Monumental Bombay II – Oval Maidan to Crawford Market

1 - Victoria Terminus

Victoria Terminus (today’s Chharapati Shivaji Terminus), is Old Bombay’s most iconic building. It was designed by Frederik William Stevens in the Victorian Gothic Revival style, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Opened in 1888.

The second part of our walking tour of Old Bombay takes in some of the most iconic, monumental and stupendous buildings and public spaces in Bombay in what constitutes the civic and cultural heart of the old city.  Many of these buildings were erected in the Victorian Gothic Revival style that give Old Bombay its very distinctive character.

We begin, where we left off, in the Museum Quarter, and veer west towards the Oval Maidan. This is the city’s equivalent of the Padang – a large green used for military and recreational purposes. To the East and North of the Oval Maidan stand some of the largest and most outstanding civic monuments in town.

We head north along the eastern flank of the Oval Maidan to Flora Fountain. Here, we find ourselves at the Southern end of the former Hornby Road (named after a former Governor of Bombay, William Hornby), today’s Dr Dadabhai Naoroji Road (an important Indian nationalist leader).

This road is another extremely important thoroughfare in the old city, and both sides of the road are lined with impressive Victorian Gothic and Neo-classical buildings. The road also, more importantly, links three of the most important monuments in the city – the Flora Fountain, Victoria Terminus and Crawford Market, where we end our walk.

This walking tour will similarly take the intrepid tourist some 2 – 3 hours to take in entirely.

Museum Quarter to Flora Fountain, via Oval Maidan

2 - Prince of Wales Museum

The former Prince of Wales Museum (today’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya), was founded to commemorate the visit of Edward VIII when he was Prince of Wales. It was designed by George Wittet in the Indo-Saracenic style and completed in 1915, though it was only used as a museum from 1922.

3 - Museum Interior

The interior of the museum. Note the Rajput-style arches in the second-floor balconies.

4 - National Gallery of Modern Art

The National Gallery of Modern Art is housed in the former Cowasji Jehangir Public Hall, designed by George Wittet and built in 1911. Only the facade of the building remains.

5 - Institute of Science 1920

The former Royal Institute of Science was established in 1920 and designed by George Wittet.

6 - Old Secretariat 1874

The Old Secretariat Building was completed in 1874 and designed in a Venetian Gothic style by Colonel Henry St Clair Wilkins. It sits towards the southern end of the western flank of the Oval Maidan.

7 - Maidan

View across the Oval Maidan to the Rajabai Tower and the High Court Building.

8 - Rajabai Tower 1878

The Rajabai Clock Tower was built in 1878 and modeled after Big Ben in London and designed in a Venetian Gothic style. It sits on the Fort campus of the University of Mumbai. Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

9 - High Court 1878

The Bombay High Court building was built in 1878 in the English Gothic Revival style. Designed by Colonel James A. Fuller.

10 - High Court Back

Close-up of the back of the High Court building, facing the road.

11 - Public Works Dept

Public Works Department Building, complete in 1872 in a Venetian Gothic style. Designed by Colonel Henry St Clair Wilkins.

12 - Central Telegraph OFfice

The Central Telegraph Office, 1869. Designed by James Trubshawe in Venetian Gothic style.

13 - Central Telegraph

Side view of the Central Telegraph Office, with its distinctive twin towers.

14 - Western Railway HQ 1899

The Western Railway Headquarters, formerly Churchgate Terminus, designed by Frederick William Stevens in Victorian Gothic with Byzantine elements, and opened in 1899.

Along Dadabhai Naoroji Road from Flora Fountain to Victoria Terminus

15 - Flora Fountain

Flora Fountain marks the beginning of Dadabhai Naoroji Road.

16 - Oriental Bldg

Across from Flora Fountain stands the Oriental Buildings, designed by Frederick William Stevens and completed in 1896.

17 - Siddharth College of Law

Siddharth College of Law.

18 - Standard Life Insurance Bldgs

Standard Life Insurance Buildings.

19 - Thomas Cook and Co Bldg

Thomas Cook & Co. Buildings.

20 - JN Petit Institute 1898

The JN Petit Institute, 1898. Venetian Gothic.

21 - Bombay Mutual Life Bldg 1935

Bombay Mutual Life Building, 935.

22 - LIC Bldg

LIC Building.

24 - Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.

25 - NAtional Insurance Building

National Insurance Building.

26 - Heritage

Commercial building along Dadabhai Naoroji Road.

27 - Std Chartered 1902

Standard Chartered Building, 1902, Mahatma Gandhi Road.

28 - Cathedral Middle Sch?

Cathedral Middle School, Mahatma Gandhi Road.

From Victoria Terminus to Crawford Market

29 - Capitol Cinema

Across from Victoria Terminus sits Capitol Cinema.

30 - Municipal Building

View of the Municipal Building at left and Victoria Terminus at right.

31 - Municipal Vldg 1893

The Municipal Building was designed by Frederick William Stevens in a Victorian Gothic style with Byzantine elements, and completed in 1893.

32 - Victoria Terminus

Across from the Municipal Building sits the crowning glory of Bombay and Frederick William Stevens’ work – Victoria Terminus, 1888, in an exuberant Victorian Gothic Revival style with Byzantine elements.

33 - GPO 1911

The General Post Office, designed by George Wittet in the Indo-Saracenic style and completed in 1911.

34 - Times of India 1903

The Times of India, Indo-Saracenic style, 1903.

35 - Anjuman Al Islam School 1893

Anjuman Al-Islam School, Indo-Saracenic, 1893.

36 - Crawford Market 1869

Crawford Market, 1869. We end our tour here. 

37 - victoria Terminus

…and a backward glance at Victoria Terminus, once again.

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Cities & Regions, Culture & Lifestyle, Heritage, India, Landmarks & History, Photography, Sociology & Urban Studies, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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