Sunday, March 8, 2009


Ghatkopar is a suburb of eastern Mumbai . It is serviced by Central Railway(Main Line) of the Mumbai Suburban Railways.
Ghatkopar was a quaint village in 1920’s and 30’s. It came under Muncipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. It was not a part of Mumbai. Mumbai's limits were up to Sion only and Ghatkopar came under district Thane.
Like all small community centres, Ghatkopar also had just one principal road connecting it to Mumbai on the Southside and Thane in the north i.e; Agra road. It was surrounded by creeks and hills.
There are two popularly known theories for the name Ghatkopar:
It derived its name from the fact that it was the Khopara (Marathi for "Corner") of Western Ghats - Ghat-khopra.
It derived its name from the fact that there were many Ghats (Marathi for "Small Hills"), small river near the Eastern Express Highway where a lot of salt pans were there near Ghatkopar, so when people use to direct the way to reach these places they use to call it "Ghat ke oopar ("Above the Hill").
Another less popular theory is "Ghatoba-ke-par".
Ghatkopar was inhabited mainly by two types of people. Those who came from proper Mumbai in need of good and healthy climatic conditions of the sanatoriums and those rich Bhatias, Parsees, and very few Gujrati Traders who owned large plots of land and bungalows here. Population was sparse and everyone knew each other. It was a close knit family. The streets were named after some of the renowned residents of the area like Navrojee lane named after Navrojee Sheth - a Parsee, Cama lane comes from Lady Cama Bai, Khot lane from people who ploughed and looked after farming activities of the place, Hingwala lane from a family that dealt in Asafoetida(It is called Hing in Marathi, Gujrati, Hindi and Urdu) business, Khokhani lane from a family of jewellers and whose descendants still reside there, Khetani chowk named after Durlabhji Keshavji Khetani a renowned industrialist and philanthropist whose descendants still live in Ghatkopar.
The streets were without electric lights, and were lit with petromax lights which was lit by a man coming in every evening to light them up in every street. Roads were metal roads raised in the middle so that the rain water could slope down into the gutters and did not accumulate on the roads. Roads were sprinkled with water by the vans of municipality twice in the mornings and evenings.
By 1916, Ghatkopar had developed sufficiently that a Municipal Council for Ghatkopar-Kirol was set up. The administration was in charge of a Collector with the "Suburban District". In 1945, Ghatkopar was absorbed into Greater Mumbai.
Within Ghatkopar are Ghatkopar (West) - the area of Ghatkopar west of the railway line, Ghatkopar (East) - the area of Ghatkopar east of the railway line, Garodia Nagar - a large development made by (and on land owned by) the Garodia family, Pant Nagar, and Rajawadi.
Ghatkopar (West)
The most popular place in the west is the Sarvodaya temple and the Hindu Sabha hospital, both situated close to the railway station. The hospital also houses the Hindu Sabha Library, which has a very large membership and large collection of Gujarati books and magazines.
Jagdusha Nagar is one of the prime developed location in the west. It is named after a famous philanthropist merchant of food grains who had stored food grains in his vast warehouses and opened the same for common people during drought. Around 60% of families are Jains. Famous School by name North Bombay Welfare Society's High School is also located in this area.
Another popular residential area in the west is Amrut Nagar. Situated along the northern border of Ghatkopar (with Vikroli), Amrut Nagar houses the Ghatkopar Industrial Estate, an economic zone for manufacturers of motorised spare parts, large and small mechanical instruments and other industrial goods. Popular colonies within Amrut Nagar that have existed since many years are the ONGC colony, BEST quarters, BTRA (textile research company) quarters, among others. Typical of Ghatkopar, largest community in this locality is that of Gujaratis, although many South Indian communities also reside here. It has direct access by bus to Ghatkopar Railway station (bus no. 416), Mahakali Caves/SEEPZ/MIDC in Andheri (bus no. 410), Trombay/Chembur (bus no. 380) and Vikroli station (bus no. 603)
Himalaya Society in Ghatkopar west area which falls in Asalpha, is specifically well developed residential area with local transport of the BEST route No. 429 from ghatkopar west station. Himalaya society was founded by Mr. Singh, basically from Nainital, bought this small piece of land at cheap price. He wanted Pahadis coming to Mumbai in search of work, to get settled in Himalaya society. He first built 5 buildings, A, B,C,D & E, where only pahadis were staying. Himalaya society was a pahadi colony now is called as a Gujarati colony due to increase in Bhanushali community. Himalaya society has a total of 30+ buildings consisting of different people, Gujaratis, Marathis, Pahadis, Tamils etc. Asalpha is also connected to the Ghatkopar-Andheri link road which has become one of the most busiest lanes not only during peak hours but also off peak, which connects to saki naka (Andheri) and Powai.
On the Ghatkopar-Andheri link road, just before the larger part of Asalpha, is an area called New Maneklal Estate. This is a very famous landmark in Ghatkopar (W) area. There is a new twin-building there named Silver Harmony, which also has the Bajaj showroom and Abhyudaya Bank at the front.
Sarvodaya housing society located on the Sainath Nagar Road on LBS marg is one of the oldest societies where a large south Indian communities resides contributing to the diverse nature of Ghatkopar(W).
Bhatwadi is the one of the most famous area in Ghatkopar. Most of the Bhat(Bramhins) are living in this area from very old days. Two famous temples are locating in this area. One is Ganesh Mandir and Hanuman Mandir (and Mahakali Mandir also). One of the Old Machi (fish) Market is also present in this location. Khandoba mandir on Hill is very near from this place.
Sohrab Baug, a mango orchard spread across 13 acres (53,000 m2), in the western part of Ghatkopar, was sold to the Kapur family by a Parsi agriculturalist. The Kapurs have re-developed this property with several apartment complexes – one in collaboration with Godrej Properties "Grenville Park" and others like "Garden Court" privately.
Located in this 13-acre (53,000 m2) property is Grentex & Co. which is a family managed firm, also privately owned by the Kapurs, namely Ravi and Rajeev Kapur, and was incorporated in 1982.
Darbar-Ul-Naqshbandiya Foundation (Monastery) in Ghatkopar (W) Chirag Nagar, Parsiwadi, S. K. Kapadiya Chawl, no.12.
Interestingly Narayan Nagar which is actually located in Ghatkopar (west) is equidistant from Vidyavihar and Kurla
Siddhi apartment sittuated in cama lane is one of the beautiful & small building.adding cama lane is link road for traffic from east part of city travelling to airports,andheri & lbs marg.

