Along The Coast Of Bandra In Mumbai

We walked our way up from Bandra station to its coastline instead of taking a taxi, auto or bus. The Sun was shining over the Arabian Sea in a somewhat unromantic way when we reached the shore. Without my sunglasses I couldn’t dare to look in its direction. I wasn’t particularly enjoying the little beads of sweat which accumulated on my skin. So I called it a day and lounged on a vacant seat under a shady tree. The husband forgot to bring his shades. Of course he was having a tougher time.

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Bandstand Promenade
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The Bandstand Promenade is a jogger’s paradise
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Arabian sea from the Promenade

Life on The Bandstand Promenade

Sitting under the tree in the promenade we observed our surroundings. Bandstand was taken over by romancing couples and photographers- both the overexcited amateurs like us and the calm professional ones. The moment the waves splashed against the boulders a photographer clicked the button of his camera like a maniac; his subject, a young lady dressed in a beautiful blue gown gave the best fake smile that her lips permitted, her man on his knees held her hand in a kissing gesture.

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The splashing waves and me!

At our back were houses of high-net-worth Indians. The broad street was the only divide between the mansions and the promenade.

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Residence along the Bandra coast
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Look at the birds flying above

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I learnt from Wikipedia that the promenade used to have a ‘walk of stars’ section – a tribute to the great artists that Bollywood has ever produced. An idea lent from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. However, post December 2014, this section was discontinued. I guess while removing this section they left some of its content as a memento.

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A leftover from the Bollywood walk of stars?

There are well built steps to take one down from the fancy walkway to the boulder zone. I believe these boulders become completely submerged under water during high tide. We went down the steps and walked over the rocky beach. The rocks were moist and slippery. Moss grew on most of them, the density of it increasing the closer we got to the sea.

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The steps lead down to the ocean
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Moss
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Without the right pair of shoes walking over it is risky indeed

The harsh rays of the Sun subsided and became softer as the clock ticked on. The sea breeze was enough to soothe our fatigue. We sat on the boulders and watched the rain-less clouds float by.

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The shore of the sea in Bandstand
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Arabian Sea and me
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The rising water level

The romantic couples cuddling up between the random boulders of the stony beach were given company by the locals who reside in the makeshift shacks perched atop the boulders, closer to the promenade. The boulders are where they soak their clothes and chillies alike. The kids were running about playing with their friends and chasing hens. The unevenness of the ground didn’t matter to them.

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Life along the boulders

We walked south balancing ourselves on the boulders following the shore. We wanted to see how far we could walk without the sea and the rocks throwing us off. Finally that limit was reached. I am not sure if we were more concerned about our own safety or our camera’s when we took the left turn to return back to the broad street. We ditched the steps and took the little ‘alley through the boulders’ to reach the promenade. The alley turned out to be a very busy one. The two sides were lined with huts. Men carrying goods and vegetables on their shoulders passed us. A black cat almost flew from the door of the left hut to the right one. A dog came rushing in between me and Sayan, probably he smelled the biscuits we were carrying!

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The sea from a distance

Castella de Aguada : The Bandra Fort

We crossed the plush luxury homes of the rich Indians and reached the gates of Taj – Land’s End. We took a quick picture of myself and kept on moving to reach the actual land’s end!

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In front of Taj-Land’s End

The gate of Castella de Aguada remains open to the public from 6AM-7.30PM. It clearly says drinking and eating inside the compound is not allowed; though outside the gates a bunch of street food sellers can always be found. There is no entry fee to the fort.

We had been to this fort once before but it was well past 6.45 PM then. Since that day I had yearned to return.

On our left was a cute garden maintained by the Bandra Bandstand Resident’s trust. We passed under the semi circular leafy gate of the garden and climbed up the stairs. The greenness and the ocean view almost led me to believe I am walking in the gardens of King’s Landing from the Game of Thrones. The step garden was cut into different levels connected to each other by staircases.

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The leafy gates of the community garden
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Greenery galore in the garden
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A similarity with the gardens in King’s Landing

The garden is entirely taken over by intimate couples. Our freedom of photo-taking was cut short by the entwined couples in every little corner of the garden.

