View of Powai from across the Powai lake
|• Body||Bombay Municipal Corporation|
|Elevation||50 m (160 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Mumbai North East (part)
Mumbai North Central (part)
|Vidhan Sabha constituency||Bhandup West (part)
Powai // is a neighbourhood located in the north-east Mumbai.It is situated on the banks of Powai Lake, and is bounded by the hills of Vikhroli Parksite to the south-east, Chandivali to the south-west, the L.B.S. Marg (old Mumbai-Agra road) to the north-east and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park to the north beyond the lake. The Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, one of the city's busiest thoroughfares linking the western and eastern suburbs, passes through Powai, and the place also hosts thousands of devotees every year during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival for the visarjan processions. Powai is served by Mumbai's only airport, located 5 km away; and by the Vikhroli and Kanjur Marg railway stations on the Central line.
Originally a central village, Powai has grown prolifically and exponentially in recent years to become one of Mumbai's most upmarket commercial and residential hubs. Hiranandani Gardens, an integrated residential township, is one among the many residential complexes located here along with a number of luxury hotels, mega stores and offices of several commercial institutions, such as Sanofi, Amazon, FIS, TCS, Credit Suisse, Prudential plc, Jardine Loyd Thompson, JP Morgan, Nomura, CRISIL, Deloitte, Bayer among others. Larsen & Toubro, one of India's oldest multinational conglomerates, has a manufacturing plant at Powai. The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, established in 1958 and currently the second oldest campus of the Indian Institutes of Technology as well as the National Institute of Industrial Engineering, established in 1963 are both located here, as is a campus of the Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai. Powai is also home to residential complexes of the Income Tax department, Customs and NTPC, as well as those of ex-servicemen.
Powai is also Mumbai's start-up hub, with young entrepreneurs starting off from incubation cells set up by institutes like IIT Bombay from the tech industry, and other sectors setting their bases there, causing the area to be referred to as India's Powai Valley. Some of the start-ups in Powai Valley include JustRide, Housing, TinyOwl, Toppr, HolaChef, Bewakoof, Logic Roots, Care24, Flyrobe, Nearfox, Belita, CredR, Mirchi and Mime, and Crispy Games. As a result of the mixture of various communities living together, the suburb has one of the city's most cosmopolitan and modernized cultures. The place has a vibrant night-life, and shoots for several Bollywood as well as Hollywood movies, such as Kalyug, Ghajini, Slumdog Millionaire, and Haseena Maan Jaayegi have taken place there. The Hiranandani Gardens are also known for their neo classical architectural style, and the area has some of the tallest residential buildings in suburban Mumbai.
The word Powai is thought to have possibly been derived from the word Poumw, a corrupted form of Pouma which means Padma in Sanskrit. This is because the Padmavati Devi Temple, dedicated to Goddess Padmavati and situated on the bank of the Powai lake inside IIT Bombay, dates back to the 10th century AD as per the Archaeological Survey of India. The present location of Powai Lake is believed to have been the original Powai Valley—a central village, with several clusters of huts each having its own well. It was named after Framaji Kavasji Powai Estate, which was given to one Dr Scott in 1799 on payment of yearly rent of Rs 3,200. After Dr Scott’s death in 1816, Powai was taken back by the government in 1826 and leased once again to Framaji Kavasji, a Parsi merchant. The authorities during the British regime intended to augment the water supply to Bombay City by creating a lake, and in 1890 Powai Lake was built by the British at an initial cost of Rs 6.5 lakh. At the time, Powai lake supplied two million gallons of water to Bombay. However, the nearby Vihar Lake became a more viable option because the authorities found that the waters of the Powai lake polluted and unfit for drinking. Various studies were conducted which repeatedly confirmed these findings till finally the project was abandoned. Powai Lake was then leased out to the Western India Fishing Association, a quasi government organization who used it for both fish culture and angling.
In 1943, four years before India's independence, the freedom fighter Chandrabhan Sharma arrived in Mumbai and happened to lease and subsequently buy Powai Estate from Sir Yusuf, the then owner, for a paltry sum. At that time, Powai comprised five villages: Saki, Kopri, Tirandaz, Powai and Paspauli. In the late 1950s, a portion of Powai was given to the government to set up an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). The Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, personally visited the area and during a meeting, Chandrabhan Sharma motivated him to give the land free of cost for this purpose. Simultaneously, a young engineer from Denmark, Søren Kristian Toubro had obtained a major contract in Mumbai. As a result, vast tracts of land were leased to him by Mr. Sharma to set up what would become Larsen & Toubro. Powai's modernisation started with Mr. Sharma's construction business in 1975 under the flagship of GHP Corporation. Prashant Apts was the first modern building to come up in Powai, followed by the 13-floor Bhawani Tower. After 1985, the Hiranandani builders obtained permission from the government to convert this agricultural land to residential complex. They went on to purchase vast tracts of land between the Vikhroli hill & Powai lake and set up the present day township. Today, the prevalence of amenities such as shopping malls, hospitals, schools and educational institutions like the IIT and NITIE, entertainment hubs, banks and other financial institutions have all contributed to Powai becoming an ideal residential destination.
Powai is a part of the Mumbai Suburban District, located in the north-eastern region of what is today considered to be the modern Mumbai metropolis. Administratively, it is a part of the Kurla tehsil and much of the area falls within the boundaries of the S-ward, the largest ward in Mumbai. Powai is situated on the banks of its namesake lake and boasts of a recently revamped, landscaped garden with viewing decks, a children’s play area and synchronized fountains. The privately run Dr. L. H. Hiranandani Hospital, located within the Hiranandani residential complex, is the first superspeciality hospital in the area. Powai is also home to offices of several multinational corporations as well as that of public sector undertakings.
