Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Andheri is 16th down railway station from Churchgate. It is a suburb of Mumbai city and also a one of the most crowded railway stations on the Mumbai Suburban Railways, (Western line). It is the fifth suburb among the Western suburbs. Like many other suburbs and areas of Mumbai, Andheri too is divided into an East and a West section, separated by the railway line.
The oldest settlements in and around Andheri were those of the East Indians, the natives whose villages survive in Amboli, Marol, Chakala, Gundowli, Sahar, Sakinaka etc.
Another concentration of the native East Indians was located on the former islet of Varsova, also known as Vasave.
In the early 1900s, as urbanization spread from Bombay northwards, Marathi, Gujarati and other settlers began to colonize the area.
The English actively encouraged this in order to take off population pressure from the congested city and to increase revenue inflows; however, as a result, the native East Indians came to be swamped, marginalized and their lands were usually expropriated without compensation, even as their access to the sea for fishing was cut, thus destroying their two means of livelihood: agriculture & fishing.
In the 1950s, the English built the Versova Causeway between Andheri on Sashti Island and the islet of Versova. The area on both sides of this causeway were rapidly filled in to develop areas now known as Dhake Colony, D.N. Nagar, Four Bungalows, Seven Bungalows etc.
One of the earliest colonies is the Dhake Colony on Versova Road, West Andheri. The five buildings of Dhake Colony were built around 1950, and they served as a landmark until recently. The area is now known as D.N. Nagar.
Another of these early settlements is Bhardawadi. This lane forms a vital link with S.V. Road for the residents of Versova Road. It has been inhabited for the last ninety years. In the past, there were bungalows on this road; these gave way to apartment buildings, although there are still a few old bungalows, which is rare in Mumbai. This lane bustles with the sound of traffic which passes through it to reach S.V. Road.
The popular Ganesha temple, Shree Vanchasiddhi Vinayak Ganesh Mandir, created in 1926, also contributed to the settlement of Andheri.
Before 1945, Andheri was administered by a Collector as the "Suburban District"; in that year, the former Suburban District was absorbed by Mumbai city as Greater Bombay. However, the Suburban District was once again revived in about 2000 as the Mumbai Suburban District.
Andheri today has a population exceeding four million, and as per record is by far the most populous suburb of Mumbai.
Contemporary West Andheri is largely a residential area, whereas East Andheri is has a mixture of commercial and residential areas, including MIDC-SEEPZ (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation- Santacruz Electronic and Export Promotion Zone), Saki Naka (an industrial area).
The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, is in Andheri East. Many Call Centers and BPOs are located in Chakala area of Andheri.
The World Bank has many plans for the development of the largely industrial East Andheri. Work on the project of connecting Versova to Ghatkopar (a central suburb) by an elevated Metro railway line has begun by expanding the existing roads so that spaces can be created for the railway's pillars, etc. After the Metro becomes operational in about 2011, travel time will be reduced from the present 1 hour 45 minutes to about 20 minutes.
East Andheri also has pockets of attractive residential areas, with quiet, tree-lined streets, easy connectivity to the Westrn Express Highway and without the congestion and perpetual traffic jams that afflict most residential areas in suburban Mumbai.

Mahakali Caves
In Andheri East, there are ancient caves, named after the Goddess Maha Kali. They are now in ruined condition but recently they have caught the attention of the government which is working to restore them. The Mahakali Caves are a group of 19 rock-cut monuments built between 1st century BC and 6th century CE. These Buddhdist monuments comprise of a chaitya, a number of viharas and cells. All they have been carved in a solid black basalt rock. The largest cave at Mahakali (Cave 9) has seven depictions of the Buddha and figures from Buddhist mythology but all are mutilated
The Vanchasiddhi temple of Lord Ganesh has the second highest number of devotees everyday after the Siddhivinayak temple in Dadar.
Vijay Nagar, on Marol Maroshi Road Bhawani Nagar, on Marol -Maroshi Road, are the residential landmarks in Andheri (East). The Marol Maroshi Bus Depot is a major bus terminus.
Andheri's East and West areas house some of the biggest and well know mall's and software companies in the whole of Mumbai. The biggest mall of Andheri, Infinity mall in the West houses on of India's biggest FM stations BIG FM and India's largest gaming portal Zapak, which is a Reliance ADA undertaking.
Gilbert Hill

Gilbert Hill is a 200 feet (61 m) monolith column of black basalt rock in Andheri, Mumbai. The rock has a sheer vertical face and was created when molten lava was squeezed out of the earth's clefts during the Mesozoic Era about 65 million years ago. During that era, molten lava had spread around most of the Indian states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, covering an area of 50,000 square kilometres (19,305 sq mi). The volcanic eruptions were also responsible for the destruction of plant and animal life during that era.
According to experts, this rare geological phenomenon was the remnants of a ridge and had clusters of vertical columns in nearby Jogeshwari which were quarried off two decades ago. These vertical columns are similar to the Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, and the Devils Postpile National Monument in eastern California, USA. Atop the rock column, two Hindu temples, the Gaodevi and Durgamata temples, set in a small garden, are accessed by a steep staircase carved into the rock. The hill offers a panoramic view of the city of Mumbai. To get there via road, turn left at Kasimali Sakur Chowk on Swami Vivekanand Road, just before Andheri railway station and ask for directions to the temple atop Gilbert Hill which is a minute's drive away.
Hospitals at East side of Andheri Station:-
Mukund Hospital
Holy Spirit hospital
Hospitals at West side of Andheri Station:-
Cooper Hospital
Education Institutes in Andheri Station(East):-
Tolani College
Shri Chinai College
Bhavans College
Sardar Patel College of Engineering
Cosmopolitan Education Sociaty's S.C.D.Barfiwala College of Science.
Shri Chaganlal Valia College of Commerce and Arts.
MOD-TECH College of Engineering
Seed InfoTech Institute
Marol Education Academy's High School, Marol Maroshi Road.
St.John the Evangelists High School.
Saint Dominic Savio High School
Canossa High School
Holy family High School
Divine Child High School
Our Lady Of Health High School - (Sahar)
Saint Xaviers High School
IIT Mumbai CBSE School - IIT Campus School
Lady Ratanbai & Sir Mathuradas Vissanji Academy
St. Anthony`s High School [Sakinaka]
Education Institutes in Andheri Station(west):-
A.H. Bhavans high school
St. Blaises High School
Marble Arch School
Bombay Cambridge High School
Hansraj Morarji Public School
Rajhans Vidyalaya CBSE
Versova Welfare School
S C D Barfiwala High School
Gyan Kendra School
City International School
Jankidevi Public School
Ashok Academy CBSE School
Raigad Military CBSE School
Swami Muktananda High School
Dawood Baugh Andheri Muncipal School

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