Malabar Hill in the 1850s
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Malabar Hill, a hillock in southern Mumbai, India is an extremely upmarket VVIP residential area which has the Government Guest House Sahaydri, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra's Bungalow, official residences of VIP state officials, famous Hanging Gardens, Jain Temple & Banganga Tank. Situated at a height of 50 metres (160 ft), it is the highest point in South Mumbai offering a beautiful scenic view of the Queens Necklace.
The Malabar Hill district is notably the most exclusive residential area in Mumbai, and home to several business tycoons and film personalities. Iconic buildings like Anita, Grand Paradi, Blue Haven, Darshan, Sundatta Apartments, Ill Pallazio, Mayfair Gardens, Alankar, Benhur are known to be the most sought after private house pads for business czars and Bollywood with prices of apartments as high as Rs.1,35,000 per sq ft. (US$25000/m2), making it one of the most expensive neighborhoods to stay in the world. In September 2013 Malabar Hill had one of the most expensive residential real estate deal of the country where a duplex apartment on Mount Pleasant Road was sold for 57 crores INR at a rate of 1.35 lacs/sq. ft.
History It is said that the prominent Keyi family of Northern Malabar in Kerala owned many areas in Mumbai, including the area which is now known as Malabar Hill and some portions in Chowpatti beach area. They had trade links with Portuguese, British and French, but when British started creating issues for their business benefits they made a truce with the British and donated the entire area to the English East India Company. Thus, the area became English east India Company's property. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, has proposed to change the name of Malabar Hill, arguably the city's most exclusive residential enclave, to Ramnagari, in vain.
Malabar Hill is the location of the Walkeshwar Temple, founded by the Silhara kings. The original temple was destroyed by the Portuguese, but rebuilt again in 1715 by Rama Kamath, and by 1860, 10 to 20 other temples were built in the region.
Mountstuart Elphinstone built the first bungalow in Malabar Hill while he was Governor of Bombay, between 1819 and 1827. Following his example, the place soon became a posh locality, as it is today.
Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the Governor and the bungalow "Varsha", which is the official residence of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra are located here. Houses here are amongst the most expensive in the world. An unhindered view of Back Bay, with the Girgaum Chowpatti beach in the foreground, and the Nariman Point skyline in the background is one of the reasons for the sky-high real estate prices in this district (Rs. 60,000+, or US$ 1200+ per square foot). In January 2012 Maheshwari House was (partly) sold to industrialist Sajjan Jindal of Jindal Steel for 400 crores or > Rs. 92,000 per square foot. This makes it the most expensive house ever sold in India and perhaps in the world).The most expensive private residence lies just outside Malabar Hill namely Antilla, the 27-storey, billion-dollar tower in Mumbai, owned by India's richest and the world's ninth richest person Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries.
Buses only started serving this area during World War II.
Also of note in the Malabar Hill district, there is a cremation ground that sits near the sea which is home to the samadhi shrines of several famous Indian saints. Notably among them is the samadhi shrine of the guru of Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj, who was Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, as well as the samadhi shrine of his devoted disciple Shri Ranjit Maharaj.
Malabar Point, Bombay, 1865
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