#LBBPicks: Make Dull Weekends History With These Heritage Walks

Bhavika posted on 11 September

We keep planning on getting to know our city better. But when the weekend does roll around, we’re usually too lazy to trawl through Facebook or listings to know where to start. So here we’ve collected some of the most interesting heritage walks happening in Mumbai over the weekend, so we wake up with more than just a hangover on Monday.

Byculla Heritage Walk

This weekend, we’re taking a stroll in the bylanes of Byculla. Starting at Gloria Church, the walk will take us through many places of interest such as the market area, Masina Hospital, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, among others. We will also pause at interesting places to click photographs—old Irani cafes, vintage cinema screens and of course, of the architecture.

A Byculla walk was organised by a heritage expert, Alisha Sadikot, and the Mumbai Instagrammers group in June, so we’re planning on staying in touch to find out about their next jaunt.

When: To be in the know of upcoming photo walks, follow the Mumbai instagrammers here.

Contact: Manali at +91 9702007427

Bookworming Walks

As bookworms, we are definitely planning on wriggling our way into this walk. We will get a chance to step into the footsteps of our favourite fictional characters as we go on these book tours through Mumbai. Don’t worry, the plot only thickens. Shriti Talwar of Beyond Bombay takes you to the Mumbai lived by the protagonists of the best-selling Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts and Maximum City by Suketu Mehta.

The two tours are i) Babbanji Bihar Tour, which traces Babbanji’s migrant journey from Bihar to Bombay in the city in the book Maximum City and ii) Lin’s Colaba {which unsurprisingly included a lot of Leopold’s Café} in which you see Colaba in all its detail as experienced by Lin Baba in Shantaram.

#LBBTip: Shriti is also organising a Lanes of Lalbaug walking tour. Registrations will open in July.

When: On request

Duration: Three hours

Price: INR 3,500 per head

Contact: Shriti Tyagi at +91 9867764409, +91 9717001898

Find out more here.

Irani Café Food Walk

Rafique Baghdadi, a local historian and journalist from Mumbai, is very passionate about his work. Among his many walks, which are sprinkled with stories, history, and a little nostalgia, is an Irani Café Food Walk. On this, we would explore the history of Iranian food, and in one of most favourite ways, through conversation and chai, while visiting famous Irani joints in the city.

He also holds some other very interesting walks—in Mazgaon, in Bandra, trailing writer Manto’s life, and on Cinema in the City—each on a different theme, mostly across South Bombay.

When: On request

Duration: 2.5-3 hours

Cost: On request

Contact: +91 9967808108, or email at rafiquebaghdadi@gmail.com

The Churchgate and Heritage Mile Walk

The Churchgate and Heritage Mile Walk takes us to old Fort, Victoria Terminus, and a lot of the route stretches on the Heritage Mile of Mumbai which is the DN Road. We’ll also walk through Flora Fountain, Kala Ghoda, Oval Maidan, till we end at the scenic Marine Drive.

We’ve heard some stellar things about the raconteurs, who are proactive, helpful and full of information and anecdotes, stories and may even surprise you with a pop quiz.

When: Heritage walks take place daily. {In the summer, morning at 7.30 am and evening at 5 pm; in the winter months of the year, at 8.30 in the morning and at around 4 in the evening}

Duration: Two hours

Cost: For groups of 6-12 people, INR 1,000; for 2-5 people, INR 1,250; and for individual tours, INR 1,500

Contact: +91 98200 25496

Find out more about their tours here. Check them out on Facebook here.

Dharavi Slum Walk

A Reality Tour through the largest slum area of Asia, Dharavi, might sound a bit daunting to some, but this walk approaches this place from a whole new industrial perspective. Dharavi Slum Walk allows visitors to experience a wide range of business activities which take place here: recycling, pottery-making, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadom-making and many more.

On top of this, the organisation donates 80 percent of their profits to their NGO Reality Gives, which gives back to the Dharavi community by way of its community centres. While it is no cakewalk, this is a great experience to get an insight into this place.

#LBBTip: They have a no photography policy during this tour, but you can ask them to email their photographs to you at a later time

When: These take place daily at 10am and 2.30pm

Duration: 2.5 hours

Price: Rs 850 (if the pick-up point is Mahim station)

Contact: +91 9820822253

Find out more here.

You can also book here.

Bandra Past & Present

Bandra is one of Mumbai’s most fascinating neighbourhoods, but we often get fixated with the cobble streets, little cafes, and dare we say it—film star-adorned houses. No more, as this Past & Present walk focuses on the unique physical spaces, character and cultures of Bandra today, along with its history and legacies from the past. Hosted by Alisha Sadikot, who is an independent museums and heritage education professional, we’d give this walk a go.

When: On request

Duration: Two and a half hours

Price: INR 500 per participant

Contact: write in to alisha.sadikot@gmail.com

Find out more about other walks here, and follow them on Facebook here.

Horniman Circle Walk

Bombay Heritage Walks is one of Mumbai’s oldest heritage walks and undoubtedly one of its best. During the Horniman Circle Walk, we see some of the city’s well-known landmarks, in the heart of the old Fort area – Mumbai’s oldest business district, including the Asiatic Library, the Horniman circle gardens, Flora fountain, and Oval Maidan to view city’s the Art Deco line of buildings, among many other places.

The walk is led by an architect, and gives one wonderful insight into not just the architecture, but also the social history of the buildings.

When: Daily, with various time slots for morning and evening

Duration: Two hours

Price: INR 3,750 is the minimum charge for a group of up to five participants.

Contact: 022 2369 0992

For more information, contact them here.