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Happy new year my lovelies.

This year I have made a resolution: to step out of the confines of Bandra (ONLY when it comes to this blog) and haunt the bylanes of Khotachiwadi. For someone who has spent the last eight and a half years salivating over the old houses of the city, I am really surprised it took me so long to discover this place.

On Tuesday, December 31, I ventured into the bylanes of this Girgaum locality, thanks to designer James Ferreira who threw his doors open for the blog.

The house, says Ferreira, was built over 200 years ago by his great grandfather Peter Ferreira. “I don’t know what he did, but even within Khotachiwadi, he owned around five or six houses. Besides this, we owned land in Mahim which even today is Ferreirawadi. And in Gorai, the land right from the ferry to the village, was owned by my ancestors,” says Ferreira. He adds lands in Lonavla and Nasik to the list.

The Khotachiwadi land, Ferreira tells us, was initially a garden owned by a Dadoba Waman Khot – a Pathare Prabhu – who had received the lands in Girgaum from the Portuguese. By 1880, the locality had officially adopted the name of Khotachiwadi, acknowledging the significant role played by the Khot family in its development. (http://khotachiwadi.urbz.net/history/)

“Just like Khotachiwadi, there are areas around called Kandewadi (onions), Kelewadi (bananas), Ambewadi (mangoes) and Phannaswadi (pineapples),” adds Ferreira, who now occupies the ground-plus-one structure with his mother. The top floor now functions as Ferreira’s studio.

“In the olden days, the beach was right next to Khotachiwadi. The British reclaimed the land and built over it,” he adds.

Like most structures of the time, the bathrooms and kitchens were outside the main residential structure. “In the 1920s my grandfather covered the courtyard and brought the outhouse, kitchen within the main house.”

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