“Old churches in a place surrounded by trees bring a sense of calm to the onlookers. Their long history combined with faith and spiritualism of the people who come to pray, surrounds the place with mystery. One such church in Mumbai that it visited by Christians and non-Christians alike is Mount Mary Church in Bandra. This church is more popular name of the roman Catholic church is Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount. See Inside and Outside Church Videos and more..”
In 1954 during the National Marian Congress Pope Pius X11 designated the shrine as a Monor Basilica. The Shrine was renovated and given most of its present features in 1904 as part of the golden jubilee of the Pope Pius IX;s Declaration of the Immaculate Conception in 1854. Since this church is dedicated to the Virgin Mother, a festival is conducted in September to honor Mother Mary. Its a week long affair and is popularly known as the Bandra Fair. The feast of Mount Mary is celebrated on the Sunday after 8th September, That;s the Birthday of the Mary the Mother of Jesus.
When the festival is on, the whole place is decorated with garlands and flags. When you’re there it seems like you’re at a small carnival. Goan specialities Vindaloo, Xacuti and Sorpotel and Bibinca tempt you to make the visit to the church during the festival. For kids there are toys, candy floss and lots of snacks. There’s also the Ferris-Wheel which the children love to take a ride on. Goan Sweets, roasted grams, religious objects, wax idols of Virgin Mary and various candles shaped like her hands or feet are sold. It is believed that if the ailing choose a part that corresponds to their non-functioning body part and light it, they are cured. This yearly fair is always their in Bandra’s attractions list if anyone visited in September.
Inside video of Church
Outside Location video of Church
The Church is on a hillock around 80 meters above sea level and overlooks the Arabian Sea. The Mount is said to have done miracles. You’ll find many faithful people who’ll stand by that statement. Apart from the millions who visit the church during the Yearly Bandra Fair, there are people who come to pray for thanksgiving or to even casually ask for favors of the gracious Mother.
The Current statue has a long and mysterious history of more then 100 years now. In the sixteenth century Jesuit priests from Portugal brought the statue of Our Lady to Mumbai and constructed a chapel. Arab pirates, who were interested in the object lined with gold, cut off the right hand of the statue in 1700. Local belief is that the original chapel was destroyed during a Maratha raid in the year 1738. However, in 1760 the church was rebuilt and the statue was replaced by the statue of Our Lady of Navigators in St. Andrew’s church which is nearby. There is a fascinating story linked to this statue. A koli fisherman has dream that he would find the statue in the sea. And indeed it was found floating in the water in the period from 1700 and 1760. The statue was installed in St.Andrew’s Church before being put back in Mount Mary. A Jesuit Annual Letter of 1669 published in the book St. Andrew’s church, Bandra supports this claim. The statue was re-adorned with a child in the arms and has been in use ever since.