The Building Blocks of Bombay- Architecture Walk
Start point: The Asiatic Society Mumbai Town Hall. Outside Asiatic Library, Entrance (Stairs), Fort, Mumbai.
An eclectic and heady mesh of spires, turrets, minarets and domes interspersed with the ubiquitous flat roofs of matchbox buildings, the skyline of colonial Bombay is both an architect's and historian's delight. Tracing the developments of various architectural styles during a section of the colonial period from the 1830s till independence: serene, white neo-Classical columns, majestic, sky-clasping Gothic spires proclaiming the height of Empire, hybrid, native architecture oriented Gothic-Saracenic facades and the smooth rectangular delineations of Art Deco the architecture of anti-colonial sentiment the tour also highlights the developments in land reclamation and the trajectory of urban planning that made the erection of these monumental, hallmark edifices possible.
Starting with the Town Hall which houses the Asiatic Society Library of Bombay, the Horniman Circle gardens and the arresting arcaded facades surrounding this circle in a manner reminiscent of Bath’s Royal Crescent, walk down to the Flora Fountain statue to get a glimpse of the unique Gothic cum neo-Classic ode to the Roman goddess of spring. Continue to the Bombay University buildings– one of the earliest Gothic structures in Bombay and a fine specimen of Venetian Gothic architecture, with its exterior, spiral staircases and colonnaded verandahs resembling the Palazzo Ducale, Venice. The mammoth Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus, a UNESCO World Heritage site designed by F.W. Stevens, needs no introduction. Across the road from CST, the Bombay Municipal Corporation building, a Gothic structure incorporating Indo-Saracenic elements such as minarets and a dome inspired by Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur looms large. End with a view of Metro Cinema, a swanky Art Deco structure– clean rectangular lines and balconies curving at the corners– a veritable mecca for celluloid dreams since the late 1930s.
- Asiatic Society Library of Bombay
- Horniman Circle
- Flora Fountain
- Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus
- Energy bar