At the southern tip of Mumbai, Afghan Church stands in a quiet army
cantonment, an imposing basalt edifice with a lofty limestone spire
that can be seen several miles away. This is the church of St John the
Evangelist, consecrated in 1858 to "honour those who fell by sickness
and sword" in the conquest of Sind and Afghanistan. Thus it came to be
known as Afghan Church, and in the old days had a sizeable flock of
British officers who turned up for the Sunday sermon. Today, the church
is badly in need of restoration, but a straggling group of devout
Indian parishioners remains, and at Christmas, the lovely old rafters
still quiver to the lilting melody of carols.
This temple is situated at the end of Marine Drive and south of Malabar
Hill. It was built in 1780. In 1900, a tall spire was added to the
original temple. A stone Lingam of Shiva is worshipped at Babulnath.
The main day for worship is Monday.
Nearest Station is Marine Lines (Western Railway).
Further along the seashore, at the end of a long pathway surrounded by
seawater is the shrine dedicated to Haji Ali, a Muslim saint. Access is
only at low tide via the pathway.
The Jain Temple on Malabar Hill is opulent, but poorly maintained,
thanks, probably, to a spiritual philosophy that disregards material
things. Inside, frescoes depict various events in the lives of the 24
Jain apostles or Tirthankaras; upstairs, a black marble shrine is
beautifully decorated with celestial personifications of the planets,
painted onto the ceiling. The place is usually filled with worshippers,
mostly Jain stockbrokers who walk barefoot to the temple every morning,
and white-robed monks who have renounced everything save for their
begging bowls. If you can spare the time, this is an interesting peep
into the austere spiritual tradition of India.
A hop across from Crawford Market brings you to Juma Masjid, a small,
quiet mosque with a cluster of white domes. It rises from the mossy
green water of a tank, supported by slender white arches, and is
fashioned almost entirely in marble, right down to the exquisite inlaid
floors and chiseled balconies. The mosque was built in 1770 and is
considered extremely sacred by Mumbai's Muslim community. On Fridays,
when namaaz is offered in the prayer hall, thousands of worshippers
spill onto the neighbouring streets to pray, but on most days this is a
tranquil oasis in the chaotic commerce of Mumbai's market district.
Mumba Devi Temple is the most talked of shrine of Mumbai. It is sited
at Bhuleshwar, in the southern part of the Commercial Capital of India.
It is dedicated to Goddess Mumba, who is considered as the patron deity
of Koli fishermen - the first inhabitants of Bombay.
The Mahalaxmi Temple is a popular holy site as Mahalaxmi is the goddess
of wealth. It is situated at one end of Breach Candy - a trendy
residential and shopping area, now known as B. Desai Road.
Located in the Prabha Devi area of Mumbai, this popular temple
dedicated to Ganesh was rebuilt on the site of a 200-year old temple.
Built of black stone, the idol of Ganesh is two and a half feet in
height and two feet in width. An unusual feature of the statue is that
the trunk turns to the right, not often found on Ganesh idols. Tuesday
is the main day of darshan and puja, but this temple is frequented by
hundreds of devotees everyday. Click here for more details.
Mount Mary Church is considered to be the oldest in Mumbai city of
India. It is situated in the West Bandra, past Hill Road, and was built
initially around 1640. There are many beliefs connected with the
destruction of the church, which was finally rebuilt in 1761.
ISKCON Temple of Mumbai, dedicated to Lord Krishna, is one of the forty
ISKCON temples across India. Built by the ISKCON Foundation, the
elevated spire of this temple dominates the skyline of Juhu in Mumbai
A beautiful structure that boasts of being the first Anglican Church in
Mumbai. Indeed, the church affirms the moral roots of the budding
British settlement in the Financial Hub of India. Built in 1718, St
Thomas Cathedral is to be found near Flora Fountain at D.N. Road.
St. Michael's Church is amongst the oldest Catholic Churches in Mumbai.
Seeing the sway of two major colonial powers - the British and the
Portuguese, churches were constructed throughout the country. Sited in
the Upper Mahim area of Mumbai, Saint Michael Church heralds the
foundation of Christianity in India.