Monday, 14 August 2017

Mt. Mary’s Basilica, Mumbai, a historical old church

Mount Mary’s Basilica. Bandara, Mumbai. Culture Trip
Mount Mary Church: Bandara, Mumbai. TripAdvisor
Since Bombay happened to be a huge presidency during the British rule and  home to a large community of Europeans, numerous churches came up in Bombay (Mumbai) and other cities like Pune to take care of their spiritual needs like Sunday mass , Baptism, etc. Architecturally, these places of worship are impressive and take right us back to the heyday of the colonial rule. 

Mount Mary’s Basilica  atop a hillock (
about 80 metres above sea level) overlooking the Arabian Sea, near the Taj Lands End hotel in Bandra West is a popular and historical Roman basilica. Believed to be first around 1570, the structure was rebuilt in 1640 and then again in 1760. Earlier, the church was destroyed in 1738 during a raid by the Marathas.The present church was designed by one Shapoorjee Chandabhoy in 1904, an architect of repute then. The new structure which is more than 100 years has a beautiful statue of Mother Mary which is said to have been brought to India by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Jesuit priests from Portugal brought the statue to the current location and constructed a chapel. In 1700 Arab pirates mistook the gilt-lined object held in the hand for gold and disfigured the statue by cutting off the right hand.  When in 1760, the church was rebuilt and the statue was replaced with a statue of Our Lady of Navigators in St. Andrew's church nearby. 

Mount Mary’s Basilica.www.mountmarybasilicabandra.in

There is an interesting legend behind the statue. Once a local Koli fisherman  had a dream in which he saw the statue floating in the sea. As dreamed by him, following day, he saw the statue floating in the sea, somewhre between the period between 1700 and 1760. This claim is confirmed by a  Jesuit Annual Letter dated  1669 and published in the book St. Andrew's Church, Bandra (1616–1966) . The Koli Fishermen call the statue  Mot Mauli, literally meaning The Pearl Mother. The old statue is also repaired and restored here. Both christian and Hindu koli fishermen visit this church. 

Mount Mary’s Basilica Mumbai. MouthShut.com

The feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary is held with great devotion here on the first Sunday after 8 September, the birthday of the Virgin Mary. The feast is followed by a week-long celebration known locally as the Bandra Fair and is visited by thousands of people. Drawn by the  miraculous powers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, people in thousands - both sick and  with incurable disease  visit this venerated place to be blessed by Mother Mary.  The statue of Mother Mary  is outside the Church, Bandra.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_Our_Lady_of_the_Mount,_Bandra