Pant Nagar forms the north part of Ghatkopar East, Mumbai, which is a middle class residential and commercial area. Pant Nagar neighbours with small colonial groups, like Naidu Colony, Samata Colony and Housing Board association buildings. The Thane end of Ghatkopar Station East opens in Pant Nagar. One can go to Pant Nagar through the Patel Chowk (a minute away from the Station), and from there through a market. Many of the buildings are being re-developed into fancy Steel and Glass structures. While many of the structures in Pant Nagar are of the old industrial workers dwelling (3 floors of 10 numbers of self contained 1-Room-1 kitchen with Toilet/Bathroom on each floor, sharing a common passage way for entry), these are being re-developed in to Towers with lifts and car parks.
Pant Nagar was the first place where the famous Labor Union Leader Dr. Datta Samant began his medical practice. In fact the ruins of his residence - cum - clinic remained till 2007, which has now been demolished. Dr. Datta Samant rose to become the most famous Union Leader and was, perhaps, responsible for the demise of the Textile manufacturing business from Mumbai. Those textile mills lands are now valued at billions of dollars for their owners.
The famous industrial group GODREJ is hardly a kilometre away from Pant Nagar.
Ghatkopar East also has a BEST(external link) Bus Depot, and is one of the oldest bus depots in Mumbai. BEST staff colonies, officers' quarters and retired employees housing colonies viz. Udyan Co-op Hsg Society, Rajdoot,Everest Gardens C.H.S., Rajhans and Casuarina are lined up between the bus depot and the Eastern Express Highway
The other part of Ghatkopar East is Garodia Nagar, a development on salt lands owned by the salt Commissioner and leased to Garodia family. South of Garodia Nagar is Barrister Nath Pai Nagar a middle class locality bordering Chembur.
There are many schools in Ghatkopar (both east and west), namely Shivaji Technical school & Jr. college and Municipality School (serves from 1st standard through 7th standard), Dominic Savio Vidyalaya, Fatima High School, North Mumbai High School, Gurukul High School & Jr. college, SPRJK trust girls school,M.D.Bhatia English Medium School, Ramji Assar Gujarati shala, Garodia High School, Vidya Bhavan (both Marathi and English medium) managed by Pune Vidyarthi Gruha.
This middle class suburb consists of predominantly residential and retail establishments. There is a large population of Gujaratis in Ghatkopar. Rajawadi and Pant Nagar have large Marathi speaking populations. Garodia Nagar is diverse. Areas of Ghatkopar West bordering the neighboring Vikhroli suburb have a large Muslim population.
Meghraj Restaurant marked its presence when they started next to Hindu Smashan Bhumi. The area later on developed up to Amar Mahal. The Income Tax Office came in late 1980s.
Vikrant Building was the largest building in late 70's named after navy ship Vikrant. Construction activities in Ghatkopar boomed in 1960s to 1980s. The prices of real estate went up as new buildings started coming up.
In the late 1970s another residential complex 'JAGDUSHA NAGAR' was built by a Gujrati builder in Ghatkopar (W). The area now has a cosmopolitan crowd but mainly Gujratis. It has a Co-operative bank, a newly built Mahadev Mandir and Jain Derasar. This area is connected to Ghatkopar station by BEST route 416, which takes around 10 minuted to reach Ghatkopar Railway station.
Shrimad Rajchandra Mandir was constructed after Lions Garden was opened. This temple did not have any bells hanging from the ceiling and the road is now named after the temple as Shrimad Rajchandra Marg.
R. B. Mehta Road has three banks, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and Canara Bank. Paras Dairy next to Standard Chartered Bank at intersection of Derasar Lane and R. B. Mehta Road, was a major distributor for milk.
There is a Bhajan Samaj Mandir on 90 feet (27 m) road, which started from a humble beginning and now is one of the main cultural centres for South Indians who live in and around Garodia Nagar. The Ram Navami utsav is celebrated with a rich cultural flavour. Every evening during the festival the Ramayana is recited by some of the Sanskrit scholars. The festival also provides a stage for some of the budding artists to perform in front of a big audience. The 90 feet (27 m) road also has the distinction of housing a large number of Banks. To name a few : Bank of Maharashtra, Kalyan Janata Sahakari Bank, Janakalyan Sahakari Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Rajasthan, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, Oriental Bank of Commerce, etc whereas ICICI Bank is located just near the junction of Vallabhbag Lane and 90 feet (27 m) Road.
Mumbai Metro Project
The Proposed Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor will be 11.40 km long double line on elevated viaduct with Standard Gauge (1435 mm) The entire Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route would be on `Standard Gauge' elevated rails with 12 elevated stations. It will have a carrying capacity of 60,000 persons per hour and the commuting time on the entire stretch would be 21 minutes. Today the commuting time between Versova and Ghatkopar is 70 minutes.

Back to-Mumbai Suburban Railways

No comments:

Post a Comment