Bygone Bombay for sale at The Oberoi

Bygone Bombay for sale at The Oberoi

Purchase 100 year old images of Mumbai from a time colonial Bombay was at its peak

'Bombay 100 Years Ago' is a two-day vintage art exhibit hosted by the World Luxury Council India and The Oberoi hotel, Mumbai.

On September 27 and 28, the main lobby of the Oberoi, Nariman Point will have on display these sepia-toned collectors' edition prints of the city on canvas, from a century ago, when Bombay was making waves...

... as the first city in the country to have an opera house (The Royal Opera House at Lamington Road)
... as the city that commemorated the first-ever visit of a British monarch to India at the Gateway of India at Apollo Bunder
... and as the city where the country's first electrically lit building block was to be found (Crawford Market at DN Road).

These 50 different images of Bombay are available as limited edition archival prints (10 prints per image) for sale. Priced at Rs 60,000 plus tax and Rs 80,000 plus tax, with part of the proceeds from sales to go to the Oberoi Foundation.

We've analyzed five images below to spark some nostalgia about a time when Mumbai was car free and immeasurably less noisy.

After two days at The Oberoi, Nariman Point, the exhibition moves online till the end of November 2010. For more information, call +91 (0) 22 22181854, 22181124; and visit

Bombay 100 Years Ago

THE BOMBAY CLUB. Situated in the Fort area, this club, in close proximity to the docks, was founded by members of the Indian Navy in 1845. The building the club occupied in Rampart Row, sometimes called Ropewalk, is now a bank office. This uber artsy area still has some fabulous heritage buildings, cafes, art galleries and museums.

Bombay 100 Years Ago

PYDOWNIE STREET/MOHAMMED ALI ROAD. Most popular for all-night eating during the fasting month of Ramadan, the congested Mohammed Ali Road, was previously known as Pydownie Street, an Anglicized version of the word 'pydhonie' (a place where feet are washed). These days, it is most often viewed from the elevated height of the JJ flyover.

Bombay 100 Years Ago

THE TAJ MAHAL PALACE HOTEL ENTRANCE. This façade hardly needs an introduction, but this view is slightly flummoxing. On closer scrutiny, those familiar with the iconic landmark might recognize this as the harbor view of the hotel. The main entrance faces west, and, according to one theory, was designed that way to allow access to horse carriages. Another rumor is that the architect misinterpreted the plans and designed the hotel facing the wrong way (inland). The Taj Mahal, built at a cost of £250,000, opened in 1903.

Bombay 100 Years Ago

TICCA GADIS.  These horse-drawn Victorian carriages that were the only mode of transport to come to Bombay in 1882 after The Bombay Tramway Company Limited was formally set up in 1873. Motor taxis were introduced in 1811 whereas motor buses started plying in 1926. Today, the Victorias in front of
the Taj have been replaced by black and yellow taxis. But, one can still hire a Ticca Gadi for a negotiated sum and drive along the sea face for an experience.

Bombay 100 Years Ago

VICTORIA TERMINUS. The biggest change since it opened in 1887, to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, is the renaming of VT station to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). Once the headquarters of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, now the Central Railway, it took 10 years to be completed with the statues ‘Progress’, ‘Engineering & Science’, ‘Shipping & Commerce’ and ‘Agriculture’ sculpted in England and the interior wood carving, tiles, ornamental iron and brass railings, grills for the ticket offices made with the help of students of the Bombay School of Art.

Udita is an entertainment and lifestyle writer and author based in Mumbai.

Read more about Udita Jhunjhunwala


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