Powai has come a long way from being a hamlet bordering one of the important lakes supplying Bombay its drinking water. But it really entered the consciousness of Mumbai residents after 1958 when the illustrious and today’s foremost technology and research institution – Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay or IIT-B as it’s more popularly known – was established. As IIT-B grew to renown and the campus spread out, Powai grew as a residential area. The Hiranandani Builders gave it a unique look and feel with similarly designed high rises as part of its Hiranandani township setup. Powai, with this towering landscape was recognisable from miles away. It wasn’t long before corporate offices were set up here and the hamlet exploded into a well-known and seemingly posh township.
We look at the top five reasons Powai is a coveted residential location for a lot of people looking to own a home in Mumbai.
Powai shares its borders with western towns – Andheri and Jogeshwari as well as central towns – Vikhroli, Kanjurmarg and Ghatkopar. This means it’s centrally located and easily accessible to both sides of the sprawling city. Its residents can access both the Central and Western Railway as well as the arterial routes of Western Express Highway, LBS-Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg and Eastern Express Highway. The Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) has become a nodal route and reduced travel times while making Powai a veritable drive-through town.
In addition to being connected to major travel routes Powai is also well served by regular public transport like BEST buses, rickshaws and privately operated cabs and buses. It also enjoys a reputation of being a scenic location surrounded by the Lake and the Powai Hills as well as the forested Aarey Colony and Sanjay Gandhi National Park beyond.
While Hiranandani Builders might have set their mark on Powai through their trademark residential and commercial developments many others have also created some bespoke, luxury apartments. Rajesh LifeSpaces, Raheja, Wadhwa Group, Larsen and Toubro, Shapoorji Pallonji, Nahar and many more have been designing panoramic gated communities with all the possible amenities packed in – swimming pools, landscaped gardens, kids’ play parks, gyms and more. In addition to the beautiful residences, this township has been well planned. It boasts wide roads and tree-lined avenues which are a rare sight in a city like Mumbai.
With Powai’s exponential growth over the last two decades, there has been a boom in services catering to the growing populace. There are a number of educational institutions now offering Maharashtra Board as well as international curricula. Hiranandani Foundation School, S. M. Shetty High School, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Podar, Bombay Scottish are some of the schools. In addition to IIT-Bombay, NITIE is a recognised institute for business studies. Colleges in the nearby towns of Ghatkopar, Andheri, Jogeshwari are easily accessible.
Dr. L. H. Hiranandani Hospital offers renowned medical care. Additionally there are medical centres like Care and Cure Maternity Nursing Home, Godrej Memorial Hospital and the popular Seven Hills Hospital and Holy Spirit Hospital in Andheri.
Powai is a well known entertainment hub and home to many popular restaurant chains like Out of the Blue, Rude Lounge, Starbucks, Sigree Global Grill, Chili’s and more. The popular Renaissance Hotel borders Powai Lake and the more affordable Ecotel hotel Meluha is in the heart of the township. Residents can shop for groceries and conveniences at D-Mart and many local stores, shopping centres and malls like R-City. Moreover, the area around the lake has been developed into a tree-lined promenade with grassy lawns providing a scenic hangout and adding to the beauty and appeal of the town.
The many corporate offices and commercial buildings housing big names like Crisil, L&T, Deloitte Consulting, Bayer, Credit Suisse, TCS, Sanofi, J P Morgan, Nomura, Cognizant, Colgate-Palmolive as well as business centres like Kensington SEZ and Vatika Business Centre have made Powai a commercial and business centre. Everyday thousands of people stream into offices across Powai from around the city. It is also close to the business centres of Andheri like Saki Naka and MIDC as well as the sprawling office complex of Godrej Industrial Centre in Vikhroli.
Over the last few years Powai has also gained a reputation of being the entrepreneurial and startup hub of the city. Being home to IIT-B as well as NITIE means many engineers and business graduates from these institutes join the commercial offices in the lake town. Many of these youngsters also explore entrepreneurial opportunities. The alumni of IIT-B have also created their own network to help grow such opportunities and reach out to one another, thus creating a vibrant startup ecosystem. Powai Lake Ventures is one such network that also works as an incubator to help young entrepreneurs connect. Housing.com, Flyrobe, Nearfox, TinyOwl, Toppr, HolaChef, JustRide are some of the startups to emerge from the Powai Valley entrepreneurial ecosystem.
While these might sound like excellent reasons to make Powai your home, the actual experience of being here is second to none. Just ask any of the thousands who travel here for work or meetings, or social visits. The palpable buzz one feels while spending time here is certain to make one aspire to own or even rent a home in Powai. How about you? What has your experience of Powai been like?