“Between the heart of South Mumbai’s famous markets are some age old lanes called Gulli in local language, surrounded by small gaonthans referred as ‘Wadi’. Some of the famous once still can be seen here are Fanas wadi, Amba Wadi, Khet Wadi etc and so is our topic’s current attraction Khotachi Wadi (Gaothan area)’. All this wadi’s are located very near to each other basically inside and around Girgaon locations connecting Grant Road and Charni Road station in east. Reasons this little cottages and villages of then called ‘Bombay’ were named, possibly some random thought or really such farming activities were around that gave names to those. In Hindi and Marathi languages Fanas means ‘Jack Fruit’, Amba means ‘Mango’ and Khet in the word Khetwadi means ‘Farms’, and so is the name ‘Khotachi Wadi’ reflects the name Khot on whose reference the name goes..”
Its early 16th and Late 17th century, the time when Portuguese came, A location called Girgaon (Also Pronounced ‘Girgaum’ which has the famous Chowpatty) located at now the ‘Charni Road‘ station in South Mumbai is where the heritage listed Khotachi Wadi a famous little Gaonthan village is located attracting thousands of tourists around the world who visits this commercial capital city called Mumbai.
Historically only 11 Portuguese family resided here, with time in 18th century the foundation of this little village (Wadi) started with about 65 homes major acquired by Christian community people who were welcomed and were migrants to Mumbai.
A Khot called Pathare prabhu named this locality as ‘Khotachi Wadi’ on his referred name, which is also pronounced as ‘Kotachiwadi’ sometimes. Pathare prabhu,was a person from Hindu brahmin family, one of the few who accepted and acknowledged education (English) given by the ruling Britishers and his family was among few who removed those Orthodox cultural activities related to women like widows cannot re-marry, no women education etc, in and around city.
The foundation and influence of the person attracted about 1,20,000 Christian inhabitants towards south Mumbai from Goa, who then resided in Khotachi wadi and few still staying. The village which had about 65 ancient heritage mansions with a unique architecture, lanes and old chawls now has just 28 of such beautiful homes as with the fast growing real estate in city, most of them were re-developed and acquired by builders and now has sky touching towers with people peeping the remaining structures of khotachi wadi from top.
- Dias House (35) : Has a beautiful styled wooden balcony. Look at those little fence and entry gate which is hardly seen now.
- Mendes House (32C) : Again a beautiful wooden carving with wooden ladders that goes up till the balcony which has a nice square space for seating and enjoying the nature around.
- Ferreira House (47G) : A unique duplex looking bungalow of Khotachi wadi with a long balcony and trees around. Watch those little windows and the height of those mansions which uses ‘kavla’ system shades on top (A shade used to cover the homes made of brick material but in different style and shape). It helps a good ventilation from top and cool atmosphere in summer seasons, still protects from heavy rains.
- Chaudhary House (22) : Look at those huge Iron rods, Forget it you will get to install such things now. Beauty of this bungalow is the stone walls near entrance, Still tough and thick that can go for more decades ahead as compare to the foundations of latest buildings in Mumbai.
- Dandekar House (27F) : What a unique window that opens wide and you step on a little iron balcony, Its different.
Similarly every other home inside this wadi has a unique feature and looks of itself.
- Khotachi wadi also has some unique old chawls, a group of horizontally connected homes on a duplex and more levelled old structure. One should see ‘Khanderao Chawl’ which has a small temple below, Again a kavla system chawl with iron rod support inside and outside at balcony wide open to every member to sit, gossip and walk after meal. Common toilets that makes them feel like one big family as usually as shared they meet each other cacually at such moments. Almost every person knows about happenings in each other homes in such chawls. One of the point here is that still the rents which goes here is between Rs.50 to 100 only sue to the rent act.
- Another chawal to visit is Khusboo chawl at plot number 29, this structure is more then a 100 to 120 year old chawl of Khotachi village which was previously called Nageshwar chawl.
- Two more chawls to visit is Havabai building at B/47 and Singharuda niwas at house number 14G which was built in 1850 around.
- Another yearly attraction is the Wadi festival, taken care by The Khotachiwadi Welfare and Heritage Trust which started in 2004, the aim of this festival is to be together and helps save, preserve and promote this heritage village and attract more local and foreign tourists to improve its commercial value and let know about the old Bombay. Multiple food courts and Standalone stalls are arranged during festival at various location inside village like at club compound, Don Augiar’s House, Chaudhari Compound and other places like entrance of wadi etc. This is a fun time moment for people inside and it boost their moral and strengthens to be together as one family inside Mumbai.
List Of Bungalows inside Khotachi Wadi
- 35/Dias House
- 32C/Mendes House
- 47G/Ferreira House
- 47A/Crasto House
- 47/Shah House
- 58/Fernandes House
- 62/Gandhi House
- 29C/Chaudhary Building
- 27A/Edwankar House
- 22/Chaudhary House
- 47C/Alvares House
- 27B/Neroy House
- 27F/Dandekar House
- 53/Caesar Mansion
- 27C/Sitlani House
- 27/Baptista House
- 44/D’Lima House
- 57/Felizardo House
- 30C/Naik House
- 30D/Mayenkar House
- 27G/Shailindra House
- 27D/Misquittas House
How To Reach
Exact Location : Girgaon, Charni Road Station (East).
By Road : Drive down to South Mumbai in western railway route, Once reach Charni Road station in east ask for Khotachi wadi entrance and you are their. If you are first timer visiting this place then it is highly recommended to take a taxi if around that location.
By Train : As said, Charni Road station is the nearest station, get down in East and take a taxi. You will reach in less then 5 minutes. You also can walk and can reach in 10 minutes. Below is the map.
Christmas Decoration Video
A must watch video of Christmas decoration at Khotachi, which is also a speciality of this area. The excited catholic residents, the decor, the old style architects, the tiny lanes of gaothans and that feel of being in Mumbai to enjoy this video, Just that be at correct time and thats Christmas. Lets watch this 5 minutes clip.