Apollo Gate and The Front Bay Walk

In 1661 King Charles II of England married Princess Catherine of Braganza. The marriage dowry gave to the English the island of Bombay which the Portuguese had no use for. Charles himself didn’t care two hoots for the island. But it was the British East India Company that realised the importance of Bombay’s perfect natural harbour. Deep enough to accommodate 150 ships and with a natural fortification in the form of mainland India, Bombay was perfect for the company’s operations. And so with the Company renting the islands from the Crown, for £10/- annually, Bombay’s illustrious history began.

Here’s a chance to go back in time almost 350 years....when there was no Mumbai, just one small island of Bombay. Walk along the periphery of the ‘front’ bay and re-chart the birth of Mumbai. The first of our four historic walks the ‘Apollo Gate and Front Bay Walk’ covers the northern part of the old ‘Fort’. This was the area where the first signs of habitation were seen on the island of Bombay. The walk begins in the European Renaissance style Ballard Estate business district with its perfect avenues and streets echoing reminiscent of Victorian London. See the famous Town Hall which houses the Asiatic Society Library of Mumbai and the Horniman Circle Garden and the spectacular surrounding buildings. Walk down to the Flora Fountain circle which in some very peculiar ways resembles London’s Piccadilly Circus. Walk past the 275 year old Indian Naval Dockyard with its beautiful mural representing the first establishments on the island. Finally end the walk at the world famous Gateway of India and the now legendary Taj Mahal Hotel.

Approx walking time : 3hrs
Approx walking distance: 3.5 kms
Days conducted: Everyday.*
Starting point: Ferry terminal/Green Gate/Indira Gate, Ballard Estate.

*This walk can be organised on any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
Church Gate and The Heritage Mile Walk

Charles II wasn’t sure where his wedding gift was located and he didn’t really care too much for it. So when the British East India Company approached him for possession of the islands he was more than happy to lease them to the Company. By 1668 all seven islands of Bombay were under the control of the British East India Company and thus began the herculean task of developing the Company’s newest asset. After completing the task of fortifying the town from sea borne invasion the next job at hand was to stamp their authority on the local inhabitants and what better way to do so than by constructing buildings that epitomised might, authority, imperialism and power. Soon structures began popping up all over the ‘new’ town to serve some purpose or the other. A Cathedral to pray in, Town Hall to conduct civic activities, a University to educate, a mammoth station that is the finest creation of the architect F.W. Stevens and, most notably, an archway to commemorate the visit of their Imperial Majesties. It was under the guidance of great British Governors like Lord Mountstuart Elphinstone that the arts were promoted and scholarly debate was established.

Welcome to the ‘Churchgate and Heritage Mile’ walk. The second of our historic walks, this walk takes you into the heart of the old ‘Fort’. Explore the ‘White Town’ or the European half of the old town that existed within the Fort walls. Begin the walk at F.W.Steven’s gothic masterpiece, the grand Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus also known as the Victoria Terminus. Then walk down D.N.Road, also called the Heritage Mile of Mumbai, while admiring one of the oldest parts of the city(almost as old as the city itself) which even today is reminiscence of it colonial past and make your way to the ornate Flora Fountain. Here take a minute to soak in the atmosphere of one of the busiest precincts’ of Mumbai. Next just a hop, skip and jump away lies the historic art district of Kala Ghoda with its many Gothic buildings and numerous art galleries creating a charm that is unmatched in Mumbai. Move onto the Oval Maidan where in a great phalanx lie the Old Secretariat, University Library and Convocation Hall, High Court building , the old PWD building and Telegraph Department, a truly imperial vision like a fleet of massive stone battleships, monolithic, awe-inspiring and supremely self confident. Once they faced out across the sea in silent tribute to the naval power that built them. As a group they coalesce to form an impressively romantic skyline and they bequeathed an identity and style to the city that is unique to Mumbai. Finally take Veer Nariman Road (the former Churchgate Street) down to Marine Drive to enjoy a fantastic view of the Art Deco Skyline that has become an identity of Mumbai the world over.