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The narrow paths
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So people has to be reminded they are not supposed to jump!

The last time we came here we spent most of our time on the fort waterfront, people watching and awing at the iconic Bandra-Worli Sea Link. We stood on the rocks and saw a boy trying to net some fish. The Sun had almost set and the last light was all he had to guide him, yet, he was not afraid of getting into the water.

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The fisherman
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He finally got some catch

And then there was THE couple: the boy who brought his girlfriend to the scenic spot to woo her, and apparently did not inform her about the right shoes that would be needed to walk on the slippery rocks. Both were trying to be romantic when she fell down. Hurt, embarrassed and enraged, the girl bashed the boy real hard and we all can guess what happened next!

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Sunset at Castella de Aguada’s waterfront

People watching can be really entertaining at times!

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A photo of Bandra-Worli Sea Link from my past visit

This time we ditched the rocky beach of the fort and explored the fort instead. The Portuguese had established this fort way back in 1640 at this strategic point to keep a watch on the open sea and Mahim Bay. The Archaeological Survey of India is the present owner of the fort and the fort is taken care of by the hotel Taj – Land’s End. After all if the fort gets dilapidated people would have less incentive to stay in a hotel near it!

On the very first level of the fort we found tales of confused love of some random Ankita scribbled on its walls. Defacing heritage buildings is not romantic in any way.

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Defaming historic and heritage building counts as IRRESPONSIBLE travel

The fort offers an excellent vantage point to enjoy the view of the sea and the Bandra – Worli sea link. The stone staircases smell of the by-gone era. The walls of the fort are wide enough for people to sit over it, the taller the person the more convenient it gets. We perched ourselves up on one side of the wall and watched the world go by.

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Bandra-Worli Sea Link
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Castella de Aguada
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The Bandra-Worli Sea Link- Can I love it more?

There we saw yet again another couple busy with their pre-wedding photo shoot. The photographers were standing on the wall and photographing the couple who were down on the boulders! There was no dearth of the over-enthused selfie-takers who happily hopped on and off the walls with their gang of friends. In this crowd, we were the tamest ones.

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Sayan and Tania ❤

The water of the ocean was partially lit up by the few sunrays which penetrated through the cloud. The huge man made structure — the sea link — stood upon the water in all its glory. The tint of the sky kept changing as twilight dawned near. We saw many small boats moored to the rocks of the beach. I wondered about the watchmen who guarded the sea during the Portuguese rule from this very fort. Kings change, people change, but elements of nature don’t. A place with history is always so intriguing.

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Boats moored
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Sun and Sea
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View of Arabian sea from Castella de Aguada
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The Bridge stands in all it’s glory
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And you still ask why I love Bandra?

It was time for us to return home. We tried to capture some photo ops before leaving.

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Behind the lens : Husfriend ofcourse!
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The ‘unofficial way up to the fort’

I tried the ‘samosa-pav’ for the first time in my life and absolutely loved it. But then, how can you go wrong with a samosa, right?

While leaving the gates, on the opposite side of Taj – Lands’s End we were greeted by numerous auto and taxi drivers who were vying for our attention, hoping to take us to various locations in the city, most commonly Bandra station. We took the bus to Bandra station which took forever to reach thanks to the infamous Mumbai traffic jam!

We may once again return to Castella de Aguada; this time early in the morning just to skip the crowd and have the fort all to ourselves, to experience what the Portuguese watchmen felt like guarding the city in 1640s!

Have you been to Bandra as a tourist? Are you a local in Mumbai and Bandra happens to be your hangout point? Comment below and let me know of your good and bad experiences!

