By the 1670s’ the British had firmly established their ownership over the 7 islands. Bombay’s own inhabitants continued to live their lives in peace and harmony with their new foreign friends’. Life for them then was not very different from what it is for the locals of today. The Indian citizens of the British Raj were the traders, the merchants, the fisherman, the cobblers...basically your everyday regular person. Unlike the south this was the area of the Fort dominated by locals.
Welcome to Bazaargate! The Northern part of the old ‘Fort’ this is the area that was known to all of Bombay’s(Mumbai) colonial rulers as ‘Black Town’ because of the strength in numbers of local inhabitants. Merchants, Traders, Fishermen, Cobblers, Ironsmiths dominated the scene with their shops. During the first half of the 19th century most of the banking work was done by Hindu Shroffs situated in the Bhora Bazaar Street (Perin Nariman Street).The birthplace of the famed Bombay Bazaar, back then this was the crowded, dense section of the old town, a feature that can be seen even today. The Bazaargate Walk takes you into the heart of local life from the late 1800s’. Explore the bylanes of what once used to be the commercial centre of the original city. Named after one of the three main entry gates of the old fort this walk begins at Town Hall and covers areas from outside and inside the original British defence establishment. Walk down Mahatma Gandhi Road and get a picturesque view of the regal Bombay Gymkahana, the cricketing battlefield of the British Raj in Bombay. Walk past the beautiful Art Deco Metro Cinema while making your way to Crawford Market buzzing with activity of the oh so many vendors selling their wares. Wander upto the famous J J School of Art campus,the compound of which is famous for being the birthplace of Rudyard Kipling. Finally end the walk at the Gothic masterpieces of F.W.Stevens, the Victoria Terminus and the Municipal Corporation building, standing like silent sentinels carefully watching the city progress right under their noses.
Approx walking time : 3hrs
Approx walking distance: 4.5 kms
Days conducted: Everyday.*
Starting point: Steps of Town Hall/Asiatic Society Library, Horniman Circle.
*this walk can be organised on another day too but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required