Approx walking time : 3hrs
Approx walking distance: 3 kms
Days conducted: Everyday.*
Starting point: Capitol Theatre, Opp. Victoria Terminus (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus)

*This walk can be organised on any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
Bazaar Gate Walk

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 any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
Bandra, The Queen of Suburbs Walk

Let’s take a step back in time to the days of yorn when what we know now as the grand city of Mumbai , was originally a set of 7 islands ; each with their own unique tales.

Amongst these islands, the island of Salsette was by far the most nondescript. Inhabited by the indigenuous Koli fishing communities, Salsette was a far cry from the present day cultural melting pot Bandra. Though what continues to intrigue both natives and non-natives is thecontinued community endeavor to maintain the delicate cultural balance which exists in the suburb today .Many put this down to the perpetual Western influence from the Portugese Jesuit priests given sole ownership of Bandra,Sion and Wadala in the 16th century. In the duration of the walk, we will take you on a mission to discover the hidden heritage treasures which the Western and native forefathers left behind.

Our walk for the day begins in the bustling bylanes of Chimbai village, one of the 24 original pakhadis or hamlets of the island. Tucked behind St Andrews Church and extending all the way to Carter Road, this predominantly fishing village continues to harbor a 400 year history within its echoleons. We shall then pay a brief visit to the historically significant St Andrews church and pay our respects to the epitephs which surround the front end of the campus

We then proceed to walk on through the humble and comfortable abode of the Ranwar village community, and watch in fascination as their narrow bylanes with Portugese inspired homes come to life in front of our eyes. We then stroll through the heartbeat of the infamous Hill road to get a glimpse into the history of the legendary modern liberal cinema and art movement of Bandra, the crux of which rests in the campus of the evergreen Mehboob studios.

Our walk then proceeds to take you on a journey of discovery through the humble and quaint surroundings of Saint Stephen’s church as well as the remarkable visual aesthetic of the Mount Mary church- the latter being the first church to be built by a non-catholic!

Our walk culminates at the location of the most popular heritage structure in the suburbs of Bandra : The Bandra Fort, or as it was known in the yesteryears : Castela de Aguada. We aim to let the sheer location and view of this magnificent structure titilate your every thought, and leave you with a glowing impression of Bandra’s true story.

Approx walking time : 3hrs
Approx walking distance: 3.5 kms
Days conducted: Everyday.*
Starting point: Front Entrance, St.Andrew's Church, Bandra

*This walk can be organised on any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
Malabar Hill, The Mayfair of Mumbai Walk

Welcome to the Mayfair of Mumbai, India's most posh residential locality, Malabar Hill is steeped in Indian culture and mythology. Once it was considered a 'suburb' with a thick forest cover infested with panthers and tigers, Malabar Hill started developing as a residential zone after the old 'fort' walls were torn down. Even today reminiscence of the old palatial mansions, built by the rich citizens of the ‘fort’, can still be found in different parts of the region.

Breathe in an exquisite view of the Mumbai skyline while standing on the famous Chowpatty beach. Legend has it that on his way to Lanka, Lord Ram stopped in this locality and created the holy Banganga tank. The tour then finds its way into the Jain temple at ‘teen batti’ where secrets of Jainism are uncovered.

On this walk find out the etymology of the name Walkeshwar and at the Kamla Nehru Park and Hanging Gardens get a beautiful aerial view of the Marine Drive.

Approx walking time : 2.5hrs
Approx walking distance: 3 kms
Days conducted: Everyday.*
Starting point: Banganga Tank

*This walk can be organised on any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
Third Umpire – The Bombay Cricket Tour

On a breezy winter morning India’s tryst with ‘the Gentlemen’s Game’ began at the Oriental Cricket Club in 1848 when the small Parsee community came together to play a match. The Parsees were the first Indian community to play the game of Cricket as they thought it would help cement ties with the British. However the centre of Parsi Cricket became the famous Parsee Gymkhana, established in 1885, with the backing of leading industrialists such as J.N. Tata and N.N. Wadia. Soon the cricket ‘fever’ spread to the other prominent communities namely the Hindus and the Muslims.

