Bandra is a coastal suburb in Mumbai, Salsette Island, in Maharashtra. It is one of the most prominent commercial locations in Mumbai, mainly due to the establishment of the Bandra-Kurla Complex commercial area. Earlier, Bandra was larger since Khar was also a part of it.
Bandra was too large of a suburb to be serviced by a single railway station. As a result, the Khar Road railway station was set up in the year 1924. Thereby making Khar into a separate suburb. Several well-known Bollywood, Cricket, and Politics personalities of India reside here.
Bandra is pronounced as ‘Vandre’ in Marathi, which means ‘port.’ The word Bandra is believed to be taken from the Persian word for a port.
History of Bandra
Pre-Colonial Era: Bandra was originally a tiny fishing village inhabited by the Koli community, an indigenous tribe. The village was named Bandar, which means port in Hindi, due to its strategic location on the Arabian Sea coast.
Colonial Era: In 1534, the Portuguese took Bandra from the local rulers and established a small colony there. They built several forts and churches in Bandra, including the famous Mount Mary Church, which still stands today. The Portuguese ruled over Bandra until 1739, when the Marathas took over.
Post-Independence Era: After India gained independence in 1947, Bandra became a part of the state of Maharashtra. The suburb experienced rapid urbanization and became an entertainment, fashion, and commerce hub. Bandra is a bustling suburb with a vibrant cultural scene, beautiful promenades, and trendy restaurants and cafes.
In recent times, Bandra has become a hub for Bollywood celebrities, and it is known for its beautiful sea-facing apartments, chic boutiques, and lively nightlife. Despite its modernization, Bandra still holds on to its rich history and heritage, and it continues attracting visitors worldwide.
Historically, Bandra was a small fishing village, and the inhabitants were Kolis fishermen and local farmers under Portuguese rule, which the British East India Company later acquired. It remained under British rule till 14th August 1947
Bandra is segregated into West and East by the local railway line, which runs in between it.
The western side of Bandra developed into a fashionable suburb around the 20th century. Bandra West is also famous for its restaurants, street-side shopping, Churches, and other attractions listed below.
Bandra East is mainly famous for commercial complexes like the Bandra Kurla complex and the government institutions like Bandra Court, Mhada, Family court, etc.
Bandra is home to one of the largest Catholic communities in Mumbai. There are many famous Catholic hospitals and Churches. The most famous is Mount Mary’s basilica has an annual festival known as the ‘Bandra Fair,’ which is celebrated around September every year.
Famous Places In Bandra Mumbai:
01. Mount Mary’s Church
The Church of Our Lady of the Mount is commonly known as Mount Mary Church and is a Roman Catholic Basilica located in Bandra, Mumbai.
Even though the church edifice is 100 years old, the history of the current statue of Our Lady dates back to the 16th century when Jesuit priests from Portugal got the statue to the current place and built a chapel.
In 1700, the Arab pirates interested in the gilt-lined object, held in hand, disfigured the statue and cut the right hand…READ MORE
02. Bandra lake
Bandra Talao is also popularly known as Swami Vivekananda Talao due to its proximity to S.V Road. It’s a walking distance from Bandra Railway station on the west side.
It is a small lake that is covered with steel railings on 3 sides so that visitors do not venture into the water. The side facing the S.V road has an entrance with palm trees planted and provisions made for seating.
You will also see people fishing in the lake. However, I did not see anyone actually catching a fish…..READ MORE
03. Bandra Fort
Bandra Fort is also known as Castella de Aguada (Portuguese: Fort of the Waterpoint). The Portuguese built this fort in 1640 to keep a watch over Mahim Bay, the Arabian Sea, and the southern part of Mahim.
04. Bandra-Worli Sea Link
The official name is Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link. This bridge links Bandra in the Western Suburbs with Worli in the South of Mumbai. This sea-link bridge reduces the travel time between Bandra and Worli.
The bridge is an engineering marvel with Cable-stayed main spans and a concrete-steel precast segment that is 5.6 Km long.
Mumbai’s most unique attraction is where you can take a long drive admiring the incredible skyline and the beautiful blue sea water flowing below.
05. Bandra Bandstand
Bandstand is a 1.2 km long stretch of the pathway that runs parallel to the sea and gives a glamorous sea view.
You will always find joggers, walkers, young couples, and cyclists enjoying their time here; If lucky, you may come face to face with some famous filmstar personalities too.
You should not miss the splendid view of the sunset from Brandstand.
06. Hill Road
Are you interested in shopping? You must visit the roadside stalls on Hill Road in Bandra Mumbai. It is a long stretch of vendors selling stylish and latest fashion collections at very affordable prices.
The best part is that you can also bargain and get good quality clothing at unbelievable rates.
Many small shops on the roadside sell everything from clothing, footwear, accessories, jewelry, lingerie, gift items, and even souvenirs.
07. Walk of the Stars
Walk of the Stars is a part of the Bandstand Promenade depicting Bollywood film stars. There are around 6 statues of famous Bollywood film stars.
You can also see around 100 brass plates with the handprints and signatures of other stars. It’s a 2 km long walk.
Filmstar Kareena Kapoor did the inauguration on 28 March 2012 in the presence of Randhir Kapoor and Madhur Bhandarkar.
It’s a bit like Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. UTV stars conceived the project.
Famous Personalities staying in Bandra
Bandra is a popular suburb in Mumbai, India, home to many famous people from various fields. Here are some of the well-known personalities who have lived or are living in Bandra:
- Shah Rukh Khan – Bollywood Actor
- Salman Khan – Bollywood Actor
- Aamir Khan – Bollywood Actor
- Sachin Tendulkar – Former Indian Cricketer
- Farhan Akhtar – Bollywood Actor and Director
- Katrina Kaif – Bollywood Actress
- John Abraham – Bollywood Actor and Producer
- Anil Kapoor – Bollywood Actor
- Rekha – Bollywood Actress
- Vidya Balan – Bollywood Actress
Apart from these, many other film industry, sports, and business celebrities reside in Bandra. The suburb’s prime location, beautiful sea-facing apartments, and trendy lifestyle have made it a preferred choice for the rich and famous.