Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Heritage Walk: Churchgate Station to Malabar Hill


On Sunday, Lex, Sharon and I set off for another of the Mumbai Heritage Walks.  This walk started at Churchgate Station and our first stop was the Oval Maidan.  I think this is where some of the Test Matches are played and the amazing thing about this was that it was very easy to simply walk in and watch a bit of cricket.   The area is surrounded by Art Deco buildings from the 1930s such as the Eros Cinema.

The Western Railway Headquarters by Churchgate Station.
 

From the Oval Maidan we could see the Rajabai Clock Tower of Mumbai University.  It used to chime "Rule Britannia" and "God Save the Queen" at one time (obviously this was changed after the Brits left!). The tower houses the university library and used to be the tallest building in Mumbai.


The Eros Cinema complex was built in 1938 to replicate the cinema halls of London.  From the Oval Maidan we walked along the Veer Nariman Road towards Marine Drive.  This road was lined with interesting Art Deco buildings and used to be called the Miami of Mumbai.



The Hotel Ambassador used to have a revolving restaurant at the top called Pearl of the Orient. We tried to go in, but found it was closed so we stopped for a coffee break at Gaylord's Restaurant - with its delicious bakery and garden coffee shop with white colonial furniture.


This place used to be called Jazz by the Bay where you could hear live jazz music every night, then they started playing different music and called it Not Just Jazz by the Bay. Now it's transformed itself into a Pizza place called Pizza by the Bay.




Once we reached the end of Veer Nariman Road we walked the whole way along Marine Drive.  At the top end of Marine Drive is Chowpatty Beach. At night the whole of Marine Drive is full of neon lights which forms a spectacular view known as the Queen's Necklace.



At the end of Marine Drive we climbed up Malabar Hill to the Hanging Gardens. This is the view looking back along Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach.



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