Mount Mary Church, Bandra
Location: The Roman Catholic “Basilica Mount Mary Church” is located in Bandra of metropolitan Mumbai.
Religious significance: Being built to commemorate Virgin Mary, the significant religious occasion of Virgin Mary’s birthday is celebrated on the first Sunday that falls after 8 September. The festive account is celebrated with pomp and show there for one week every year. A grand feast is organized here in a splendid style as ‘the Bandra Fair’ where thousands of people throng to enjoy the religious significance.
Denomination: Roman Catholic
Dedication: Blessed Virgin Mary
Historical period: (100 year-old) 16th century
Year of revamping: 1760
The Basilica: Standing on a hillock, the basilica is built about 80 metres above sea level that appears gazing at the Arabian Sea. More than lakh of Devotees from all religions are welcomed here to witness the miracle of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The people from far-flung areas visit the shrine and pay their gratitude to Blessed Virgin Mary and ask wish as per their desire.
In 1738, Marathas collapsed and devastated it.
The Bandra Fair: The entire shrine appears ornamented with pretty festoons and rainbow buntings. Stalls are flooded with religious articles, roasted grams, snacks and sweets. Many more assortment accessories and wax statue of Mother Mary are kept at Kiosk for sale. Human organs’ separate structures are picked by those who visit there to get rid of their sickness. So, they choose those wax sculptures, which are corresponding to their sickness or disorder and hence, they light it in shrine while worshipping before Mother Mary.
The Statue of the Virgin Mary: The foundation of this church was laid 100-year-ago when Jesuit priests enshrined the statue of Mother Mary from Portugal after constructing achapel.
But greedy Arab invaders in 1700 chopped off the main statue’s right hand and peeled of the gilt-line object. As a result, the statue was disfigured.
But, it again brought back to life in 1760 where the new statue was erected in new shrine with a sculpture of our Lady of Navigators in St. Andrew’s church.
Legend: As the legend goes, a Koli fisherman had a dream that a statue was floating in the sea which actually was found floating somewhere between 1700 and 1760. It’s credential was printed in the book St. Andrew’s Church, Bandra in 1669 that proved this claim. The fisherman named the sculpture ‘Mot Mauli’ (means The Pearl Mother). Now, the old disfigured statue has also been placed there honouring the place. It symbolizes sync in our society.