Demands to allow worship on Mahashivratri in the Gharapuri caves near Mumbai

Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh demands to the Archaeological Survey of India

Mumbai: Shivpindi is an ancient site of Deity Shiva in the Gharapuri caves near Mumbai. Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh requested permission to allow Mahashivratri worship at this Hindu religious site through a statement submitted to the Mumbai divisional office of ASI on 7th March. Officials of several Hindu organisations were also present. The Mahasangh has demanded that all the religious places under the authority of ASI nationwide must get permission for puja. On 8th March, Shivpindi puja at Gharapuri caves should be the first to get this permission.

This is how the movement began

As the first step, on 14th February 2024, Hindus gathered for a programme where the Editor of the Sudarshan channel, Suresh Chavanke appealed to all Hindus to come together to perform puja at Gharapuri Shivpindi. Following this appeal, on 15th February, Suresh Chavanke, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti National Spokesperson Ramesh Shinde and the Executive Chairman of Swatantryaveer Savarkar National Monument, Ranjeet Savarkar led Hindus in a large number to perform symbolic puja of Shivpindi. Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh is agitating for the right to perform puja at all Hindu religious places under the authority of ASI.

Gharapuri Island is an ancient religious site of the Deity Shiva

UNESCO has declared Gharapuri caves as a heritage site. These caves date from the 6th to the 8th century. There are 5 monolithic caves. Various events from the stories related to the Deity Shiva are carved out on the stones. These carvings are an excellent example of Indian sculpture. Portuguese vandalised these sculptures. During the British regime, these sculptures were disgraced by using them as targets for bullet practice. As a result, most of the sculptures are disfigured. Currently, these caves are under the Archaeological Department and puja is not performed there.

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