H E Governor of Bombay Driving through Walkeshwar Road
Walkeshwar is an upmarket area known for its Walkeshwar Temple and the adjacent Banganga Tank. Its name is derived from the Sanskrit word for an idol made of sand, Valuka Iswar, an avatar of Lord Shiva. Situated at the highest point of the city, Walkeshwar also includes the posh area of Malabar Hill. Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the Governor of Maharashtra, is also located here.
The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. According to a legend, Lord Rama stopped here on his way from Ayodhya to Lanka in pursuit of the demon king Ravana. He was advised to worship Shiv lingam, but after getting tired of waiting for his brother to bring an idol, he built the original lingam of sand. Later, a thirsty Ram shot an arrow at a spot and brought the fresh water of the river Ganga here. Hence, the name of the tank: Bana (arrow in Sanskrit) Ganga. Despite its proximity to the sea, the water stems from an underground spring.
The temple and tank were built in 1127 AD by Lakshman Prabhu, a Gaud Saraswat Brahmin minister in the court of Silhara dynasty Kings who ruled the region from 810 to 1240 AD. During the Portuguese rule in the 16th century, the temple was destroyed. It was rebuilt thanks to Rama Kamath, a philanthropist and Gaud Saraswat Brahmin, in 1715. Smaller temples have also come up in the vicinity of the tank.