With its roots embedded in history & culture, Bandra's Ranwar Village chronicles visual stories!

With its roots embedded in history & culture, Bandra's Ranwar Village chronicles visual stories!

While walking down the narrow lanes, you'll find unexpected surprises at every corner.

Mumbai is known as the home of Bollywood - the world's most prolific movie industry, churning out almost 20 odd flicks a week. And one area in Mumbai, that truly pays homage to the glorious Bollywood film industry, is Bandra’s Ranwar Village.

A symphony of a heritage bailiwick, spiced up with a good deal of contemporary street art, awaits you at this village. When here, you'll find yourself making your way through narrow streets, housing heritage buildings, quaint houses and erstwhile bungalows, that sing the tales of 'Vandre'. Perfect for a photo walk, lets dig into the history of Ranwar Village in Bandra.

A hidden gem with decades-old history & culture

The Britishers did manage to wrestle 'Bombay' out of Portuguese rule in 1661, however, they failed to obtain entire control of Ranwar, one of the 24 villages dotting Bandra. With time, the Brits did take over but by then, the Portuguese had left significant imprints upon Bandra‘s legacy, through a combination of Catholic surnames, cathedrals and food.

Ranwar Village dates back to 1716, and many of the buildings here are least 100 years old. They carry a typical Indo-Portuguese-Anglo architecture, supporting large wooden porches, spiralling staircases and gabled roofs, alongside a dash of vitality.  

Further, in 2012, an urban art project that stands as an ode to popular Hindi cinemas, was planned and executed here at Ranwar. The Bollywood Art Project, led by artist and graphic designer Ranjit Dahiya, drew a colourful trajectory of Bollywood's history, which stands as a colossal, picturesque tribute today.

In conversation with Knocksense, Erik a resident of Ranwar Village and the owner of a local motorcycle garage, said, “My forefathers came from Mangalore to Mumbai about 130 years back, in search of better opportunities. Since then, we have been residing here. Ranwar looked so different back then and now, it is unrecognisable - in a good way."

He further added that the village is home to nearly 2000 families of which, approximately 55 are Hindu, 10 are Muslims and the rest are all Catholics. Ranwar's narrow streets and close-knit neighbourhood makes up a great community setting tucked away in the midst of buzzing Bandra.

One of the most popular week-long festival celebrated here annually is Mount Mary Fair, in which a girl representing Lady of Mount, walks around the whole village. The festivities start on the first Sunday after September 8 at the Mount Mary Church, Bandra. Interesting, this Bandra Fair is estimated to be around 300 years old.

Knock Knock

Of course, after all that walking and capturing, if you need to plonk your bottoms, head over to the popular Subko Specialty Coffee Roasters on Chapel Road. For more food and coffee, there’s always the tiny BooJee Cafe and also the beautiful Birdsong Organic Cafe, seated nearby on Waroda Road.

With a range of artisanal sandwiches, coffee, and on-tap kombucha, Veronica’s is another trending breakfast spot in Bandra. Delightfully quirky and colourful in its appearance, the cafe resides inside the erstwhile St Jude Bakery, located on Veronica Street. When here, the eye-catching murals will captivate you at first sight - so keep your cameras ready people!

PS: Just keep a look out for speeding motorbikers, who are not yet in the habit of braking or slowing down, for art lovers in the alleys. 

Where: Ranwar Village, Bandra West, near Hill Road, Mumbai

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