One of the most beautiful places in Powai, which is not well know to the general public is the ancient Padmavati temple inside IIT Powai. This particular day I woke up early and decided to prowl inside the IIT campus.
At 5.30 am in the morning, the guards were too sleepy to ask me to produce my identity card, and as a rule, they cannot deny you permission if you tell them you want to visit the temple. The temple is open to the Public, unlike the rest of the IIT Bombay facilities.
As you enter the IIT gate opposite Panch Kutir, you enter a real green zone, unlike the ones which builders in the city keep advertising in their billboard advertisement and hoardings.
Location: Inside the IIT Campus in Powai, Mumbai (map).
Timings: 6am-12pm and 4pm-9pm.
About the Temple: This is an ancient temple dating back to around 10th century, according to śilāśasanās (stone inscriptions) retrieved from the near-by Powai lake. The main deity of the temple was Lord Śiva, in the name of Nagajeśvara Svāmi (Lord of daughter of Himalayas). The temple was later maintained by Simhappa, a mahāsāmant under the Silhara kings. An agricultural land (the present IIT campus) was also donated by him to the Temple. Chattrapati Śivāji, later installed Goddess Padmāvatī‘s idol and from then the temple became famous after Her name. Padmāvatī Devi, though an incarnation of Goddess Lakṣhmī, has many striking resemblances with Mumbādevi: Devi does not have a mouth and the idol is covered with sindhūr. Also, the Devi’s chālīsa mentions Her name as Pavaīsvarī, based on which the locality is known as Powai. Perhaps this shows that Mātā Śakti is the same whether called as Pārvatī or Lakṣhmī or Sarasvatī. Currently, inside the temple premises there are three temples: Padmāvatī Devi, Nagajeśvara Svāmi and a new temple of Lord Ganeśa.
Links: Temple website.
Here are some pictures, do visit this place early morning or early evening on one of those days.