About

The name ‘Mazgaon’ was either derived from Maza Gaon which means ‘my village’ in Marathi or from Maccha Grama which means a ‘fishing village’.mpak01

Matharpacady village is self-contained with houses and altars. It boasts of some of the city’s oldest and quaintest houses.

Mazgaon was once famous for its mango trees which would bear fruit twice a year. These mangoes were a celebrated commodity, and the Mazgaon mangoes find a mention as the ‘Mangoes of Mazagong’ in the epic poem Lallah Rookh by Thomas Moore in 1817.

The prominent landmarks nearby are – the Gunpowder Lane that came as a result of the armory, the Megaton Court, and the Sales Tax office.

lions-den

Samuel Leao, 71, says something under his breath to the workers fixing his compound wall; they are unable to comprehend his broken Hindi. “Jesus! In which language do I make these buggers understand now!” exclaims Leao. One of a pair of concrete lions that stood at the gates of his house now sits flush with his front door. “These BMC people are always digging or widening the roads,” he says. At this rate, the lion might soon be chased indoors.

In fact, it was the lions that gave the house its name, Lions’ Den. Built by Leao’s grandfather, Daniel,  in 1892, the house is modelled after its biblical namesake from the Book of Daniel. Although he cannot afford the renovations imposed by the BMC, Leao does them to preserve his ancestral house. Lions’ Den is now quite the landmark in Mazgaon.

Of late, there has been a lot of buzz around Mazgaon, one of the oldest suburbs of Mumbai, thanks to the Navy mishap at the dock here on March 7. Apart from the 200-year-old shipbuilding yard, there is a lot more to this bustling suburb. Like the mango trees of Ambewadi, which used to flower twice a year (mangoes used to be shipped to the court of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb) or, the Khoja Shia Isna Ashari cemetery, where Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s wife Ruttenbai is buried. And, there is the quaint little hamlet of Matharpacady, which many East Indians like Leao call home.

The many narrow lanes opposite Lions’ Den hold the oldest Portuguese-style houses in the city, complete with colourful facades, wooden staircases and open balconies. For a moment, you would forget that you are in Mumbai, as this grade III heritage neighbourhood is one of the quietest in the city. Rohit Chauhan, who has been living in the hamlet for 11 years, says the East Indians are slowly selling their properties to Hindus and Bohra Muslims.matharpacady_christmas

Rafique Baghdadi, journalist, historian and film critic, who has grown up in Mazgaon, recalls a time when the windows and doors of these houses were open through the day. “Now, the residents do not even answer their doorbells, fearing it would be builders who come calling,” he says. But, Mazgaon has managed to retain its character despite the redevelopment. The most cosmopolitan quarter of Mumbai, it has people from all parts of the country, thanks to the docks. “There were Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Mistrys, Patels, Israelis, Chinese… Very few people know that there is even a Chinese temple here,” says Baghdadi. The Kwan Tai Shek temple was built in 1919 by Cantonese sailors who worked for the East India Company, he says.

The many bungalows that line the streets of Mazgaon are testimony to a glorious past when top officials of the East India Company and the south Bombay elite made it their home. One such historical building is the Masina Hospital, which was once David Sassoon’s palace. Built on the land gifted to Parsi physician Dr Jerbai Masina, who operated on Sassoon’s gall bladder, the hospital is 113 years old. Behram Bakht, who runs the hospital canteen, laments that although the hospital is famous, its founder has been long forgotten. “There is not even a picture of Dr Masina anywhere in the hospital,” he says. So, he put up a framed image of the doctor on the canteen’s wall.

Down the street from the hospital one can see proclainers and cranes working on half-constructed high-rises. Barricades are put up in many a place and workers are busy either digging or filling up holes. Mazgaon, like the rest of the city, is getting ready for an urban facelift. But are its people ready to let go of their heritage?

