The Murals Of Bandra

Is it possible to be both happy and sad? I guess it is. Blessed are those whose minds are always calm and composed. Well, mine is one hell of a mess. The mess reached its epitome when I was leaving my hometown Kolkata to make a new nest in Mumbai- the city of dreams. Forget the people, I was even missing the walls of my room. The clouds reminded me of my furry ‘stray Persian’ cat! On the other hand I was excited to discover a new city.

Lomfola The Cat

‘Lomfola’- My Furry Friend In Howrah Residence

My home in the Kolkata suburb of Howrah is a standalone two storied house. My friends, neighbours, relatives and most of the people I know lives in either standalone houses or flat buildings which are five-six storied at the maximum.

The skyline of the Mumbai suburb I reside in now is ruled by skyscrapers. The concept of standalone houses is non-existent in my current locality.

I thought to myself  “ Navi Mumbai is a modern planned city and it is expected to have the characteristics of the same. However, Mumbai must have old neighbourhoods which can still remind me of my native place.”  Where better to start my search of old neighbourhoods than the alleys of Bandra?

Why Bandra?

I had been to Bandra once before to visit Mount Mary’s Basilica and gawk at the Bandra-Worli sea link. I sensed there is a remarkable ‘Unity In Diversity’: Several religions co-exist; Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan have some neighbours down the beach who live in makeshift shacks. Though some of the richest people of India live in Bandra, it doesn’t stop the shopkeepers from selling bags, shoes and dresses worth only a couple of hundreds.

Apart from my own observations, I read lots of literature available on the internet which swear by the charm of Bandra. They sold Bandra to me!

Path Taken

The Bandra railway station and bus station are adjacent to each other. We boarded off the bus, turned on Google Maps and set Bandra Station the source and Chapel Road the destination.

We followed Lord Google, left the broad street and entered an alley. As we moved forward the alley became thinner and bifurcated several times. We were in a Muslim neighbourhood. The houses were humble, old and it reminded me of my hometown. Since it was a sweltering afternoon not many were out on the road but still the hustle and bustle was noteworthy.

Bandra- Mumbai - The Azure Sky Follows- cat

“Guys let me sleep”

I don’t remember how many times we took left and right turns, but I remember the sudden change in the nature of the alley. There, in front of each house was a cross of Jesus. I have never been in a neighbourhood like this before. I felt a ‘Goa Goa’ feeling going on inside me!

Bandra - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 1- Neighbourhood Mumbai

Chapel Road Neighbourhood

Discoveries In The Chapel Road

The Christian neighbourhood was completely sleepy. The lane was almost deserted with an occasional passerby once in five minutes, but we saw in the balconies and the windows of those humble old houses sat grandmothers and grandfathers.

The grannies and granddads were not alone. They were given company by actress Bina Rai and actor Pradeep Kumar of  Bollywood movie Anarkali (1953).

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 1- Anarkali Bollywood Mumbai

Anarkali Mural

I wonder how many times has this house been photographed. The older it gets the better it becomes.

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 10- Anarkali Bollywood Mumbai

Mural Of Late Bollywood Actress Bina Rai

We all have 2 eyes right? Apart from the Hindu Gods and Goddesses I don’t know of any other creature who flaunts of the ‘eye of insights’ so openly!

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 2- Mumbai

Is This Supposed To Be An Advertisement?

But now the Hindu deity Lord Shiva will know where to go in case his third eye troubles him.

Who will not want to walk in these shops when the shutters are so inviting? The next time we visit Bandra we will make sure to grab a bite here!

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 9- Mumbai

Let Me Know If You Know Him

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 7- Mumbai

Interesting Pizza Shop At Chapel Road

I don’t know where but I have seen this weirdo figure somewhere! De-focus on the bizarre graffiti for a while and concentrate on the top left corner of the photo. Do you notice those plants hanging from the Carlsberg beer cans?

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 6- Mumbai

Yaay! V For Victory

So the next time you get yourself a beer you know what to do with the can!

We don’t know who he is, just found him on the walls of a house. If you know him, please comment in the post below and increase my knowledge!

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 5- Mumbai

Looks like residents of the Chapel Road are indeed quite fond of elephants. I don’t blame them; I find elephants both strong and cute.

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 11- Elephants Mumbai

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 8- Elephant MumbaiBandra- Mumbai- Chapel Road

Enroute To Bandstand

The cobble stoned Chapel Road finally came to an end and after a few twists and turns we ended up on the branching road to Bandstand. Walking downhill will lead to the sea and walking uphill will take one to the Mount Mary’s Basilica.We found some artsy staircases at this point.

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 13- MumbaiBandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 14- Mumbai

We were so surprised when a little way downhill we met Mr. Amitabh Bachhan.

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 15- Amitabh Bachhan Bollywood Mumbai

Mural Of The Big B

After a brief interaction with him, we bid farewell to him and paced down towards the Arabian Sea, which was already visible now. As we kept on walking, a vehicle honked its horn. I got scared and turned around to save myself from any possible accident which may force me to enlist my blog under ‘wheelchair travel’ niche.

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 18- Neighbourhood Mumbai

Neighbourhood At The Bandstand Promenade

Well, on turning around I found Rajesh Khanna staring at me!

