From the era when the Union Jack flew high on city monuments to the current time when Commander Bond continues to enthuse Indian audiences in cinemas, the island city has undergone a sea-change, both in its demography and infrastructure.
As the city braces for new architectural interventions, Bombay 100 years ago gives us access to rare photographs which depict the architectural grandeur that the city once embodied.
Bombay was the first in the country to have an opera house – The Royal Opera House at Lamington Road; it was the site that commemorated the first-ever visit of a British monarch to India – Gateway of India at Apollo Bunder; and housed the first building in the nation to be lit up by electricity – Crawford Market at DN Road. This collection of photographs was conceived to preserve the tangible heritage and the spirit that the city enthuses.
So, the next time you are at Kala Ghoda, remember what the area looked like before the statue of King Edward was removed; and when you shop at the Sahakari Bhandar on Wodehouse Road, pause to wonder what it must have been like in the time it was the famous Majestic Hotel.
As the city of Mumbai continues to attract one and all, tempting each with the possibility of dreams turning into reality, spend a few minutes reminiscing with these hi-res sepia-toned photographs that unearth the wonderful past of this glorious city.
By Vikas Bhadra