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Church of Our Lady of Glory or Gloria Church was built by the Portuguese in 1590 in Mazagaon. It is not a miracle that the church now stands in Byculla. The building was pulled down to build a railway track and another church was built in Byculla to take its place. This is one of the oldest Catholic churches of Mumbai and part of its Portuguese heritage. The church is part of the Antonio D'Souza High School complex. Gloria Church can be easily reached from Byculla Station. Veermata Jijabai Udyan or Rani Baug is a stone's throw from this church.
Built in 1864, the Magen David Synagogue at Byculla is the largest Synagogue of the 'Bagdadi' Jewish Community in India. It was built by the founder of the Sassoon empire in India, David Sassoon. Every morning, prayer services are conducted, following which breakfast is served to one and all. The synagogue holds classes twice a week where Jewish Students study the ' Torah'. Two Jewish Schools run by the Sir Jacob Sassoon High School Trust and the E.E.E. Sassoon High School Trust are present in the synagogue compound.
Situated in the Worli-Mahim Bay, overlooking Haji Ali seaface, this dargah has its origins shrouded in mystery. Believed by some to be the tomb of a wealthy saint and built by his devout followers, the second version states that the revered saint died on pilgrimage and his body floated to the spot. Whether a follower of Pir Haji Ali Shah or not, the mosque is a must for all visitors. Except for the sanctum sanctorum, visitors are free to stroll around the premises. Haji Ali Dargah is accessible via an inconspicuous causeway next to Haji Ali Juice Centre, a walk best attempted during low-tide.
This temple has been built to appease the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Legend has it that an Indian contractor who was supposed to build a sea wall joining Malabar Hill and Worli at the end of the 18th century for the British, claimed that the goddess appeared in his dreams and asked him to build this temple at this site. Surprise suprise...a small statue of the goddess was unearthed from the ground, and so the area was declared a holy site. And this is where the contractor built his temple, which today is called the Mahalaxmi Temple. Believers come from all over the country to pay their respects here.
History says that a pious devotee Shri Ranchhoddas Pranjeevandas, broke down his own home to construct this temple in the year 1868. The temple is more than a hundred years old and is considered an important milestone in the Swaminarayan community. The temple and its community run a trust that manages the temple and collects funds for its functioning. This trust is also involved in social service and sponsors education for those who cannot afford it. The temple exudes old world charm for its architecture is ancient. It is a great idea to visit this hidden jewel and explore the local history of the place.
The Fanaswadi Temple or Sri Venkateshwara Devasthanam houses a replica of the Tirupati Balaji idol. Built according to the traditional Dravidian style architecture, the temple was consecrated in June 1927. Since then this is where the Vaishnava sect, a South Indian community founded by Sri Ramanujam that worships Lord Vishnu, congregates. You can observe the distinct architectural form of the temple, its towering Gopuram and Vimana. The ambiance truly seems to cleanse your soul and fills you with a sense of peace and contentment.
A place of worship for the Buddhists, the Buddhist Temple in Mumbai is the only such place. Open to all, this religious site is one of the few Buddhist Temples in the country. The temple is open all day and all night throughout the week and witnesses a huge crowd on Buddha Purnima - Vesak every year. Replicating the enlightening experience of Lord Buddha, the place offers complete calm in the midst of the hustle bustle of the city.
According to popular legend, this temple is believed to be the handiwork of Mumbaraka, a sadistic giant who frequently plundered the city over time. Terrorized by these visits, the locals pleaded with God Brahma. Brahma then sent his avatar, an eight-armed goddess to vanquish him. Mumbaraka was brought to his knees and, as an act of repentance, built this temple. Located in the Bhuleshwar area of South Mumbai, this temple is a must see place, no matter what your religion.