Bhulabhai Desai Road, also well known by the old name Warden Road (and the part at and near the swimming pool as Breach Candy), is a niche up-market residential and semi-commercial locality of South Mumbai.
The 18th century Mahalaxmi Temple, which honors the Hindu goddess of wealth and wisdom, is situated nearby on the edge of sea. It is one of the most famous temples of Mumbai and attracts millions of devotees and tourists each year.
Geographically, this road curls around the Arabian Sea. Because of its picturesque location, real estate prices here are among the most expensive in the country.
The origin of the name Breach Candy, first attested by 1828 at least, is widely given as an Anglicisation of an Arabic-Marathi name Burj-khāḍī ('the tower of the creek'). However, this interpretation is disputed. In seventeenth- to nineteenth-century English, breach had meanings including 'the breaking of waves on a coast', 'surf made by the sea breaking over rocks; broken water, breakers' and 'a break in a coast, a bay, harbour', and may in the context of Breach Candy even have been used to refer to a breakwater at the location. Thus, although the breach part of the name could be an Anglicisation of a local word, it could simply be an English word in its own right. Meanwhile, Candy may be an Anglicisation of Marathikhind ('mountain pass') or Kannadakhindi ('a breach').
The changing environs of Breach Candy
Diorama of Breach Candy area of pre-Colonial islands of Bombay (right) and Worli (left). 5 marks the shrine of Mahalaxmi, Mahasaraswati, and Mahakali. What is now Breach Candy is largely sea.
Diorama of Breach Candy area of eighteenth-century Bombay, marking Mahalxmi Temple (20) and showing the island of Bombay joining the island of Worli (24).
'Map of the Port and Island of Bombay with the Adjacent Island', 1724, naming the recently formed bay as 'the Breach'.
'Niebuhr's Map of Bombay', 1764, showing the sea-wall or 'Vellard', and the 'Breach battery'.
'The Island of Bombay' by Captain Thomas Dickinson, 1812-16, showing the reclamation of land behind the sea-wall or 'Vellard', and marking the Mahalaxmi Temple.
Not long ago, Breach Candy was sparsely populated with very few bungalows and mansions. Most of the residents were born into old money. Some of these bungalows and mansions still stand. The Breach Candy House, the Breach Candy Swimming Club and the Breach Candy Hospital have been present since the time of British rule.
What are now the Amarson and Tata gardens were landfills with abandoned construction trucks, cranes and bulldozers probably used in land reclamation projects. A few of these trucks were parked in a truck-sized garage behind Scandal Point. Similarly, trucks, cranes and bulldozers were seen abandoned on the land which is now known as Priyadarshini Park.
^Chidambara Martanda Kulkarni, Studies in Indian History (Bombay: Sri Dvaipayana Trust, 1974), p. 114.
^"Contact UsArchived 11 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine." DSB International School. Retrieved on 11 February 2015. "Garden Campus: Students from Kindergarten to Year 3 / Klasse 4 DSB INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL 76 Bhulabhai Desai Road, Breach Candy Mumbai - 400 026 India." and "Aurum House: Students from Year 5 / Klasse 5 DSB INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL 25 Dadi Seth Road, Babulnath Mumbai - 400 007 India. "