Fort has been one of the most important trade centres in south Bombay, right since the British rule. The place gets its name from the Fort George that was built by the East India Company. Though the fort is in ruins, it was built around the Bombay Castle, one of the first defence structures built by the British. The Fort region has maintained its important position in Mumbai’s trade industry. It is home to the Wall Street of Mumbai, Dalal Street, the Bombay Stock Exchange, Reserve Bank of India Headquarters and the Tata Group Head Quarters.
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Even to this day, several people refer to this part of the city as Bombay. The northern boundary of Fort has the Police Head Quarters, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Cama Hostpital, to the west, there is Azaad Maidan and Fashion Street (street shopping for apparel) and Kala Ghoda to the south along with the David Sassoon Library, Jehangir Art Gallery, National Gallery of Modern Arts and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya which was early known as the Prince of Wales Museum. Fort is also home to the headquarters of Bomabay Samachar which was started in 1822 and is kn own to be India’s oldest continuously published newspaper. This is one of the places worth visiting around town.
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While traveling around the area, do try and stop by the Flora Fountain, one of other landmarks around the place. All the pavements around the place are home to various book vendors, while some of them sell second hand books, at some stalls you’ll probably find books by esteemed authors that are difficult to find else where. Take a break and have a cup of tea and gorge on some bun-maska at the iconic Britannia Co. Cafe in the vicinity.
Next you can also visit the Hornimon Circle surrounded by beautiful buildings that will take you all the way back to the British Rule. The Asiatic Society is located right across the street from the Hornimon Circle.
Kala Ghoda is one of the important cultural hubs in this neighborhood. It hosts the annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival which is one of the biggest free cultural festivals hosted ion Mumbai. In fact, the David Sassoon Library and the Jehangir Art Gallery are located here along with several interesting places to eat at.
In case you’re traveling to Mumbai, this is one part of the city you cannot afford to miss, if you’re looking forward to traveling back in time to at least a couple of centuries back!
Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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