A suburb located in West Mumbai, Bandra is undeniably best known for shopping, eating or getting a sneak peek of pleasing Arabian Sea, amongst several other ‘things to do’.
While all who have been living in Mumbai (especially suburbs), this super fascinating and glittering place has always topped on their visiting list, when in leisure. But for them (locals and tourists) who have not been to Bandra earlier, here are some of the top key places and activities to do when one is in Bandra.
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1. Linking Road
Bandra’s linking road is an absolute shopping paradise, heaven for accessories and bliss if you are looking for cheap (rather economical) stuff, especially for women. Lanes occupied with small street shops selling footwear, designer bags, skirts, salwaar-kameez, etc. are the main attraction of the vicinity.
In case if you haven’t been here earlier and planning a visit, remember the utmost important shopping formula here – ‘Bargaining’. The rates quoted by the shopkeepers here decreases in proportion to your bargaining capability.
2. Mount Mary Church
Mount Mary Church is one of the most celebrated churches in Mumbai. It is a Roman Catholic Church, dedicated to 'Virgin Mary', situated on top of a hill known as ‘Sunderban Bandra’, which overlooks the mighty Arabian Sea. One gets to see a number of celebrities and tourist visiting the church during the 'Bandra Fair' or the 'Feast of Mount Mary', which is a week-long celebration held every September at the Church.
Interestingly, people suffering from fatal diseases are known to offer wax figures corresponding to their ailment, like the figure of hands, feet etc. Also, one can shop for several religious artefacts, small statues of Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ or even Goan sweets from stalls outside the church.
Located across the Linking Road, this eatery is best known for its Burgers, cakes and cupcakes. The word ‘Theobroma’ - means ‘Food of the Gods’ and this eating joint absolutely lives up to the name in every way possible. In addition to this, the ambience which you get here is cozy and comfortable.
Delicacies worth trying here: Burger with garlic and onion mayonnaise and some of the mouth-watering desserts like red velvet cupcakes, blueberry cheesecakes, banana cupcakes etc.
Not going on technical description of the name ‘Bandstand’, this place is commonly known as lovers’ point. A sea shore bounded with rocks, it is a place best enjoyed during the rainy season with corn stalls across the shore. It is also highly liked by young couples who like to sneak out onto the rocks below to spend some time alone.
One can also enjoy having coffee in open air with a sea view and soothing breeze at a lot of popular coffee brands shop right across the shore.
Mannat- Dream home of Bollywood Superstar Shahrukh Khan which is located across the Bandstand, is one of the most visited places by the tourist and even SRK fans. A 6 storeyed tall building with a pleasing sea view is symbolic to SRK’s stature, power and enigma, and considered as one of the most expensive houses made in India.
If you ever cross this place, you can easily sight huge crowd of SRK fans outside Mannat, just to get a glimpse of the superstar, in case if he happens to appear somewhere in the balcony or corridor. Many also get their images clicked in front of name board displaying ‘Mannat’, as it makes a remembrance for the fans.
6. Western Bakeries
Since the older version of Mumbai has always been known for bakeries as one of most delicious cuisines out of several other Parsi, Gujrati, Marathi delicacies on the plates to offer, the modern western bakeries have created their own niche amongst the modern crowd.
As you would find the old fashion bakeries in the lanes of Bandra, there are a few of modern bakeries in and around the Linking Road, selling some of the most delicious desserts, cakes and snacks.
7. Bollywood Walk of Fame
Like its Hollywood counterpart, Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, this ‘Bollywood Walk of Fame’ has been promoted, funded and privately managed by media conglomerate UTV.
Located at Bandra’s Bandstand promenade, it features pavement slabs with hand impressions of many of Bollywood’s biggest stars, and benches with life-size statues of several Bollywood legends, including Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Yash Chopra to name a few. It is absolutely free to visit and one can also sit beside these statues to get their images clicked with their favourite stars.
8. Bollywood Graffiti Walls
Apart from being stylish and offering some great food and street shopping, Bandra is also famous for home to several Bollywood’s biggest stars. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the busy streets in Bandra, there are a few quiet and narrow lanes that lead you deep into an old and ethnic East Indian village. Surrounded by old residential buildings, it accommodates people from mix of caste, community, creed and religion.
While walking in these lanes one can easily find larger than life paintings of Bollywood celebrities (Amitabh Bachchan, Madhubala, Rajesh Khanna etc.) on the walls of these old buildings. Though there have been many independent artists who have done their paintings here, but a Bollywood poster artist Ranjit Dahiya who started the ‘Bollywood Art Project’ is famous for his ‘old fashioned movie poster’ style of painting.
9. Interior and Architecture of Catholic Churches
Even though you are not a Catholic or not a frequent visitor to Churches, but when in Bandra, you should definitely give a shot to visit some of the famous churches in Bandra (St. Andrews, St. Peters, Mount Carmel to name a few). Known popularly for its beautiful interiors and architecture, one can see huge number of aficionadas visiting the church on holidays and during mass.
10. Lingerie Shopping
For ladies, Bandra is sophisticatedly known for lingerie shopping. Right from street shops, branded or imported, all are available in the vicinity. Depending on your budget and choice, from cheap to expensive, you can definitely fulfil all your lingerie shopping desire, when in Bandra.