The Story Of Santacruz

A little while ago, I found myself on the SV Road stretch near Santacruz. It was rush hour and I didn't want to negotiate my way through the vendors, shoppers and commuters thronging on all the approach roads to the station. So on a whim, I turned right into a quiet lane that seemed going towards the station. One of the address boards of a shop read - Chapel Lane. Fifty meters later, I knew why it was called so.

A small cross encased in glass stood high in one corner. Below, I noticed a marble plaque. This site was significant. After all this is what lent the entire neighbourhood its name.

Here's what the plaque read

This site is sacred & historic to the suburb of Santa Cruz. 

The words Santa Cruz translate as Holy Cross in Portuguese. Legend has it that the East Indian natives of the village Khulbowree erected a crudely made cross on a hillock which became a landmark because it could be sighted for miles amidst vast paddy fields. The original inhabitants, who were cultivators, would gather at this site daily to pray the Rosary, a Christian devotion to Mother Mary, contemplating the life of Jesus. 

Santa Cruz railway station, which began operations in October 1888, was named after this Holy Cross. 

A chapel built on this site around 1850 is where the Christian Church and the Parish of Sacred Heart in Santa Cruz is rooted. Today, home for the destitute and dying run by the Missionaries of Charity, the site is living evidence of the values of Christ....

Love & Hope for the least of humankind. 

Opposite to it lay the St. Thomas Marthoma Syrian Church and behind the site lay the century old Willingdon Colony which has grown silent over the few years. Santacruz is rapidly changing but some things remain that remind one of the past, of the simpler times gone by.

Those of you who would like to visit the cross, simply google Cardinal Gracias Destitutes Home, Chapel Lane.

Related: The BMC was established in the same year that Santacruz station became operational.


Very nice find. Will visit soon. And thanks for the hint of what to google in the map!👍
Melvin Dsouza said…
Brilliant! You discover so much in this city we take for granted...

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