140th Anniversary Celebrations

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140th Anniversary Celebrations

Holy Cross Oratory, Matharpacady Village

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Cruise Ship Diaries – Eight

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Cruise Ship Diaries – Eight

The ninth group of around 70 visitors from Germany visited our Village on 4th March 2017. These tourists have been coming to Mumbai by Cruise Ships starting from  Dubai, then travelling to Mumbai, New Mangalore, Goa, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and then back to Dubai. They had come by the Cruise Ship “Aida Aura”. Their stopover in Mumbai is mainly for one night or maximum two nights and one of their must visit places while in Mumbai is to our Heritage Village at Matharpacady. Besides a walk around our heritage precinct to explain the history of the various landmarks, the visitors are treated to snacks/brunch by Hansel Baptista at his residence.  Almost all the visitors are surprised that such a quaint, quiet little place exists in the heart of the city. Note : Photographs of visitors who visited our village on 4th March 2017. [Show...

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Family Get Together – Matharpacady Heritage Village

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Family Get Together – Matharpacady Heritage Village

Families gathered at the village center on Thursday evening, 23rd February 2017. Dennis Baptista, Vice President of the Matharpacady Residents Welfare Association ALM welcomed the resident families requesting them to participate joyfully in the short prayer and worship session followed by entertainment and refreshments. After an opening hymn, Canute led the people in prayer.  Then, each melodious hymn was followed by intercessory prayers by Prayer Leaders from different areas of the village.  A round of light refreshments was served. Ms. Vidhya asked Ignatius to conduct the first game of “Chinese Housie” which was a novelty to the audience.  In sequence Vidhya, Renie and Charmaine then conducted amusing games for small   children, parents, youth and even seniors – namely, bursting the balloons, the chillie in the bottle, hula hoop dancing, husbands being bottle fed by their spouses, and a final game of the traditional ‘housie’. The first, second and third placed winners of every game were awarded prize gifts. Groovy music by DJ Rodger and Canute set the mood and kept feet tapping during the games and at the dance session.  Managing Committee Members Charmaine, Stan, Canute, Renie, Judith, Joe, Gerry, Martin, Percy, Dennis  and others ensured that all the 85 family members present were served delicious snacks like samosas, pattice, wafers, cake and mixed fruit juice.  Helpers were also given the same. On behalf of all residents and families who were present, Tyronne gave a “Vote Of Thanks” expressing their heartfelt gratitude to the Managing Committee Members of the Welfare Association for organizing such a wonderful Family Get-Together completely free of cost.  He made special mention and thanked Percy D’Souza, President, for always being most generous in sponsoring gifts for prizes, refreshments, etc.  As Secretary of the Holy Cross Committee, Tyronne requested the village folk to participate devoutly in the ‘Way Of The Cross” Lenten Services that would be organized around the bylanes of Matharpacady Village and the Novena Services scheduled to begin on 22nd April and in the 142nd Feast Day Celebrations on 1st May 2017. On behalf of the Managing Committee, he bade all families a memorable goodnight. Compiled by Tyronnne Concescio.  Photographs courtesy Stanislaus Baptista   [Show...

