Gilbert Hill, Mumbai – A fading monolith

by Vinaya HS on August 28, 2006

in The Mumbai Blog,The SP Jain Blog,Travel

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Gilbert Hill 1

Gilbert Hill is a 200 foot (90 m) monolith column of black basalt rock in Andheri (West), Mumbai. The rock has a sheer vertical face and was created when molten lava was squeezed out of the earth’s clefts during the Mesozoic Era about 65 million years ago. During that era, molten lava had spread around most of the Indian states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, covering an area of 50,000 km². The volcanic eruptions were also responsible for the destruction of plant and animal life during that era.

According to experts, this rare geological phenomenon was the remnants of a ridge and had clusters of vertical columns in nearby Jogeshwari which were quarried off two decades ago. These vertical columns are similar to the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, and the Devil’s Post Pile National Monument in eastern California, USA.

Atop the rock column, two Hindu temples, the Gaodevi and Durgamata temples, set in a small garden, are accessed by a steep staircase carved into the rock. The hill offers a panoramic view of the city of Mumbai.

To get there via road, turn left at Kasimali Sakur Chowk on SV Road, just before Andheri railway station and ask for directions to the temple atop Gilbert Hill which is a minute’s drive away.

[Source: Wikipedia]

In Mumbai, you take any space that is vacant and construct a concrete building on it. You don’t care if the plot next to you hosts a 65 million year old monolith. You simply build a skyscraper of apartments and then charge a hefty premium for the view you get outside your window. Recently, the high court has passed an order banning all construction activity around the monolith. And this, only because of a recent landslide that chopped off a portion of the monolith. Of what use is legislation, when the damage has already been done?

Gilbert Hill 2

The landslide that chopped a portion off the hill and the rudimentary barricade fencing off the area.

Gilbert Hill 7

Here’s what you see when you get to the top – a panoramic view of concrete.

Gilbert Hill 3 Gilbert Hill 4
Gilbert Hill 5 Gilbert Hill 6

There’s still some joy to be discovered on top of the monolith in the form of these beauties, just drenched in the light rain.

Gilbert Hill 8

Gilbert Hill 9

Gilbert Hill 10

Only time will tell the fate of Gilbert Hill.

[Blogged from Dome1]

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Vinayak August 28, 2006 at 2:49 PM

It was a wonderful expedition, wasnt it?:) The first-hand experience of wading through one of the mumbai slums on the foothill of this historic splendor was of a mixed feeling – we saw the kind of lifestyle these slum dwellers led n at the same time we were a bit scared too. The walk up the hill was gr8 n the joy to find a cool, calm place with an aerial view in such a crowded city was unbound:)


Thangarajan.P.K. January 8, 2007 at 10:30 AM

A compilation of ‘world class’ photographs with carefully selected info from sources…Very interesting..It gives the ‘feel’ of being there.the panoramic view- those flowers-A fantastic,dedicated job!
my hearty conratulations Keep it up…

Vinaya HS January 8, 2007 at 2:24 PM

Thanks man :-)

xyz August 16, 2007 at 3:26 PM

can you name the areas around this gilbert hill soon
thank you

vinodlaxmichand mehta September 26, 2009 at 10:23 AM

i have worked on gilbert hill in deccan construction co from may 1954 to31.12.1956&1.1.57 to 30.9.57 at gulati my basic training place was gilber hill I LOVE GILBERT HILL i am a senior citizen i learn labour laws compliance according to me amboli hills is a mini gilbert hill and to dat you can see live in morethan one doz.movies namely taqdeer,raaz,jab pyar kisise hota hai,isq per zor nahi ham hindustani

Sangita October 27, 2009 at 6:57 AM

Love the photos of the flowers

vinod .laxmichand mehta November 9, 2009 at 9:58 PM

ihave worked on this hill in deccan construction co from may 1954 to 31-12-1956 as a mining mateand also at gulati h.o. from 1.1.1957 to 30.9.1957 at gilbert hill west i am proud of worrking on a great gilbert hilland there after on mini gilbert hill i.e. at amboli hill still we are able see live mini gilbert hillin the following movies. 1.taqdeer2.raaz 3.

vinod mehta November 18, 2009 at 3:09 PM

i was lucy to get my mines training at gilbert hill from 1954 to 1957 of sept. and i got first aid training and got a medelian and passed my mining mate fore man and permit managers certificate credit goes to gilbert hill training only

Jessy J T November 20, 2009 at 4:15 PM

I am very lucky to live near Gilber t Hill. The moltar which is spread ends in our building…Tarang.
The night brings out the black beauty of the mountain… During rainy season we have a Lonavala atmosphere in our building….. The mountain is a home for thousands of pigeon, eagel, parrots, kingfisher and other different spices. Its is the most peaceful place in Mumbai, where there is no pollution of any type.

