48274709_59c2ca2e7c.eventnodeType: Event

City: Bombay

Date: Wed, 2010/09/15 (All day)

Price: Free for all

In partnership with Julie Van Rechem



The European Heritage days were initially started in France in 1991. During three days, people can visit official buildings usually closed to the public and enter museums free of charge.Today, over forty countries participate in Heritage Days. They are days when a country celebrates its culture, traditions and natural landscapes, as well as its architecture and historic buildings.  This year highlights “Great men and women who have made History” offers an opportunity to visit an endless variety of well-known (but usually out of-bounds) and unusual historical monuments. Heritage Days are an occasion for the public to discover and to learn more about buildings and cultural topics.

For the first time, Alliance Française de Bombay brings this event to your city in order to celebrate the rich heritage of Bombay. Let’s hear about Mumbai’ s food and Heritage in Literature, from Khotachiwadi to Bandra, from Colaba to Crawford Market, through visits and conferences, come, walk, discover Bombay’s large and fascinating heritage.



  • Wednesday 15th :

Guided tour of Khotachiwadi with James Ferreira.

Let’s discover this little East Indian village of Maximum City. Khotachiwadi is mainly a little area of 19th Century bungalows painted in bright colors. This district is known for its old- Portuguese style architecture. The residents are fighting to protect this Heritage: originally, there used to be 65 bungalows, now only 28 remain, a lot of these houses have been destroyed to make way for new building.

The group cannot exceed 25 persons. Registration on a first come first served basis.

Conference: ‘…For Use of Today’s Customers Only’ Heritage and the City – A Self-portrait with Kaiwan Mehta 

6:30pm, Alliance française de Bombay

This talk will emphasise on the role that the city’s ‘heritage’ can and should play. Heritage often simply equated with the physical fabric of the city results in discussions limited to conservation or preservation, and development. However the notion of ‘heritage’ has to be realised for its cumulative potential – to not only understand the city and its experiences through spectrum of cultural practices, but also extend the notion to understand and discuss ‘citizenship’ and the aspect of living the everyday life in a city.

Kaiwan Mehta has studied Architecture, Literature, Indian Aesthetics and Cultural Studies. He is a theorist and critic in the fields of visual culture and architecture. He is currently pursuing a doctorate at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore. While being involved in teaching, writing and research on architecture and the city, he has been associated with many institutions like KRV Institute for Architecture, Mumbai, Jnanapravaha, Mumbai and Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, where he was a fellow from 2007-2010. He has also been in editorial positions with 2 reputed architecture magazines in India, one being the official magazine of the Council of Architecture (India). He has recently authored Alice in Bhuleshwar – Navigating a Mumbai neighbourhood (Yoda Press, New Delhi: 2009), a book which takes the reader for a walk through the streets and past the buildings of the ‘native town’ of colonial Bombay, reading their histories and excavating their memories, while continuing to negotiate their present context. He has recently completed a project as urban researcher for the ADACH (Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage) Pavillion for the Visual Arts at the Venice Biennale 2009 under the Artistic Directorship of Catherine David. He is in the process of establishing, as one of its founder Director,  Arbour: Research Initiatives in Architecture to be launched in October 2010.

  •  Thursday 16th:

Guided tour of Bandra 

One hour outdoors with Julie Van Rechem to discover Bandra. Discover the “Queen Of the Suburbs” which is not only a highly sought-after location for Pubs, Restaurants, and stores for famous brands, but a district known for its churches built in an old-Portuguese style. The name “Bandra” comes from the Persian word ‘’Bandar”, the Port is composed of a large cosmopolitan population and famous for its coastline promenade. Walk with a Mumbai fanatic through this area.

The group cannot exceed 25 persons. Registration on a first come first served basis.

Conference: What future for Bombay’s heritage ? with Tasneem Metha

6:30pm, Alliance française auditorium

Tasneem Mehta, Vice Chariman and Convenor INTACH Mumbai Chapter and Managing Trustee and Honorary Director of Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, will introduce the issues of conservation and renovation of a city’s heritage. From the Elephanta Caves to the one of the oldest museums in the city, the talk will emphasize the needs of Mumbai regarding the conservation of its heritage, what is being done and what is still to be done.

  •  Friday 17th:

Guided tour of Colaba

A one hour outdoors guided tour with Julie Van Rechem. From the Cathedral Holy Name to Cuff parade. Walk and hear about the story of one of the most ancient district of Mumbai. The word “Colaba” comes from Kholabhat a word in Kolis language, the original inhabitants of Bombay. Colaba is known for the variety of its Architectural style.

The group cannot exceed 25 persons. Registration on a first come first served basis.

Visit of V&A ( Bhau Daji Lad museum)

The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the least known Museums of Bombay. Located in the botanic gardens of Rani Bag, the white Victorian building is a real masterpiece. Recently renovated, the inside of the edifice looks  like a Maharaja’s Palace.  Its old wooden showcases are full of treasures from all India. Follow our energetic Julie Van Rechem to discover this unknown treasure of Bombay’s architectural Heritage.

The group cannot exceed 25 persons. Registration on a first come first served basis.

Public lecture, 6:30pm, Alliance française library :“Mumbai in literature”

Through novels from the entire world, discover Bombay’s architecture. Through Salman Rushdie’s description of the Breach Candy’s district, through Gregory David Roberts’s story of a diner at Leopold and many more texts, come and hear about the literary faces of the Maximum City.

  •  Saturday 18th :

Guided tour of Lohar Chawl / Kalbadevi

One hour outdoor guided tour to visit the Crawford Market.  This is the place where you can find anything you want in Bombay. Named after the first Municipal Commissioner of the city: Arthur Crawford, the Market is known to be full of life. The most famous part of Crawford Market is the edifice, blend of Norman and Gothic architectural styles. Through this visit, we invite you to discover the history and architectural specificities of a place you are very use to seeing.

The group cannot exceed 25 persons. Registration on a first come first served basis.

  • Sunday 19th:

Guided tour of Fort

Fort was the heart of Bombay during the 18th century. Today, the business district is known for being full of commercial activities from pirated software to books. Come to discover the district named after St Georges Fort built by the British East India Company, in the 17th century, to protect its economic interests. If the walls of the fort have fallen long time ago, there are still many beautiful various architectural styles to discover.

The group cannot exceed 25 persons. Registration on a first come first served basis.