It’s an urban myth with at least five variations.
The Siddhivinayak Mahaganapati Temple located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai is thronged by thousands every day and is also one of the most popular temples in the city. However, there is a general rule of thumb that is highly regarded (particularly by Mumbaikars) and followed by many which says that couples (man-woman, of course; this is India we are talking about) who are not married yet should abstain themselves from going to the temple on several absurd grounds (stated below), failing which they risk their chance of getting married to each other. How convenient!
Following are some of the rule’s variations as deduced out of different conversations with different people in different places of Mumbai:
That unmarried couples or engaged-but-unmarried couples or two lovers or live-in partners should not visit Siddhivinayak Temple on account of being in an impure relationship which has not yet been sanitized by the flaming bond of marriage, generating a mass of impurity, causing a gradual chaos in the relationship, leading into a horrid split between the involved parties.
…because one of them does not have genuine feelings of love for the other and is only looking for sex which is tabooed in India so you get the idea.
…owing to the fact that they be spotted by one of their relatives which will anyway cause an instant split between the parties. Why take a risk?
…because love and marriage don’t go together. If you are in love, you cannot be married and if you are married, you possibly cannot be in love. Visiting a temple will be least of your worries.
…because if you were true Indian lovers you would opt for the traditional arranged marriage setup and this whole thing would be a waste of time since you would have all the time and the freedom in the world to visit the temple since you are, didn’t you realize, already married to the person of your parents’ shared dreams, using the purest form at that.
There you have it – the highly illogical variations of a myth that is seriously considered by the devotees of the shrine which is also known for its power to heal and give.
On a serious note, to answer the question “Should unmarried couples visit Siddhivinayak Temple?” I would ask why not? If you are a theist and believe in the power of praying and personally love the elephant God and want to take your girlfriend/boyfriend to the temple to experience the tranquillity of the place, you should not pay attention to this urban tale that is filled with canons of superstition. Only a fool would follow the rule and wait till their marriage to visit the temple which is one of the coolest places to be in Mumbai. Go and do a little praying, for God’s sake.
However, I used to frequent the temple with my former girlfriends.
Read the previous sentence carefully.
Disclaimer: This blog post is a work of satire and hurting your sentiments is not my intention. If you somehow were hurt, feel free to contact me and I will do something about it.