Bombay Art Deco (Churchgate and Marine Drive)… and Malabar Hill

1 - Zaver Mahal Marine Drive

Zaver Mahal, Marine Drive, Bombay.

It is a very little known fact that today’s Mumbai plays host to the second-largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world after Miami. Most visitors gape in awe at the city’s monumental Victorian Gothic buildings, and oftentimes overlook this other part of the city’s architectural heritage.

Bombay’s Art Deco buildings attest to a time when the city was a glitzy, glittering, fabulous, paradise of a metropolis (which Mumbai still is, of course, but in a different way).  Many of these buildings – particularly the residences – were built by wealthy Parsis from the 1920s to the 1940s. The early ones have Arcadian English names like Oceana, Fairlawn and Green Fields.

There are two main areas where one finds residential Art Deco – the first is on the western flank of the Oval Maidan, where a row of residential Art Deco buildings stands facing the monumental Victorian Gothic civic buildings on the eastern flank of the Maidan.

The second is Marine Drive – Bombay’s jewel of an esplanade; 3 kilometres of exquisite Art Deco residences, echoing Miami Beach.

The tour takes the intrepid tourist across both these areas, and then, since we are there anyway, we take a leisurely jaunt up Malabar Hill – the abode of Bombay/Mumbai’s rich and wealthy – ending our tour at the Hanging Gardens where one gets a panoramic view of not only Marine Drive, but all of Bombay.

For a detailed inventory of all of Mumbai’s Art Deco buildings, visit the excellent site Art Deco Mumbai at This is a non-profit that has been meticulously photographing and documenting Art Deco buildings in Mumbai, in the hopes of securing conservation status for them.

Churchgate, Oval Maidan 

2 - Eros Cinema 1938

Eros Cinema, 1938.

3 - Industrial Assurance Building Clock Tower

Industrial Assurance Building Clock Tower.

4 - Court View Maidan

Court View.

5 - Fairlawn Maidan


6 - Green Fields Maidan

Green Fields.

7 - Empress Court Maidan

Empress Court.

8 - Rajesh Mansions Maidan

Rajesh Mansions

9 - Rajjab Mahal Maidan

Rajjab Mahal

10 - Shiv Shanti Bhuvan Maidan

Shiv Shanti Bhuvan

Marine Drive

11 - MArine Drive

View of Marine Drive towards Malabar Hill. The three kilometre walk can be taken in

12 - Shanti Kuteer MArine Drive

Shanti Kuteer

13 - OCeana MArine Drive


14 - Sea Green Hotel Marine Drive

Sea Green Hotel

15 - Suna Mahal R and Sunder Mahal L MArine Drive

Suna Mahal (right) and Sunder Mahal (left)

16 - Marine Drive

View of Marine Drive, with its row of Art Deco residences.

17 - Krishna Mahal MArine Drive

Krishna Mahal

18 - Keval Mahal MArine Drive

Keval Mahal

19 - Sonawala MArine Drive


20 - Al-Sabah Court Marine Drive

Al-Sabah Court

21 - Al Jabreya Court - MAtruchchaya - Giri Kunj - Bharatiya Bhawan Marine Drive

From right to left: Al-Jabreya Court, Matruchchaya, Giri Kunj, Bharatiya Bhawan

22 - Marine Drive

Backward glance at Marine Drive

23 - Gobind Mahal MArine Drive

Gobind Mahal

24 - MEghdoot Marine Drive

Meghdoot – this is the very last Art Deco building on Marine Drive proper.

Chowpatty Beach and Malabar Hill 

26 - Chowpatty Beach

Chowpatty Beach

27 - Chowpatty Beach

Chowpatty Beach

25 - Purandare Hospital Chowpatty Beach

Purandare Hospital, on the Chowpatty Beach waterfront.

28 - View to Malabar Hill

View to Malabar Hill

29 - Malabar Hill

Residences at the foot of Malabar Hill

30 - Malabar Hill

Historic buildings at the foot of Malabar Hill

31 - Malabar Hill

Memorial to the Parsis who died during the Great War 1914 – 1918.

32 - Malabar Hill III

Residences on the way up Malabar Hill.

33 - Malabar Hill IV

Residences on the way up Malabar Hill

34 - Antilia

Antilia – private residence of the Ambanis.

35 - Hanging Gardens

Hanging Gardens

36 - View of Marine Drive

View of Marine Drive, from the Hanging Gardens in Malabar Hill.

37 - Marine Drive

And finally…a backward glance at Marine Drive.

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, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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