Bandra

Mumbai as seen from Bandra Reclamation

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Mumbai as seen from Bandra Reclamation

A stall on Linking Road

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A stall on Linking Road

Bandra is a suburb of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), popularly nick-named “Queen Of The Suburbs”. It is home to a railway station on the Mumbai Suburban Railway, Western line.

With one of the largest Catholic populations in Mumbai, Bandra is famous for its churches; Mount Mary’s Basilica stands out in particular. Bandra also boasts one of Mumbai’s most popular shopping destinations, and millions of people troop onto Linking Road every year. it is a great township. Over the years, Bandra has also gained the title of the “Restaurant Suburb of Mumbai”. More restaurants open and close in Bandra every few months than any other location in Mumbai.

History

Some say that Bandra is a corrupt pronunciation of ‘Vandra’, a marathi name. There are other views on the origin of the name: that it is derived from a Portuguese princess for one and that it was over-run by monkeys (“bandar” in Hindi). This area was under Shilahar dynasty in 12th century. It is referred to as “Bandora” in the writings of Mountstuart Elphinstone of the English East India Company which describe the endeavours to acquire the island of Salsette.

In 1543, the Portuguese took possession of the island of Bombay by force. The Portuguese gave the Jesuit priests the sole ownership of Bandra, Parel, Wadala and Sion. In 1570 the Jesuits built a college and a church in Bandra which was called St Anne’s College. In the mid-18th century, the traveller John Fryer records that the Jesuit church, which stood near the sea shore, was still in use. The Portuguese built several churches in Bandra, including the famous St. Andrew’s Church, which has the distinctive Portuguese-style facade. Bandra has the unique distinction of having the most churches anywhere in the world: 5 churches, and a Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount.

In 1733 when the Kunbi farmers migrated to this island from Bombay, because the fish manure they used was banned, they founded St. Andrew’s church (which is still standing and in regular use), St. Stanislaus’s Orphanage (now St. Stanislaus school, the best boy’s school in Bombay) and a monastery of St. Anne. After St.Anne’s was destroyed in a Maratha raid in the year 1737, and regained in the same year when the Portuguese troops were aided by the English, a slaughterhouse was built on the same spot, and assigned to the Dakhni Muslims for operating it. There was a section of Kokni Muslims in the present eastern part of Bandra, called Navpada. Where nine prominent Kokni Muslims were inhabitated, therefore it was named as “Nav” (meaning nine, in Hindi) and Pada (meaning “area”). They built a mosque called Kokni Masjid, and a cemetery which has a history spanning more than 300 years. The area was then divided as Navpada East and Navpada West, by the indroduction of the present western railway line. The present lake at called “Bandra Talao” was one of the properties of these kokni Muslims, which was later acquired by the Municipal Corporation for maintenance.

The chapel of Mount Mary, was built around 1640. Local tradition has it that this was destroyed in 1738 during a Maratha raid. The statue of the virgin was recovered from the sea by fishermen and temporarily installed in St. Andrews, before being shifted to the rebuilt Mount Mary in 1761. To this day the statue is venerated and many miracles, minor and major, are attributed to the deity by all communities. In her honour, a fair is held for the duration of eight days, (starting on the Sunday following September 8th) during which pilgrims come from as far North as Vasai and as far East as Thane, to venerate at the basilica of Mount Mary.

Bandra remained a village with plantations of rice and vegetables in the low-lying areas of the island until getting connected to Mahim by a causeway in 1845. Although many bungalows were built in the boom years of the 1860s and 70s, the fashionable Pali Hill area, now full of film stars, saw the first constructions only in the 1880s.

R D National College was originally set up in 1922 in Hyderabad, Pakistan under the guidance of Dr. Annie Besant. After the partition of India, it was set up again, in 1949, in Bandra.

The west-side, called “Bandra (West)”, had evolved into one of the more fashionable suburbs by the middle of the 20th century. However, the East soon followed it’s more popular sibling, & in the mid-to-late 90s emerged as a predominantly commercial zone, consisting of the Bandra-Kurla Commercial Complex. Bandra (East) is the capital of the Bombay suburban district. However, it is completely overshadowed by its neighbouring city district with regards to government departments. The most prominent office is the suburban collector’s office. Bandra (East) also has State Government Quarters.

 

Geography

Bandra is known to be split by the local railway-line into Bandra (West) PIN 400050 & Bandra (East) PIN 400051. Bandra (W), has historically grabbed most of the spotlight, and sits snug between the railway-line (on the East) and the Arabian Sea (on the West). Bandra (East) houses the state government employees’ homes.

