Photos of Hiranandani Gardens Powai, Mumbai

by Sharell शारेल on January 6, 2010

in Snapshots of India

Post image for Photos of Hiranandani Gardens Powai, Mumbai

Following on from a look inside our new home, here are some scenes from our new neighbourhood in Mumbai — Hirandanani Gardens, Powai. Powai is located in Mumbai’s central suburbs, around 6 kilometres from the airport and 25 kilometres from the city centre in south Mumbai.

Hiranandani Gardens isn’t your typical Mumbai neighbourhood. In fact, I was surprised that such a place existed! It’s a planned development township, built solely by Hiranandani Constructions.

I’m discovering that the quality of life here is quite exceptional. No wonder the area attracts a lot of expats. The developer has built parks, hospitals, and schools. There are world class hotels, shops, supermarkets, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Nearby, there’s even a go-kart track.

Most of the accommodations in the area consist of luxury highrise apartments, constructed by the developer. However, step outside the boundaries of the township and you’ll find people living in huts on the side of the road. The contrast is immense. The bungalows where I live are the only buildings that haven’t been built by Hiranandani Constructions. They lack the luxury element, but make up for it with character and space.

I feel incredibly comfortable walking around this neighbourhood. On more than one occasion I’ve seen Indian women dressed in mini skirts or shorts. I do miss the “Indian” element though — those small, small shops that clutter the side of the road in a mismatched manner. Outside my old apartment building there was a tailor, a paper recycler, numerous vegetable sellers, a laundry, a hardware store, a mattress maker, a chemist, a grocery store, a fancy store, a guy who came on his bicycle to sharpen knives and other instruments, a chai-wala, and an assortment of evening snack stalls. Sadly, the only vada pav we’ll be eating around here is Jumbo King!

Our street. Entrance to the compound is on the left.

Our street looking the other direction.

Our street looking the other direction.

D-Mart is at the end of the street. 2 minutes walk from home.

So is Aromas, and other coffee shops.

Another 5 minute walk and there's a three level shopping centre.

Heading towards Powai Lake along Lake Boulevard there are stores such as Levis and Natures Basket.

Entrance to one of the public gardens.

Despite the sanitation, there are still some reminders of India, like this guy lifting his rickshaw up for repairs

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© Copyright 2010 Sharell शारेल, Diary of a White Indian Housewife 2008-2014. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

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{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Amit Kumar January 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm

That’s a very good point…….by the way, we may not survive till 2050 because of Global Warming……..lets hope for the best

Humans are selfish, they’ll find always find ways to survive. This century will be the hotbed for clean/green technology and forget global warming, I can already see the ice age coming in another century! :D

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Amit Kumar January 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Western media portrays India in a negative manner but then western media doesnt portray how India was robbed of its riches, its peace, its stability, etc once.

Well, we are a poor country and it’s normal for anyone to project India the way it is. But the western media does it very regularly and opportunistically.

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Abdullah K. January 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm

@ Amit Kumar – “With the constant China India hysteria that the western media stirs up, I am surprised that someone can ask such a naive question.”

He didn’t ask a naive question, he simply asked what rich people do in India. It is a perfectly normal question, no more naive than the suggestion that only the US is more industralised than India.

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Amit Kumar January 8, 2010 at 11:51 pm

He didn’t ask a naive question, he simply asked what rich people do in India.

It was a perfectly normal question to you, but the most ridiculous question I’ve heard in my entire life along with the other statements.

It is a perfectly normal question, no more naive than the suggestion that only the US is more industralised than India.

Look up the meaning of industry verticals.

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Abdullah K. January 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm

You want to hear a more ridiculous one?

“Do elephants have headlights in India?” This is a question a friend of mine got in a US church seminar.

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ifucan January 11, 2010 at 5:14 am

I doubt many people live in Hirandani garden are rich. I see so many small small cars in the photos. Shouldnt there be all bmws,mercs and lexus models?
Posh area usually do not have auto rickshaws ,right?

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Sharell February 24, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Check out a reprint of my blog post that appeared in the local Powai paper. :-)

http://www.planetpowai.com/news/2102201006.htm

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jiga July 21, 2010 at 4:41 am

wow, the place has changed. I grew up in iit powai. If you are coming from the airport on adi shankara road the firt buiding to the left in iit campus was my first apartment. My parents used to tell me the whole area in front of iit was a jungle, i.e. on right of adi shankara road.

Have you been to iit campus yet. May be next time I come over for a conference or something, I could show you around the campus.

