Heritage Walk Tour of Mumbai
We start with the visit to the Mumbai’s most famous monument – Gateway of India. This is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay, prior to the Darbar in Delhi in December 1911.
We then walk towards the Regal Theatre. Opened in 1933 designed by Charles Stevens with the interiors designed by Karl Schara, Regal Cinema lent its name to Regal Circle and was the only Art Deco cinema when it opened. The Governor of Bombay formally inaugurated Regal Cinema in 1933. It was the first of Bombay’s Art Deco cinemas. Regal Cinema was fully air conditioned, and had an underground parking lot for patrons. There was a lift up from the parking lot, a major innovation at that time.
We now visit Prince of Wales Museum building from outside. Designed by George Wittet, the foundation stone was laid in 1905 by the visiting Prince of Wales. The building was completed in 1914, converted to a military hospital during World War I, and finally opened in 1923 by Lady Lloyd, the wife of Sir George Lloyd, then governor.
Located opposite to the Museum is the majestic facade of the late 19th-century Elphinstone College, a Gothic-Victorian-style university campus, replete with stone balconies, balustrades, turrets, and gargoyles. Also on Mahatma Gandhi Road, slightly further north of the college, you’ll pass another historic building, the 19th-century David Sassoon Library, significantly funded by the affluent Jewish businessman, David Sassoon. Adjacent to the library, on same road is the Army and Navy Building. Worth a look for its fine mid-19th-century neo-classical facade, this building was originally used as a British army navy store.
We walk further and visit the University of Bombay which was established in the year 1857 at Town Hall. It was relocated in 1874 to the new complex near Oval Maidan. It is one of the esteemed universities of the country and amongst the top 500 universities of the world.
Next to the University is the High Court of Mumbai. The work on the present building of the High Court was commenced in April 1871 and completed in November 1878 and is situated between the University Building and the Public Work Secretariat.
We now walk to the Flora Fountain. This is a stone fountain situated in Fort business district in the heart of South Mumbai. Flora Fountain was built in 1864. The fountain depicts the Roman goddess Flora. It is now a heritage structure. It was erected by the Agri-Horticultural society of Western India.
We now proceed to the Victoria Terminus Railway Station now called the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus which is a historic railway station and serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways. The station was designed by Frederick William Stevens, a consulting architect in 1887-1888, for the princely sum of 16.14 lakh rupees. The station stands as an example of 19th century railway architectural marvels for its advanced structural and technical solutions. It was put on the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 2, 2004.
Now a short taxi ride ( 02 Kms / 10 minutes ) from VT Station to a local cafe with a nostalgic background, Cafe Samovar located in Jehangir Art Gallery. This Gallery displays of the most sought-after venues for artists to exhibit their oeuvres. One can stroll around the gallery and can browse through the various painting. The 44 year old landmark eatery started as a cafe catering to artists in Bombay which soon became the city’s cultural hub. It also houses natesans, the country’s oldest licensed antique dealers. Don’t be surprised if a world-famous painter is sitting next to you, sipping tea. Tea / Coffee with light snacks shall be served to you.