BANDRA Name History

The name BANDRA has undergone a metamorphosis from 'Bandora' (Portuguese) to a

very local name “वांद्रे “ (Marathi) to Bandra (English). 

The name 'Bandra' is possibly an adaptation of the Persian (and also Urdu) word bandar, 

which Duncan Forbes' a Dictionary, Hindustani and English (1848) defines as 'a city; an 

emporium; a port, harbour; a trading town to which numbers of foreign merchants resort'. 

In Marathi, Bandra is known as “वांद्रे “  (Vandre), which also means 'port' and is possibly 

derived from the same Urdu/Persian word. Tradition has it that the suburb was originally 

known as Vandra or Ape as it was the home of monkeys. 

It is referred to as "Bandora" on gravestones in the cemetery of St. Andrew's Church and 

in the writings of Mountstuart Elphinstone of the British East India Company which 

describe endeavours to acquire the island of Salsette. 

It was Bandor as the Portuguese called it in 1505, then called Bandera, Bandura, 

Bandore, Pandara, Bandorah, Bandara and finally Bandra till a railway sign board 

finalized in 1894, during the British Raj, the 'B.B.& C.I. Railway'(Bombay Baroda & 

Central India Railways) changed the name of this sprawling suburb to 'Bandra' - which has 

remained till today.


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