The Banganga Tank, Mumbai


The Velvet Rocket

Article and Photos by Bernie Debusmann and Sarakshi Rai

Driving into Mumbai’s Malabar Hill area for the first time, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s an upscale area of no particular interest. India’s VVIPs live here, such as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra state and the Chief Justice. But not far from the stately homes, at the southern tip of Malabar Hill where the hired help live, there is the Banganga Tank, a 25 square metre rectangular pool of water considered holy by Hindus. The Banganga Tank has a fascinating history.


According to local legend, it was created when the God Rama made a pitstop in the area while searching for Sita, his kidnapped wife. Hostage rescue is tiring, thirsty, work, so he instructed his younger brother Lakshmana to fetch him some water – which he did by shooting an arrow into the ground.

Water immediately started to flow…

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