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Nestled in a chic neighborhood of Mumbai, Bandra, the Bandstand Promenade is one of the most scenic spots in the city. Enjoy the cool breeze as you witness the waves of the great Arabian sea crashing at this city's coast. Being a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, Bandstand Promenade also serves as a park allowing its visitors some much-needed privacy and making this spot one of the best places to spend a romantic evening with special someone. In addition to the picturesque views of the seaside, Bandstand Promenade is home to several popular attractions like the Mount Mary Church or the Bandra Fort. For the Bollywood buffs, Mannat, the bungalow of Shahrukh Khan, a superstar of Indian cinema is also nearby. In addition, this is also a venue for local cultural festival, Celebrate Bandra, and hosts live music gigs and other events regularly.
The Bandra Fort, known as Castella de Aguada, was built by the Portuguese in 1640 as a watchtower overlooking the Mahim Bay. After Bombay was handed over to the British as dowry, this watchtower served as a defensive structure against the British who sought to expand to Salsette Island held by the Portuguese. In 1739, the Salsette Island was captured by the Marathas who held it till 1761 after being passed on to the British under whom the fort fell into disrepair since it no longer served its purpose. The fort today at Land's End serves as a venue for concerts and has an amphitheater.
Mehboob Studios was founded by director - producer Mehboob Khan. It is an Indian film and recording studio where numerous Bollywood films have been shot over the years. Mother India, which bagged many filmfare awards and also was a nominee at the Oscars for Foreign Language film, was shot here. Acclaimed films like Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani, Anjana Anjani, Sawaariya and many more. For over 56 years Mehboob Studios has been providing filmmakers with large scale sets and production facilities and has become an iconic name in the film industry.
Bandra is dotted with several old churches and one of them is St. Andrew's Church. Built around 1575, its structure is reflective of Portuguese architecture. The church has stood the test of time for centuries and is a delight for any history buff. St. Andrew's church is built close to the shore and provides a spectacular view of the sea. Regular masses are held for the public.
Famed for being a vibrant church and parish St. Peters Church, sets the ball rolling for cultural and community programs in the neighborhood. An important day in the history of this church, apart form its inception in 1852 and consecration in 1964, is when the Holy Father, graced the church, on his visit to Mumbai in December,1964. Awarded the prestigious Urban Heritage Award, St. Peters is replete with huge stained glass windows depicting the joyful and glorious mysteries and also the life of St. Stanislaus, a beautiful sculpture at the entrance and more. Check the website for timings. Â
Mahim Fort was built in 1669 by the first Governor of Bombay, Gerald Aungier, to strengthen Bombay's defenses against the Portuguese in Salsette Island (north of Mahim/Mithi River). The fort was strengthened in 1884 by Sir Thomas Grantham. In 1772, almost a century after Bombay was given as dowry to King Charles II of England, the Portuguese unsuccessfully attacked the fort. Today, the condition of the fort is dire due to encroachments and huts. The heritage committee of the local administration plans on renovating the fort.
The Mahim Dargah or Mosque was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah of Gujarat in 1431 at the burial site of Makhtum Fakir Ali Paru, a Sufi saint who was the Qazi of Mahim. Also known as Makhdoom Ali Mahimi, he was born in an Arab family which settled in Mahim. The Sufi saint and his shrine is revered by both Hindus and Muslims. There is a 10 day Urs festival in December which draws a large number of pilgrims. Interestingly Makhdoom Ali Mahimi is also the patron saint of the Mumbai Police.
The Bandra-Worli Sea Link, also knows as the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, is the cynosure of all eyes not only in Mumbai city but also, in the whole country. Taking the metropolitan city to another level of improved infrastructure, this sea link is a boon to the busy Mumbai traffic. This bridge is the outcome of long-term planning and meticulous engineering. It is majestically spread across the Mahim Bay, very conveniently connecting the western suburbs of Bandra, to Worli in South-Mumbai and reducing the travel time between the two areas, in half. If not for commutation, it sure is worth a visit to just marvel at this spectacular bridge for its sheer beauty.