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Ghatkopar was a quaint village in 1920’s and 30’s. It came under Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. It was not a part of Mumbai. Mumbai's limits were up to Sion only and Ghatkopar came under district Mumbai Suburban.
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 Kopara (Marathi for "Corner") of Western Ghats - Ghat-kopra.
- 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 The East Indians 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 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.
Nityanand Nagar is an area in Ghatkopar West area, all communities reside here, there are 3 Masjid ( Gausia Masjid, Noori Masjid, Ahmedi Masjid, ) 1 Baudh Vihar, South Indaian Temple of Ganesha, Mahadev Mandir, Sidha Ganesh Mandir, Sai Baba Mandir.
One of the popular places 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 13th century, philanthropist and merchant named Sheth Jagdu Shah, 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, Sagar Park, BTRA (textile research company) quarters, among others.
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).
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.
Bhatwadi is one of the most famous areas in Ghatkopar. There are famous temples which includes Shree SiddhiGanesh Mandir,Shiv Ganesh Mandir, Hanuman Mandir and Mata Mahakali Mandir. One of the Old Machi (fish) Market is also present in this location. It was once called horse shoe valley, because of the horse shoe shaped hills surrounding the area.
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 Limited is "Grenville Park," and others like "Garden Court" privately.
Located in this 13-acre (53,000 m2) property is Grentex & Co & Gokalchand Rattanchand Woollen Mills, which is a family managed firm, also privately owned by the Kapurs, namely Ravi and Rajeev Kapur, and was incorporated in 1982. Kapotex Industries has been started by Varun Kapur, son of Rajeev Kapur.
Darbar-Ul-Naqshbandiya Foundation (Monastery) in Ghatkopar (W) Chirag Nagar, Parsiwadi, S. K. Kapadiya Chawl, #12.
Little Star English High School is located at Chirag Nagar, D.S. Road, Off. L.B.S. Marg, the school is run by the Trustess of Ghatkopar Educational & Welfare Society.
Ghatkopar (East) refers to the area that is roughly bound by the Central Railway tracks on the west, the Eastern Express highway (NH3) on the east, Ghatkopar-Andheri link road to the north and MG Road to the south. Comprising mostly middle class and lower middle class residential colonies, its a relatively newer locality. This part of Ghatkopar was largely reclaimed from the marshes and salt pans belonging to the Salt Commissioner in the early 1960s. Prominent localities in Ghatkopar (East) include Pant Nagar, Garodia Nagar and Nath Pai Nagar.
Pant Nagar forms the north part of Ghatkopar (East). Most of the area was mangroves and marsh land, and was reclaimed - sometimes officially, but often on the sly illegally. It is now 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. Pant Nagar is accessible via Patel Chowk (a minute away from the Station), near a small market.
The buildings in Pant Nagar are mainly of the old socialist-style industrial workers' dwellings, probably inspired by similar mass housing structures in the erstwhile Soviet Union. There are mainly two type of buildings; the older ones are typically three storied with two wings and five residencies on each wing. Each residential unit consists of a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. The stairway in the center of the building serves both wings and leads to a common passage way for entry. The newer ones are four storied, with four residencies on each wing. These buildings are commonly called "Housing Board" buildings.
There are also Middle Income Group (MIG) and High Income Group (HIG) buildings consisting of 3 storied structures, 4 flats per floor. Each flat consists of one bedroom-hall-kitchen-balcony and two bedroom-hall-kitchen-balcony respectively. The entire area is being re-developed into Towers with lifts and car parks.
'Naidu colony', officially Maharashtra Gruha Nirman Gallich Vasti - acquired its name due to the events below. It consists of 21 buildings built as a rehabilitation scheme for slum dwellers in Dharavi, Sewri, Reay road and persons displaced due to collapse of old buildings. Naidu was a construction labourer who worked on the site during construction of these buildings. After the completion of the construction he started an illicit liquor brewery and started constructing shanties in the creek inlet below the Tata power lines. He was rumoured to be a Kalaripayyat exponent and had a ferocious reputation. He made a huge killing, leasing these shanties and subsequently selling them. In the period between 1969 to 1974 Naidu would sponsor huge Ganapati celebrations - initially at his residence in bldg. 171 and subsequently on the road between bldg. 157 and 159. The custom then was to screen popular films on the street. The announcement would be made by placing a black board with the film name and star cast at prominent locations. Naidu would label his board "Naidu Colony" and place it next to his shanty adjacent to Ambedkar Udyan circle and a few other places. The colony also had a notorious reputation and was referred to as Naidu colony due to the above events. The moniker has stuck ever since.