As a result of prolific construction activity in the last two decades, the area has one of the highest residential population densitiesnote 1 in suburban Mumbai. The development in the region has, however had an adverse impact on the environment, with the area facing the ill-effects of excessive concretization, resulting in a shrinking number of open spaces, green cover and rising pollution levels.
Perhaps the best-known landmark of Powai is the Powai Lake, a 120-year-old lake that was originally used to supply water to the city of Mumbai, and is today used as an industrial sewage outlet. Another prominent landmark that most outsiders associate Powai with is the IIT Bombay, located to the east of the lake. The campus of the NITIE is located near the north bank of the lake, as is the Renaissance Hotel and Convention centre, part of the Marriott group of hotels, with its distinctive facade visible across the Powai lake. In the past, fishing and bird-watching were popular recreational activities that took place along the shores of the lake. Rare migration birds were known to visit the lake each year and the lake boasted a variety of fish species. However, rapid and uncontrolled growth of the region in recent years has had an adverse effect on the flora and fauna found in and around the lake. In its day, the lake used to be an idyllic picnic spot for people wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Chandivali is a neighbourhood of the Mumbai suburb of Powai situated between Saki Naka and the Powai lake. Chandivali is surrounded by the Powai hillocks on the south-east and the Powai lake on the north. It is amongst those suburbs in Mumbai which has rapidly developed in a short span of time along with increasing pollution and traffic jams. Chandivali was earlier a village along with its neighbour Tunga which is still known by its old name of Tungwa Gaon and was a part of Andheri (East)  Chandivali has got its recent fame because of its proximity to the nearby Powai area which is now a very popular leisure and business destination. A landmark of this area is the small but famous Chandivali studio , also known as Chandivali outdoor location which is on the Chandivali farm road. The Studio was founded by Mr. Chandrarao Ganpatrao Kadam in the early forties when this was a distant suburb of Andheri.Chandrarao Kadam was an actor, producer and director of silent and talking pictures in the early thirties. He had shared the screen space with noted artists of the thirties amongst them Lalita Pawar, Bhagwan Dada, and Hansa Wadkar as his coartists. He had also acted under eminent directors of yester years like G. P. Pawar, Moti Gidwani, Dhirubhai Desai, S. M. Yusuf, Nanabhai Bhatt, Jayant Desai and Behran Vasania. While pursuing his passion for acting and directing films, he nurtured an idea to build a film studio for which he purchased land at Chandivali.It took him a long time to develop various locations and convert it to a fully fledged studio for shooting his own films and letting out the studio to other producers. The Studio comprises various indoor and outdoor locations like the Den, Garden, Village, Temple, Pond side, Roadside areas Godown, Indoor House and Bedroom sets etc. Since then it has been a long journey for the studio. It has witnessed the success of all the stalwarts of the Indian film and television industries in various categories like actors, directors, producers and technicians. Chandivali studio shares a goodwill in the Indian film and Television industry as most films and TV serials shot here have been eminently successful. It also is a nostalgic place for many actors and technicians who started their career from the same studio as humble artistes, one of them being Mr Amitabh Bachan.He started his career at this very studio with the movie Saat Hindustani. He also shot at this Studio for Coolie, Deewar Nasseb and Khuddar etc. which all went on to become super hits. The studio is still being managed by the Kadam family. The development of Chandivali as a residential area started with the Mhada colony which came up in 1992. This was followed up by another landmark destination of Raheja Vihar and  Lok Milan From here on, there was no looking back for this area and Nahar Amrit Shakti is another huge residential destination. However some remnants of the old residential colonies are still there like the Mannubhai chawl situated on Chandivali farm road. Of late Chandivali is attracting companies as a business destination and new offices are being opened every other day.   Oberoi Garden is an office building complex situated here next to the Chandivali Studio. ICICI Bank and HDFC banks have huge back offices situated in this area.Chandivali is now home to “Boomerang” a huge IT and business park. A popular local weekly community newspaper Planet Powai regularly reports news, events and shopping information about this area. This area had very few shopping destinations and one had to go to Hiranandani Powai for all shopping needs but with the opening up of the multi-storey Dmart shopping centre right next to Nahar Amrit Shakti, this need has also been addressed.
The Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, colloquially referred to as IITB or IIT Bombay, is spread over an area of 550 acres (2.2 km2) to the east of the Powai Lake. Founded in 1958, it is considered to be one of India's foremost technology and research institutions, and is ranked by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings between 301–350 and ranked at 225 in the QS World University Rankings. NITIE, another institute recognized as one of the 15 Centres of Excellence by the Government of India, is also situated nearby. The business school, which started off as an Industrial Engineering institute, today offers full-time Post Graduate programs in both Industrial Engineering and Industrial Management.
Powai has numerous schools and colleges to provide for the pre primary, primary, secondary and higher secondary education requirements of residents. The Kendriya Vidyalaya-IIT Powai, a constituent school of the Kendriya Vidyalaya system, is situated within the IIT campus, and is affiliated with CBSE. Founded in 1964, it is one of the oldest Kendriya Vidyalaya schools in Mumbai. The Hiranandani Foundation School (HFS), founded by the Hiranandani group to serve the Hiranandani Gardens township, is affiliated to ICSE and, since 2008, the IB diploma programme. Other Schools include the S. M. Shetty High School and Junior College and Gopal Sharma Memorial School affiliated to the Maharashtra State Board and Gopal Sharma International School affiliated with ICSE, the IIT Campus School and Powai English School which are exclusively affiliated to the Maharashtra State Board and the Bombay Scottish School, which is affiliated purely to the ICSE board. Japanese School of Mumbai, located in the Hiranandani Knowledge Park, serves Mumbai's Japanese families.
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