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Mumbai is home to many historic buildings, each one a reminder of the city’s rich and complicated history. We have rounded up a list of six iconic Mumbai buildings for you to get a taste of the city’s cosmopolitan past.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is not just a UNESCO World Heritage site, but also the country’s most famous railway station and Mumbai’s most iconic landmark. Designed by British architect Frederick William Stevens, construction on this grand structure began in 1878 and was completed ten years later. The impressive building is a display of striking High Victorian Gothic and Indian architectural styles, featuring turrets, pointed arches and a high central dome, atop which stands a gigantic female figure, holding a torch pointing upwards in her right hand and a spoked wheel in the other.
Located on an isle about 500 meters off the coast of Worli, this majestic mosque and dargah (tomb) of the Mughal style dates back to 1431. The architectural marvel was created in memory of a wealthy Muslim merchant, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, hailing from present-day Uzbekistan. Bukhari is said to have given up all of his worldly possessions to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, and to have then traveled around the world to finally settle in present-day Mumbai. Featuring stunning white domes and minarets, the structure is connected to the mainland by a narrow pathway which only appears during low tide.
Dedicated to the goddess Mumba, from whom the city derives its own name, the Mumba Devi Temple is estimated to date back to the 17th century. While the structure has been rebuilt several times, the temple houses a historic idol of the Devi (goddess) adorned with a silver crown, as well as a golden necklace and nose stud.
One of the oldest defensive structures to be built in Mumbai, the Bombay Castle has been gracing the city’s Fort neighborhood for about five centuries. The original structure on the site, the Manor House, was built by Portuguese nobleman Garcia de Orta in the 16th century, hence the building is also known as Casa de Orta. When the British took control of the islands of Bombay (present-day Mumbai) in the 17th century, they built a defense structure around and over the manor. The structure today houses the offices of the Flag Officer Commander-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command.