Lifestyle,  Travel

The Mount Mary Fair 2020 – And My Past Nostalgic Memories

Mount Mary Fair – One of the popular landmarks in Bandra is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, more commonly known as The Mount Mary Church. This is the century-old Roman Catholic Basilica located in Bandra West, Mumbai. The area around the Church is situated on a hillock that is named the Mount of Mary. It is beautifully located in the midst of trees, shelter homes with a sea-facing view atop the hill.

No doubt it’s a famous landmark for pilgrimage and also attracts tourists from India and the world over. During September the church celebrates the feast of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary in a grand way. There is no written evidence of the birth of Mother Mary, however, September 8 is celebrated as her birthday world over.

Mount Mary Fair 2020
A 2014 photo with friends

The Week Long Celebrations

The celebrations of festivities and offerings that follow, lasts for a week. The Queen of the Suburbs totally comes alive during these eight days as the areas around the Mount are lined with festive lights, music, stalls and shops. These include amongst others, traditional Christian sweets, snacks, artifacts, and religious relics. Games and rides for kids provide entertainment for the entire family.

Devotees from all over throng to the good old Bandra to first get a glimpse of their favourite Virgin Mother Mary adorned in refinery and flowers.  Special busses are arranged from Bandra Station to carry the devotees to and fro. Volunteers help ease pedestrian and vehicular traffic. It is commonly believed that when you pray with fervor and devotion, your wishes do come true here. People even offer colourful wax candles and models of houses and babies etc, in symbolic prayer. The first glimpse of Mother Mary and Baby Jesus is breathtakingly beautiful evoking intense emotions.

Mount Mary Fair 2020

The Bandra Fair Memories

As a child, I was told that when you light a candle at The Basilica during this week of festivities then your wish will definitely be granted. I vividly remember going to The Bandra Fair each year with my Dad and sister. It was a ritual we always looked forward to and was never missed.

Mount Mary Fair 2020

Standing in those long queues to offer flowers and candles did not deter us, because we were all so excited to take that turn towards the fair but after our offerings were done. Sometimes we had cousins and neighbours who accompanied us to add to the fun and frolic. The aroma of roasted gram and soap bubbles filled the air.

Sis Farzeen, Naaz and me

Dad would give us Rs 50 each to spend.  The amount was good enough to get us rides in the Giant wheel and also take home some eats and religious artifacts. Licking on Iced Candy and super sweet Cotton candy floss gave us our dosage of a Sugar rush. Dad would take us to a Photo Stall to click a group photo as a remembrance of the visit. We would either pose against the painted Taj Mahal wall or pose driving a cardboard car. The photographer went under a black curtain to click the photo. It would take an hour to develop or then Dad would pick it up the next day. He always marked the photograph with a date/year on the reverse.

Mount Mary Fair 2020

This Years Mount Mary Bandra Fair 2020

However this year amidst the Covid-19 pandemic the celebrations are canceled.  Keeping in mind the large social gatherings which will only add to the rising number of people getting infected through the Asymptomatic patients. But, one can still get a glimpse of the Church Mass conducted and telecasted online through the Mount Mary Basilica online broadcast and website. I visited the Church last week even though it was closed, just to feel the calm, sanctity, and peace of the environment and also to relive the happy memories of my childhood.

Let us all pray to Our Blessed Virgin Mother Mary and Baby Jesus to bring back our lives to normalcy and hopefully in the year 2021 we all can look forward to happier days again.

A preschool teacher, social media influencer, lifestyle & food blogger. Added hobbies are travel, movies, and fashion, going for events, socializing, networking and making new friends.


  • Amar Singh

    I have heard so much about this place but never had the chance to visit it unfortunately. Looks like the whole area comes to life during the week long celebration of Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary . I wonder how the whole Covid situation will effect this years celebration. Hope I can visit it one day. Thanks for sharing

  • Alpana Deo

    “Let us all pray to Our Blessed Virgin Mother Mary and Baby Jesus to bring back our lives to normalcy and hopefully in the year 2021 we all can look forward to happier days again”.Amen.. Your post made me nostalgic. Few places bring us back many memories and we just want to be in that moment.

  • Surbhi prapanna

    I had visited Mumbai few times but never get a chance to visit this place. After reading your post feeling curious to visit this. looking like a great place to have some fun time with friends and family.

  • SwatiMathur

    Would love to see glimpse of the Church Mass telecasted online through the Mount Mary Basilica online broadcast and website..Being to Mumbai but missed seeing this.. Thanks for sharing

  • Ruchi Verma

    I heard a lot but still have to visit the Mount Mary Fair…This year it’s different but surely next year!! You have so great memories attached!!

  • Hansa Kajaria

    Though I’ve visited mount Mary but I’ve not been der for fest…. I wish to go der once during fest and enjoy it. Yes this years festivities are at such low key that we r missing all the fun n Mount Mary bandra fest is what everyone waits for.

  • Judy Morris

    I have never been to Mount Mary Church during this festival but surely want to be here someday. The vibes of this church are so different and so positive. I adore this part of Bombay. Praying for a much better 2021

  • Dr Bushra

    I’ve never been to Mumbai. The mount Mary fair and church memories sounds nostalgic. Would definitely love to visit this celebration whenever I’ve been there

  • Modern Gypsy

    I’ve been to the church for Midnight Mass on Christmas a few times. It’s such a beautiful church and so festive at that time. I imagine the fair would be a very vibrant time too!

  • Geethica Mehra

    Lovely memories refreshed while I read your feelings. I went back to the top and saw photos again to reconnect your story. Old memories do mark a space on your soul and refreshes as you talk about them.
    A nostalgic post indeed.

  • Don

    I have been to Bombay (yes, I am an old soul!), I have been to Bandra… but I haven’t had the chance to visit the Mount Mary Bandra Fair yet. Argh, if not for covid…

  • Poonam

    Firstly, I love your name!

    As for Bandra Fair, never visited but my first job was in Bandra and it was wondrous to see how the streets change during Bandra fair.

  • PRB

    I hadn’t heard about this fair till now. Churches are amazingly calm place to pray in peace, I love visiting churches, and maybe someday, when I visit Bombay again, will visit this as well. Thanks for writing 🙂

  • Trablogger

    I have seen this church when I was in Mumbai. But after reading this post about the fair, it reminded me of a similar church that is close to my home. That church is also dedicated to Mother Mary and it has an annual fair. People go there irrespective of their religion and enjoy a great time. I don’t think this year the fair did happen due to obvious reasons. Thank you for bringing some nostalgic memories back.

  • Nils

    I have been in Mumbai for 6 years but could never get the time to visit this. Have heard a lot but your post has made me excited m. I plan to go when it will be held again. Thanks for such a detailed post.

  • Ramya DRozario

    What a lovely post! It reminded me of the christmas fetes in my school. I miss those days. And I’m yet to visit this very famous church in Mumbai. Hopefully, next time I’m in the city, I’ll be able to fulfil my wish. 🙂

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