Enchanting View of Girgaum, British Era Bombay, 1900 Photo
A 1900 photo with an enchanting view of Girgaum in the time of British era Bombay (Mumbai). This colour photo is by the photochrom process that was hugely popular in the 1890s. A horse-driven tram seems to diligently carry its load of passengers in this charming scene. Girgaum is located with Back Bay and Chowpatty in the west., Grant Road, and Malabar Hill in the north. With Kalbadevi in the south and Mazgaon in the east.
Girgaum or Girgaon was home to the more respectable middle classes of the city. The Europeans built dwellings inside the Fort or at Girgaum, Byculla, Chinchpokli, etc. They built residences, groups of handsome houses, with buildings attached. Some of them can be seen in this image. The area was once interspersed with vast wooded coconut groves.
Although the coconut plantation slowly gave way to urban development. Houses and buildings started rising in all directions. Girgaum became a hub for immigrants from other parts of India. It started to populate fast in the mid-19th century, and is now home to diverse communities like the Gujarati, Konkani, East Indians, and so on. Sadly like some other parts of Mumbai, Girgaum too seem to be falling into the trap of urban decay.
Did you know – that Girgaum or Girgaon literally means hill village, which gets its name from being located at the foot of Malabar Hill.