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Kurla is a suburb of Mumbai, India. It belongs to Zone 5, Ward 'L' of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and lies immediately north of Mumbai city limits. It's railway station is one the busiest on the Mumbai suburban railway on the central and harbour railway lines of Mumbai as is the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) for out-station passenger/express trains.
The Suburb gets its name from the East Indian village of Kurla, whose name in turn originated from "Kurli", the local name for crab, as these were found in plenty in marshes in the vicinity of the village. In 1548, the village of Kurla along with six others was given by the Governor of Portuguese India to Antonio Pessoa as a reward for his military services. Kurla remained under Portuguese rule until the British occupied Salsette Island in 1774. The island was formally ceded to the East India Company in the 1782 Treaty of Salbai.
In 1805, Kurla was connected to Sion on Bombay Island by the Sion Causeway. Coorla, as it was spelt during the British Raj, was a major station on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway between Bombay and Thane, the first railway line in British India when it opened in 1853.
In 1808, Kurla, along with the villages of Mohili, Kolekalyan, Marol, Sahar, Asalphe, and Parjapur, were given by the British to a Parsi merchant of Bombay, Mr. Hormasji Bamanji Wadia in exchange for a piece of land near the Apollo pier gate in Bombay. His Son, Mr. Ardeshir Hormasji Wadia, after whom the A. H. Wadia Road was named, paid for them a yearly Quit-rent of £358 (Rs. 3587).
Kurla had two cotton mills, one of them, the Dharamsi Punjabhai being the largest cotton spinning and weaving mill in the Presidency, with 92,094 spindles and 1280 looms. The other was the Kurla Spinning and Weaving Mill . The village had a population of 9715, about half of them mill-hands, the rest – chiefly fishermen, husbandmen and salt-makers. The Holy Cross Church at Kurla, built during the Portuguese rule and rebuilt in 1848, is one of the oldest churches in Mumbai.
The Mithibai Hormasji Wadia Dispensary was built by Mr. Bamanji Hormasji Wadia in 1855, and endowed by him with £1200 (Rs. 12,000). It was in charge of an assistant surgeon, and, in 1880–81, had an attendance of 7367 out-patients. The salt pans covered an area of about 66 acres (270,000 m2) and yielded a yearly revenue of £3418 (Rs. 34,180). There was also a considerable manufacture of shell lime.
The beginning of the twentieth century saw Kurla develop as an important centre of the mill industry. In 1910, there were reported to be several mills in Kurla, engaged in the manufacturing of cotton cloth and woollen cloth in steam factories. Kurla, however, was an old textile industrial core, an outlier to the main cotton mill zone. A relatively cheaper land value and nearness to water and power mains enabled rapid industrial expansion of the suburbs and the Kurla-Ghatkopar-Vikhroli-Bhandup belt soon developed into the largest industrial zone in the suburbs of Mumbai. The Kurla Railway Car-shed was constructed in 1925 when electrification of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) Harbour line was undertaken. The first electric train in Asia that ran between CST and Coorla on February 3, 1925 was maintained at this car shed. The Salsette-Trombay Railway, also known as the Central Salsette Tramway, opened in 1928. The 13 kilometre line, a project of the Bombay Improvement Trust run by the GIPR, ran from Trombay to Andheri via Kurla and lasted only a few years.
During the late fifties and sixties, the old Kurla neighbourhood developed into an automobile industrial zone, with the erection of the Premier Automobiles main assembly plant in this area. The Dairy Development Department of the State Government, in order to cope-up with the increasing demand for milk, established a dairy at Nehru nagar, Kurla (East) in 1975.
Kurla may be divided into two parts: Kurla (East) and Kurla (West), separated by the Central Railway line. Kurla East is bordered by the suburban neighbourhoods of Chunabhatti in the south, Chembur in the East and Ghatkopar in the North. Kurla West is surrounded by Ghatkopar and Saki Naka neighbourhood of Andheri East to its North, Kalina and the Bandra Kurla Complex to its West and the Sion - Dharavi area to its south across the Mahim Creek. The Mithi River enters into Kurla's north- west corner near Sakinaka, running south along the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport boundary wall and the Bail Bazar locality, past the CST road and Taximen colony areas and empties into the Mahim Creek at the southern end of Kurla.
