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The Temple of Votive Goddess Harbadevi/Shitaladevi in Virar East

Faith and Religion June 28, 2014

The vintage temple of Harbadevi is situated in East of Virar. The goddess known to the local Marathi community as Harbadevi, is also more famously known as Shitaladevi by the Gujarati people. This temple customarily is maintained by several generations of Bairagi family, the ancestor of whom was appointed to look after the temple chores by the then British government.

Harbadevi 1Harbadevi 2

The foundation of Harbadevi Temple, dates back to the year 1860. According to the folklore, during the rule of British government, the idol was found while excavation work for Virar railway station. After umpteen failed attempts to lift the idol, a crane was used. It too failed to lift the heavy idol. The ancestor of Bairagi family, Mr.Hanumantadas- a Mahant(Chief Priest), could successfully shift and place it.

Harbadevi 3Harbadevi 4

Goddess Harbadevi is family deity for some clans while the village deity of Virar. According to the faith of many, she was born to demolish demons and is worshipped across by varied castes and communities.

Harbadevi 5Harbadevi 6

The shrine is located in the east of Virar near the lake, ‘Totale’. It is in very close proximity of Virar Railway station. The Harbadevi temple is believed to be a votive shrine. Believers promise offerings to the deity if their wishes come true. Every year, Navratri is celebrated here with great zeal. The usual Naivedya (food offering) to Goddess Harbadevi is Dal, Rice and Methi (Fenugreek) sabzi.

*The above writeup is an excerpt translated from the Marathi article published in newspaper and showcased in the temple

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