The essence of a Bombay Gothic Tour
Mumbai, once fondly called Bombay, is the largest city in India and home to over 18 million people. The city is a melting pot of beliefs, cultures, languages and religions and this blending of influences extends to the city’s rich architectural legacy. Brimming with architectural gems influenced by Gothic, Victorian, Indo-Saracenic, Art Deco and contemporary style, the ‘Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai’ are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Gothic architecture in India originated under the British Raj or Crown Rule during the mid-19th century. Dramatic in design it features split facades embellished with etchings and engravings, and exquisite multi-coloured stained-glass windows. Walk along the bustling streets of the richest city in India, passing the old Bombay Fort area and marvel at prime examples of this unique style, such as the Convocation Hall at Bombay University, conceived by Sir Gilbert Scott, the best known Gothic architect of his time, and funded by Sir Cowasji Jehangir, a prominent opium trader. Other noted examples are Bombay City Hall, Saint Xavier’s College, the Secretariat, the Telegraph Office and the railway station of Chhatrapati Shivaji, once known as the Victoria Terminus. The mid 1800s saw many changes, as Indian merchants became wealthy from the opium trade and the cotton boom. Many of them attempted to make their mark on Mumbai by employing British architects to construct buildings in their honour, using the most preferred styles of the British Empire.