Located in Zone 5 of Greater Mumbai, Kurla is a suburb of the city known for its shopping malls and residential zones, as a favourite living location for those who want the energy of the city and space of the suburbs. It is a district rapidly rising in popularity and buzzing with expanding activity, and Kurla contains one of the busiest suburban railway stations as an interchange point on the central Harbour Line. The area is separated into Kurla West and Kurla East, divided by the railway line, and lies on the banks of the Mithi River, situated less than 15 kilometres from the city centre of Mumbai.
The old area of the suburb, in Kurla West, contains evidence of the earliest local settlement, the East Indian Village, and lies adjacent to the Mithi River, which visitors can enjoy via waterside pathways. Kurla East is more orientated around residential estates and community neighbourhoods, in addition to hosting the railway station and local market, called Yadav Mandai, which sells local produce, fish, meat and vegetables. One major feature of Kurla is Phoenix Market City, which is one of the biggest shopping centres in India, occupying over 190,000 square metres and holding 600 shops, a multi-screen cinema and more than 70 international restaurants. The Holy Cross Church is another local landmark with a history dating back to 1588, marking it one of the oldest churches in all of Mumbai, which continues to serve as a Roman Catholic centre for the Archdiocese of Bombay.
Located in the centre of Mumbai, Kurla is very accessible and has the major road to Salsette Island passing through it, making it easily reachable by drivers. The central transport hub is Kurla Railway Station, which is a main connection for the Harbour Line, therefore offering connections throughout Mumbai. Taxis also navigate the area and the suburb is very close to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, the main airport of the city.
The history of Kurla dates back to its origins as an East Indian village, from which it gets its name, meaning crab, due to the many crabs that once occupied the nearby marshes. By the 20th Century, Kurla was a centre of the local textile industry, soon becoming the most prominent industrial zone in the city suburbs. Today, it continues to grow as a residential district, replacing its factories with apartment blocks and estates.