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Look out for peacocks that roam Doongerwadi forest freely.
(Abhishek Mande Bhot for The Washington Post)
NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in Kemps Corner

Look out for peacocks that roam Doongerwadi forest freely.
(Abhishek Mande Bhot for The Washington Post)
  • By Abhishek Mande Bhot
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Kemps Corner
Mumbai
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Mumbai is home to the largest concentration of the Zoroastrian Parsees in the world, several of whom stay in community housing projects in posh neighborhoods such as Kemps Corner. The Parsee community arrived in India after fleeing persecution in their homeland of Persia, struck roots in the western state of Gujarat and flourished in Mumbai. Some of the city’s most well-known philanthropists are from this community. The neighborhood houses several other communities, predominantly the Gujarati Jains and sects of Hindu Maharashtrians.

Meet Abhishek Mande Bhot

Abhishek was born and raised in Mumbai. He loves the summers, but looks forward to the 2½ days of Mumbai “winter” when it’s 77 degrees Fahrenheit and he can finally wear his thin pullover.

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Kemps Corner

Bai Soonabai Hirji Fire Temple
This 200-year-old fire temple is one of 50 of its kind in the city and an important place of worship for the Zoroastrian community. The current structure dates to 1925 and houses an eternal flame that Zoroastrians worship.
Gowaliya Tank, August Kranti Marg, Kemps Corner, Grand Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400036
Khareghat Colony
This Zoroastrian housing project attracts curious visitors as well as film and Bollywood movie makers. Inside the colony is an easy-to-miss war memorial, a rare one erected by civilians paying tribute to fallen community heroes.
Khareghat Colony, NS Patkar Marg, Grant Road West, Mumbai 400007
F.D. Alpaiwalla Museum (temporarily closed)
Inside Khareghat Colony is the only museum in the city that documents the history and culture of the Parsee community. It was once the private collection of F.D. Alpaiwalla. As of summer 2019, the museum was undergoing a renovation but was expected to open that year.
F.D. Alpaiwalla Museum, Khareghat Colony, NS Patkar Marg, Grant Road West, Mumbai 400007
Ratan Tata Institute
Founded in 1928, the Ratan Tata Institute does many things to uplift members of the Zororastrian community, including running a kitchen that rolls out tarts, biscuits, quiches and Parsee staples such as dhansak and chicken farcha.
Ratan Tata Institute, 35 NS Patkar Marg, Grant Road West, Mumbai 400007
Doongerwadi
Deep in the heart of Doongerwadi, a 55-acre forest, is a hollow tower used by the Zoroastrian community, who place bodies of the deceased inside for a funerary ritual. Once standing at the edge of the city and home to several species of birds and wildlife, Doongerwadi hasn’t seen a tiger for the past 197 years, but it’s still home to majestic peacocks that roam the forest freely.
Doongerwadi forest, 2 Bal Gangadhar Kher Rd., Babulnath, Simla Nagar, Malabar Hill, Mumbai 400036
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Abhishek Mande Bhot
Abhishek was born and raised in Mumbai. He loves the summers, but looks forward to the 2½ days of Mumbai “winter” when it’s 77 degrees Fahrenheit and he can finally wear his thin pullover.
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