Bandra Murals- Wall Art- Graphitti - The Azure Sky Follows- Tania Mukherjee 17- Rajesh Khanna Bollywood Mumbai

Mural Of Late Bollywood Actor Rajesh Khanna

We hope to return in this place very soon as we believe there may be more of such murals waiting for us to get discovered!

Do you live in Chapel Road Bandra? Do you happen to know someone who lives in Chapel Road? Get in touch with us we would love to know more about your neighbourhood! 

*****

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67 thoughts on “The Murals Of Bandra

  1. anupriyabasu123 says:

    Wow! That’s such a nice discovery. I personally love Bombay, but have never seen these murals in Bandra. When I visited, I loved walking around in Juhu & Bandra. Those streets sure have an old-world charm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tania Mukherjee says:

      Hi Anupriya! Any chance you from Kolkata or it’s suburbs? I love cobbled stoned streets but they are so rare to find in Kolkata! But in Mumbai it’s everywhere! 🙂 I love it and the old world charm associated with it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • anupriyabasu123 says:

        Hey Tania, I am a bong so we frequently visited Kolkata when I was a kid. I love both Kolkata and Mumbai! I don’t remember cobblestone streets in those cities but I distinctly adore the old world charm. Since I am a fan of cobblestone, I would try to find those on my next visit.. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. luxurycolumnist says:

    Those murals are fabulous, I love the one with the 3 eyes! And I agree that it is possible to be happy and sad at the same time – I’m happy to travel but sad to think of someone ill in my family who can no longer do so

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bhusha says:

    Wow! That’s so beautiful! Mumbai was the first city that I moved to, soon after finishing college! Indeed a city of dreams! I managed to roam about a bit in Andheri, Borivali regions and didn’t venture to Bandra or VT areas much. Guess I totally missed seeing all these gorgeous murals! Absolutely stunning indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. yukti says:

    Wow! After living in Mumbai i was totally unware of this beautiful street art. Thanks for sharing now when I go to Bandra will definitely refer ur blog n try to figure out those places

    Liked by 1 person

  5. therainbowroute says:

    I always miss my cat when I leave home too. I get so excited when I see a cat roaming about wherever we are travelling. Love the street art here – we need more of this in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Julie Cao says:

    The painting in the Chapel road is so interesting and it makes the whole neighborhood looks like a graffiti alley. It also very peaceful and completely off-the-beaten path. I am surprised that Mumbai has such a artistic neighborhood like this. And yes I know what to do with the beer cans:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. thetravelpockets says:

    O wow! So many fun murals! I especially liked the artsy staircases. I also thought the one of Rajesh Khanna staring at you was so funny 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tweeteattravel says:

    I really enjoyed this post because I really dig street art! This reminds me of some of the murals in downtown LA. Crazy how you can find some really cool murals in random places no? Cool shots!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thelittlelai: Beyond limits says:

    There will always adjustment whenever we move to a different place, but surely you’ll get to use of it and along the way, you’ll enjoy and appreciate whatever that surrounds the new place. This place is a new haven for you and I’m sure that you’ll get a new comfort from all the scenery that it has to offer. I like those street arts they’re all beautiful and pleasing to the eye.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tania Mukherjee says:

      You are right. The adjustment process takes time but it does happen! The question “How are you feeling about the change?” triggered an unending twirl of confused complicated thoughts in my head!

      Like

  10. Jing says:

    Oh wow! I so want to go to Bandra now. All the things you showed here are my little obsessions as a hobbyist photographer and traveler: 1) street art, 2) doors, 3) stairs. Numbers 2 & 3, I’ve created a series of these in my travels or even if I’m just in my neighborhood. Thanks for sharing! I’ve added this on my ever expanding list. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Only By Land says:

    The street art in the Chapel Road neighborhood is incredible and worth the visit alone. The Goa Goa moment you experienced when you saw a cross, Goa Goa is a new phrase to me! It’s amazing how much you discovered just through walking the streets, very interesting. I’m tempted to do something similar in a big city myself and see what unique things I get to photograph.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tania Mukherjee says:

      I am so happy you found Bandra’s street art incredible. Now let me explain you what’s this ‘Goa Goa’ moment! Goa is basically a beach state in India, both famous and infamous for this ambiance. The beaches are famous for hosting parties and music festivals. However, the residents of Goa are predominantly Christians, and that is rare to find in a Hindu majority country. This particular neighbourhood is a Christian one with a cross of Jesus in front of EVERY single home, so I felt somewhat like I am in Goa! 🙂

      Like

  12. travelerettenyc says:

    This seems like a fascinating place. I love taking photos of random cats, so I really enjoyed your pics of the feline friends. The street art seems very exciting too. I love seeing the Bollywood actors looking so glam!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. neha says:

    That definitely looks like the signature street art of Mumbai. What better than the bollywood faces of course !! When I happen to visit Mumbai next, will definitely go to chapel road

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ami Bhat says:

    I am so glad you shared the path you had taken cos I am gonna just hop over whenever next to see these. They are so beautiful and I never realised how many of them are there. Thanks for opening my eyes. And well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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