See also the document on the Northern Suburbs. Net-search for Bandra

The earliest historical records of Bandra come from Jesuit priests who were given sole ownership, not only of Bandra but also of Parel, Wadala and Sion, by the Portuguese. In 1570 the Jesuits built a college and a church in Bandra. In the mid-18th century, the traveller John Fryer records that the Jesuit church, which stood near the sea shore, was still in use.

In 1733 when the Kunbi farmers migrated to this island from Bombay, because the fish manure they used was banned, they found St. Andrew's church (still extant), St. Stanislaw's Orphanage and a monastery of St. Anne. After this was destroyed in a Maratha raid in the year 1737, when the Portuguese troops were aided by the English, a slaughter house was built on the same spot.

There was also a chapel of Mt. Mary, build around 1640. Local tradition has it that this was destroyed in 1738 during a Maratha raid. The statue of the virgin was recovered from the sea by fishermen and temporarily installed in St. Andrews, before being shifted to the rebuilt Mt. Mary in 1761.

Bandra remained a village with plantations of rice and vegetables in the low-lying areas of the island until it was connected to Mahim by a causeway in 1845. Although many bungalows were built here in the boom years of the 1860's and 70's, the fashionable Pali Hill area, now full of film stars, saw the first constructions only in the 1880's.

The suburb of Bandra became one of the most fashionable suburbs already by the middle of the century. Now, further developments are envisaged with the new Bandra-Kurla Commercial Complex.

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Created on Jul 16, 1995. Last modified Nov 17, 1999.