In 1970 construction of a High Income Group colony on the high tide flood plain in front of buildings 154-156-158 commenced by the Maharashtra Housing Board. The construction used piling technique to build the foundations. As this area formed the flood plain for high tides, it has a thick deposit of clay. This is one of the reasons that the piling took a very long time to complete. It is also one of the reasons for the dilapidated state of almost all buildings in the area, bad construction due to corruption being the other.
Yet another colony known as transit camp was constructed by the MHB on the high tide flood plain in front of buildings 168-170-172 for those displaced by collapsed buildings in other parts of Mumbai.
Adjacent to the Ambedkar Udyan is the Samaj Mandir Hall. It had two badminton courts and two TT tables. It also had football and volleyball nets. the adjacent grounds also had football goal posts. The volleyball ground was in front - presently occupied by bldg 185, now called Trishul CHS. The football posts were vandalised, nets pilfered and TT tables damaged. Badminton continued for sometime, but that too stopped eventually. The venue was used primarily as a marriage hall and as a place for religious meetings like Ganpati, Ayappa festival and cathloic Christmas, Easter and new year (prior to construction of Domnic Savio Vidyalya). The grounds were encroached upon and its present size is half of the original.
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 in Mumbai. He was the leader of the labour movement in and around Mumbai, including the Thane and Kalyan industrial belts. Ironically his labour union activism started with helping quarry workers in the stone quarries of Ghatkopar-Vikhroli. These workers were ruthlessly exploited and Dr. Datta Samant's union Kamgar Aghadi helped them win. The Mill strike too was justified as the bulk of the workers worked as temps for their entire lives and were exploited by both, the employers and the incumbent trade unions.
The Godrej Group of Industries, have manufacturing facilities and factories just a kilometer north of Pant Nagar and the Godrej Soap Factory is visible from most tall buildings in Pant Nagar.
Ghatkopar East also has a BEST Bus Depot, started in 1977. BEST staff colonies, officers' quarters and retired employees housing colonies viz. Udyan Co-op Hsg Society, Rajdoot, Laxmi Nagar, Everest Gardens C.H.S., Rajhans and Casuarina are lined up between the bus depot and the Eastern Express Highway
The southern part of Ghatkopar (East) is Garodia Nagar, a development on salt pan lands owned by the salt Commissioner and leased to Garodia family. A colony of 200-odd mostly three and four storied buildings, Garodia Nagar is now fast transforming into an upper-middle class high rise colony. Most old buildings are being "redeveloped" into seven or eight storied "towers". Earlier residents being of a largely middle class population are being replaced by affluent business communities. The growing wealth in this area is aptly demonstrated by the narrow lanes parked to the brim, with shiny new luxury cars. For a long time during the late seventies and eighties, Garodia Nagar was poorly maintained with bad roads, poor drainage, virtual lack of sewage disposal facilities and water-logging during monsoon. This was primarily due to the fact that Garodia Nagar along with several other similar "private layouts" being neglected by the civic administration . Things considerably improved with the formation of the Garodia Nagar Residents Association and the various Advanced Locality Management organizations (a quasi-civic body run mostly by residents), who worked with the elected representatives and municipal authorities to highlight the lack of civic amenities. Garodia Nagar now boasts of well surfaced roads, effective drainage and sewage disposal systems and a couple of jogging tracks in landscaped gardens.
South of Garodia Nagar is Barrister Nath Pai Nagar a middle class locality bordering Chembur. Mr. R.V. Pinto, a Deputy Establishment Officer, Central Complex at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, was the major initiator in building the first road and the first building of Nath Pai Nagar (Dev Kripa Bldg), which has a distinct tripartite architectural structure.
