Sunday, March 8, 2009


View-Pheonix mill which has now been converted into shopping mall called High Street Pheonix

Parel (Portuguese name: Parella) is central part of Mumbai. It is also the name of a railway station on the Mumbai Suburban Railways. Most of the mills in Mumbai used to be in this area till some years ago. Now, most of these mills have shut down.
Parel was one of the original seven islands that formed Mumbai. It belonged to the 13th century kingdom of Raja Bhimdev. The name has come from the Parali Vaijanath Mahadev temple, dedicated to Hindu god Lord Shiva.
When the Portuguese conquered Bombay, they gave the authority of this area to the Jesuit(the members of the Society of Jesus) priests, who replaced the Parali Mahadev temple with a church and a convent. They remained with the Jesuits until they were confiscated by the British, when the priests sided with the Sidis during their battle with the British in 1689 and spelt the area as Parell. In the 1770s, William Hornby, the Governor, shifted his official residence to Parel. This area then became one of the poshest areas of the city. In 1867, tanners and dealers in dry fish were relocated in this area. By the 1870s, several cotton mills had been established in the reclaimed lands in Parel (West). Gradually, Paral became very polluted. In 1883, the Governor's wife died of cholera in the Government House. Two years later the Governor's Bungalow was moved to Malabar Point. During the plague epidemics of the 1890s, the old Government House was leased to the newly founded Haffkine Institute. After the plague epidemics, mills proliferated in this area. In 1915, the Parel Bridge was built with linked the Western and Central Railway stations. It became an industrial area and in addition provided space for mill workers. With the gradual decline of the mills in the late twentieth century, this space is being recycled.
Recently Parel has seen an influx of huge enterprises in the compounds of the long gone cotton mills. Five star hotel ITC Hotel The Grand Central, Mumbai - The Luxury Collection is located in Parel. During the time cotton mills were operating in Parel are, many thousands of mill workers called Parel home. Now cotton mill jobs have long disappeared and large cotton mill real estate is being recycled into ultra-expensive gated communities. Parel has thus become an area where lower middle class and rich live side by side.
Parel also has some famous hospitals like KEM (Municipal corporation hospital), Tata (specializes in treatment of cancer) , Wadia Hospitals { one for Children and one for Women }and MGM (ESI hospital). It even has the Mumbai Veterinary College and the Bai Sakarbai Dinsha Petit Animal Hospital
Parel village also has an important monolithic staue called Baradev.This statue is A Grade I Heritage Monument protected by The Archaeological Survey of India. There is a Chandika, Vyagreshwari and Shiv Temple nearby. [The Shivlingam and some staues are stated to date back to 600 A.D.]
Moreover, the area has been crowned with 7 Star hotel of ITC Welcomgroup ( ITC Hotel The Grand Central, Mumbai - The Luxury Collection)

Back to-Mumbai Suburban Railways

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