Mumbai is said to be the ‘nursery of Indian Cricket’ and the famous ‘maidans’ (grounds) - Azad, Oval and Cross - have been the hallowed turf for cricketers like Gavaskar, Shastri and Tendulkar. Today the game of cricket holds a fanatical place in the hearts of Indians. This walk - cum - car tour takes you through not only the story of ‘Bombay’ but also Indian Cricket. It allows you to be part of this grand sport of India. Kick off the tour at the historic Bombay Gymkhana where the first Test match on the Indian soil was played in 1932. The next stop will be a visit to the local sea -facing Gymkhanas. These gymkhanas were the home turf of the famous ‘Bombay Quadrangular Tournament’ and were also in charge of selecting the Parsi, Hindu and Muslim teams in the famous Quadrangular and Pentangular trophies. After this, hop over to the Brabourne Stadium, which is commonly referred to as the ‘Lords’ of the east. From there we head towards the famous ‘maidans’ to watch a game being played there.

Approx walking time : 3hrs
Approx walking distance: 3.5 kms
Days conducted: Everyday.*

*This walk can be organised on any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
Footsteps to Freedom: Mumbai in the Indian Independence Struggle tour

There is no one single movement that can be described as being responsible for the freedom of India. From the very violent Revolt of 1857 to the enlightened years of the Reform Movement and the revolutionary attempts by Bhagat Singh to the principles of ‘Ahimsa’ (non –violence) and passive resistance – all these coupled together gave India her freedom from almost 300 years of British rule.
On this car-cum-walk tour we visit many of the spots in Mumbai that played a role in the Indian freedom struggle. Be regaled with stories from incidents related to the Revolt of 1857 to many of Mahatma Gandhi’s most famous movements. The life, times and works of the extremist Tilak to visiting the place where, Ambedkar sipped tea while penning down the Constitution of India. This tour showcases Mumbai’s role in India’s freedom struggle.

Approx walking time : 4hrs
Approx walking distance: 3 kms
Days conducted: Everyday.*

*This walk can be organised on any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
Art Galleries and Museum Tours

No visit to the city is complete without a trip to the renowned Prince of Wales Museum, now called ‘The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya’. One of the most prominent museums in the country, it houses some of the country’s most outstanding artifacts. However the oldest museum in Mumbai is also one of its most beautiful – the Bhau Daji Lad Museum opened in 1872 and was known as the erstwhile ‘Victoria and Albert Museum’. It houses some of the most exceptional artifacts pertaining to the life of the people of Mumbai and their history from the late 18th to early 20th centuries. The Mani Bhavan museum is the towering legacy that documents the daily life of Mahatma Gandhi when he lived in Mumbai. Mani Bhavan was the epicenter of India’s struggle for freedom between the years 1917 to 1934. Being true to its commercial roots, money has always a paramount place in the city’s iconic history. The Reserve Bank of India Money Museum is a numismatic museum that chronicles the vibrant story of money in India. Culminate the tour by visiting the small but immensely engaging Ballard Bunder Museum dedicated to Mumbai’s rich maritime history and harbor.

This walk-cum-car tour will cover these museums.

Approx walking time : 4hrs
Approx walking distance: 4.5 kms
Days conducted: Everyday.*

*This walk can be organised on any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
The Jewish Heritage of Mumbai Tour

More than 2,000 years ago the Jews landed on the shores of India and around the 18th Century slowly migrated to Mumbai. However, it was the arrival of the ‘Merchant Prince’ David Sassoon on the shores of Bombay in 1832 that ushered in one of the most fascinating periods of the old city’s history. The Jewish contribution to Mumbai in the form of some of its most beautiful and breath taking monuments will forever shine in the annals of her history.

This walk-cum-car tour will cover some of the most significant structures of the Jewish legacy including the famous David Sassoon Building and Library to the renowned ‘Blue Synagogue’ and Magen David Synagogue. Then hop over to view the David Sassoon Clock Tower. The tour will also take in some of the smaller but equally important sights of Mumbai.

