Lest Mumbai forgets these...
Today is World Heritage Day. Even as India grapples to keep its UNESCO World Heritage Sites in good condition, let's salute the two sites in Mumbai that are in dire need of upkeep, before it's too late
Named after the then Empress of India, Queen Victoria, this Indo-Gothic styled railway terminus was designed by FW Stevens as the headquarters of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway. Made from Porbander sandstone, it is surmounted by a large figure representing progress and took ten years to complete.
Its interiors were built with Italian marble and Indian bluestone; students of the JJ School of Art executed ornamental ironwork and stone carvings. Such was its popularity globally, that in the 19th century, it was the second most photographed structure in the Indian Subcontinent, after the Taj Mahal. It received UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2004.
The Elephanta Caves contains one of the greatest masterpieces of early Hindu rock-cut art in India. The Brahmanical-themed reliefs made from basalt stone contain stunning sculpture panels that showcase one of the world’s most important collections honouring the cult of Shiva. Since 1987, it became part of an elite group of 936 heritage properties, worldwide. Using the architecturally superior beam-and-column system, islanders excavated and carved a hill on Elephanta. Nearly 90% of locals earn their living from tourism-generated employment. It is home to rich fauna spotted in its mangroves while its forests are abode for species of birds, monkeys and butterfly species.
Here are a few of Mumbai’s sights and areas we wish would find a place on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site:
> Churchgate Railway Station
> BMC building
> Art Deco buildings and Victorian Gothic buildings facing Oval Maidan
> Horniman Circle Gardens and its buildings
> Town Hall
> Gateway of India
> Flora Fountain
> General Post Office