In many ways, the 100-year-old Marine Drive is the quintessential Mumbaikar, full of paradoxes. On the one hand, it is a bustling hub of round-the-clock activity and, on the other, it is the most sought-after place when it comes to peace and tranquility. From sheltering loved-up couples to serving as a business avenue for chat-sellers, Marine Drive is imposing, yet never distracting. But like all things Mumbai, there is some interesting trivia about Marine Drive you might just have missed – we dont blame you as some of them are as old as time. Here are eight lesser-known facts about Marine Drive.
- What is Marine Drive for the rest of the world is Sonapur for the locals! (Even our landmarks have pet names.)
- The boulders you see at Marine Drive are not just showpieces; they are tetrapods designed to keep strong waves from destroying the promenade (more heroic than our Bollywood films).
- There are over 6,500 tetrapods lining the 4.3-km stretch of the Drive.
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road That is the official name of the six-lane Marine Drive. (We all prefer Marine Drive though!)
- After its initial construction, the stretch wasnt repaired for 72 years before it was resurfaced entirely in 2012.
- In 2014, it hosted the first R-Day Parade in Mumbai. (We wish that happened every year!)
- The promenade you walk on was not part of the original island and was built on reclaimed land; 100 years on, it is still strong as oak.
- Right after independence, a public vote was taken to decide on the type of lights that would adorn the promenade. The sodium vapour lights with a yellow glow were selected in 1950.