  • Neighbouring suburbs: Dharavi, Khar, Kurla, Mahim, Santacruz
  • Arterial Roads: S.V.Road, Linking Road, Turner (Guru Nanak) Road, Hill Road, Carter Road, Navpada (Balsamant) Road, Western Express, Bandra-Worli SeaLink Project

Transportation

Bandra railway station is connected via the Western Railway and the Harbour Line, which is an offshoot of the suburban Central Railway. It also has a newly buit terminus called Bandra Terminus from where trains bound for northern and western India are scheduled regularly. BEST buses, autorickshaws and taxis are abundant.

Due to Bandra’s central location, most parts of the city are easily accessible.

Educational institutions

(See List of Bombay Colleges)

Schools

Bandra (W)

  • Arya Vidya Mandir
  • Apostolic Carmel Convent High School
  • St. Andrew’s High School
  • A.F. Petit
  • St. Stanislaus High School
  • Duruelo Convent High School
  • St. Anne’s
  • Mount Mary’s
  • St. Theresa’s High School
  • St. Aloysius
  • St. Joseph Convent High School
  • Fr. Agnel Technical High School

Bandra (E)

  • Cardinal Gracias High School
  • IES, New English School
  • Mahatma Gandhi School
  • Arya Vidya Mandir School

Colleges

  • R D National College.
  • Mithibai Motiram Kundnani (MMK) College Of Commerce And Economics
  • Mumbai Educational Trust (MET)
  • Raheja College Of Architecture
  • Chetana’s Hazarimal Somani College of Commerce and Arts (East)
  • St. Andrew’s College.

Engineering

  • Thadomal Shahani Engineering College
  • GOVERNAMENT POLYTECHNIC, MSCEB bandra
  • Fr. Conceicao Rodrigues College Of Engineering
  • Rizvi Educational Campus (consisting of various colleges including an engineering college)

Entertainment

  • Theatre
    • St. Andrews Auditorium
    • Rang Sharda Auditorium
  • Cinema Halls
    • Suburbia (formerly Bandra Talkies)
    • Gaiety, Galaxy, Gemini, Gem, Glamour, Gossip & Grace (G7 Multiplex)
    • Globus (formerly New Talkies)
  • Gymkhanas
    • Bandra Gymkhana

Places of Worship

Mount Mary's Church

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Mount Mary’s Church

Hindu Places of Worship
    • Jari Mari Mandir (S.V. Road)
    • Ram Mandir (S.V. Road)
    • Hanuman Temple (Bandra East, Chetana College Road)
Islamic Places of Worship
    • Bandra Jamatkhana-Ismaili (Hill Road)
    • Bandra Masjid (S.V. Road)
    • Bandra Masjid (Bandra Station)
    • Bandra Navpada Kokni Masjid (Bal Samant Road)
    • Bandra Kokni Muslim Cemetery (Bandra West)
    • Navpada General Muslim Cemetery (Bandra East)
    • Maulana Baba Dargah (S. V. Road)
Parsi Places of Worship
    • Panthaky Agiary (Turner Road)
    • Parsi Agiary (Hill Road)
Christian Places of Worship
    • St. Andrew’s Church, Hill Road (Roman Catholic)(http://www.standrewsbandra.org)
    • St. Peter’s Church, Hill Road (Roman Catholic)(http://www.stpetersbandra.com)
    • Our Lady Of Mount Carmel, Chapel Road (Roman Catholic)
    • St. Anne’s Church, Pali Hill (Roman Catholic)
    • St. Theresa’s Church, 24th Road, TPS-3 (Roman Catholic)
    • St. Francis Of Assisi Church, Khadeshwari Mandir Marg (Roman Catholic)
    • Basilica of Our Lady Of The Mount, Mount Mary Hill (Roman Catholic)
    • St Stephen’s Church, Mount Mary Road (Church of North India)
    • St. Joseph the Worker Church (Bandra (East)) (Roman Catholic)

Hospitals

    • Lilavati Hospital
    • Holy Family Hospital
  • Bhabha Hospital
  • Guru Nanak Hospital (Bandra (East))

Promenades & Parks

Bandra is the only Suburb in Mumbai to have three Promenades

  • Bandstand Promenade
  • Carter Road Promenade
  • Reclamation Promenade

Parks

  • Jogger’s Park: Jogger’s Park is a small seaside jogging track where joggers of Bandra congregate. The pretty little park, next to the Otter’s Club, another recreation place for Bandra denizens, was where Bombay’s first laughing club was launched.
  • Patwardan Garden at Linking Road, opposite National College. Has a good jogging track and a nice inner lawn garden to relax.
  • Gurunanak Park [Pali Naka]
  • City Park, Bandra-Kurla Commercial Complex
  • MIG Cricket Club, Bandra East
  • MIG TT Tapri, Bandra East
Bandra
Next station south:
Mahim
Mumbai suburban railway : Western Railway Next station north:
Khar Road
Stop Number:12 KM from starting:14.66

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