Bombay has always been a metropolis which has attracted and continues to attract people from all over the country. People come to this vibrant city in search of employment and to seek better livelihood. This was certainly true about some enterprising Brahmins from South Kanara District of Karnataka who made their life’s journey to Bombay during the early 19th century. Sometime during 1920 these migrant  Brahmins felt the need to come together under one roof to help each other, promote education and culture, help the needy amongst them and provide employment assistance. With these objectives as guidelines, the Bombay South Kanara Brahmin Association [ now known as BSKB Association] was formed by 6 persons in the year 1925.  The membership rose to 60 by the year end with a membership fees of Rs 3 per year per head and Rs 100 for permanent membership.

A committee was formed with the following office bearers.

President          : U.B.Narayan Rao

Vice President   : Bappanadu Subba Rao

Hon. Secretary  : B.S. Tantry

Hon. Treasurer  : C. Keshavayya

The meetings used to take place in one of the houses of the office bearers. Cultural activities, fellowship, employment assistance, scholarship to the needy students were organized in a manner that laid the foundation for an institution. A small Kannada Library was started at the President`s residence. Distinguished people like Dr V. Rama Rao, Sir P. R. Rao, Dr.Daranwachar were invited and cultural programmes involving Music, Bhajans and Harikathas were organised frequently to attract more members. Dr U.R. Rao and R.K. Karanth were successive Presidents, stalwarts in their own right who tried to strengthen the Association.

In 1944,  Kudpi Bhujanga Rao became the President and the Association became very active. The Association celebrated the Independence Day in 1947 in a grand manner. It felicitated some doctors who came to attend the medical conference. His Holiness Sri Sri Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji of Pejawar Mutt was accorded a grand reception and was presented with a purse of Rs 12123/- towards building fund of Samskrit College of Udipi.

An Education Trust named as South Kanara Brahmin`s Education Trust, Bombay was formed in 1949 and registered with following Trustees:

Bhujanga Rao, U. Raghavendra Rao, V.B. Narayana Rao, K.S.N. Hebbar, H. Srinivas Rao, R.K Karanth, A. Venkat Rao, C. Murali Bhat.

In 1951, a strong need was felt to have our own building. His Holiness Sri Sri Vibhudesha Teertha Swamiji of Admar Mutt promised his full support and a firm decision was taken to collect funds vigorously for the building with a  Krishna Mandir by its side. A sub-committee headed by U.B. Narayan Rao and K.S.N. Hebbar was formed with five more members for fund raising.

On 1st March 1953, the Association celebrated its Silver Jubilee. That year the membership of the Association rose to 500. The celebration held at Dwarakanath Hall, Wadala was well attended. His Holiness Sri Sri Vibhudesha Teertha Swamiji of Admar Mutt and Dr U. Krishna Rao, Minister of Govt. of Madras were the Chief Guests. During this celebration, a firm decision was taken to purchase a plot for construction of our own building.

On 28th March 1954, a Board of Trustees was appointed comprising K. Bhujanga Rao as Chairman, U.V. Upadhya as Vice Chairman, K.S.N. Hebbar, Dr U. Raghurama Rao, Dr U.B. Narayan Rao as members. Within a year, this Trust purchased a piece of land at Sion [ current place], admeasuring 1189 sq. Yards at a cost of Rs 35670/-. The highest donation of Rs 25000 was contributed by Kudpi Bhujanga Rao for this project.

Under the leadership of Dr U.B. Narayan Rao and K.S.N. Hebbar blue prints were prepared and approval sought for a building and a temple of Sri Krishna. Foundation stone was laid on 13th May 1956 by Dr U. Raghurama Rao. Members contributed generously and the building was constructed at a cost of few lakhs. It was inaugurated on 17th April 1959 by Their Holinesses Sri Sri Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji of Pejawar Mutt and Sri Sri Vibhudesha Teertha Swamiji of Admar Mutt with good wishes and blessings from personalities including Dr S. Radhakrishnan, the then Vice President of India.

This was the beginning of Gokul. The Association has completed 90 years. The Gokul building is now 54 years old and is iconic. The association, with a membership of over 4000, is considered to be one of the well managed institutions in Mumbai, promoting socio- religious and cultural activities.

SRI KRISHNA MANDIR was established on March 12, 1960 and for nearly five decades, it has become one of the most popular Mandir in the vicinity. The adorable deity of Lord Gopalakrishna, standing in the riveting posture, playing the flute with a smiling face with the ‘Gomata’ behind him holds a magnetic attraction for devotees. Innumerable devotees have expressed that they have found solace and experienced fulfilment of their wishes and aspirations.

The Mandir is open for Darshan between 6-45 and 9-00 in the morning and between 5-30 and 9.00 in the evening. The Nithya Pooja is conducted daily sharp at 7-30 a.m. and 7-30 p.m. The day starts with daily Kalasha Abhishekha, with various Suktas, Alankara, Shodashopachara pooja followed by Archanas like Srikrishna-ashothara Shatanama archana, Vishnu-Sahasranama archana , Shreesukta , Dhoopa Deepa, etc. Then the offerings commences such as Naivedya with Ksheera Payasa, Nalikera, Kadali Phala and varieties of fruits, Mantra Pushpa , etc. Thereafter, varieties of ‘aratis’ are made viz. Dhooparathi, Ekarathi, Pancharathi, Salakarathi, Karpoora-arathi, Coormarathi, Ratharathi, etc. ending with Maha Mangalarathi (Hariwana-arathi). This is followed by Prarthana, Uttara Pooja, Rajopachara, and Shankha Theertha prokshana. Finally Pooja is concluded with Krishna-arpana and Prasada distribution in the order of Nitya Pooja, Vishesha Pooja, etc. With prior bookings, other Sevas, such as, Alankara Pooja, Maha Pooja, Udayastha Pooja, Ranga Pooja, etc. are performed regularly.