There are many schools in Ghatkopar (both east and west), namely Hindi High school, 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 Ashar Gujarati Shala, P. G. Garodia English High School, S.V.D.D. Eng. Med. School, Vidya Bhavan (both Marathi and English medium) managed by Pune Vidyarthi Gruha.
There is also a huge mall that has come up the LBS marg known as R-city, a huge mall with includes all the national and international brands, Some of the most known are Big Bazaar, Pantaloon, Body shop and many more. Padmini niwas is site of nala.
Ghatkopar East is predominately made up of Gujaratis, many of whom are businessmen and diamond merchants. Several Gujaratis also live in the West, along with a sizeable Muslim population. This suburb consists of predominantly residential and retail establishments. In the late 1970s, a residential are called Jagdusha Nagar was built by a Gujarati builder in Ghatkopar (W). The area now has a cosmopolitan crowd but mainly Gujaratis.
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.
Ghatkopar is in the N ward of Mumbai (previously referred to as Bombay) municipality. There are four postal codes connected to Ghatkopar. 400077 for Ghatkopar (East), 400084 [Bhatwadi] and 400086 for Ghatkopar (West), Amrut Nagar and 400075 for Pant Nagar. The post office of Ghatkopar East is in Rajawadi. The post office for Ghatkopar West is near the Railway Station.
Ghatkopar is a stop for slow local trains as well as most fast local trains on the Central line of the Mumbai suburban network. The station is equipped to handle 12-car local trains. There are 2 Ghatkopar local trains which originate from Ghatkopar in the morning. These primarily serve the stock brokers who live in Ghatkopar area.
Ghatkopar is well served and well connected by the buses operated by the state-owned BEST. Initially the bus services in Ghatkopar East were routed through M. G. Road. Later on, the buses started plying on R. B. Mehta Road, starting with Route 386. This route is now discontinued. R. B. Mehta Road was served with route number 353 which came from Tagore Nagar, ending in Wadala Bus Depot. As the roads in the new constructed areas of Garodia Nagar, were built wider, bus routes in Garodia Nagar flourished.
The BEST also connects Ghatkopar to almost each and every part of Mumbai as you get buses for South Mumbai, Western Mumbai, North East Mumbai and Northern Mumbai. Ideally it is almost a center point of Mumbai almost equidistant for all places.
BEST bus no. 340 covers the route from Ghatkopar (W) station, via Ghatkopar-Andheri link road to Sakinaka, and finally to Andheri (E) station. This bus no. has a very good frequency.
BEST bus no. 421 covers the route from Ghatkopar (W) station, via Ghatkopar-Andheri link road to Chandivali, and finally to Filterpada bus depot. This bus no. also has some buses which cover the route only from Ghatkopar (W) station to Chandivali (ICICI Bank landmark).
The suburb is well connected to all major portions of the city. The major roads in this suburb are Mahatma Gandhi Road, R.B. Mehta Marg (60 ft Road), Barrister Nath Pai Marg (90 feet Road), Tilak Road, Mumbai-Agra Road, and Amar Mahal Road. 60 feet (18 m) Road was named as Ratilal B. Mehta Road in 1970s. The land was mainly marshy, which was filled up to make way for Garodia Nagar.
Vallabh Baug Lane and M. G. Road intersection (Ghatkopar East) was one of the earlier market area. With an Uma Mahesh temple, Gandhi Market, Somaiya Book Depot, Bharti Jewellers, Ratanshi Khimji Patel, Udupi Restaurant, this area is a lively and crowded area in evenings. This intersection marks the beginning of what is called "Khao-Galli" by the locals, which means "food-lane", due to the large number of street food vendors. The open air Dosa eatery and Pooja Malai Gola are definitely the highlights. The next intersection of Tilak Road and Vallabh Baug Lane serves as a smaller market area. This intersection is famous for Achija's Pav bhaji and grilled sandwiches which is open until very late in the evening and into the wee hours of morning during weekends. After a satisfying meal people head to Trivedi's Paan Shop to have Paan. Shops nearby sell a unique soft drink called Masala Thums Up or Masala Coke, essentially cola with a dash of lime and digestive Chat Masala. A must try.
Vallabhbaug lane starting from Mahatma Gandhi Road initially terminated at 90 feet (27 m) road and was later extended to Garodia Nagar and Shanti Park. This stretch is now known as Vallabhbaug Extension.