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67 thoughts on “Along The Coast Of Bandra In Mumbai

  1. Loved the photographs and your post…I am a resident of Mumbai and been to bandstand several times but seeing it from your eyes was a whole new experience .Sometimes you miss the beauty of your everyday surroundings and it takes a stranger to make to stop and actually See.
    Thank you for being that stranger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am very happy to be that stranger in your life who made you appreciate your surroundings. I used to treat Kolkata(my hometown) in a similar way, it was only when I shifted to Mumbai I understood how much I loved yet neglected my hometown while I was there!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I loved how you write about your surroundings … making the mundane magical
        I have just started writing. Check my blog sometime… hoping to get ur opinions

        Like

  2. I have been to India but I never made it to Mumbai, what a lovely place. I too would love to walk along the promenade taking it all in. I am a big fan of Wikipedia and I loved your fact about ‘walk of stars’ section – a tribute to the great artists that Bollywood has ever produced.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was in Mumbai in February and I spent a considerable time in Bandra. I ended up spending the afternoon at Taj Land’s End since it was too hot to venture outside.I did not know about Castella De Aquada though then. Would have loved to get a better shot of the Sea link.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Going through your post I feel like I have always underestimated Bandra coast and Mumbai. It actually looks neat, clean and beautiful. I will definitely visit here next time I happen to travel to Mumbai

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are you from Mumbai? Locals often end up underestimating the good things about their own city, like I did with my hometown Kolkata! Now that I am away from it I realize all those uniqueness..

      Like

  5. Bandra looks like a lovely part of the world. I haven’t been to India yet so it’s so nice to see places and images by the ocean, without all the crowds. Sunset at Castella de Aguada looked pretty magical and I could definitely see myself going for a morning run along that promenade.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bandra has always been a stop over for me – for various reasons. And it is one of the places I like going to as well. However, I never looked at it from this perspective. You have really given it a fresh look. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bandra is one of my favourite places in Mumbai. I used to spend evenings here just gazing at the sea and the sunsets. I love the many bakeries and coffee shops of Bandra. My favourite was watching Indian Ocean perform live in the open air auditorium near the sea.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice post. It has been a long time since we went there. I liked the photo of red chillies drying. I sincerely hope that we get enough sense into the people to stop defacing the heritage fort’s walls.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So interesting about the promenade “walk of stars”. I wonder why this was discontinued. It sounds like a great idea to pay tribute to great Bollywood artist. I also love all of your photos. It really captures the beauty of the coast 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bandra, bandstand, all those names come with a rush of memories. Having stayed in the vicinity for a couple of years, can relate well with your post. Have spent many an evening walking towards Bandstand, looking at waves crashing on the rocks. I am sure you loved the place.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love visiting places like this. The garden looks very beautiful, and old stone structures are so neat. Sounds like a great place for a nice walk with a relaxing ocean view!

    Like

  12. You have such a lovely and long hair. I like that you can take your husband to this place and not get a complaint. Haha! It looks romantic and pleasant. I have not been to India yet but I hope that I can visit someday.

    Like

  13. Most of my family are in Northern India so I’ve only been to Mumbai once, and didn’t have the pleasure of discovering the Bandra coastline on that visit. I love the photos you’ve taken to show the variety of scenery, and that little garden looks like a nice place to walk around too!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have never been to this side of the world but I am fascinated with the culture and variety of sites and things to see and do. This seems like a nice little place to relax and people watch and enjoy a beautiful sunset at the end of the day. A good place to get away from it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. India has long been penned on my bucket list and I can’t wait to visit it soon. Anyway,ambling around the coastal area of Bandra in Mubai is really refreshing and worth the walk. I like how detailed you are in transmitting your experience through your words. It is simply written with so much passion as I can truly feel it while reading your post. On the boulevard where you went closer to the ocean was a great encounter with a rocky and simple beach. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love a good walk by the ocean. This seawall is certainly romantic. I can see why couples go there for intimate walks. I hope the entwined couples in the garden weren’t being too intimate;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Actually they were being too intimate! 😀 Some of them brought an umbrella and the more ambitious ones brought 2 umbrellas, so basically they made a tent out of those umbrellas and the rest you can guess… 😀 😀

      Like

    1. Oh yes but she is not the only one. There were numerous other girls walking in their flipflops and fancy shoes. I bet they weren’t enjoying anything and was just interested in getting good photos of themselves in fancy dresses and shoes. This place is actually very infamous for having accidents. People do fall down and die occasionally, particularly in the rainy season.

      Like

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