Fanaswadi is a neighbourhood in South Mumbai in the Girgaon area. It is known for its temple devoted to the Hindu god, Lord Venkatesh. The name fanas is Marathi for jackfruit, probably pointing to a time when the trees grew abundantly here.The temple at Fanaswadi, Mumbai dedicated to the Lord of the Seven Hills Sri Venkateshwara was consecrated on 10 June 1927. The temple is known for its elegance and beauty with regard to its images, art and architecture, to mention but a few.It is only apt that the beautiful temple was the outcome of the dedicated effort of a great personage His Holiness the Jagadguru Prthivadi Bhayankaram Srimad Ananthacharya Swamiji Maharaj of Kanchi.
Consecration and Dravidian style of architectureEdit
For the consecration of the temple, His Holiness brought from kanchi, one of the Panch Beras, which was in Puja in Yathok thakari Devasthanam(Kanchi), one of the 108 Divya Desas sung by the Alvars and also Sri Sudarsana from Tirunangur Devastanams. Both the idols were brought to Mumbai in a special palanquin on foot, performing Panchakala Aradhana on the entire route, with all the paraphernalia.
The temple has been designed in Dravidian style, strictly according to Silpa Sastra and every stone laid for raising the towers was measured and fitted in as per architectural shastras. The architectural excellence in every bit of masonry and granite at every corner, and the exquisite beauty of the hundred odd murtis and paintings reveal the Swamiji's eye for beauty.
The massive Gopuram or tower which is a replica of the Dravidian architecture is visbile from quite a distance. The temple consists of two prakarars(enclosures). There is a beautiful Vimana over the sanctum sanctorum. There is the Dvajastambha(Flag-Staff) covered with gold plates and Bali Peetam in front of it.
In the outer side of the first prakara wall one can find the carvings of the images of all the Caturvimsati Murtis (the 24 different aspects of the Lord Narayan or Vishnu) according to their description given in the Pancaratra-agamas. Though most of the murtis have four arms holding weapons and ornaments like the Sankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma, the difference in the murtis is only in the positions of the weapons and ornaments found in their arms. One can make out the difference among them by keen observation of the sculpture. This piece of sculpture is very rare since though these 24 murtis are found in many temples one can see all of them together in this temple and so it enables one to observe all aspects of the chaturvimsati murtis for deep study or meditation