Mobai Bhavan: A Mini Museum Celebrating The Century-Old Traditions Of East Indians In Mumbai

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In a pretty bungalow at Manori Village, centuries of tradition and culture has been captured by the East Indian community in the form of a museum. Mobai Bhavan is an attempt to spread awareness about the East Indian community by showcasing their culture. Set up on May 19, 2013, this museum showcases many artefacts that are donated by East Indian families across the city of Mumbai. They include musical instruments like the saxophone, ghumat, earthern and traditional kitchen utensils, bullock carts, ploughing equipment, koita (chopper), khavni (instrument to scrape coconut), daantela (sickle to cut grass) and a lot more.

Mr. Alphi D'souza
Mr. Alphi D’souza

The museum is currently housed on private property which was freely made available by an East Indian family for the purpose until a larger area is acquired or given by the government. Alphi Dsouza, Sarpanch of the community, “The Mobai Gaothan Panchayat faced several challenges while setting up this museum which aims to showcase the lifestyle of our forefathers, their occupations and a lot more. A collective drive was carried out wherein many East Indian families donated artefacts like old implements, utensils of cooking, storage, farming, fishing, furniture lying in their homes. The museum depicts our culture in the last 200 years. It is also for our future generations to understand what our lifestyle was and will hopefully keep them well aware.”

Who are East Indians?
The East Indian communities are indigenous Catholic inhabitants of Bombay, Salsette and Bassein (now known as Vasai). They are said to be the original residents of Bombay (Mumbai). They used to call Bombay in their dialect as Mobai and not Mumbai.

Where is Mobai Bhavan?
It is located in Manori at Theresa Villa on the Manori-Gorai Road, about five minutes travel from the Manori Jetty.

1016041_10151697368207247_436024077_nWhat are the facilities provided at the Bhavan?
The Bhavan provides you with an all-round experience of East Indian Food and culture. While the artefacts are at display, one can also book their lunch or have at overnight stay at the bhavan. Authentic East Indian food prepared in earthen vessels is served along with music from the traditional instrument ghumat.

When can one visit Mobai Bhavan?
The Bhavan is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm with free entry. However, if you want to enjoy the mouth-watering meals, call them in advance. They are also open to exceptions and can keep the Bhavan open on the required day. For information and bookings you can call 9820087771.

Gaothan Voice
1025825_10151697384872247_1407851892_oGaothan Voice is an 8-page monthly magazine which acts as a medium of information about this community and is circulated privately. The magazine aims at making people of their community or their subscribers aware of their culture and tradition. It focuses on uplifting the village community. It carries news about the East Indian community and also brings to light issues faced by people of this community. The magazine has interesting content catering to East Indian people and also informs them of various developments and active sarpanches in and around their city. It circulates across 100 villages or East Indian Gaothans in and across Mumbai, Thane and Raigad. The magazine has a readership of 15,500 and circulates around 3000 copies per month. To view a pdf version of this magazine, visit

Image credit: Mr Alphi D’souza

Post By Syrah (76 Posts)

Always curious, writing was something she discovered accidentally which she now enjoys. Loves reading fiction, dislikes staying idle and enjoys spontaneous trips or treks over weekends.



Always curious, writing was something she discovered accidentally which she now enjoys. Loves reading fiction, dislikes staying idle and enjoys spontaneous trips or treks over weekends.
  • Asha Bhardwaj

    All the best Mr Alphi D,Souza