Mount Mary Church Bandra – The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, commonly known as Mount Mary Church, is a Roman Catholic Basilica located in Bandra, Mumbai.
Even though the church tower 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.
In the year 1760, the church was rebuilt, with the statue being substituted with a statue of ‘Our Lady of Navigators’ in St. Andrew’s Church which is nearby.
The statue has an interesting history. It is told that a Koli fisherman had a dream of finding a statue in the sea, and the statue was found floating in the sea between 1700 and 1760.
The Jesuit Annual Letter, which is dated 1669 and was published in the book of St. Andrew’s Church, Bandra (1616–1966), confirms this fact.
The Koli Fishermen refer to the statue as Mot Mauli, which means ‘The Pearl Mother.’ Mot started being referred to as “mount” and Mauli, meaning “Mother.”
The earlier statue is restored and enjoys the special place of honor in the Basilica. People of all religions, mainly Hindu and Koli Christians, often visit this shrine and ask Mother Mary to bless them with their intentions.
The feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated here on the first Sunday after 8 September, the birthday of the Virgin Mary. The feast is followed by a week-long celebration known locally as the Bandra Fair and is visited by thousands of people. 7 days of excitement at Bandra Fair in Mumbai. This is the feast of the birth of ‘Mother Mary.’ Celebrated throughout the country. In Mumbai, thousands of people come to this celebration at Mount Mary Church Bandra West.
There are masses held in the mornings. Devotes must first pass through the church by offering flowers and candles, followed by entering the fair where you have all types of rides, sweets, household items, children’s toys, etc.
The fair is on for around 7 days. Bandra Fair attracts lakhs of pilgrim devotees every year. People of all faiths and religions come to this feast to ask for favors or to thank Mother Mary for the blessings granted. It is believed that anything asked in faith at the shire of Mount Mary is fulfilled.
The minor basilica’ transformed from a simple shrine to a beautiful semi-gothic structure is still in use and appreciated by Devotees. Through time dedication and affection for Our Lady have enabled many people to support the building’s development and maintenance.
This article explains the design that is Mount Mary’s. The photos of the Basilica were carefully taken and selected and put into perspective the dimensions of this structure, its materials, and ornaments that work in synergy to build this magnificent structure in stone.
- The magnificent façade of the Basilica. Basilica has a width of 67 1/2 feet wide.
- The foundations are embedded in the rock and are supported by sturdy buttresses.
- The facade is comprised of four horizontal floors:
- The floor below has the main entrance, as well as two windows on the sides to shield the wooden panels that form the main entrance from rain and to increase the appearance of the front entrance area, two gothic stone arches that are supported by beautiful stones that are made from Malad Stone, were erected on top of it.
- The first floor is home to five windows. Two of them are contained within the towers, while the remaining three provide ventilation to the nave. An arch over the main entrance has the symbol of the Basilica AM, the first character of the famous greeting from Angel Gabriel to Mary at the moment of the Annunciation and in Latin”AVE MARIA. The letters are affixed to the crown, adorned with two lily stems, to symbolize Mary’s queenship and her pure virginity.
- The third floor has four windows and an impressive circle that bears the inscribed ANNO JUBILAEI 1904. The golden jubilee year of the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, as well as an anniversary year for the official opening of the Basilica’s new construction. The cross crowns the triangular central aspect of the pointed façade.
- The fourth floor is comprised of the spires of a pyramid on either side. They are set with the Cross, which juts up to the skies.
The interior walls of this stone structure had stunning murals that emphasized the happenings in Mary’s life. This painting was created during the reign of the Rector, who was first elected. They had faded over time; they were replaced with gorgeous fiberglass murals telling the identical story of Mary.
These huge panels were designed in the hands of Sr. Vimala (PDDM) and an artist group from Goregaon under the personal direction of the Rector before him, Msgr. Nereus Rodrigues.
The Teak Wood Workmanship
The nave’s ceiling, 42 feet in height, is constructed of teak wood. A wooden loft supports this with three sides at the beginning of the floor. The loft is positioned on either side of four teak wood columns with fluted shafts and Corinthian capitals.
A solid base of stone supports each column. The columns can support all the load of the loft, and the ceiling is made of wood. On the west end, a second choir loft is located on one of the floors. The entire top made of wood is protected by a roof clad with Mangalore tiles.
Timing of Mount Mary Church
The shrine is open all days of the week –
- Weekdays – 8:00 AM – 8:30 PM
- Sun – 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050.
Phone: 022 2642 3152
How to reach:
Bandra Station is the nearest station to the church.
BEST Bus from Bandra Station: Route no. 211 & 214
The best time to go to Mount Mary Church in Mumbai
September is the perfect time to visit since it’s the time when you can experience the Mount Mary Fair being held. The atmosphere and energy of the fair are infectious and leave the crowd amazed. The truth is, that Mount Mary Church can be visited any time of the year.
Official Website: http://www.mountmarybasilicabandra.in/
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Mount Mary Church Bandra – The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, commonly known as Mount Mary Church, is a Roman Catholic Basilica located in Bandra, Mumbai. Even though the church tower 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.
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