South Mumbai

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The city of Mumbai began as a set of 7 major islands. – Isle of Bombay, Colaba, Old Woman’s Island (Little Colaba), Mahim, Mazagaon, Parel & Worli. It, like the rest of the country, has suffered and endured and grown under a number of rulers. Dating back to the stone age, their inhabitants ranged from local Koli’s to the ever powerful Britishers.

After a rocky Islamic rule in the late 1300’s, the Portuguese officially took over in 1535. Castella de Aguada was built by the Portuguese at Bandra in 1640 as a watchtower overlooking the Mahim Bay.

Though battles were fought for Bombay against the British, it was when King Charles II married the Portuguese Catherine of Braganza, he received the ports of Tangier and seven islands of Bombay, as part of her dowry in 1661.

Most of the buildings that stand in modern day south Bombay were constructed in the 1800’s under the British rule. In 1838, the islands of Colaba and Little Colaba were connected to Bombay by the Colaba Causeway. The Asiatic Society of Bombay was completed in 1833 and the Elphinstone College was built in 1835. The Bombay Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), originally set up as a tramway company: Bombay Tramway Company Limited, was established in 1873. The Bombay Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in Asia, was established in 1875.

I suppose that is enough of a history lesson for a day!

Couple of months ago, after living in Mumbai city for a on & off duration of 10 years, I finally made a day trip to the ever-alluring South. Guided by my uncle, we got to see a number of the sights by foot. It felt like a whole different world. To feel the essence of the antiquity in the buildings and on the streets is something you need to be there to experience. The odd little cafes and the road side ( pirated- ahem) book stores really made me wish I could settle down here!

Photo Reference: This picture was taken outside the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS). A gorgeous building that you will reach after a walk through a beautiful garden. But what really takes your breath away is the Main Lobby of the museum. A bright dome with each of the floors over looking into the central common area.

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