Narsimha M November 26, 2009 at 9:03 AM

As a former Andherian ( 1973-1985) I really enjoyed looking at the pictures depicting a panoramic view of Andheri and it’s vicinity.

vinod. l. mehta age 74 December 7, 2009 at 12:45 PM

i have written on gilbert hill in hindi and gujrati magazine od jain int ntrade trade org uin the month ofmay june july isse and now i want to give more information on mini gilbert hill (AMBOLI) hills on veera desai road whare more than one doz.movies like TAQDEER,RAAZ,ISK PER ZOR NAHI AND JAB PYAR KISISE HOTA HAI,HAM HINDUSTANI ,TEEN AND LIVE STONE QUARRIESDEVIADEVIA,HAQIKAT,BARUD.ARPAR,MEHMAN CHAR DIL CHAR RAHE THISE ARE THE BEST MUVIES NTO SEE MINI GILBERT HILL LIVE AFTER 50 YEARS QUALIFIED MININING MATE FOREMAN AND PERMIT MANAGER AND MADELIA FIRST AIDER BY ST.JOHN AMBULANCE AND BY THE DEPARTOF MINES UNDER MINES ACT 1952

vinod mehta December 7, 2009 at 4:17 PM

stoe quarries at gilbert hill who were registyered with mines dept at dhanbad during the year 1954 and were inspected by region were 1.deccan const,co.2.gulati brothers 3.lalji brothers 4patker bros sawhney const.corp(5)andno6ram 7khan mohmed 8haji mohidin 9central stone 10 bombay const corp 11swaran stone ind.12suburban stone s,co 13 desai and co and most of this quarries were given explosives licence in nform N and J by the police commissioner and stone crushers were covered under factory act.

VINOD. L.MEHTA June 4, 2010 at 5:28 PM


vinod.laxmichand mehta birth date 1.10.36 May 3, 2012 at 1:25 PM

since long i have not heard of ropeways to climb gilbert hill will you pl,let me know the lateest position of ropeway project

vinod,laxmichand mehta September 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

i would like to see photos 0f old gilbert hill iesince1950 when 17 stone quarries were working on gilbert hill and exvetion were done frm east @west side and some of the moves had done the shooting and old photos by any old persons the area was starting from andheri recreation to the last up to the hillis nowif we can collect plan from thalsidar office thank you vinod l mehta

vinod laxmichand mehta September 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM

i am intrested photos of 1950 and before can you help me in finding out or can you sujest any film in which gilbert hill can be seen

VINOD.L.MEHTA February 7, 2013 at 3:41 PM


vinod.laxmichand mehta March 1, 2013 at 5:42 PM

can i see any documentary film on gilbert hill on internet

vinod.l.mehta May 18, 2013 at 3:57 PM

when i can climb the gilbert hill by rope ways as now i am 77 and on the stair case i can not climb dear mr. jadhavji pl do some thing for the same senior citizen who love gilbert hill since 1954 thank you very much in advance vinod mehta age 77

vinod l mehta July 1, 2013 at 5:28 PM

what is new in gilbert hill news?

vinod.l.mehta August 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

i do not since long gilbert hill sielent about rope ways i can not climb now as i am 77up now pl.dosome thing that rope ways come up as early as possible vinod. l. mehta mobile no 9869280900

vinod laxmichand mehta August 22, 2013 at 4:38 PM

amboli hill andheri near gilbert hill was known as mini gilbert hill and if you want to see live you must watch taqdder, raaz,Isk per jor nahi,jab pyar kisise hota hai;mehman,haqeekat,ham hindustani,jaal, char dil char rahe, and many more films

vinod laxmichand mehta August 31, 2013 at 2:49 PM

i was a lucky men to get training on gilbert Hill,andheri which is a 2nd in the world. and only because of the practical training i could sit in a mining examination and pass the mining mate, mining foreman and per4mit managers examination and been a miing consultant in100 of stone quarry in those days my area was gilbrt hill,amboli hills chandivali hills nagla, manpada pokhraran road,damupada,bandongi,kirol hill no4 and hill no.5 in ghatkopar. now im 77 and was born on 1st october 1936 could earned a name in a many films as i writen last time.

vinod mehta November 4, 2013 at 7:11 AM

when can i go on gilbert hill temple by rope i am still waiting for the same as i have no capacity to climb the hill by 177 steps. pl do some thing. awaiting for your reply

vinod mehta November 18, 2013 at 11:30 AM

raj kapoor, meena humari, in char dil char rahe,rajesh khana and babita in raaz, in taqdeer bharat bhushan and shalini, sunil datta in ham hindustani,devanand and asha parekh in jab pyar kisise hota hai,dharmendra vishwajit with sadhana in isk par jor nahi, team of sholay,teen devia team,haqikat team, mehman vishawajeet dharmendra in kab, que, kaha,devanand in jal and many more have visited mini gilbert (amboli Hills) in andheri and because we are still able to see live hills in those films see live hills in the said films vinod mehta who has worked on both the hills who is a qualified permit manager under the mines act 1952

vinod .l.mehta December 8, 2013 at 5:21 PM

to day on 8th dec.2013 i climb gilbert hill with my yoga teacher who is 1st in india and 4th in world who is known as yograj gurujee went up on gilbert hill with two mobiles and we took some photos and some vidio shooting. we found little dificult to climb becouse of steps were under repairs and new steps being done are biger than the exesting one which are big for the senior citizen. i love gilbert hill since 1954 i.e. about 60 years.on 7th dec 2013 there was a function having 9 type of puja and there was a location schooting by lamon chennal for news.we stay there for a hour and we after fining the preyer(ARTI) we came down with care. we had a great yatra to day.may god bless the GILBERT HILL which a like a LING of SHIVA’ VINOD MEHTA date of birth 1.10.1936. age 77 years’

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