From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Mumbai: The City Historic

Even after a five-year refurbishment, completed in January, the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum remains quaintly and quirkily old-fashioned. Winner of a 2005 Unesco excellence award, the High Victorian museum opened in 1857 to showcase the industrial crafts and economic resources of western India, with several rather curious displays focusing on cotton, a commodity locals once dubbed white gold. These exhibits continue to be open today, as do many idiosyncratic others for which the museum is known: On the upper floor 19th-century clay dioramas depict Mumbaikers from diverse religious communities, each with a distinctive turban. And verisimilitude is of the utmost import on a model of the Tower of Silence—the well-like structure where members of the city’s rapidly declining population of Zoroastrian Persians, known as Parsis, leave their dead to be consumed by vultures. Notice a tiny clay bird perched on the tower’s edge, eagerly awaiting its dinner. 91A Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Rd.

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