Interactive . Engaging . Critical.
Museums and heritage sites are my happy place! Join me on walks and guided visits through Mumbai’s fascinating heritage spaces and museums to find out why. Walks are available on request, with routes and timings tailored to suit your needs and interests.
Fort Stories: Explore the iconic Mumbai neighbourhood on walking tours that spotlight its hidden histories – the stories that lie behind, under, and around, the buildings, streets and spaces so familiar today. Choose from a number of different routes which take you through the area’s earliest history as a struggling fortified town that would grow into a crowded, cosmopolitan, trading centre, to its place at the heart of 19th century developments that transformed Bombay into India’s ‘first city’, and, finally, to area’s unique post-independence challenges and changes in identity.
- From the iconic Gateway of India precinct walk to Regal Circle – then to the original boundary of the erstwhile Bombay Fort at the start of the old Dockyard Road (Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg) – on to Kala Ghoda and the University buildings, to end at the Art Deco precinct across Oval Maidan (2 hours).
- You could continue towards Flora Fountain and the heart of the old Fort – to St. Thomas’ Cathedral, Horniman Circle and end at the old Town Hall (Asiatic Society). Alternatively follow the original boundary of the Fort along today’s DN road to end at VT (CST) station (3 hours).
- Begin at the heart of the old Fort at the Town Hall building (Asiatic Society), walk around Horniman Circle to St. Thomas’ Cathedral, then Flora Fountain and onward to the High Court and University Buildings, to end at the Art Deco precinct across Oval Maidan (2 hours).
- This route could be extended to include Kala Ghoda, Regal Circle and the Gateway precinct. Alternatively continue in the opposite direction, following the original boundary of the Fort along today’s DN road, to end at VT (CST) station (3 hours).
- Begin at Oval Maidan, walk towards Flora Fountain, which marks the boundary to the old Bombay Fort, onward to St. Thomas’ Cathedral, around Horniman Circle to the old Town Hall, then through the Indian Town within the Fort, past Ballard Estate, to end at VT (CST) station (3 hours).
Represented along these routes are the various architectural traditions that characterise the historic city centre. During the walks, archival images of the city help bridge the gap between past and present. I would recommend any of these routes for first time heritage walkers/visitors in Mumbai.
BUT…there’s so much more to Mumbai than the erstwhile Fort area!
Bandra Past & Present: This walk explores the unique physical spaces, character and cultures of contemporary Bandra; it spotlights the neighbourhood’s particular history and legacies, and the manner in which its people attempt to preserve and negotiate the same today, at a time of monumental change and loss in the city (2.5 hours).
Byculla’s Hidden Histories: Explore 19th century Byculla through the lens of change! Once a low lying swamp that was submerged with every high tide, Byculla benefitted from crucial reclamation work and grew into a rich residential suburb in the early 19th century, attracting the most affluent of Bombay’s citizens and its most sophisticated infrastructure. The late 1800’s brought more change with the building of mills and workers’ quarters, transforming the character and make up of the neighbourhood once more. The Bombay Plague outbreak in the 1890’s would leave its mark on Byculla permanently and bring a tumultuous century to its close. This walk encourages an exploration of the area’s complex histories through its physical spaces and unique contemporary character (2.5 hours).
The Lives of Objects: Discover the ever fascinating Chor (or is it Shor?) Bazaar, hidden deep within the labyrinth of the city’s traditional Market district. The shops of Chor Bazaar are best described as today’s curiosity cabinets, each stocked floor to ceiling (literally) with objects bursting to share their stories! The visit will illustrate how objects can speak to us, and how we may use them for inspiration, reflection and learning (1.5 hours).
One of my favourites is walk-through of Mumbai’s city museum – the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum at Byculla. As Mumbai’s oldest museum and greatest heritage conservation success story, its building, collections and history are a definite must-see for anyone interested in the city and its stories. The Museum has an exciting exhibitions programme which situates contemporary art displays within and in response to its historical setting, giving you a reason to keep going back (2 hours).
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, formerly the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India (CSMVS): Take a highlights tour of Western India’s premier museum of art and archaeology! This tour, which focuses on the museum’s history, architecture and collections, highlights all the reasons #ilovemuseums. The tour encourages participants to read the museum’s collections, and, further, to look closer, more carefully, in an attempt to uncover and decipher the stories hidden behind, and around, the objects on display (2 hours).
Nehru Centre Library: Travel back in time at the Nehru Centre Library’s iconic Discovery of India exhibition. With 14 galleries of immersive, tactile displays that encourage critical thought and engagement with a wide sweep of past events, art, architecture, material culture and traditions, there is no better place in the city to experience the history of India!
Schools & Colleges: Specially conceptualised walks, visits and workshops, which encourage critical and creative learning and often respond to curriculum requirements, are planned on request and in collaboration with educational institutions. Please connect for further details.