I always thought it was impossible to find a sleepy hamlet in Mumbai, the city that never sleeps. I was mistaken. Worli is a word synonymous to contemporary, mostly because of several skyscrapers and the Worli Sea Link Bridge which connects South Mumbai to the suburbs in no time!
Well this blog story is about my experiences walking down the cobbled lanes of the sleepy Worli village. It is sleepy not because I think the inhabitants are not hardworking, but it is quiet and peaceful and quite like any other rural fishing village. Worli has been a fishing village for several hundreds of years and it has restored its identity despite the changing times. There is a clear Portuguese influence in the style of their houses with the stairway outside, many a winding one, Portuguese style windows, however the community that resides there are mostly all fishermen.
A walk through this village is essentially a walk into stories – of people, legends, folklores and of superstitions. What fascinated me the most is that nothing has changed since the time of the first settlement – be it the making of the fishing nets, the men braving the sea to catch fish, the business women selling the catch of the day in the local market! Everything remains the same -Their beliefs, their customs and several of their traditions.
We started with the Golfa Devi Temple, but the Goddess never left me since, or at least my thoughts! She apparently talks to her devotees & counsels them in a unique two – way communication; she is worshipped and adored by all the village-folk. Well walk in here on an idle Tuesday afternoon, and you will see hundreds of devotees queuing up outside the temple to get a solution to their problems. Such is the power of the Goddess!
350-year-old, Worli Fort, lost in the pages of history, this British watch tower still stands tall as it overlooks the beautiful Arabian Sea. It has been in the centre of pirate attacks and sea wars and has also served as a garrison. From the fort, I could see a contrast of two worlds, the architectural masterpiece – Bandra Worli Sea Link on one side, and a birds-eye view of the vintage village on the other.
The Worli Village is a perfect sequel to any Mumbai tour that gave me so much to take back home than I had expected!