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View of Powai from across the Powai lake
View of Powai from across the Powai lake
Powai is located in Mumbai
Location of Powai within Mumbai Metropolitan Area
Coordinates: 19°07′N 72°55′E / 19.12°N 72.91°E / 19.12; 72.91Coordinates: 19°07′N 72°55′E / 19.12°N 72.91°E / 19.12; 72.91
Country India
State Maharashtra
District Mumbai Suburban
Metro Mumbai
Zone 5
Ward S
Named for lake
 • Body Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai
Elevation 50 m (160 ft)
 • Official Marathi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 400076[1]
Vehicle registration MH-03[2]
Lok Sabha constituency Mumbai North East (part) [3]
Mumbai North Central (part) [4]
Vidhan Sabha constituency Bhandup West (part)
Chandivali (part)

Powai /pəwə/ is a suburban neighbourhood located in the north-east of Mumbai, India. 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.[5] The Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, one of the city's busiest thoroughfares linking the western and eastern suburbs, passes through Powai,[6] and the place also hosts thousands of devotees every year during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival for the visarjan processions.[7] Powai is served by Mumbai's only airport, located 5 km away;[8] and by the Vikhroli and Kanjur Marg railway stations on the Central line.[9]

Originally a central village,[10] Powai has grown prolifically and exponentially in recent years to become one of Mumbai's most upmarket commercial and residential hubs. Emerald Isle is an residential township opposite Powai Lake. The Hiranandani Gardens, an integrated residential township, is one among the many residential complexes located here[8] along with a number of luxury hotels, mega stores and the offices of several commercial institutions, such as L&T Realty, Sanofi, Amazon, J P Morgan, TCS, Credit Suisse, Jardine Loyd Thompson, JP Morgan,Nomura, CRISIL, Deloitte, Bayer among others.[10][11][12] Larsen and Toubro, one of India's oldest multinational conglomerates, has a manufacturing plant at Powai.[13] 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,[14][15] as is a campus of the Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai.[16] Powai is also home to residential complexes of the Income Tax department, Customs and NTPC,[17] as well as those of ex-servicemen.[18]

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,[19] causing the area to be referred to as India's Powai Valley.[20] As a result of the mixture of various communities living together, the suburb has one of the city's most cosmopolitan and modernized cultures.[21] The place has a vibrant night-life,[22][23] and shoots for several Bollywood as well as Hollywood movies, such as Kalyug, Ghajini, Slumdog Millionaire etc. have taken place here.[24] The Hiranandani Gardens are also known for their neo classical architectural style, and the area boasts of having some of the tallest residential buildings in suburban Mumbai.[25]


View of Powai Lake & JVLR as seen from Emerald Isle, Powai
View of Powai Lake from Emerald Isle.

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.[10] 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.

Emerald Isle building opposite Powai lake.

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 and Toubro.[26] 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.[10]


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[27] and much of the area falls within the boundaries of the S-ward, the largest ward in Mumbai.[28][29] 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.[30] The privately run Dr. L. H. Hiranandani Hospital, located within the Hiranandani residential complex, is the first superspeciality hospital in the area.[31] Powai is also home to offices of several multinational corporations as well as that of public sector undertakings.[13]

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,[28] green cover and rising pollution levels.[32]


(Main Article: Powai Lake)

Solitaire building opposite Powai lake.

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.[30] Another prominent landmark that most outsiders associate Powai with, is the prestigious 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.[33]

 A number of multistory residential and commercial buildings overlooking a water body, taken against the backdrop of a clear blue sky with a few cirrus clouds
The Powai Lake gives the area its name, and is one of the three lakes located within Mumbai.


The Indian Institute of Technology, located at Powai, is the second oldest campus of the Indian Institutes of Technology, founded in 1958 with assistance from UNESCO and with funds contributed by the Soviet Union[34]

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[35] and ranked at 225 in the QS World University Rankings.[36] NITIE, another institute recognized as one of the 15 Centres of Excellence by the Government of India,[37] 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.[38] 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.[39] 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.[40] 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,[16][38] which is affiliated purely to the ICSE board.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IndiaPost Pin Code search". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ministry of Road Transport and Highways - National Register e-Services". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Mumbai North East covers the area under Bhandup West Vidhan Sabha constituency
  4. ^ Mumbai North Central covers the area under Chandivali Vidhan Sabha constituency
  5. ^ "Powai(wikimapia)". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "MSRDC - Project - Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Guide to Mumbai Ganesh Visarjan". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Hiranandani Gardens – Powai". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Industrial development centre directions". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d "History". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "CRISIL". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Deloitte Mumbai Office Powai" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Larsen & Toubro: Contact Us". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "IIT Bombay: Contact Us". Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "NITIE". Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  16. ^ a b "Bombay Scottish School, Powai". Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "Buildings with a Powai Lake view". Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "Major police operation near Jalvayu Vihar near Powai". Mid Day. 2010-08-27. 
  19. ^ http://m.newindianexpress.com/edex/273007
  20. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Welcome-to-Powai-Valley-Indias-new-start-up-hub/articleshow/29126534.cms
  21. ^ "Powai in Mumbai grows as commercial hub". 
  22. ^ {{[1]}}
  23. ^ {{[2]}}
  24. ^ "Mumbai-76". Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  25. ^ "Glen Ridge Powai". Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Premium projects set the right TONE IN FESTIVE FERVOUR". epaperbeta.timesofindia.com. Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  27. ^ "MMRDA Regional Plan" (PDF). Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  28. ^ a b "There’s a stinking problem". 19 January 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  29. ^ "MCGM Election website". Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  30. ^ a b "120 years old and brand new". 21 Jan 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  31. ^ "Hiranandani Hospital: About Us". Retrieved 5 Feb 2012. 
  32. ^ "Traffic, flooding and waste disposal woes". 1 Feb 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  33. ^ "Renaissance Hotel and Convention Centre, Mumbai". Retrieved 5 Feb 2012. 
  34. ^ Sukhatme, S. P. (27 July 2005). "The Growth of an Institute for Higher Technological Education". IIT Bombay. Archived from the original on 1 May 2006. Retrieved 26 May 2006. 
  35. ^ "The World University Rankings 2011-2012". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  36. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2011/12". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  37. ^ "Ministry of HRD oversight committee report, Govt. of India". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  38. ^ a b "Schools in Powai". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  40. ^ "Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai homepage". Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  41. ^ "A signature landmark promising a lifestyle experience amidst green environs at Powai". epaperbeta.timesofindia.com. Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  42. ^ "An address that is distinctly refined, exceptionally rare". epaperbeta.timesofindia.com. Retrieved 2016-01-16. 

External links[edit]