Restoration of Hanuman Temple at Bhulingeshwar Deulwadi
Restoration | Cultural Heritage | Concept of Deulwadi
Location – Bhulingeshwar Deulwadi, Chembur, Mumbai | Client – Bhulingeshwar Deulwadi Temple Trust
Deulwadis or temple complexes in Mumbai region have evolved as religious cultural spaces around temples as centre stage and act as a cultural oasis in the developing urban metropolis. They represent a typical temple form which is a confluence of architectural styles, community traditions, and use of locally available building materials and craftsmen skills. The Bhulingeshwar Deulwadi in Chembur, dating back to the late 18th century CE is one of the few such remaining Deulwadis in Mumbai and is the only listed heritage property (Grade IIA) in Chembur designated by the MCGM.
It comprises of multiple shrines and acts as a socio-cultural identity in Chembur suburb. It can be considered as an example of all prototype elements of a temple form woven into a distinct vernacular architectural character. The complex has total 4 temples namely: Bhulingeshwar Mandir, Ram mandir, Sitaladevi mandir and Vitthal-Rakhumai mandir. Other subsidiary shrines of Hanuman, Someshwar, are located in these main shrines along with paars, deepmals nestled in a green cover of many big trees.
The Hanuman mandir is a simple vaulted composite masonry structure centrally located between two major shrines, and sharing a sabhamandap with them. Some ornamentation is seen on the shrines such as copings, column capitals, niches, etc. Conserving the temple was about reinstating its cultural identity by using conservation best practices. The restoration process mainly included proper structural repairs, highlighting architectural elements like cornice with protruding country tiles, wooden shutters which gives it a unique identity.
The Hanuman mandir restoration is a part of the proposed conservation of the Deulwadi complex being initiated by the Bhulingeshwar Deulwadi Temple Trust, Chembur.