigation of their age and historicity.

The trust personally kept an eye on the water tank and has taken better care of it since then.

Year 2023, Ram Kund Revival Begins

Aerial View Banganga Tank Ram Kund Mumbai
Aerial View Banganga Tank Ram Kund Mumbai

As detailed above, a place that is just a few hundred meters ahead of the Banganga tank called ‘Ram Kund’, which is never seen by our generation, stays to date below debris and shanties. As the story goes back, there was a small water body next to the Banganga water tank, a place where Lord Ram did his father’s ‘Dasharatha’ last rites (Asthi Visarjan) and related pooja on the 13th day after he died.

The BMC, State Government, and Tourism Department, along with local MLAs, have taken up the Ram Kund Revival Project, and somewhere in 2024, the original Kund will be cleaned and restored to its glory, keeping the heritage structure and its look and feel intact. The plan is to clear all the old shanties and rehabilitate them in other safe places, to make this historic vicinity of Malabar Hill to its glory, attract age-old Hindu rituals, and also to encourage public tourism back to the places where spirituality and such stories happened in the past.

A proper pathway to reach the sacred water tank and ram kund will be made. The best possible facilities, like parking, walkways, and proper entry and exit points, will be seen once the project finishes and is ready with its fresh first look.

Malabar Hill’s pride, Banganga Tank, will also get some facelift, and small/mini tanks will be built around to put in rituals. The last rites remain, like diyas, flowers, pots, etc. This will help keep the sacred tank clean with less maintenance.

It will be one of the most famous heritage and historic tourism places in Mumbai, right in the middle of the city along the promenades of the Arabian Sea.

The 2 Days Annual Banganga Festival

Annual Banganga Festival
Annual Banganga Festival

Started in 1992, the ‘Banganga festival’ was an Indian classical and folk dance and musical event organized by the Maharashtra Tourim Department and the Indian Heritage Society. It was a 2-day tribute program to Lord Ram and the Ganga River, on the basis of which the Banganga Water Tank still remains.

The classical and musical tribute event brought back life to the place with lighting and a well-decorated stage on full moon nights when Indian classical music maestros like Zakir Hussain and Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasiya performed so many times.

It was the most-awaited event of the year, which was pulled down in 2006, and the good news is that 2024 will see it again back and rocking the Indian classicals, bigger and better than before.

The two days of classical events will again create a different environment at the bank of this tank, which is enlightened with a beautiful stage near footsteps that are clean, and the rhythms of classical instruments go into the air for those few hours.

The music, chants, and mythological classical songs, along with awareness, also bring in tourists who follow and like the great classical Indian culture and come specially to enjoy and study the same.

More Places to Visit Around Banganga

Few more tourist locations and other places to see around this sacred water tank are :

See More in    Attractions

Greetings, I am Deven, the founder of Mumbai77. With immense passion, I have dedicated my full-time efforts to continuously learn and update important information about Mumbai city. Currently, I am a full-time blogger residing in Mumbai. Since its establishment on July 7, 2007, Mumbai77 has attracted millions of pageviews. Our website aims to provide valuable information, including my personal reviews and experiences, to assist individuals worldwide in their search for updated information about Mumbai city.

329 Google reviews
Milind Sonar
Milind Sonar
It was helpful
mahendra mehta
mahendra mehta
Give us 2024 bus timing for all rout .remove old time table
Suneeta Mestry
Suneeta Mestry
Good information about all stops. Thank you so much
Sachin Mistry
Sachin Mistry
Extremely helpful

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