Mumbai is the foremost cosmopolitan city in the country. A melting pot of different cultures and lifestyles, the city is the commercial hub and entertainment capital of India.
Make no mistake, Mumbai’s history dates way back before the British era. The influence of this long colonial past is evident in the many buildings and structures in the city that are over a century old. Most of these buildings are heritage monuments today.
If you are an admirer of colonial architecture, specifically Victorian and Art Deco styles, Mumbai will surely amaze you with its list of heritage monuments. A journey through this grand old city is typically referred to by the locals as a ‘darshan’ and there are several Mumbai darshan cabs that will help you navigate this urban sprawl.
1. Gateway Of India
The iconic arch was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India. The structure is made of brown basalt stones and is indeed an architectural marvel in Indo Saracenic style.
2. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)
This is the busiest railway station in Mumbai. Formerly known as the Victoria Terminus, CST which dates back to 1888 is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The station was designed by Frederick William Stevens following the classical Victorian style of architecture. The structure is a visual treat with an imposing frontage built out of marble, tiles and ornamental iron works. Interestingly, CST is the second most photographed monuments of India, after the Taj Mahal.
3. Town Hall
Yet another heritage building from the 1800s, Town Hall houses the Asiatic Society of Mumbai. The structure whose construction was completed in 1830 is a grand edifice which is built in Greco-Roman architectural style. The eight Doric Columns or pillars in the portico imparts the building its signature look.
4. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is the premier museum in Mumbai. The building exhibits a beautiful blend of Indo Saracenic architecture style with Jain, Maratha and Mughal styles. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts from India and foreign countries.
5. Rajabai Clock Tower
Rajabai Clocktower is a classical landmark in Fort Area of South Mumbai. It is located within the campus of Bombay University. Inspired by the Big Ben Tower of London, Rajabai Clock tower is a fine example of Victorian Gothic architecture style. The tower scaling a height of 280 feet or 25 stories, was built of locally available Kurla stones with beautiful stained glass windows.
6. Basilica Of Our Lady Of The Mount, Bandra
The Mount Mary Church is an ancient Roman Catholic Church from the late 1700s. The simple shrine back then was later rebuilt to the grand semi-Gothic structure that we see today. The Bandra Fair or the Feast of Mount Mary is an annual festival celebrated here which draws a large number of pilgrims and tourists to the church.
The imposing buildings from the colonial era still stand tall as a manifestation of the rich glory and past of India. Visitors can set aside a day or two for exploring the tourist attractions and soaking in the spirit of the city. Mumbai airport taxi is available easily from the airport to take you to any part of Mumbai, thus facilitating your heritage tour of covering all the important tourist spots and landmarks.