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Sharell July 21, 2010 at 11:33 am

Hi Jiga, yeah, I saw some photos of Powai from decades ago… when it was a jungle. I couldn’t believe it. The whole area where Hiranandani Gardens is was just one road… and jungle. :-o The only place I’ve been to in IIT is the post office! Thanks for your kind offer. :-)

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botham July 22, 2010 at 4:24 am

“…my husband is easy going and very western….”

Sharell,

You hubby and his family are a bit hard to place, let me tell why.

These are some nuggets we gather from your writings:
(1) Your in-laws live in prabhadevi area. They have a flat, outside which there is a beehive of activity. If they always owned a flat they are very well off. But, then you say your in-laws are low class (your words-lower class). Is it possible that they used to live in chawls in prabhadevi pre-1995 and that some developer then gave them flats in a high rise building latter ?

(2) You mention your husbands family is or oriya origin but still own a family business. And, that both your in-laws don’t know how to speak english. There are not many oriyans in bombay, so for some one with not much education (not knowing english in bombay equates to lack of degrees) to have a family business one would normally have to be in a business community like sindhis or gujrathis. So, that’s another contradiction a family of oriyans which own a family business in bombay, while not knowing how to speak english, are “low class” but still have a flat in prabhadevi ?

(3) Assuming your hubby grew up in Bombay, I can imagine like most bombaites his hindi to be cringing to ones ears (e.g. like ghetto english in new york). Not like the melodic hindi of lucknow, etc. He might be speaking decent hinglish like most bombaites with some undergrad education. Again a contradiction pops up, how did a guy with his background end up being a DJ in “top night clubs” in calcutta and such. Of course it is possible that he has an awesome tongue and glibbness to rise to that spot ? But, in my limited experience of Indian DJ’s they are normally loud boisterous males with large egos and confidence…basically larger than life. And, from what you say about your hubby, he doesn’t sound like that. As per your description, he is easy going, laid back and doesn’t cause a scene etc (you paint a picture of him being a easy going mouse, not alpha dog or wolf). What is he…how did he become a top dj to represent some of the top clubs…what makes him tick…?

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Sharell July 22, 2010 at 11:59 am

Hi Botham,

Yes, I agree that they are very hard to place! ;-) And I like it that way! Since you’ve raised those really interesting questions, I’ll elaborate for you….

1) No, they didn’t receive the flat from a developer. They have owned their flat for over 30 years. My father in law purchased it with his own money. He also owns his own shop in Prabhadevi near the temple. The family came to Mumbai over 40 years ago, when it was not such an expensive city. The flat is in a peaceful building on phul gali (behind the temple) and my father in law bought it when it was getting built. My husband grew up in it (I’ve seen photos of the whole family posing on the terrace). It’s not a high rise one, it only has 6 floors (my in laws live on the 4th floor).

2) My father in law owns his own business because he bought it too!. It was the business he worked in when he first came to Mumbai. He’s a very talented carpenter and it’s a furniture business…. he makes custom designed furniture. My youngest brother in law works with him in the business as an interior designer…. which was what my husband was supposed to do but he wanted to pursue music. My father in law is very hard working, and has done very well for himself, including sending his children to private schools. The family lives a comfortable middle class lifestyle. They do have interest from developers who want to buy the shop, so I guess that will happen in time. Life has turned out well for them. But they deserve it because they’re very honest, warm hearted people. And they’ve adapted well.

3) When my husband embarked on his DJ career, he was only one of a handful of DJs in Bombay (starting out at Leopolds upstairs in the early 1990s). It was a very small, close knit industry. My husband actually went to school with those guys, so they were close friends although a couple of years older than him. One day he filled in for one of his friends, who couldn’t work their shift. The owner loved his work, and gave him a residency. Back then, music was played on cassette tapes, and queued up with a pencil! He has plenty of friends who have the “gift of the gab”, are street smart and can negotiate well (the kind you have mentioned). A couple of them went to Calcutta, again this was a long time ago when there were not a lot of DJs around, to get the music scene started there. One of them recommended him. He got offered a contract, and went to Calcutta too. He was in his early 20s at the time (so over 15 years ago). Once you’re in the scene and have an opening like that, and have proven your have ability, you’re in. And since there were hardly any DJs in the country back then, work was plentiful. :-) Most of the old skool DJs have retired from the scene now (most are in their late 30s), plus they haven’t kept up with the technology. There are a few exceptions though — Ash (who’s now in the popular group Jalabee Cartel) and Lloyd (you may recognise him as the guy from the DJ round on that show Music Ka Maha Muqabla…excuse spelling of the last word!). Lloyd is probably one of the best negotiators in the industry, and very business savvy too. He and my husband were in Calcutta together (and they went to school together). My husband left the family business (his brother in law’s not his fathers) to join him in music production last year. We also live in row houses next to each other. If Royalty (where Poison used to be) ever opens, they will be working there too. My husband is also working on some of his own tracks, which will be released later in the year (he has another friend associated with new record label in India). What makes my husband tick? He’s creative, loves music, is one of those people who watches and listens, and absorbs everything. And has friends to do the talking for him. His friends still joke that he never used to say much, but what ever he said was relevant. So, they enjoyed his company and respected his ability.

