Fort: Gold standard of Mumbai

While South Bombay will always be associated with skyscrapers and millionaires, the Fort precinct mixes old world charm and new-age glitz commendably to earn the moniker of the ‘business hub of the city’. Extending from Carnac Bridge in the north to Apollo Bunder in the south, Fort is arguably the most happening place in SoBo and hosts buildings that range from the Mantralaya to Jehangir Art gallery to and even the legendary Bademiya restaurant. Here’s all that there’s to know about Fort!

History

The area grew on to be a business centre during the late 1700s-early 1800s when the British realized the potential of the area to grow into a port. Several establishments and businesses sprouted and thus began the rise of Mumbai as the financial centre of the country.

Places to visit

Due to its inherent heritage status, Fort hosts some of the most of the iconic buildings in Mumbai. While we cant list all of them, heres our humble attempt at doing so.

Image by Nicholas/CC BY-SA 3.0

Crawford Market: One of the oldest markets in the city, Crawford Market is known for its wide variety of groceries and is SoBo homemakers favourite market. Everything from fresh vegetables and fruits to poultry and dairy can be bought here.

Fashion Street: If youre looking to buy clothes but dont want to spend big bucks, Fashion Street is the place for you. The street is lined with nearly 400 shops that offer you classy clothes at a modest budget and satisfy even the most hardcore fashionista.

Regal Cinema: One of the most iconic theatres in Mumbai, Regal Cinema is located in Fort and is one of the few art deco theatres left in the city. The theatre was also the first air-conditioned theatre in India.

Azad Maidan: A 25-acre, triangular ground in the middle of a bustling town seems to be wishful thinking, but at Azad Maidan wishes and dreams come true. The iconic ground, which has been the training ground of such champion players like Sachin Tendulkar and Wasim Jaffer, continues to host cricketing tournaments at the district level.

Image by AroundTheGlobe/CC BY-SA 3.0

Oval Maidan: As the name suggests, the oval-shaped ground is a popular recreational ground located in the north-western corner of the area. The ground is known to host inter-school cricket and football matches along with political rallies and religious functions.

Bombay High Court: Some of the biggest landmark judgments in the history of Indian judiciary have been passed by the Bombay High Court and the architecture of the building is a sight to behold.

The Asiatic Society of Mumbai: Founded as a centre of learning, The Asiatic Society of Mumbai contains nearly 3000 manuscripts in Persian, Sanskrit, and Prakrit, 12000 coins from the ancient and medieval era, not to mention countless books on a wide range of topics in History.

Kala Ghoda: The art-heart of the city, Kala Ghoda is the best place in town to experience sculptures, paintings and artifacts. For more info, read this Nearfox guide.

CST station: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, CST was earlier known as Victoria Terminus and serves as the headquarters of Central Railways. It is also the most photographed structure in Mumbai after the Gateway of India.

Reserve Bank of India: Money is what money does and at the Reserve Bank of India, it does a lot. The crown jewel of the financial centre of India, entering RBIs premises requires permissions but once you see millions of rupees being printed by the truckloads, you will forget all your worries (so what if you cant have it all).

Sterling Cineplex: A nearly 50-year-old Cinema house, Sterling was converted to a multiplex in 2007 and continues to enthral the audience by giving them the necessary dose of reality (pun intended).

Himalaya Fine Art: If you love to paint, sketch and draw, then Himalaya Fine Art store is candyland for you! With the biggest supply of all things artsy, the store is every artists dream destination that fills up their arsenal with brushes, colours, palettes and canvas. Fine Indeed!

Image by Bernard Gagnon/CC BY-SA 4.0

Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangarahalaya: With 50000 artifacts gathered and store from all over the world, Mumbais premier museum is definitely worth a visit! Do not miss the renderings of Ramayana and Tibetan art when you visit the place!

National Gallery of Modern Art: When it comes to art exhibitions, few things come close to the National Gallery of Modern Art in Fort. The collection here includes Pablo Picassos works and original Egyptian Mummies, preserved in pristine condition.

Restaurants

If taking a stroll around these places takes its toll on you, then the various hotels and restaurants in Fort will take care of you! Check them out.

Bademiya: Mughlai Cuisine, Rs 700 (meal for 2)
Britannia and Company: Parsi cuisine, Rs 800 (meal for 2)
Pratap Lunch Home: North Indian cuisine, Rs 750 (meal for 2)
GulshanEIran: Mughlai cuisine, Rs 500 (meal for 2)
Cannon Pav Bhaji: Rs 200 (meal for 2)
Burma Burma: Asian cuisine, Rs 1500 (meal for 2)
Kala Ghoda Caf: Rs 500 (meal for 2)
The Irish House: European cuisine, Rs 1900 (meal for 2), Rs 200 (pint of Beer)

How to reach

Fort hosts the CST railway station and is right outside Churchgate station. Take buses according to the sights you want to see.

The main image for this article was sourced from Wikimedia. Image by Neeraj Pattath/CC BY-SA 3.0

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