Mount Mary Church

Weather :

Timings : 6:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Mount Mary Church, Mumbai Overview

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, commonly called as the Mount Mary Church by the locals, is a Roman Catholic Church situated atop a hillock 262 feet above sea level and is one of the finest specimens of its kind. Located in the suburbs of the vibrant city of Mumbai, the church enjoys a stunning view of the joyfully bustling Arabian Sea as it beautifully reflects different shades of blue.

Standing tall for centuries, the Mount Mary Church is visited by people of all faiths to attain some peace and tranquillity. The road that leads to the church is flanked by small shops that sell flowers, candles and other offerings of worship. However, the most unusual offerings are the wax figurines that are sold outside the church. People appeal to Mother Mary by offering her a wax figurine of what they desire- a house, a car, etc. The basilica is a truly grand, yet humble edifice made from nothing but stone.

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Mount Mary Church Mass Timings

Monday through Friday:
6:00 AM 
7:15 AM
6:00 PM (Holy Hour - Only on First Friday)
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM (Devotees are allowed to visit and pray at the Basilica)
2:00 PM - 8:30 PM (Devotees are allowed to visit and pray at the Basilica)

Saturdays:
6:00 AM
7:15 AM
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM (Devotees are allowed to visit and pray at the Basilica)
2:00 PM - 8:30 PM (Devotees are allowed to visit and pray at the Basilica)

Sundays:
6:30 AM
7:30 AM
8:30 AM
9:30 AM
10:30 AM - 8:30 PM (Devotees are allowed to visit and pray at the Basilica)
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM (Prayers for those with special needs at the Basilica)

Mount Mary Church Bandra Fair

The feast of Our Lady of the Mount is celebrated on 8th September and is called 'The Bandra Fair'. It is also called the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Without Mary, the world would not have been introduced to Jesus, the saviour of the world. Therefore, devotees throng to the basilica on this day to pay homage to the great mother. A shamiana is erected where the devotees celebrate Mass and then enter the basilica to offer their blessings to Mary.

The Bandra Fair is an eight-day long celebration or 'octave'. This eight-day celebration is preceded by a nine-day' novena' of prayers dedicated to Mary making it a 17 day long affair! Various stalls are set up of black grams, sweets, the famous sugar coated 'Kadio Badios', etc. There are Ferris wheels and games for everyone to enjoy and fun-filled activities to indulge in. Fancy bullock carts pull up to the church every morning and the devotees are welcomes will tea stalls, snack stands, etc. on either side of the approach road. It is an event people come to witness and enjoy from all over the city.

Architecture of Mount Mary Church

The imposing fa├žade of the basilica is almost 68 feet broad, and its foundations are deep-rooted inside rocks and supported by strong buttresses. It is a beautiful semi-gothic structure that is a result of stunning architecture and excellent craftsmanship. The bottom floor, with the main entrance, has a vast, imposing door and beautiful windows on either side. Two gothic stone arches add to the basilica's beauty as they crown the main door to protect its wooden panels from the rains. These domes are surrounded by elegant stone columns made of pure Malad stone. The arch above the central portal has the emblem of the Basilica, 'A.M.', the initials of the famous greeting of Angel Gabriel to Mother Mary- 'Ave Maria'. These letters have been mounted on a crown and surrounded by two lilies on either side.

Legend of Mount Mary Church

In the 1700s, Bandra was invaded by a pirate army of the Muscat Arabs. They were looking for treasures and hoped to find them in the shrine. Much to their disappointment, when they started ransacking the shrine, they realised there was no treasure there. Down and desperate, they chopped off the right forearm of Mary's statue, thinking it was made of gold. Frustrated at the futile effort, they decided to set fire to the church and burn the whole place down. Just as they finalized on this thought and prepared to execute it, a huge swarm of bees entered the church and attacked them! They were writhing in pain from the brutal stings. That is when they realized that it was a consequence of their evil thoughts, and were compelled to leave the church empty handed- with no treasure and no ill minded thoughts either.

To protect the devotees from disappointment, the damaged statue was stored in the lumber room and replaced with a statue of Our Lady of Navigators from the side altar of St. Andrew's Church. This statue has an interesting story behind its discovery.

A Koli fisherman once dreamt that he would find a statue of the mother in the sea, and to his surprise, he found the statue the very next day! A Jesuit Annual Letter that dated back to 1669 supported that the statue had in fact been floating in the sea between 1700 and 1760. In 1761, the church was rebuilt. The broken statue of Our Lady of the Mount was fixed by moulding in a detachable statue of a child Jesus, the one that we see and worship now.

How To Reach Mount Mary Church

Bandra Railway Station is a very popular railway station with trains literally coming in every minute. The well-connected railway network of the city is a boon to the devotees that wish to seek the blessings of Mary at this church. The Bandra Station has a bus right outside that plies to and from the church frequently during the day. The nearest bus stop to Mount Mary Church is the Mount Mary Steps and is barely 2-minute walk from it.

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