Mount Mary Church: An Eternal Sanctuary Of Your Unwavering Faith

 In Holidays, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Places To Visit, Travel

Christianity constitutes a minority religious community in Mumbai, comprising approximately 3.27% of the total population. One such place where you can see the major population of Christians is Bandra. 

Every Bollywood buff tourist coming to Bandra for the first time is fascinated with Shah Rukh Khan’s Mannat, Salman Khan’s Galaxy Apartment, Amitabh Bachchan’s Jalsa, and the list goes on.

Well, Bandra was never this glamorous. There is a centuries-old history connected. It was a fishing village initially later conquered by many dynasties. Every old edifice in Bandra has a long history. One of the major examples is Mount Mary Church.

Mumbai Mount Mary Church Mumbai dates back to the 15th Century making it one of the oldest churches in Mumbai and is located on the hilltop which is around 80 meters from the sea level. The church was originally built as a chapel by a Jesuit priest and was later rebuilt as a church.

About Mount Mary Church Mumbai

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Just like Basilica Of Bom Jesus Goa, Mount Mary Church also known as Mount Mary Basilica is one of the oldest churches in the city. It is located at the hilltop of about 80 meters above sea level. It is a Roman Catholic Church in Bandra and it is believed that your wishes are fulfilled here. 

Don’t be surprised if you see a non-Christian come to the church, maybe not to pray but because of their inquisitiveness to find the truth and the fulfilment of their wishes.

History of Mount Mary Church

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In the 15th century Jesuit priests constructed a small chapel of Mother Mary on the hilltop. Over time it become a popular chapel among the locals. In 1700 Pirates Sunni Arabs captured the church and desecrated the statue by chopping off the right hand of Mother Mary. 

The Broken statue of Mother Mary was restored in 1761, the cathedral was rebuilt and a miniature detachable statue of Jesus was made to fill the space in the absence of the original right arm and placed there.

The Church was raided by the Marathas during the Marathas Invasion of Bassein led by Chimaji Appa in 1738, It was later rebuilt under the Maratha Rule and the statue was replaced with a statue of Our Lady of Navigators in the St Andrew’s Church nearby.

Legend has it that a Koli Chriristan fisherman dreamt of the statue floating in the sea, and as prophesied in the dream the statue was indeed found the next day, floating in the sea. A Jesuit annual letter dated 1669 and published in the book St Andrew’s Church, Bandra (1616–1966) supports this claim. 

Mount Mary Church Architecture

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Mount Mary Basilica is a combination of Gothic and Neo-Romanesque architecture. It is a two-storey building and a main entrance. The central portal above the church features an emblem inscribed with the initials “A.M.” This emblem is a representation of the Latin phrase ‘Ave Maria’, which the Angel Gabriel used to welcome Mother Mary.

The interior of the church has intricate paintings on the wall depicting the life of Mother Mary. At the centre of the sanctuary is the statue of Mother Mary holding baby Jesus. The statue is on top of the seven-storey high marble stairs. 

On the top of the shrine, there is a painting of Mother Mary holding baby Jesus and other angles. There are many quotes from the Bible written on the wall of the Mount Mary Church.

The Mary Shrine

In front of the Mount Mary Church Mumbai, Mary Shrine is erected for the devotees to light the candles. The arch-shaped building with a staircase on both sides. From the top of the Mary Shrine, you could see the beautiful Mount Mary Church.

Fun Fact

You could see Mount Mary Church in Mumbai in one of the old movies of Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Amar, Akbar, Anthony’s’ tranquillising chemistry between Anthony a.k.a. Amitabh Bachchan, and Jenny a.k.a. Parveen Babi.

Suggest Read: Film City In Mumbai: The City Made Of Film Sets And Cameras

Best Time To Visit Mount Mary Church

1. Mount Mary Festival

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Mother Mary was born on 8th September. Every year on the first Sunday after 8 September the ‘Mount Mary Festival’ also known as ‘Bandra Festival’ is celebrated for eight long days. Tourists, locals, and devotees come in huge numbers making it the best time to visit Mount Mary Church.

Mount Mary Festival is celebrated for more than 300 years. This festival is celebrated in the church premises and the carnival is hosted with games, concerts, and amusement rides.

Many stalls sell delicacies like sweets, homemade cakes and fudge, chikkis, and many other eatables. Other stalls sell candles, toys, artificial jewelry, and many other things. 

2. Christmas

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So, Christmas is another best time to visit Mount Mary Church as on this day you would see many devotees come to Mount Mary Church to pray to Mother Mary.

How To Reach Mount Mary Church

Via Rail

The nearest railway station to Mount Mary Church Mumbai is Bandra Railway Station. The Bandra Railway station is at a distance of 2.4 km from the church. You can get an auto rickshaw from Bandra Railway station. 

You can also get a bus from Bandra Bus Station which is at a distance of 250 meters. Bus number 214 will leave you till Mount Mary steps. 

Via Road

Bandra is well connected with the other parts of the city. You can book a cab or get a rickshaw to reach Mount Mary Church.

Mount Mary Church timings

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The church has two times every day. It opens from 06:00 am – 01:00 pm and then from 02:00 pm to 08:30 pm. The time may differ during the festival. 

Top Hotels Near Mount Mary Church

Although there are many top hotels near Mount Mary Church, the following are some of the curated ones 

  1. Krazy Solo Hostel
  2. Taj Land End, Mumbai
  3. WOH Hostel
  4. Happinest – The Backpacker’s Hostel
  5. Theory9

Places To Visit Near Mount Mary Church

Well, there are a lot of places to visit near Mount Mary Church. Following are some of the places for you to visit near Mount Mary Church

  1. Bandra Fort
  2. Bandra bandstand 
  3. Carter  Road
  4. Bandra Beach
  5. The Habitat
  6. Bandra Reclamation

Suggest Read: Explore The Serenity Of Marine Drive In Mumbai

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Mount Mary so famous?

Mount Mary is famous for Gothic and Neo-Romanesque architecture. It is also famous for the belief that every devotee’s wishes are fulfilled here.

Is Mount Mary a Catholic church?

Yes, Mount Mary is a Roman Catholic Church

How old is Mount Mary Bandra?

It is estimated that the church has a history from the 15th century.

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