- Famous For: Pilgrimage, History, Architecture, Tourism, Festival and Fair.
- Entrance Fee: The entry is free.
- Visiting Time: 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Visit Duration: Visit duration is subjective. A generic duration would be an hour approximately. If you are attending Mass, your duration would be longer.
Bandra is the queen suburb of the gorgeous city of Mumbai, lying in close vicinity to the azure Arabian waters. Bandra West is highly popular for its lifestyle, shopping, Bollywood and churches. One of the major tourist magnets in Bandra, is the Mount Mary Church also known as the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount. Every year, millions of tourists and devotees flock here to receive graces from the Lady of the Mount.
- During the month of September, the church gets overly crowded due to the festivities and celebrations. Brace yourself if you are allergic to crowds. The Mount Mary church is in full glory during September, so even if you hate crowds, that reason should not stop you from visiting this shrine in September.
- Maintain silence within the shrine.
Things to Do
- The Mount Mary church is an abode of peace and grace. For all those who trust the Virgin, offer your heartfelt prayers here.
- Wax figures of hands, eyes, etc… are sold in the church premises and one can buy those wax figures (say, you are praying to recover from a fractured arm, you could buy a wax figure shaped like the hand) and light them up while offering prayers.
- Two Masses are held every morning onweekdays and Saturdays. Four Masses are held on Sunday mornings. Every Sunday, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., prayers are held in the shrine for those with special needs.
- Admire the interiors and architecture of this holy shrine. From the locals, get to know the history and legends attached to this Marian Shrine.
Availability of Guides
This place does not essentially require a guide. To learn about the architecture and history of the church, one can interact with the church authorities and locals.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Mount Mary Church is the month of September. The eighth of September is celebrated as the birthday of Virgin Mary by Catholics around the world. The Sunday following the eight of September is celebrated as the church festival of this basilica. The entire atmosphere gets festive and the celebrations go on for seven days. This celebration, commonly known as Bandra Fair, attracts thousands of people. Several stalls are organized outside the church and people from all walks of life visit the church during this period.
How to Reach
Mumbai is well connected to all the prominent cities of India, by road, rail and air. The Chatrapati Shivaji airport connects Mumbai to cities like Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Mumbai is the hub of railway services and several trains connect Mumbai to the rest of India. After reaching Mumbai, one can take a local train to the Bandra Terminus. If you prefer travelling by bus, again the city of Mumbai is thoroughly linked by roads to other Indian cities. To reach Mount Mary Church at Bandra West, one can take a taxi, cab, car or local bus.
Interesting Facts and Trivia About Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount
- The Mount Mary Church is built on a hillock, about 260 feet above the ground.
- The church overlooks the Arabian Sea.
- The church was originally a tiny chapel built by Portuguese Jesuit priests, during the sixteenth century.
- The iconic statue in the chapel was attacked and distorted by Arab pirates in 1700 A.D. The chapel was also raided by the Marathas in the 1730s.
- The chapel was later rebuilt into a majestic church, as we see today. A statue of the Lady of Navigators, which has interesting legends attached to it, was then placed in the Mount Mary church.
- The Sanctum Sanctorum, has a marble altar with seven steps.
- Pope John Paul II visited this Basilica in 1986.
- The Mount Mary church houses a relic containing the blood of St. Pope John Paul II.
- The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount is not only thronged by devout Catholics, but it also attracts people of other faiths. This shrine is visited by Hindu leaders and several Hindus pray in this church often. Celebrities, majorly of Catholic faith are spotted here frequently.
- The area around the church has been used as a movie shooting spot.
- Linking Road
- Peter’s Church
- Andrew’s Church
- Galaxy Apartment
- Bollywood Walk of Fame
- Bandra Fort
- Bandra-Worli Sea Link
- Shree Sidhivinayak
- Masala Bay
- Hakkasan Mumbai
- Global Fusion China Gate
- National Restaurant
- Barbeque Nation
- Persian Darbar Restaurant
- Indigo Delicatessen
- Western Bakeries
Those seeking special graces and those wishing to express gratitude can take recourse to Mount Mary. Even if you’re not a Catholic, the church is sure to embrace you with its divine atmosphere and splendid architecture. When in Bandra, do not miss visiting this haven of peace.