So, that’s the story! ;-)

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botham July 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Sharell, Thanks for the generous explanation. It’s not really my business, but I felt I should atleast point the contradictions from my perspective.

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Sharell July 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm

It’s okay. I thought your contradictions were very perceptive, so I was happy to reply! :-)

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Mona January 6, 2012 at 12:05 am

I appreciate your description…how long have you been living there and how safe is it? Do you know if there are any apartments for short-term rent? And do you have a picture of the swimming pool? I will be visiting Mumbai for about 3 weeks soon. Thank you!

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Sharell January 6, 2012 at 12:16 am

Hi Mona, I’ve been here for 2 years and it’s very safe. I love it here! Sorry, I don’t have any swimming pool photos or knowledge about places to rent. Perhaps you might find some info on http://powai.info/ or the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/powaizen

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Niraj March 3, 2012 at 5:05 am

Hi Sharell

Thanks for some great insights – much appreciated.

I have been offered a role with a company with its office in Vikhroli. I currently reside in Sydney (for the last 9 years), and have wife + 2 kids (10 & 4). I have liven in HNG (Tulip building) way back from 1991-93, and loved the place.

I have to decide whether to move or not. Can you provide some further insights on:
- quality and level of education for a Yr 5
- quality of social life for kids – do kids come out in the evenings and have a game / socialise etc? That is how I grew up in Delhi and I dont want my kids to grow up watching tv or playing wii.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

cheers

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Shiriki March 3, 2012 at 10:10 am

Hi Niraj!

Sharell is “out of office” till next week, but I’m sure when she returns she’ll respond to your comment!

Have a great day!

Shiriki
Blog/Forum Moderator

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Sharell शारेल March 7, 2012 at 9:54 am

Hi Niraj, unfortunately, I’m not the best person to ask about education because I don’t have kids. However, I’m aware that there seems to be a big difference between standard Indian education and that in a country such as Australia. The different is rote learning vs application. In India, education seems to be more about memorising and repeating, whereas in Australia it was about learning and applying to solve different problems. Hence, you will need to pay careful attention to the school curriculum and decide what kind of school you want to enrol your kids in. An international school may be better. There are quite a few options in Mumbai.

As for kids, from what I’ve seen, they do come out in the evenings and play with each other within the building compounds. They seem to mix together really well, always have friends, and don’t seem to get bored. However, education seems to be very competitive in Mumbai, and many kids don’t even have time to play because they go to after school tuition or some kind of other activity every night. It’s all about getting ahead.

Your kids may very well miss the open spaces and clean air that they’re used to in Sydney. Kids are adaptable though. :-)

Hope that helps!

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Aky August 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm

The quality of education for a 5th grader is pretty average and I can say this because I myself went to school in Hiranandani. It used to be great but is slowly deteriorating. However yes kids do come down in the evenings in their colonies and it is extremely safe and they have a blast. My childhood in Hiranandani was perfect and the people even children are really warm and friendly. This is the best environment your child can grow up in.

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Sharell शारेल August 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Hi Aky, wow, 16 years! You sure must’ve witnessed some dramatic transformations.

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Aky August 19, 2012 at 9:06 am

Yes I definitely have. I remember when the place used to be so lonely and desolate and it was a jungle with only 3 buildings. And now its so crowded and lively. I loved it then and I love it even now.

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Niraj March 9, 2012 at 6:05 am

Hi Sharell

Many thanks – that does help a lot. I had heard that the culture of playing together in the evenings had vanished from India, but good to learn first had that it was incorrect info. As far as the air and open spaces are concerned – as you said, kids will adapt. And excess competition is not necessarily a bad thing.

Appreciate your time and effort in providing response.

cheers

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Aky August 13, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Hi Sharell,
I’ve lived in Hiranandani for 16 years and the little Indian element that you miss is present in the Old Market of Hiranandani. Its further down the crossword road and you’ll find all the services you mentioned. Hiranandani is the most beautiful place on this planet. I love it.

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sunil patil November 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

I like these buildings especially color combination. can you please tell me the name of shade & company of manufactiring.
sunil patil

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Sharell शारेल November 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Hi Sunil, I’m sorry, I wasn’t involved in painting the buildings so don’t know about that. Try asking the developer: http://www.hiranandani.com/

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