A walking tour of Mumbai’s architectural wonders

Image courtesy: ©Shutterstock/saiko3p

Mumbai’s defining visual feature is its distinctive mix of colonial-era architecture, including gorgeous art deco creations from the 1920s and ‘30s.

Architecture lovers can take a short walking tour around the Gateway of India, covering the nearby places of architectural importance.

Start- Gateway of India

Distance- 3.5km

Duration- 1¾ hours

1-Start at the Gateway of India, with the world-famous Taj Mahal Palace hotel behind it.

This bold basalt arch of colonial triumph faces out to Mumbai Harbour from the tip of Apollo Bunder. Incorporating Islamic styles of 16th-century Gujarat, it was built to commemorate the 1911 royal visit of King George V, but wasn’t completed until 1924. Ironically, the British builders of the gate gateway used it just 24 years later to parade the last British regiment as India marched towards independence.

The Regal Cinema
The Regal Cinema
Image courtesy: ©arun sambhu mishra / Shutterstock.com

2- Walk to Regal Circle to admire buildings like the art deco Regal Cinema.

3- Continue up Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Rd, passing the glorious Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya museum.

Image courtesy: ©Hari Mahidhar / Shutterstock.com

Mumbai’s biggest and best museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya displays a mix of India-wide exhibits. The domed behemoth, an intriguing hodgepodge of Islamic, Hindu and British architecture, is a flamboyant Indo- Saracenic design by George Wittet (who also designed the Gateway of India).

St Thomas’ Cathedral
St Thomas’ Cathedral
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4- Continue to Flora Fountain and turn east down Veer Nariman Rd to St Thomas’ Cathedral

Horniman Circle
Horniman Circle
Image courtesy: ©arun sambhu mishra / Shutterstock.com

5- Ahead lies stately Horniman Circle, an arcaded ring of 1860s buildings around a beautifully kept botanical garden.

University of Mumbai
University of Mumbai
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6- Backtrack past Flora Fountain and south to the august High Court and the ornate University of Mumbai.

Eros Cinema
Eros Cinema
Image courtesy: ©bodom / Shutterstock.com

7- Cross the Oval Maidan for the art deco beauties along its west side, especially Eros cinema.