This weekend, the city’s masons unlock their doors for one day only, allowing a peek into one of the oldest fraternities in the world. The Grand District Lodge of Western India of the Freemasons will open their headquarters to guided tours, to reveal some mysteries and clear misconceptions of the ‘secret society’.
The open house will feature guided tours of the building every hour, and lectures on the masonic temple and the rituals of the freemasons. The masonic temple is a room in the building, where the masons in the city meet once a month to practice their rituals. “Sunday marks 120 years since the foundation stone of the masonic temple was laid, back in 1897. In all these years, we have never opened the temple to non-members (they have opened it a few times before, last year on June 7th),” says P Venkatraman, deputy district grandmaster and the person spearheading the event.
The temple room has a majestic pipe organ and copies of holy books such as the Gita, the Bible and the Quran. Visitors can learn more about the masonic rituals and the symbolism behind various aspects of the building. “For instance, there is an all-seeing eye in the building that symbolises that God is always watching. Hanging from the ceiling is the alphabet G, which denotes that no matter where you are, god is above you,” says Venkratamaran.
The freemasons believe in a supreme being, but consider themselves more spiritual than religious. Mumbai has about 5,000 masons, some of whom will be conducting the guided tours on Sunday.
When: Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Murzban Road, near Sterling cinema, Fort
Contact: Register on Open House