The entire suburb falls under Zone 5, Ward 'L' of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. Kurla (Vidhan Sabha constituency) (Number 174) is one of the 26 Vidhan Sabha constituencies located in Mumbai Suburban district. The number of electorates in 2009 was 284,951 (male 161,459, female 123,492).
Kurla displays an urban blend of residential colonies, big and small, industrial estates commercial enclaves and slums.
The earliest settlements in Kurla were in this area in the northern end of Kurla West. It consists of
- the East Indian village of Kurla, popularly known as 'Christian Village', with the adjoining predominantly Christian 'Hall Village'.
- Wadia Estate, built on the property of the A. H. Wadia charity trust, located on A.H.Wadia Marg adjoining the Mithi River and the airport.
- Bail Bazaar and Sindhi Camp (populated by mostly Sindhi's, Kanojia's and Malwanis)
- Sambhaji Chowk, Sandesh Nagar, Sayog Nagar, Kranti Nagar slums on the banks of the mithi river.
- Jarimari, Kajupada, Safed Pool areas on the Andheri Kurla road.
- Asalfa village and Narayan Nagar slums on the LBS marg towards Ghatkopar.
The area has witnessed a construction boom in the 21st century with the redevelopment of large former industrial plots. Kohinoor city and Phoenix Marketcity projects have been developed on land previously occupied by the Premier Automobiles and Mukand Engineering respectively.
The southern end of Kurla began developing with the arrival of the Cotton mills and the railway line. Some prominent localities and landmarks are:
- Jai Bhawani Chowk, Jai Shankar Chowk and Subhash Nagar on New Mill Road. 90% people in Jai shankar Chowk are from Kaikadi Samaj and work in the BMC and Air India.
- BMC colony near New Mill Road & H.P. Keluskar Road.
- LIG, MIG and HIG Colonies at Vinobha Bhave Nagar which also has a police station by that name. Bhartiya Nagar,Gaondevinagar situated on premier nalla from last forty year. Gaurishankar Nagar located near the Premier Nalla are in its vicinity. The Santa Cruz – Chembur link road alignment passes through this area.
- K. B. Bhabha Hospital with its neighbourhoods of Chhadva Nagar and Murli Milan Society.
- Kurla Bus Depot on Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg (LBS Road) with the adjoining areas of Taximen's colony, Kapadia nagar and Kismat nagar on CST road. This area enjoys close proximity to the Bandra Kurla Complex. The Penninsula Technopark stands on the site of the erstwhile Swan mills.
- Kurla Railway Station area with the "Yadav Mandai" (Fish, Meat and Vegetable market )and the "L" ward municipal offices on Station Road and Brahminwadi on "Pipe Road" that runs along the water pipe line.
- Salafi Welfare Society near Halav pool, Gol Building and Masrani Lane.
- Indira Nagar, Parigh Khadi, and Kurla Garden are slum areas situated to the south of the Kurla Court
Areas in Kurla East include:
- Nehru Nagar: The Government Dairy is located here. It has Mumbai's second biggest MSRTC bus depot.
- Shriv Shrusti: A residential colony near the bus depot
- Railway Colony: A residential colony near Lokmanya Tilak Terminus
- Kamgar Nagar: A residential area with row houses (now developed as bungalows)
- Hilphi House (House of a Portuguese Builder)
- Quresh Nagar : A residential area (slum)
Kurla is accessible from all parts of Mumbai by road and rail due to its central location.
The Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg (Formerly known as Old Agra Road) is the arterial road for Kurla West. The Road begins at the southern end of Salsette Island, passing through Kurla and continuing up north into Ghatkopar towards Thane. The Andheri – Kurla road links Kurla with Andheri via Saki Naka, while CST road leads to Santacruz. The Santa Cruz – Chembur link road which is under construction will bridge the east and west sides of Kurla. The Eastern Express Highway is the main thoroughfare for Kurla East. It runs from Sion Causeway in the south to Mulund in the North.