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Our Mochi

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His father was the first  mochi in the village. He is one of our  icons. None other than Atmaram our lean and  talkative mochi ( hindi word for cobbler) We pass him by daily and he will always have a smile and a brief look at your footwear. How is it today. Does it require a stitch or two? Or is it so dull and requires a shine like the brilliant sunshine. He hails from a  family of traditional cobblers. He started in a big way, by stitching handmade shoes. …which were well made and quite well priced too!! His father continued with usual repairs and shoe shines, in a different location of the village adjacent to a big bungalow. Atmaram was given pride of place in a makeshift workplace under a staircase of a house, which serves has his ‘Operation Theatre’. Now you will wonder why? He loves to call the shoes he receives for repair as his ‘patients’. One of his immediate concerns is to ensure that “ Patient’s cha operation zala, thari, gari la , patnar “ ( The moment the patient’s surgery is done, he has to be sent home) so he says i.e He requires the finished shoes to be handed over, as he has limited place. I was stunned to see him one day at the nearby Dockyard Road Railway Station. He had changed to his civies (normal attire) unlike his work clothes, which is a loose fitting pyjama, and top. I enquired, after a brief struggle to recognize Atmaram in  his changed appearance “ Kai, Atmaram,  tumcha office sutli kai? Ani gari chalale? “   He then replied “ Ho,office sutli, pan, tumchi patient ajun gari nahi geli.” ( What Atmaram, you finished for the day? He replied” Yes, but your patient is still not gone home.”  In other words, ‘ you better ensure that you take your finished shoes home’. In today’s world, where there is a throwaway culture, Atmaram belongs to a slowly disappearing breed of cobblers, who still plays an important role in the village of Matharpacady. His place also serves as a meeting point for a little chat for some of the passersby. Matharpacady itself is one of   a few preserved villages of quaint bungalows in the heart of Múmbai,  struggling to retain its stature and resilience of old.  However Atamaram gives us a  message that come what may  we can still retain oúr ‘ identity’ in a fast changing world. These shoes were made for walking…….and when you need to look after them: Just contact Atmaram, and he has  a solution for all ailments that affect ‘ leather shoes’, laced with some humour if you have time for a chat.   ( Interesting characters of Matharpacady village, with names changed….to showcase the traditions of more than 150 years old Heritage precinct…..now a tourist attraction , specially for the passengers of the Cruise liners) Courtesy : Vincent...

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Cruise Ship Diaries – Seven

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Cruise Ship Diaries – Seven

The eight group of around 180 visitors from Germany visited our Village on 12th and 13th February 2017. These tourists have been coming to Mumbai by Cruise Ships starting from  Dubai, then travelling to Mumbai, New Mangalore, Goa, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and then back to Dubai. They had come by the Cruise Ship “Aida Aura”. Their stopover in Mumbai is mainly for one night or maximum two nights. One of their must visit places while in Mumbai is to our Heritage Village at Matharpacady. Besides a walk around our heritage precinct to explain the history of the various landmarks, the visitors are treated to snacks/brunch by Hansel Baptista at his residence. Almost all the visitors are surprised that such a quaint, quiet little place exists in the heart of the city. Note : Photographs of visitors who visited our village on 13th February 2017. [Show...

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Cruise Ship Diaries – Six

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Cruise Ship Diaries – Six

We had the seventh group of around 100 visitors that had come to visit our village on Monday, 30th January 2017. Since November 2016, our quaint little village has been receiving visitors from Germany. This has been possible through Lotus Destinations Pvt. Ltd. who have arranged to get these visitors to our Heritage Village. These tourists have been coming to Mumbai by Cruise Ships starting from  Dubai, then travelling to Mumbai, New Mangalore, Goa, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and then back to Dubai. They take around two days to reach Mumbai from Dubai and spend one/two nights at Mumbai before proceeding to New Mangalore. These cruises are typically of around 12 days duration. We received around 40 visitors who had come on Saturday 21st January 2017 by the Cruise Ship “Aida Aura”. They have another ship “Aida Stella” which does the Gulf run. Our very own Andrew Monteiro handles these cruise ships at Dubai. Their stopover in Mumbai is mainly for one night or maximum two nights and one of their must visit places while in Mumbai is to our Heritage Village at Matharpacady. Besides a walk around our heritage precinct to explain the history of the various landmarks, the visitors are treated to snacks/brunch by Hansel Baptista at his residence. Almost all the visitors are surprised that such a quaint, quiet little place exists in the heart of the city. With the Christmas decorations already up, the whole place looks very festive with Christmas Carols filling the air. We have heard that more Cruise Ships will be stopping by at Mumbai and at least two Cruise Ships will be expected every month. Note : Photographs of visitors who visited our village on 30th January 2017. [Show...

