Independence Day 2019: 5 places of historical significance in Mumbai

As we celebrate our 73rd Independence Day, it seems apt to look back at some of the historically significant landmarks across different cities. We’ve travelled from Kolkata to Delhi and now we arrive in Mumbai.

Despite being quite far away from Delhi, the capital of British India, and Kolkata, from where the British ruled before moving to Delhi, Mumbai saw a great deal of action during the freedom struggle. The many monuments that dot the city are witness to this.

1. August Kranti Maidan
This was initially called the Gowalia Tank Maidan after the cowherders who brought their cattle to drink water at the natural tank that would form when water from the neighbouring hills flowed down here. It was from this ground that Mahatma Gandhi called for the British to leave India, launching the Quit India movement in 1942.

Photograph: Karthik Nadar/Wikimedia Commons

2. Mani Bhavan
Several of Mahatma Gandhi’s movements were launched from Mumbai. One of them was the Civil Disobedience Movement, which was launched from Mani Bhavan, the hub of Gandhi’s political activities between 1917 and 1934.

Photograph: Rangakuvara/ Wikimedia Commons

3. Horniman Circle
Some of the earliest protests for freedom led by local leaders, including Mohammed Ali Jinnah (who would go on to birth Pakistan), would happen at the town hall, which is where Asiatic Society Library now stands. Horniman Circle was also where the Bombay Stock Exchange was founded and has been named after Benjamin Horniman, a British newspaper editor who often spoke out against the atrocities of the British.

Photograph: Leiden University Library/Wikimedia Commons

4. The David Sassoon Library and Reading Room
Built in 1870, the David Sassoon Library is an imposing building that many Mumbaiites pass by on their way to and from work. But did you know that this was one of the places where Dr BR Ambedkar wrote large parts of the Constitution of India?

Photograph: Joe Ravi/ Wikimedia Commons

5. Gateway of India
It seems apt that the final spot in the list of historically significant landmarks should be the Gateway of India. It was from here that the first battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry passed through in 1948, signalling the end of British rule in India.

Photograph: Ashwin Kumar/ Wikimedia Commons