Mumbai Metro Project
The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor of the Mumbai Metro project will be a 11.07 km long double line corridor on an elevated viaduct. The route will use Standard Gauge air-conditioned trains 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. Line 1 operations are now expected to start in March 2013.
Yoga is conducted at many places in Ghatkopar. Bhraman Samaj Wadi in Joshi Lane conducts yoga classes at 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm. Gurukul School and Balkanji Bari (near Rajawadi garden) conducts yoga classes in the morning from 6.00 AM to 7.00 AM.(all are paid - commercial classes, said institutes give the place on rentals)
There is a counselling and career guidance centre at Cama Lane, Ghatkopar west.
Laughing club is held at Rajawadi garden in the morning.
Free acupressure treatment is provided at Survoday hospital and Jalawadi center.
Crime in Ghatkopar consists primarily of petty theft, murders, robberies and crime statistics generally are on the higher end of the spectrum for the Greater Mumbai area. In recent years, Ghatkopar has been disproportionately targeted and affected by sectarian violence. Current crime statistics also show an increase in incidence of robberies and murders in this area. Ghatkopar police have been ineffective in the past years in curbing the home invasions and robberies and defense of their houses is left to citizens. Some of the policemen have been quoted to have said their resources are diverted in protecting the politicians and they do not have time to attend to the crimes in their area. Philip Pandare a gangster was ruling Ghatkopar area during the 1980s. Philip Pandare had stabbed Bada Rajan in a local train.
Four persons were killed and 32 injured when a powerful blast ripped apart a BEST bus in Ghatkopar in northern Mumbai on the night of June 29, 2003. This was the second bomb blast in Ghatkopar in eight months. On December 2, 2002, two people died and 28 were injured in another explosion on a BEST bus near Ghatkopar railway station. Mohammed Altaf was the prime accused in the December 2, 2002, bus blast. Along with him were Saquib Nachan, Haseeb Zuber Mullah, Aatif Mullah, Ghulam Sattar, Farhan Khot, Mohammed Kamil, Noor Mohammed Ansari, Anwar Ali and Nadeem Paloba—all were discharged for lack of evidence - they remain at large.
s.v.d.d is one of the best known educational bodies recognised in the suburb of Ghatkopar. Garodia International School, situated in East, offers internationally renowned qualifications that are recognised by educational institutions and organisations across the globe. Apart from a wide range of schools and college mentioned below, there are several coaching classes that contributed towards educating the residents of Ghatkopar. The other nerve point of private education was the Satyam shopping center on M. G. Road, which in the 90s was known for computer education institutes such as NIIT, Boston's computer education, Indo German institute and SSI amongst others.
Apart from this there are a number of schools in Ghatkopar in Marathi/Gujrati/Hindi/Urdu medium:
- Anjuman Khairul Islam Urdu High School
- North Bombay Welfare Soc. High School
- Domnic SavioVidyalaya
- Anjuman Urdu school
- G.S.P. Mandal's Marathi Vidyalaya
- Guru Nanak English High School
- Hindi High School
- Hindu Bal Vidya Mandir
- K.V.K. Sarvajanik High School
- Little Star English High School
- P.G. Garodia High School
- P.R. High School of Commerce
- R.N. Gandhi English High School
- Ramji Assar Vidyaiaya High School
- S.P.R. Jain Kanya Shala
- S.S. Multi Purpose Technical High School
- Saraswati Vidya Mandir
- Sarvodaya Vidyalaya (No 1 & 2)
- Sheth Dhanji Devshi Rashtriya Shala
- Shi. Chhatrapati Shivaji High School
- Smt. M.D. Bhatia High School
- Smt. S. T. Mehta English Girls Secondary School
- V.C. High School
- Vanita Vikas Mandal High School
- Vidya Bhavan,# Virchand Dhanji Devsi Rashtriya Shala
- Saraswati Vidya Niketan
- t.d Maneklal mehta mun.school
- "Metro first line hinges on Andheri bridge". Times of India, 11 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
- "Mumbai's first metro may chug in 2013". DNA India, 6 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-08.
- GICL, retrieved 5 August 2011