What comes first to your mind whenever someone utters the word 'Mumbai'? Vada pav, pani puri, CST, Gateway of India, or Juhu beach probably. The list is endless. Our very own Mumbai boasts of exquisite architecture that entail Victorian and Art Deco buildings (it is a collection of 19th century Victorian Neo-Gothic public buildings and 20th century Art Deco buildings in the Fort area of Mumbai). These are in the vicinity of Oval Maidan which was earlier known as ‘Espalanade’.
The 19th-century Victorian Gothic buildings
- Bombay High Court
- The University of Mumbai
- The City Civil and Sessions Court
The 20th century Art Deco buildings
These buildings have been picked by the UNESCO heritage tag (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). What's more? It is said that the Paris’ World Heritage Centre will send its team to inspect the sites in September – October 2017.
The Oval Maidan if tagged as a heritage by the UNESCO will become the third world heritage site in Mumbai followed by the Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The state is of the opinion that tagging of the Oval Maidan with the world heritage title, will only create awareness amongst tourists and citizens and it will help in safeguarding and conserving our national heritage.
Moreover, there are many such locations known for timeless grandeur and state-of-the-art architecture, which is why one should not miss visiting them.
The Watson hotel, earlier known as Esplanade Mansion, is the oldest building which has iron casting pillars. This building was named after John Watson and was constructed during the years of 1860 and 1863. Though this building is listed as a Grade II–A heritage structure, it's in a state of ruins.
Ever buzzing with tourists and visitors, Town Hall is one of the most popular sites in the whole of Mumbai. Built in 1883, it is still an attraction that Mumbai can proudly boast of. The refurbishment of this colossal building began in 2009 wherein its library and Durbar Hall was given a complete makeover. Essentially, Town hall stands to be an all-inclusive library and a museum which treasures ancient manuscripts in languages like Persian, Prakrit, Urdu and Sanskrit. Apart from this, one will get to see the collection of 1000 ancient coins which belonged to Akbar, the greatest Mughal Emperor.
So it's not just Vada Pav or the windy expanses of Juhu Beach that the Mumbaikars tend to go in rounds about. Apparently, the Royal Opera House is the only Opera House in India and the presence of it in Mumbai just makes the city much more interesting. Situated near the Girgaum Chowpatti beach, the foundation for this was laid in 1909 and the building was inaugurated by King George V in the year 1911. Its restoration work was started in 2008 and was completed in 2016.
If you are a person of the rich architecture that goes into the construction of the forts the one site that you may not want to miss is the Sion fort. Built between 1669 and 1677 it was declared as Grade I Heritage structure. Though it is declared as a heritage, the fort is in a state of ruins as of now. Albeit this fort gives away a panoramic view, has to be quite mindful of the broken steps and the compromised security that makes this spot a little unsafe. Albeit it's renovation started in the year 2009,it had to be cased due to lack of funds.
Bandra railway station
You may have not realised while standing at the Bandra station but truth be told, the station is built underneath a148-year-old heritage structure. The Western Railway has identified Bandra station as a National Rail Heritage and it has been graded as Grade I heritage building by the Maharashtra government. Don't miss out on the amazing gaothans, the delectable Anglo- Indian bakeries, and the marvelous art galleries.