“Amidst the heart of South Mumbai’s famous markets is Khotachiwadi, a small residential at Girgaon location near Charni Road station. Some age old lanes, locally called Gulli, surrounded by small gaonthans referred as ‘Wadi’, named upon an old resident person named ‘Khot’. A small cottage area known to have retained its heritage structures, in middle of the hustle bustle, Yet very different and old..”
The word ‘Wadi’ Resembles a cottage area / Gaonthan. Some of the famous lanes in this location has name like Fanas (Jackfruit) wadi, Amba (Mango) Wadi, Khet (Farm) Wadi etc and similarly the attraction we are talking about Khotachiwadi (Reference to a person name ‘Khot’)’. All this wadi’s are located very near to each other basically inside and around Girgaon location which is very near to railways stations like Grant Road and Charni Road. A beach called Chowpatty is very famous for this location.
Historically only 11 Portuguese family resided here, with time in 18th century, the foundation of this little village started with about 65 homes major acquired by Christians who were early migrants to Mumbai.
A Khot called ‘Pathare prabhu’ named this locality as ‘Khotachiwadi’. Pathare prabhu,was a person from Hindu Brahmin family, one of the few who accepted and acknowledged education (English) passed on by then ruling Britishers. This family was among few who removed the Orthodox cultural belief and activities related to women like widow cannot re-marry, no women education etc.
The foundation and influence of the person attracted about 1,20,000 Christian inhabitants towards south Mumbai from Goa, who then resided in Khotachiwadi and still can be seen. This small village initially had about 65 mansions with a unique architecture, lanes now is left with just 28 of such beautiful heritage structural homes. Fallen prey to the fast growing real estate in city, most of them were re-developed and acquired by builders and now has skylines from where the remains of Khotachiwadi can be seen.Attractions of Khotachiwadi
It has many reasons to list itself under heritage structure and is protested and protected by urban conservationist. Below are some beauty and unique things like narrow lanes, old deco-architecture style bungalows here which has its own speciality and attraction that a tourist gets attracted to this old Girgaon location.
- 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) : Another beautiful wooden carving with wooden ladders that goes up till the balcony which has a nice square like space for seating and enjoying the nature around.
- Ferreira House (47G) : A unique duplex like bungalow inside Khotachiwadi with a long balcony and trees surrounded. 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. also protects from heavy rains.
- Chaudhary House (22) : Those huge Iron rods, Hardly one gets to install such things now. Beauty of this bungalow is the stone walls near entrance, Still tough and thick that can go for many more decades ahead compared to the foundations of latest developed 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.
- Khotachiwadi also has some unique old chawls, which is a group of horizontally connected homes or 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 which is common to all members to sit, gossip, and an ideal walk way after meal. Common toilets that makes them feel like one big family which gives a chance for early morning smile shares and also some chit chat.
Almost every person knows about happenings in each other homes in such chawls. Rent of such chawls is still Rs.50 to Rs.100 adhering to the rent act which is benefiting old residents of Mumbai.
- Another chawl to visit here is ‘Khusboo chawl’ at plot number 29, this structure is more then a 100 to 120 year old 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 around 1850.
- A 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 help save, preserve and promote this heritage village and attract more local and foreign tourists which also improves its commercial value and let spread the flavour of 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./li>
- 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
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 Khotachiwadi 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.