Mumbai is an enrapturing city where custom and advancement meet on the streets and in the skyline. The architecture of Mumbai mirrors the interesting history of the city including a rich and different legacy with hundreds of years of particular cultural, religious, and philosophical communities shaping the type of lavish veneers, sacred sites, and otherworldly establishments.

Mumbai Architecture- A dream or a nightmare? - Sheet1

Lush public parks, captivating natural life, and coastlines soaked in brilliant daylight stress the furious energy of the clamouring roads encompassing the fabulous appeal of colonial-era architecture, exceptional bazaars, shrouded sanctuaries, and away from dreams of neighbourhood networks including one of the second-biggest assortment of Art Deco structures on the planet. Jumping profound into the wonders of Mumbai rapidly uncovers the quality of the architecture tastefully advancing throughout the years with the structures typifying the genuine culture of the city.

Mumbai Architecture- A dream or a nightmare? - Sheet2
The Gateway of India_©

Numerous structures and historical landmarks in Mumbai stay from the colonial time. From the start, because of the gigantic liberated space it acquired, Gothic structures just filled in as places of worship, as strict structures worked by individuals of the eleventh century. Be that as it may, soon enough there came a requirement for public lobbies, parliament houses, chateaus, and the Gothic time was the arrangement. Indian architects came to break down this style and speak to it and put it into play comparable to the atmosphere, and according to society’s arrangements and sensibilities. This style, the mix of Gothic and contemporary styles, is the thing that came to be known as “Mumbai Gothic.” 

The urban development of Bombay as a capitalist port city was a result of the distinct location of the western Indian Colony. Sociologically, the early Victorian Bombay emerged as a capitalist city with class differentiation determining the spatial pattern of the city. The colonial/indigenous spatial dualism was just an outcome of this urban sociological pattern. In the early 19th century Bombay was fast acquiring an easily recognizable capitalist face. The railway station was built to supplant the Bori Bunder railway station, in the Bori Bunder zone of Mumbai, a conspicuous port and distribution centre territory known for its imports and exports.

Mumbai Architecture- A dream or a nightmare? - Sheet3
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus_©

The last two decades of the 19th century, starting from 1880, saw a wave of immigrants coming to Bombay that considerably altered the character of the city. The excellent Jewish temple built in 1884 grasps both the assorted legacy of Mumbai and the spellbinding structural style of the Jewish people group. The white and indigo trim of the façade draws in guests anxious to see the presentation of re-established 19-century tone and neoclassical quality. The inside gleams with teak furniture from Burma and the exemplary dynamic tones of Victorian recoloured glass. The gathering place is one of the most established in Mumbai and planned by the structural firm Gostling and Morris under the support of Jacob Elias Sassoon, the grandson of the previous head of Mumbai’s Jewish people group in the wake of emigrating from Baghdad. 

By the beginning of the 20th century, not only did the city’s physical form change, but also the social and cultural patterns and its political framework also changed. The decades that followed saw a lot of planned interventions by the Government as well as private enterprises. The influx of people was used to the city’s advantage, in terms of its industrial and commercial base. The urban form of Bombay thus underwent significant transformations as a result of rapid industrialization coupled with massive reclamations, road and housing projects. Most of these projects were implemented by the Improvement Trust and the Port Trust which together added considerable land to house the new components of the population. The commercial demand being highest in the core of the Fort Area, there were implications on the Urban Planning of the city. With roads being widened by the Municipality in the southern section, setbacks and realignments were laid down and extensive reconstruction was taking place.

Mumbai Architecture- A dream or a nightmare? - Sheet4
Slums in Mumbai_©

The unmistakable structure of Mumbai’s Stock Exchange was underlying the last part of the 1970s with 29 stories and finished by 1980 as the tallest structure in the city at that point. The contemporary design in the Fort area stays celebrated across Asia for facilitating the mainland’s first stock trade, just as one of the world’s quickest trades exchanging on a fast, electronic, straightforward framework with averaging up to six miniature seconds for every exchange. The structure stays an image to the network as a steady token of the budgetary solidness and importance of Mumbai and more prominent India. 

The island city of Bombay quickly transformed into India’s dynamic yet progressively defined monetary force to be reckoned with. Mumbai has advanced from planned precincts to urban sprawl. Mumbai’s near-absence of high-quality housing for those on low salaries and “barbaric day to day environments” for the least fortunate, uncover a city that has ignored it’s generally powerless as it has zeroed in on raising the high rises that currently portray the horizon of India’s budgetary capital. 


Hemali Sawant is a fourth year architecture student currently seeking her passion for writing as a means to deliver her thoughts and to depict the psychological impacts of the surroundings on the individuals. Reading fictional books and capturing instants through her photography is what alleviates her in this dynamic universe.

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