playing with memories

facts, fiction, and somewhere in between

Armenian Church of St Peter, Mumbai 2

Here are some excerpts from a flyer that the Armenian Church shared with me:

“It is believed that the Armenian Church Mumbai was established by relatives of one of the Queens of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great. The relatives of Queen Mariam were initially residing at Surat, then shifted to Mumbai and finally to Agra where the Queen lies buried at Armenian Cemetery.”

“This Armenian Church is the oldest Oriental Orthodox Church in Mumbai and it is the mother Church of all Orthodox Churches in Western India. The present church structure as we see today is the one reconstructed in the year 1961.”

The few people I met at the Church seemed to be Syrian Christians who spoke in Malayalam (the language of the people from Kerala). The church interior was sparse but I liked the soft glow and warmth of the lamps.

Amenian Church Fort 12

Amenian Church Fort 13

Amenian Church Fort 16

Amenian Church Fort 19

Amenian Church Fort 20

Armenian Church of St Peter, Mumbai 1

Armenians have been in India for several centuries, reportedly from 7th century AD – mostly trading with people in South-West India (the Malabar Coast) which is now the State called Kerala. Some Armenians settled there, traded for a living, and practised their religion – an orthodox form of Christianity. Over centuries they travelled northwards and arrived in Mumbai (some went to East India as well and settled in Calcutta – which has its own history), though there aren’t too many Armenians in Mumbai now as far as I know.

So, it’s no surprise to find an Armenian church in Mumbai. This church, The Armenian Church of St Peter, is tucked away in the Fort area of South Mumbai on Nagindas Master Road (earlier known as Meadows Street), and hence very few people know about it. I had visited the Armenian Church of St Peter with a few friends a couple of months ago and, with permission, was allowed to take photos of the church interiors. The Church, which preaches a form of orthodox Syrian Christianity, was originally established in 1796, though this building is a reconstructed one from 1961.

Amenian Church Fort 1

Amenian Church Fort 3

Amenian Church Fort 4

Amenian Church Fort 9

Amenian Church Fort 11

Faces, Bhuleshwar/Kalbadevi, Mumbai

Several Sundays ago, I was roaming around Bhuleshwar/Kalbadevi in South Mumbai at 7:30 in the morning with a group of amateur photographers. The other photographers were better equipped and experienced than me – and made comments like “Wow, I got that shot!!” I felt kind of hopeless as a photographer with my small camera. So, apart from the red door of the BOI Bullion Exchange Branch building which I posted yesterday, I took photos of men who were simply sitting there, not doing much, probably biding time until their day job began.

Bhuleshwar Faces 6

Bullion Exchange Branch, Kalbadevi, Mumbai

Bank of India, Bullion Exchange Branch, Sheikh Memon Street, Zaveri Bazar, Kalbadevi, Mumbai. Looks like an Art Deco building, so probably 80 years old. Need to find out its history.

Bhuleshwar BOI Bullion Exchange Branch 3

Banganga Tank, Walkeshwar, Mumbai 6

There were lots of ducks in the Banganga Tank. Some of them walked around me and let me take their pictures – starting with one duck that stood on one foot for a long time.

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 3

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 6

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 8

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 13

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 15

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 16

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 19

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 23

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 26

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 31

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 35

Banganga Walkeshwar ducks 36

Banganga Tank, Walkeshwar, Mumbai 5

Here is a collection of photos of people I met during my walk in and around the Banganga Tank in Walkeshwar. Apart from the adults, I chanced upon a group of kids who caught up with me when I went to photograph the sunset by the sea (yesterday’s post). They were bouncing up and down around me and I tried to capture the innocence, joy and curiosity on their faces.

Banganga Walkeshwar people 2

Banganga Walkeshwar people 3

Banganga Walkeshwar people 5

Banganga Walkeshwar people 7

Banganga Walkeshwar people 9

Banganga Walkeshwar people 11

Banganga Walkeshwar people 12

Banganga Walkeshwar people 13

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