Mumbai: Colonial Preservation

Skyscrapers and malls are rapidly encroaching upon Mumbai’s oldest neighborhoods, and among developers’ targets is Khotachiwadi, a ten-block cluster of picturesque 18th- and 19th-century colonial bungalows with latticed windows and trellised balconies. Only 28 of the original 67 dwellings, near the famed Chowpatty Beach, remain. Fashion designer and Khotachiwadi native James Ferreira’s Khotachiwadi Welfare & Heritage Trust helps residents afford their homes so they don’t have to sell to developers. And since 2002 the trust has offered tours through the community, hour-long walks that weave past a timeworn wafer factory and stop at the 180-year-old Ferreira home, studio, and boutique for traditional tea. (Evening torchlight trips provide a unique perspective.) Tours should be booked at least a week in advance, and proceeds benefit the trust. $6; 91-22/2387-5725