A visit to Mumbai is incomplete without spending a few hours at Bandra. Bandra once was a collective of village hamlets, which were largely owned by fishermen and farmers. The place now has however gone through a large-scale transformation over the past few decades.
At present, the suburb offers delights for one to hang around; starting from heritage homes to high rised buildings, street food to swanky restaurants, designer stores to street carts which sell from junk jewellery to pani puri...just anything a wanderlust person would be interested in.
The old residents of the area recollect the memories of the place, which did not have the heavy traffic density that it has today. The cafes here are often occupied with models and hipsters along with celebrities who jog every day by the seaside. With its deep-rooted, homely atmosphere along with the liberal and laid-back vibe, Bandra does attract a lot of people and is rightly called "the Queen of Suburbs".
Best Time To Visit Bandra:
The place is a year-round destination, which can be visited at any point of time. However, as Mumbai is located on the western coast, Bandra has a tropical wet and dry climate.
PC: Logan King
How To Reach:
By Air: The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the major airport which has regular flights to all the major cities across the country and also to some of them abroad.
By Train: The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or CST is the major railway station here and is connected to major towns and cities across the state and to many major cities in the country like Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, etc.
By Road: Bandra is well connected by roads, and has buses which operate on a regular basis from Bengaluru, Pune and other major towns and cities in India.
PC: Tawheed Manzoor
Places To See
Castella de Aguada translates from Portuguese to "the fort at the waterpoint", which was named for the fresh water spring nearby. The fort was built by the Portuguese in the year 1540 as a watchtower located at the southernmost tip of the mainland.
In the 18th century, the British destroyed large sections of the fort to prevent it from going into the hands of the Marathas. What remains now is the stone walls which offer beautiful views of the Mahim Bay and the Bandra-Worli Sealink.
2. Mount Mary Church
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount is a Roman Catholic church which is situated atop a hillock that overlooks the Arabian Sea. A very simple chapel, which was built in the year 1570, is a splendid site that was rebuilt several times. The Mount Mary Church today has a beautiful facade which is decorated with Gothic arches and pillars carved out of the Malad stone that dates to the 1900s.
A gaze at the wooden statue of Mother Mary and Infant Jesus, which was brought by Portugal's Jesuits in the 16th century, will truly lift your spirits and make you feel blessed. In 1700, Arab pirates chopped off an arm of the statue while looking for treasure and would have burned down the shrine if it wasn't for the swarm of bees that attacked them.
3. Chapel Road
The Chapel Road is a busy through fare, which starts at Hill Road and through the Ranwar Village, taking you towards Lilavati Hospital. The old-style cottages, which stand amongst the newbies, are rented out to expats and the creative types. One would come across a wave of graffiti, which occupies the peeling walls of old bakeries that sell the Goan pao along with homemade puffs and marzipan.
PC: Satish Krishnamurthy
4. Chuim Village
Old cottages, two-storey buildings occupy the narrow lanes of this tiny hamlet, which is found at Carter Road. The locals rush down the disorganised shops, read newspapers at their porches. Once home to fishermen and cultivators of mango orchards and vegetables, the place still moves at its own pace and has a laid-back atmosphere.
5. Carter Road
One of the biggest joys of Bandra is to watch people one can find, women in floral printed dresses along with heels on their way to church, writers scribbling in cafes apart from the models along with photographers checking out deals on their phones.
Carter Road is the place where one can find people from all walks of life, fitness freaks, bikers, families, college students, etc., who would gather at the eateries. What's more? One might as well bump into a celebrity who would be out on their daily jog as well.