Victorian Gothic And Art Deco Ensembles Of Mumbai

Waquar Habib

Victorian Gothic and Art Deco

The UNESCO-listed Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai displays remarkable architecture along a peninsula in the Arabian Sea. It includes the 19th-century High Court of Bombay, Brabourne Stadium, the University of Mumbai, and casual eateries.

Victorian architectures of Mumbai | Shutterstock

Victorian Neo-Gothic Ensemble

Once developed into a major trading centre, Bombay saw the upcoming of ambitious urban projects in the second half of 19th century. In this, first comes the Victorian Neo-Gothic marked by Indian elements suited to the climate, including balconies and verandas.

Exterior of the spiral staircase of the library at Mumbai University | Shutterstock

Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court is an impressive neo-Gothic building with pointed arches and intricate details evoking grandeur. It functions as the high court of Mumbai, where justice is served beneath its lofty ceilings.

Vintage Bombay High Court at Oval Maidan is one of the oldest High Courts in India | Shutterstock

Mumbai University

The Mumbai University building, with its grand facade, contains a rich academic heritage. The Victorian elements, such as the lancet windows and ornamental friezes, reflect a bygone era when education symbolised progress.

The elegant Rajabai Clocktower in Mumbai University | Shutterstock

Old Secretariat

The Old Secretariat, a historic administrative centre, emanates Gothic charm. Its turrets, spires, and arched entrances transport visitors to a time when paperwork was conducted with quills and inkwells.

An old image of the Old Secretariat, Mumbai | @GujaratHistory/x

National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA)

The NGMA seamlessly blends Victorian architecture with Indian sensibilities. It is situated in the Cowasji Jehangir Hall, near Regal Cinema in Colaba.

A view of the National Gallery of Modern Art | Shutterstock

Elphinstone College

The Elphinstone College building, with its pointed gables and bay windows, has seen generations of scholars. Within its walls, knowledge flows like a steady stream, reflecting the aspirations of young minds.

The elegant Elphinstone College | Shutterstock

David Sassoon Library

The David Sassoon Library attracts book lovers with its Gothic arches and stained glass windows, where literary treasures await discovery by those seeking solace in words.

The front facade of the David Sassoon Library | Shutterstock

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Museum)

The Museum, a fusion of Gothic and Indian design, cradles artefacts from diverse cultures. Its facade, adorned with sculptures and friezes, narrates tales of art, history, and humanity.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya formerly Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai | Shutterstock

Western Railways (WR) Headquarters

The WR Headquarters stands as a testament to Mumbai’s rail heritage. Its Victorian facade conceals bustling offices where timetables are meticulously planned and journeys unfold.

A view of the Western Railway Headquarters Offices | Shutterstock

Art Deco Ensemble

The Art Deco Ensemble in Mumbai blends Indian design with Art Deco imagery to create a unique style known as Indo-Deco. These ensembles testify to Mumbai's modernisation in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Art Deco Hornby View, near D N Road Fort, Mumbai | Shutterstock

Regal Cinema

The Regal Cinema and its Art Deco contours evoke memories of silver screens and celluloid dreams. Neon signs beckon moviegoers, promising escape into fictional worlds where heroes triumph and love conquers all. Another notable art deco cinema is Eros Cinema.

An old image of the Regal Cinema | @mumbaiheritage/x

Residential Buildings

Along the Marine Drive seafront, Art Deco residential structures stand like guardians of elegance. Some examples are Motabhoy Mansion, Soona Mahal, and Keval Mahal.

Art Deco Soona Mahal, Marine Drive, Mumbai | Shutterstock

Commercial Buildings

Art Deco offices and commercial spaces buzz with business activities. Their facades, adorned with zigzag patterns and stylised motifs, symbolise progress, reflecting the hopes of a growing city.

New India Assurance Building is an art deco office building made of reinforced concrete and designed by Master, Sarhe and Bhuta | Shutterstock

Marine Drive Sea Front

The Marine Drive promenade bordering Art Deco buildings is perfect for strolls. At sunset, their silhouettes cast against the Arabian Sea create a picturesque scene of urban romance—a tribute to Mumbai’s resilience and beauty.

Vintage Clock on Art Deco Fulchand Niwas | Shutterstock

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