Malabar Hill and Breach Candy

At Malabar hill, the highest point in Bombay (15 m above sea level), the Silhara kings founded the Walkeshwar temple. The original structure structure was destroyed by the Portuguese and rebuilt in 1715 by Rama Kamath, a Shenvi Brahmin. The Banganga tank, attached to the temple, dates from the Silhara times, and is the oldest structure in Bombay. A rock formation at present-day Malabar Point, called the Shri Gundi was claimed to have the power to remove the sins of pilgrims, and is reputed to have been visited by Shivaji and Kanhoji Angre.

C18 At the northern foot of the Hill, in the part now called Breach Candy, was a temple to three goddesses-- Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. A creek to the north separated the island of Bombay from the Koli island of Worli. This creek was filled after the completion of the Hornby Vellard in 1784. Soon after, the modern temple of Mahalakshmi was built here.

C19 By 1860, the Walkeshwar temple, attracted a large number of people. There were 10 to 20 other temples around it and over 50 dharamshalas. Fairs were held near the temple on Kartik Purnima and Mahashivratri. The first European to build a bungalow here was Montstuart Elphinstone, during the period of his Governorship. After this, in the boom period of the 1860's and 1870's many Englishmen built houses here, and the area became the posh locality which it still remains.

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