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City Walk: Architectural Mumbai

Take some time off to explore the amazing architecture Mumbai has to offer.
Image courtesy: Lonely planet images

Start: Gateway of India
End: Eros Cinema
Distance: 2.5km
Duration: 1½ Hours

Mumbai’s defining feature is Its distinctive mix of colonial-era and art deco architecture.

Starting from the 1 Gateway of India, walk up Chhatrapati Shivaji Marg past the members-only colonial relic 2 Royal Bombay Yacht Club and the art deco residential commercial complex 3 Dhunraj Mahal, towards 4 Regal Circle. Walk the circle for views of the surrounding buildings – including the old 5 Sailors Home, which dates from 1876 and is now the Maharashtra Police Headquarters, the art deco 6 Regal cinema and the 7 Majestic Hotel, now the Sahakari Bhandar cooperative store. Continue up MG Rd, past the beautifully restored facade of the 8 National Gallery of Modern Art. Opposite is the 9 Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. Back across the road is the ‘Romanesque Transitional’ 10 Elphinstone College and the 11 David Sassoon Library & Reading Room, where members escape the afternoon heat lazing on planters’ chairs on the upper balcony. Continue north to admire the vertical art deco stylings of the 12 New India Assurance Company Building. On an island ahead lies 13 Flora Fountain, depicting the Roman goddess of flowers. Turn east down Veer Nariman Rd, walking towards 14 St Thomas’ Cathedral. Ahead lies the stately 15 Horniman Circle, an arcaded ring of buildings laid out in the 1860s around a beautifully kept botanical garden. It’s overlooked from the east by the neoclassical 16 Town Hall, home to the Asiatic Society library. Backtrack to Flora Fountain, continuing west and turning south onto Bhaurao Patil Marg to see the august 17 High Court and the ornate 18 University of Mumbai. The university’s 80m-high 19 Rajabai Clock Tower is best observed from within the 20 Oval Maidan. Turn around to compare the colonial edifices with the row of art deco beauties lining Maharshi Karve (MK) Rd, culminating in the wedding cake tower of 21 Eros Cinema.


This article is an excerpt from our India travel guide.