World Architecture Day: 10 iconic buildings that showcase Mumbai’s architecture

Mumbai is home to beautiful architecture that blends Victorian, Gothic, Indo-Saracenic and contemporary styles. The city has layered and cosmopolitan history, which is best reflected in its architectural offerings. After Miami, Mumbai is the second city in the world which houses the largest number of art deco buildings. Just a little strained to your neck and there is a visual treat to your eyes. On October 1, as the world celebrates Architecture Day by organising several events, lectures, exhibitions, and activities, we have compiled a list of 10 iconic building in Mumbai that represents the city’s gorgeous architecture.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Fort
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus, is built in 1887 and designed by architect Frederick William Stevens, to commemorate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Architectural Digest and Time magazine have listed the station as one of the world’s most beautiful railway stations. There is also a heritage museum inside the building that conducts tours and is open on weekdays between 3 pm and 5 pm.

Bombay High Court
Built in the 1870s, the present-day High Court of Mumbai is designed by Col. J.A. Fuller, a British engineer. The court’s structure is made up of black stone, with octagonal towers. The place is home to two statues – Goddess of Justice with a sword of justice in one hand and scales in the other, and a statue of Goddess of Mercy with hands folded.

University of Mumbai
Earlier known as the University of Bombay, the University of Mumbai was established in 1857. The architecture of the building is inspired by Venetian Gothic. It is one of the first three universities in India. Another Mumbai landmark, the Rajabai Clock Tower houses the Mumbai University’s library.

Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Towers
Popularly known by its original name ‘BSE Towers’, Phiroze Jeejeeboy Towers is built in 1980 located on Mumbai’s Dalal Street. The building is owned and operated by the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange). During the completion of the building, it was the tallest building in India, although over the years it has lost the claim to newer constructions. The building was attacked during the 1993 Bombay bombings.

Rajabai Clock Tower
Located in the campus of the University of Mumbai, the tower is tower is part of the Victorian and Art Deco ensemble. The construction of the tower was sponsored by Premchand Roychand, a prosperous broker and founder of Bombay Stock Exchange. The tower is named after his mother Rajabai. There is a story that goes behind the funding, Roychand’s mother was blind and was a follower of Jain religion. According to the practice followed in the religion, one has to consume dinner before evening. The evening bell of the tower helped her to know the time.

India Government Mint
Built in the 1920s, the Mumbai Mint is designed by Major John Hopkins of Bombay Engineers. It is one of the four mints in India and produces commemorative and development-oriented coins, medals and badges. The building is located opposite the Reserve Bank of India.

Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum
Formerly known as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Dr Bhau Daji lad Museum is the oldest museum in Mumbai. The museum was initially established as a treasure house of industrial arts in 1855 and was revamped in 1862. The building was again restored in 2003 and 2007. The museum houses historical photographs of Mumbai, silver and copperware and maps.

Gateway of India
Constructed in the 20th century to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary V to Mumbai. The architecture is a beautiful blend of Indo-Saracenic, combining Hindu and Islamic styles. The monument attracts a large number of tourists and is also referred to as Taj Mahal of Mumbai.

Taj Palace Hotel
The Taj Palace Hotel is built in 1903 by Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, founder of the Tata Group. The hotel is an architectural marvel with brings together oriental and Florentine styles. Another highlight of the hotel is it overlooks the Arabian Sea. It also houses a good collection of artwork and artifacts.

Maharashtra Police Headquarters
Initially known as the Royal Alfred Sailors’ Home, the building was constructed in to accommodate seamen and officers. The Duke of Edinburg laid the foundation stone during his India visit. It was much later the Maharashtra government acquired the building and after it was vacated the Maharashtra Police department was moved in.

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