Approx walking time : 4hrs
Approx walking distance: 3.5 kms
Days conducted: Everyday.*

*This walk can be organised on any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
The Architecture Walk Tour

The best way to describe Mumbai’s architecture is a mish mash of multiple styles. There is no single unique style that can define the architecture of Mumbai. Different parts of the city were designed in different generations thus resulting in a lot of trial and error in finding Mumbai’s true style. In this mistake the British also gave to us one of our most unique features. A single area that boasts of a variety of styles all within a square mile.
Mumbai is an architectural enthusiast’s favourite playground. With as many as 7 different styles this tour showcases some of the most magnificent monuments of this city. Start the tour in the Town Hall region and explore the beautiful neo classical structure from a different angle. Also visit hallmark monuments like the Victoria Terminus and Flora Fountain to name a few. Mumbai is home also to the very unique Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and was also a part of the Art Deco boom of the 1930’s. This tour is a must do for people who want a better understanding of how a city’s design is linked to its history and for those who just love architectural masterpieces.

Approx tour time: 3 hours
Days conducted: Everyday.*
Start Time: 8am/4pm

*This walk can be organised on any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
The Parsi Legacy of Mumbai Tour

Almost 1400 years ago, the Zoroastrian Community, forced out of their homeland by invaders, settled in Sanjan on the coast of Gujarat. Over the next millennia they migrated southwards to ‘Bombay’, the growing commercial capital of India, to settle down and earn a living. What they did for ‘Bombay’ remains unparalleled even to this day.
Join us on a tour that discovers one of the smallest communities in the world. Despite the lack of numbers their contribution to Mumbai’s society has been immense. Tata, Wadia, Jeejeebhoy, Cowasji Jehangir, Pherozshah Mehta are just some of the illustrious names that come up when you think of the Parsee community’s contribution to this great city. Understand the uniqueness of their customs and traditions and visit (from the outside only) their fire temples. If its your lucky day we will get you to chat up a Parsee.

Approx tour time: 3 hours
Days conducted: Everyday.*
Start Time: 8am/4pm

*This walk can be organised on any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
‘Bazaars of Bombay’ Tour

When the word ‘Bazaar’ pops up in your mind, your imagination conjures up this fantastic, colourful, exotic and chaotic mélange of sights, sounds and experiences that are right out of a journal from the days of the Raj. Cows walking on the street get more space than pedestrians, cars and scooters meandering through their by lanes with an occasional curse word thrown in, the voices of people trying to get the best bargain echoing in your ears and the beautiful sound of the temple bells clanging in chorus- amidst their crazy hustle and bustle lies the true soul of Mumbai.

Visit one of Mumbai’s largest wholesale market, the Crawford Market, arguably the most famous bazaar of Mumbai was originally built to be a ‘wet’ market but today sells everything from deodorants right down to cheap Chinese Ray Ban knock offs. Be a witness to the pandemonium at the Bhuleshwar Market with its network of many small bazaars. Feast your taste buds in one such small bazaar - the ‘Mirchi Gully,’ (literal translation – ‘chilly lane’) with its spice shops, some of which are indigenous only to India. All that glitters is not gold – however at Zaveri Bazaar, all that glitters is gold. Situated in the well –known Kalbadevi area of the city and known as the gold souk of Mumbai, this bazaar is where gold ornaments are designed and handmade. The most intriguing of all the historic bazaars is undoubtedly the more than 150 year old ‘chor bazaar.’ ‘Chor bazaar’ literally means ‘thieves market’. Situated on Mutton Street, the tiny shops and numerous vendors sell Victorian furniture along side Mercedes hub - caps

Approx tour time: 4 hours
Days conducted: Everyday.*
Start Time: Call to inquire

*This walk can be organised on any day but prior intimation of at least 24hrs is required
**Walks can be customised for larger group sizes. To customise a walk please email us at raconteurwalksmumbai@gmail.com or check our Contact Us page
 
TV & Radio
 
Magazines & Newspapers
 
 
     

Awards and Accolades:

 
 
Home | About Us | Upcomming Events | The Team | Testimonials | Contact us  
                                                                                 © Copyright 2016 Raconteurwalksmumbai. All Rights Reserved.                      Designed by -Webstro Technologies