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Cruise Ship Diaries – Five

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Cruise Ship Diaries – Five

Since November 2016, our quaint little village has been receiving visitors from Germany. This has been possible through Lotus Destinations Pvt. Ltd. who have arranged to get these visitors to our Heritage Village. These tourists have been coming to Mumbai by Cruise Ships starting from  Dubai, then travelling to Mumbai, New Mangalore, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and then back to Dubai. They take around two days to reach Mumbai from Dubai and spend one/two nights at Mumbai before proceeding to New Mangalore. This is the sixth group of visitors starting from 23rd November 2016, 5th December 2016, 19th December 2016, 20th December 2016 and 1st January 2017. These cruises are typically of around 12 days duration. We received around 40 visitors who had come on Saturday 21st January 2017 by the Cruise Ship “Aida Aura”. They have another ship “Aida Stella” which does the Gulf run. Our very own Andrew Monteiro handles these cruise ships at Dubai. Their stopover in Mumbai is mainly for one night or maximum two nights and one of their must visit places while in Mumbai is to our Heritage Village at Matharpacady. Besides a walk around our heritage precinct to explain the history of the various landmarks, the visitors are treated to snacks/brunch by Hansel Baptista at his residence. Almost all the visitors are surprised that such a quaint, quiet little place exists in the heart of the city. With the Christmas decorations already up, the whole place looks very festive with Christmas Carols filling the air. We have heard that more Cruise Ships will be stopping by at Mumbai and at least two Cruise Ships will be expected every month. Note : Photographs of visitors who visited our village on 21st January 2017. [Show slideshow]...

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Christmas Festivities – Christmas Tree – Part Two

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Christmas Festivities – Christmas Tree – Part Two

The Managing Committee of the Holy Cross Oratory and the Residents’ Welfare Association ALM worked in unison to decorate the many by lanes of Matharpacady Village with illuminative decorative symbols of stars, Christmas trees, hearts, hexagonal and triangular shaped illustrative lanterns fitted with mini loudspeakers. Our youth creatively put up the Crib in the Holy Cross Oratory, which was flanked just outside by a decorated live towering Christmas tree. Resident families spruced up their homes with fresh coats of paint, buntings, frenzied shopping, Church choir and other activity practices. Tantalising aromas of traditional food, baked goodies and delicacies wafted the air, making mouths drool in lip-smacking anticipation of festive visits to various aunties homes. Children in droves flocked to the Christmas Tree Celebrations organised by Julius Valladares, Canute & Vera Monteiro and Avina D’Souza on Friday, 30th December 2016 in the village center. Tiny tots, kiddies and youth took part in innovative games and races shrieking in mirth and joy, cheered on by their doting parents and friends. Santa Claus arrived in his colourful sleigh drawn by Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer, amidst much merriment and singing, to gift prizes and goodies to all the participating children. This was an enchanted evening for all children and residents. Families in Matharpacady pray and hope for a happy and peaceful year ahead for all their near and dear ones, the Parish Community, the Universal Church and India, our Motherland. Compiled by Tyronne Concescio. Photographs courtesy – Stan Baptista [Show...

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Christmas Festivities – Christmas Tree – Part One

Posted by on 7:21 am in Events, Featured | 0 comments

Christmas Festivities – Christmas Tree – Part One

The Managing Committee of the Holy Cross Oratory and the Residents’ Welfare Association ALM worked in unison to decorate the many by lanes of Matharpacady Village with illuminative decorative symbols of stars, Christmas trees, hearts, hexagonal and triangular shaped illustrative lanterns fitted with mini loudspeakers. Our youth creatively put up the Crib in the Holy Cross Oratory, which was flanked just outside by a decorated live towering Christmas tree. Resident families spruced up their homes with fresh coats of paint, buntings, frenzied shopping, Church choir and other activity practices. Tantalising aromas of traditional food, baked goodies and delicacies wafted the air, making mouths drool in lip-smacking anticipation of festive visits to various aunties homes. Children in droves flocked to the Christmas Tree Celebrations organised by Julius Valladares, Canute & Vera Monteiro and Avina D’Souza on Friday, 30th December 2016 in the village center. Tiny tots, kiddies and youth took part in innovative games and races shrieking in mirth and joy, cheered on by their doting parents and friends. Santa Claus arrived in his colourful sleigh drawn by Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer, amidst much merriment and singing, to gift prizes and goodies to all the participating children. This was an enchanted evening for all children and residents. Families in Matharpacady pray and hope for a happy and peaceful year ahead for all their near and dear ones, the Parish Community, the Universal Church and India, our Motherland. Compiled by Tyronne Concescio. Photographs courtesy – Stan Baptista Note: More photographs of the Christmas Tree in Part Two [Show...