BEST buses ply from Kurla to all areas of Mumbai. The Kurla BEST Depot on the west suffered serious damage during the Mumbai floods of 2005 and has since been shut for redevelopment. Maharashtra State Transport buses ply from their depot at Nehru Nagar in the East to major towns in the State. Auto rickshaws and taxis are also available.
Kurla has one engineering college, Don Bosco Institute of Technology, and several schools. Some of the schools in Kurla are as follows –
- Al-Barkat – Urdu Medium
- Anjuman Islam Allana School & Junior College
- Anjuman Khairul Islam Urdu High School
- Anjuman Tabligul Islam Urdu High School
- Bharat Education Society's Vivek English High School (Kurla East)
- Eden Jr. College -Safed Pool
- Gandhi Bal Mandir High School – Marathi medium
- Ganesh Baug [Marathi, Hindi & English Medium] Municipal School
- Green Bombay High School
- Green Bombay Urdu High School
- Holy Cross High School
- K. M. S. P. Mandal's High School- Marathi Medium
- Karthika High School – English Medium
- Kedarnath Vidya Prasarini (KVP) – English High School
- Kohinoor business management
- Kohinoor International School
- M. E. S. Urdu High School
- Madrasa Darrul-Uloom Mehboob-E-Shobhani Arabic School
- Madrasa Salafia Arabic School
- Michael High School – English medium high school
- Mumbai Utkal English High School
- Nehru Nagar municipal School, Kurla – E
- S. K. P. Walavalkar High School – Marathi and English Medium
- Sant Gadge Maharaj Vidyala-Kurla W
- School of General Education Institute – Kurla High School (Marathi Medium)
- Shishu Vihar Kurla-W
- Shishu Vikas Mandir High School – Marathi Medium
- Shivaji Vidyalaya
- Shree Gujarati Samaj Vidhyalaya
- St. Joseph's High School
- St. Jude's high school, Jarimari
- Swami Dayanand Vidyalaya High School
- Swami Vivekanand High School and College
- Urdu Municipality School, Quresh Nager (Kasaiwada)
- Balwinder Sandhu, Indian Test Cricketer
- Dutta Samant, Indian politician and trade union leader
- Iqbal Abdulla, Indian cricketer, Playing in Kolkata Knight Riders
- Kamran Khan, Pune Warriors player
- Navneet Kaur, Actress (Former Resident)
- Shaikh Shamim Ahmed, Ex MLA & Indian politician and Senior Congress leader
- Steven Dias, Indian FootBall Player (Former Resident)
- Ubaid Azam Azmi Urdu Poet, Bollywood Lyricist, Prosody Scholar & ex. SEO (Govt. of Maharashtra)
- Arpan Nursing Home
- Aryan Hospital
- Central Hospital
- Fauziya hospital
- Fehmida Nursing Home
- Habib Hospital
- Infy Eye Care
- Islahi Day Care
- K. B. Bhabha Hospital (oldest Municipality hospital)
- Kohinoor City Hospital
- Kurla nursing Home
- Masoom Children Nursing Home
- New Noor Hospital
- Sheetal Nursing Home
- Vcare Diagnostic
Places of Worship
- Balaji Mandir
- Gaondevi mandir, Gaondevinagar, LIG colony
- Gazi Baba Dargah (Halav Pool)
- Hanuman Mandir
- Holy Cross Church
- Jagruti Vinayak Mandir
- Kristha Kanti Church
- Kurla Bene Israel prayer hall
- Maa Durga Bhakti Dham(Makka Baba Mandir Prathisthan)
- Pipe Road Mosque
- Rameshwar Mandir
- Sai Baba mandir
- Shia Isna Ashari Jama Masjid
- Shree Makka Baba Mandir (Sambhaji Chowk)
- St. Joseph's Church
- St. Jude's Church
- Station Road Mosque
- Umamaheshwari Mandir
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- "General Elections to State Legislative Assembly 2009". Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra website. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
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