I have been staying in Mumbai for last 20 years and have heard the name Malabar Hill hundreds of time. But, surprisingly, I had never passed through the place while travelling to school, college, office or any other address in the city. Not because, I didn’t want to. But it just never happened. Actually, you cannot pass through the place. You have to consciously go there. The reason being – the exclusivity of the place. Malabar hill does not fall as a pass through location while travelling from one place to another in the city. Its situated very much as an isolated and exclusive upmarket of the city. Probably, due to this very nature of the place, its home to some of the VVIPs of the country. Well, its partly correct. Partly because, the place also has something more to offer – scenic beauty, cool breeze, wonderful gardens and eminent temples.
History of the Place
The Sailors from Konkan region used to visit this place to offer pilgramage at the Walkeshwar Temple and the Banganga Tank. They were wrongly identified as Pirates from Malabar. This gave their landing point its name ‘Malabar Point’ and this hill became known as the Malabar Hill.
The area was just another locality in the city till 1819. However, In 1819 and 1827, the then Governor of Mumbai went ahead to built his bungalow and this place just transformed after that as a posh locality, with no looking back.
Route to Malabar Hill
It was quite a different kind of experience moving up the hill with the amazing zig-zag paths. A nice change from the ordinary drives in the city. En route, there were some very important places, which we will discuss later in the post.
The Amazing View from Top
As soon as I reached the top, the view was spectacular. It is after reaching at the elevation, do you realize that the place is actually a hill. It offers a clear view of the Chowpatty and the Marine Drive. The tall skyscrapers in the background with the beaches and sea in front makes up for a superb scenic view. One really need to see it to experience the breathtaking view.
Prominent Residential Places in Malabar Hill
This place needs no mentioning of the kind of richness it boasts of. With India’s Wealthiest man to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra residing here, this place is really something to take a look at. Even the Prime Minister of India, during his visit to mumbai, stays in the area during that time.
Mukesh Ambani stays at ‘Antilla‘, located at Altamount Road, located a few blocks from Malabar Hill. Its priced at $USD 1 Billion, to be the worlds most costliest private home in the world.
The current CM of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis stays here at his official residence called ‘Varsha‘.
The State Government Guest House ‘Sahyadri‘ is also located near this place on Walkeshwar Road, where the VVIPs of the country stays during their trip to Mumbai. The list of VVIP’s also include the Prime Minister of the Country.
Apart from the dignitaries mentioned above, there are many more VVIPs staying in the locality which also includes notable people from the business arena and the mumbai’s own bollywood.
Nearby Places of Interest
1. Hanging Garden and Kamla Nehru park
Hanging Garden is a plush green garden atop a hill. Its perfect to relax and breathe some fresh air.
The famous Shoe House from the old days of Mumbai still lies here in the Kamla Nehru park opposite to hanging Garden. It was very refreshing to see it again after so many years. Kamla Nehru park is named after the wife of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru – Kamla Nehru. Kamla nehru park is a place mainly for small kids.
2. Banganga Tank
According to local legend, it sprang forth when Lord Rama, the exiled hero of the epic Ramayana, stopped at the spot in search of his kidnapped wife Sita.
As the legend goes, overcome with fatigue and thirst, Rama asked his brother Lakshmana to bring him some water. Laxman instantly shot an arrow into the ground, and water gushed forth from the ground, creating a tributary of the Ganges, which flows over a thousand miles away, hence its name, Banganga, the Ganga created on a baan (arrow).
3. Walkeshwar Temple
Hindu god, Rama paused at that spot on his way from Ayodhya to Lanka in pursuit of the demon king, Ravana who had kidnapped his wife, Sita. Then Lord Rama was advised to worship Shiva lingam and he is said to have constructed the original linga of sand, after getting tired of waiting for his brother, Lakshman to bring an idol. The name is etymologically derived from the Sanskrit word for an idol made of sand — Valuka Iswar, an Avatar of Shiva.
How to Reach Malabar Hill ?
Located in South Mumbai, the place is easily accessible from Charni Road station ( 4.5 kms) on the western line by train.
Those drving from south Mumbai can take the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road and then the Walkeshwar Road.
Those coming from north side can use the Nepeansea Road