The Bombay High Court building will be thrown open to heritage enthusiasts from October 16 as part of the Maharashtra government’s efforts to boost tourism in Mumbai, an official said on Thursday.
The initiative is being implemented by the Directorate of Tourism (DoT), in association with the Bombay High Court and Tourist Guide Association (TOGA), he said.
As per a statement issued by the DoT, visitors will be able to take a tour of the building on weekends from 10 am to 2 pm and the duration of each heritage walk will be an hour, it was stated.
A total of three heritage walks each will be conducted on Saturdays and Sundays in Marathi, English and Hindi, the release said.
A nominal entry fee of Rs 100 (plus taxes, if applicable) will be charged per walk for Indian tourists and Rs 200 (plus taxes, if applicable) per foreign tourist, the statement said.
In order to create awareness about the rich heritage, history and architecture of this monumental structure, the DoT has proposed to facilitate heritage walks in the Bombay High Court premises, with the approval and guidance of the concerned authorities of the court, said Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Tourism.
The Bombay High Court, one of the oldest high courts in India, was inaugurated on August 14, 1862, and the work on the present building of the court commenced in April, 1871 and was completed in November, 1878.
The building is part of the Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Bombay, which was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 2018.
A museum was inaugurated on the premises in 2015, and has interiors designed exactly like a court room. The space has been curated with old legal rolls, portraits of advocates and a minuscule model of the Bombay High Court in a corner.
Mahatma Gandhi’s application for studying law dating back to 1890s and his certificate from 1891, along with Vallabhbhai Patel’s certificates and degree are also displayed there.
“Dignitaries like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar have walked these corridors and tourists must feel proud that they are getting an opportunity to enter this beautiful heritage structure,” Jerroo Bharrucha, President, TOGA said.
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