Open the gates to Bombay's history

Updated: Feb 08, 2020, 10:45 IST | The Guide Team | Mumbai

Continuing with its USP of giving participants entry into no-access areas, the third edition of Walk with mid-day takes readers into a 139-year-old police station, and looks at the many histories that shaped Bazaargate

Apollo Gate. Church Gate. Bazaar Gate. These were the names given to the three gates that opened into the walled township of Fort. The citadel formed the nucleus around which a mercantile town became a commercial city. The walled area housed a marine force that was created due to Bombay port's significance and to safeguard the city from seafaring powers like the Portuguese, Marathas and the Siddis. St Thomas Cathedral was built as the main Anglican house of worship for troops stationed on the island city.

By the 1860s, the British had established their hold over the Indian Subcontinent, the walls became non-functional, and proved to be an impediment to decongest the rise in population within the confines of the Fort. Governor Bartle Frere's vision led to the breaking down of the walls in 1862. Yet, the names of many parts of the area remain to this day — be it Fort, Churchgate or Bazaargate.

Open the gates to Bombay's history

In 1881, a police station emerged near the spot where Bazaar Gate once stood. The area was at the intersection where the English settlements ended and establishments run by banias, Bohras and Parsis existed. This made it notorious for criminal activities. This police station normalised things however, and residents were relieved. The original structure stands witness to the many pages of the city's timeline, and now, a walk will give 10 lucky participants the chance to traverse the corridors that underwent restoration recently including a special segment by conservation architect Vikas Dilawari.

The group will also be introduced to lesser-seen locations that add to the multi-layered, cosmopolitan fabric of Bazaargate, thereby offering an insightful view of the city's growth over centuries. The walk will be held on Saturday, February 15.

There are rules

. Mail us your entries by Tuesday, February 11.
. Send in your full name, age, address, profession and contact number to mailbag@mid-day.com.
. Team mid-day's decision on the winners will be final.
. Details of the walk will be shared with the winners over a call.

The quiz

1 What is the nearest railway terminus from Bazaargate police station?
2 Which of these is beside the police station: Blackie House or Esplanade House? 3 What is the name of the water fountain landmark near the Mint?
4 Name the post office that can be spotted from the Baazargate police station.
5 In the old days, what was Bazaar Gate also referred to by its residents?

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