Apart from the above, various religious activities are conducted for the benefit of the devotees, such as, Gokulashtami celebration – birth day of Lord Sri Krishna with great fervour and festivity. The Mandir and the idol of Sri Krishna are decorated with flowers specially flown for the occasion from Mangalore . At midnight , Janmastami Pooja is followed by Arghya and Theertha Prasada. Mosaru Kudike (similar to ‘Govinda’; or ‘Gopala Kala’ in Mumbai) celebrations are the special attraction on the next day. Similarly, Prathishta Day, Mahashivarathri, Shri Narasimha Jayanthi, Sri Madhwa Navami, Shri Shankara Jayanthi, Shri Purandara Dasara Aradhane, Shri Raghavendra Swami Punya Thithi, Shri Rama Navami, Daily Tulsi Pooja with Tulsi Vivaha during Deepavali, etc. also are celebrated with great devotion and religiosity. Further, popular religious public functions are performed like Samoohika Upanayana, Samoohika Satyanarayana Pooja during Makara Sankranti, Soura Upakarma (a collective sacred thread changing ceremony) Navarthri and Deeparadhane.

All the above activities are conducted under the auspices of GOPALAKRISHNA PUBLIC TRUST, which is professionally managed by a team of  dedicated and selfless Trustees with the full support of the Religious Committee of the B.S.K.B.A and the Mandir Priests who have been associated with the Mandir since its inception.

The B.S.K.B. Association is one of the oldest social organizations registered under the Public Trust in Mumbai, and was started 85 years ago with a sole objective to serve society in all possible ways. Situated at plot no. 273, Gokul, Gokul Marg, Sion (E), Mumbai, this organization has now blossomed into one of the most coveted, prestigious Social and Cultural Organization in Mumbai, also called Gokul.

It was during the Platinum Jubilee Year of ‘Gokul’ that we decided to celebrate the event in a way that would ensue that the benefits and fruits could pass on for many generations to come. Committed to the belief that service to humanity is the service to the Lord of Lords, we decided to set up ‘A Home for the Senior Citizen’, where our elders could live their twilight years with comfort and dignity.

Looking at our impressive track record and strong fundamentals, CIDCO allotted the land, ad-measuring 1825 sq.mts. in Nerul(E), Plot No. 92, Sector 19, Navi Mumbai. The land is strategically located with close proximity to both, the Sea-Wood and Nerul Railway Stations, with a 40 ft. double road in front, a mall on one side and a huge park behind, which could benefit the residents for their daily walk.

The project was entrusted to M/s Techno Arch Consultants as the architects and engineers and the construction was awarded to Sabve Rohini Constructions Pvt. Ltd. Both have executed several prestigious projects in Mumbai. The cost of the project was Rs 8.65 crores. The work was completed in record time. This Home named “ASHRAYA” is an iconic landmark in Nerul today.

The following are the salient features of the ‘Home for Senior Citizens’.

  1. A Home for the Senior Citizen – open to all, at subsidized rates. We have 26 well planned self – contained rooms to house 50 inmates.
  2. Space has been allotted to a Bank on the ground floor. Residents can avail of the banking facilities which also provides a strong room access.
  3. A well-equipped Medical Center, to facilitate the health-care of our residents. There is a Doctor attending daily and a specialist on call, all 24 Hrs. We have an arrangement with a Hospital at CBD.
  4. A community hall for holding various social, cultural and religious activities.
  5. A well-stocked library with computers and internet facilities.
  6. A Meditation Center, where Yoga and discourses can be held.
  7. A self-contained kitchen with a common dining hall.
  8. A well-equipped Gym and a Recreational Center.
  9. A prayer hall with a temple.
  10. State of art elevators.
  11. Non – skid flooring.
  12. Specially designed spacious toilets with grab-bars and ramps to facilitate easy – flow of wheel chairs.
  13. Hot and cold Mixer Units all 24 hrs from Solar Heaters.
  14. T.V; telephone, CCTV and intercom connections.
  15. Washing Machine with Dryer
  16. Hygienic Vegetarian food and special diet food compliments
  17. Generator back-up for electricity load shedding at Navi Mumbai.
  18. A roof terrace that can be reached through elevator for Morning and Evening relaxation and walks for the residents.

Like all good ideas, the thought behind this project is profound, and simple. Senior Citizens need independence, security, serenity and dignity to lead a calm and peaceful life. The main objective of ours is to create a stress-free environment for them, by taking care of their every single need, whether it is a doctor on call, or providing special diet food in the canteen, thus making ‘Living with Dignity’ possible.

We are aware that many a times a warm, caring hug is more beneficial than a bucketful of medicines. Our ultimate goal is to see that every person staying here feels more wanted and enjoys every moment in their second home.

We, as members, have done our best to garner funds from our own resources and from generous donors from various walks of life. It is our desire to make this Home self-sufficient and self-reliant. This project required huge funds in order to make it one of the best Homes in Mumbai. We have been adding value to this project so that the benefit can be passed on to Senior Citizens who use the facilities in this Home.