The origin of the Banganga tank to which the festival owes its name, lies adjacent to the Walkeshwar temple which was constructed between 9th and 13th century, by the rulers of Silhara dynasty. The tank too was constructed by the Silhara rulers, to store water. The temple and the tank were later destroyed by the Portuguese. However, it was renovated in 1715. As years passed, varied settlers constructed temples for various deities across the tank.
Banganga has an interesting legend associated with it. Lord Rama, who was on his way to Lanka, stopped at the Malabar Hills upon feeling thirsty. But, he could not find any fresh water source to quench thirst. It is believed that Lord Rama shot an arrow (baan) to the ground and water from Holy Ganga sprung out exactly from where the arrow hit; this is where the tank is now sited.
During the course of the festival, the entire hillocks and the surrounding region is decorated with lights, flowers and decorations. The venue turns lively by musical performances and concerts by leading artists, making it a treat for the musical enthusiasts. The festival witnesses the performances of well known artists like Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Ustaad Zaakir Husain etc. Music lovers from all over India flock this place either to view or to participate in these performances. For the two days of the festival, the entire area is lit up and decorated. Banganga tank also has plenty of tourist attractions nearby, including temples and complexes which form the perfect background for this famous musical feast.
Banganga festival is one of the most awaited festivals in Mumbai with millions of music lovers flocking the Malabar Hills. Hope this article familiarises you with the festival and its major attractions.