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Christmas Festivities in Matharpacady – Thanksgiving Service

Posted by on 6:23 am in Events, Featured | 0 comments

Christmas Festivities in Matharpacady – Thanksgiving Service

The Managing Committee of the Holy Cross Oratory and the Residents’ Welfare Association ALM worked in unison to decorate the many by lanes of Matharpacady Village with illuminative decorative symbols of stars, Christmas trees, hearts, hexagonal and triangular shaped illustrative lanterns fitted with mini loudspeakers. Our youth creatively put up the Crib in the Holy Cross Oratory, which was flanked just outside by a decorated live towering Christmas tree. Resident families spruced up their homes with fresh coats of paint, buntings, frenzied shopping, Church choir and other activity practices. Tantalising aromas of traditional food, baked goodies and delicacies wafted the air, making mouths drool in lip-smacking anticipation of festive visits to various aunties homes. The Managing Committees organized a well attended Thanksgiving Prayer Service on Tuesday night, 27th December 2016 at the Holy Cross Oratory, presided over by Rev. Fr. Frank Fernandes, Parish Priest, Rosary Church. Vincent was instrumental in preparing this service and the choir. Light refreshments were served to all and families enjoyed some brief entertainment too – A Christmas Quiz and a game of Housie. On 31st December 2016, many residents attended the Thanksgiving Vigil and Holy Mass at Church. Families ushered in New Year’s Day meeting and greeting loved ones, relatives and friends. Some socialized at house parties and seasonal receptions in the city on New Year’s night. Families in Matharpacady pray and hope for a happy and peaceful year ahead for all their near and dear ones, the Parish Community, the Universal Church and India, our Motherland. Compiled by Tyronne Concescio. Photographs courtesy – Stan Baptista [Show...

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Cruise Ship Diaries – Four A

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Cruise Ship Diaries – Four A

During the past one month, our quaint little village has been receiving visitors from Germany. This has been possible through Lotus Destinations Pvt. Ltd. who have arranged to get these visitors to our Heritage Village. These tourists have been coming to Mumbai by Cruise Ships starting from Dubai, then travelling to Mumbai, New Mangalore, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and then back to Dubai. They take around two days to reach Mumbai from Dubai and spend one/two nights at Mumbai before proceeding to New Mangalore. This is the fifth group of visitors starting from 23rd November 2016, 5th December 2016, 19th December 2016 and 20th December 2016. These cruises are typically of around 12 days duration. We received around 80 visitors who had come on Monday 2nd January 2017 by the Cruise Ship “Aida Aura”. They have another ship “Aida Stella” which does the Gulf run. Our very own Andrew Monteiro handles these cruise ships at Dubai. Their stopover in Mumbai is mainly for one night or maximum two nights and one of their must visit places while in Mumbai is to our Heritage Village at Matharpacady. Besides a walk around our heritage precinct to explain the history of the various landmarks, the visitors are treated to snacks/brunch by Hansel Baptista at his residence. Almost all the visitors are surprised that such a quaint, quiet little place exists in the heart of the city. With the Christmas decorations already up, the whole place looks very festive with Christmas Carols filling the air. We have heard that more Cruise Ships will be stopping by at Mumbai and at least two Cruise Ships will be expected every month. Note : Photographs of visitors who visited our village on 2nd January 2017. [Show...

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