Friday, April 21, 2006

Mumbai names 1

Living in Mumbai, we must have always wondered the origin of names of neighborhoods that we reside in or have visited. Listed below are some of them researched from books like City of Gold by Gillian Tindall and Anchoring A City Line by Rahul Mehrotra & Sharada Dwivedi and other sources. If you love Mumbai and its history both these books are a must read. This list is incomplete and to be continued…

Mazgaon : The name was derived from

1) Maza gaon- which means my village in Marathi

2) Maccha Grama – which means a fishing village.

This was an ancient Portuguese township, which now houses the Sales Tax office, a court and the Mathapacady village, a heritage ‘quartier’ with old quaint houses struggling to survive with the huge and ugly skyscrapers in the neighborhood. Mazgaon was one of the original seven islands that Mumbai comprised of. Mazgaon is very close to Dockyard road station on the harbour line.

Umarkhadi: This name was derived from the fig trees, which must have been growing in this creek in abundance. Umbar = a fruit from the fig family and khadi = creek. This neighborhood is near Dongri.

Chinchpokli: This locality was so named after the hoards of tamarind groves that used to be here. Chinch = tamarind, Pokli = grove. This is the next station after Byculla on the central railway suburban line.

Santa Cruz: A prominent railway station on the Western railway between Khar and Vile Parle, Santa Cruz was originally known by villagers as Khulbawdi (Marathi khul = a mortar or also a yard, bawdi = well) Santa Cruz (Holy Cross) was so named by its population of Salsette East Indian Christians after a crude wooden cross they erected on a hilltop.

Ghatkopar: In Marathi literally means “ corner of a ghat’. This busy suburb of Mumbai is located on the Central line between Vidyavihar and Vikhroli stations.

Khetwadi: Literally means place of fields in Marathi. This area is located between Girgaum and Kamathipura.

Girgaum: This means a hill village. No hill remains in this congested but old and fascinating part of Mumbai.Located very close to the Charni Road station on the Western line or near Opera House.

Vile Parle: Located in the suburbs of Mumbai, this station on the Western line between Santa Cruz and Andheri derived its name possibly from a combination of the Portuguese word Vehla that means old and the Marathi word pada which means a cluster of villages.

Kandivali: This station on the Western line between Malad and Borivali is supposed to have derived its name from khand, a jag or a sharp projection of rock, perhaps part of the stone quarries located there.


Siddhartha Shome said...

Hey Abodh, Great blog !!!

Dilip D'Souza said...

Want explanations for Null Bazar, Char Null, Teen Batti, CP Tank, Pydhonie, Agripada, Tardeo ...

Bombay Addict said...

Abodh - Firstly thanks for visiting my blog. Secondly, I am lost as to which of your post to link up to my Bombay's Diaries series. For now, I'm picking up this one. More walks, pls, pls, more walks !!

Abodh said...

Dilip: All of the above are on my list and would appear on Bombay names part 2 or 3

Bombay addict : Thanks for the kind words.. Let me know when you want to go for the walks. Just call.

Differently Challenged said...

Great Blog! quite a read, though I would like to point out a mistake.
Girgaum The hill or the giri still exists; It goes by the name of Malbar Hill.
Girgaum is among the oldest organised settlement in Mumbai, and was known as the Village at the foot of the hill.

Your other nostalgic post are wonderful as well. I remember feeling bad when I heard from a bus conductor that they had turned 123 into a single decker bus