Hindi Language Blog

Bandra – Then and Now Posted by on Mar 28, 2022 in Travel & Geography

Sea Link Bridge BandraBandra, Mumbai is a bustling suburb on the west coast पश्चिमी तट of Mumbai city. Waves लहर from the Arabian Sea pound Bandra’s shores day दिन in and day out, bringing landlocked घिरा residents to her beaches सागरतट and waterfront तट promenades. I grew up in the sleepy suburb उपनगर in the seventies and eighties. One cannot call it sleepy anymore. It is very much awake जाग and partying till the wee hours घंटा of the morning.

Bandra made it to Time Out Magazines पत्रिका list of the 40 coolest neighborhoods in the world in 2020, along with Allston, Boston. The cool factors that gave Bandra that distinction, are its neighborhood vibe, culture, trendy cafes कैफ़े, bistros, and restaurants.

However, it is these cool factors that make it one of the most expensive महंगा towns to live in, in India.

What does Bandra look like?

Bandra has narrow संकीर्ण tree-lined streets with old 17th-century bungalows nestled among sleek चिकना highrises. When I lived there, we had mostly bungalows and no highrises. Mine was one of the first just behind the famous प्रसिद्ध Carter Road. It was built by a well-known construction निर्माण king – Mr. Raheja who started the invasion of the highrises in my neighborhood.

The bungalows are designed with terracotta tiled roofs, quaint brightly painted balconies and porticos, bougainvillea-filled garden बगीचा walls, and gorgeous mahogany महोगनी वृक्ष furniture, a leftover from the Portuguese and British.

Because it is situated on the coast, it has the unmistakable aroma of the fishing villages that seem to be ever-present. The Kolis still go out every day for their catch of fish मछली and one can see the lines of Bombay Duck, a type of fish really, drying on lines in the sun.

I remember seeing mangroves lining the seashore from my window, and a small farm with a farmer and his cow plowing the field. I am sure the highrises won this battle for prime waterfront space. I have not been there in years.

Bandra is home to the Koli fishing community and East Indians. They are the original residents. Today, many ex-pats, Bollywood stars, and rich industrialists live in its dwellings. But still, it is quite nostalgic to walk down the narrow streets and see the homes we hung out around.

The local government designated नामित many of the old bungalows as a part of India’s heritage homes.


The appeal of a town is due to its attractive shopping sites. While many wealthy fashion designers or multinational fashion houses chose to showcase their designs in heritage homes converted into ateliers कारखाना, there is Linking Road where the slightly lighter wallets can get amazing deals on clothes and shoes.


Another distinctive feature is the many gorgeous churches. The Spanish Jesuits came over and built large cathedral बड़ा गिरजा structures in the typical Spanish style with high domed ceilings, thick walls, and ornate decorative work. These churches are still there. Some even have graveyards and it is quite prestigious to be able to say one has a plot for one’s ultimate destination.





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About the Author: Nicole Herbert Dean

Language, Region and Culture Consultant to the Department of Defense and United States Military.