On a hill in the heart of Parel village is an inconspicuous, rectangular room with broken windows, dusty walls, peeling paint and a rusty grilled door that remains bolted all day.
This dank temple is home to one of Mumbai's most valuable heritage monuments — the Seven-headed Shiva statue, locally known as Baradevi.
Discovered underground in 1931, during the construction of the Parel-Sewri main road, this sixth century stone sculpture was declared a Class 'A' protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the mid-1980s.
"The Shiva statue at Parel is invaluable to the understanding of Mumbai's history, but today it is in a terrible condition," said Sabyasachi Mukherjee, director, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya at Colaba.
The cobweb-covered ASI board on the temple steps is proof to the fact that the national heritage conservation body has done almost nothing to maintain the monument.
"The Seven-headed Shiva statue is a non-ticketed heritage monument. Conservation work is carried out on a priority basis and right now on our priority are the ticketed monuments such as the Kanheri Caves or the Aga Khan Palace," said an ASI spokesperson.