Zero Point Bombay

Zero Point Bombay

Product ID: 24292

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Author: Kamala Ganesh
Usha Thakkar/Gita Chadha
Publisher: Roli Books
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 174
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788174366597


Zero Point, from which all distances are measured in Bombay, is an apt metaphor for Horniman Circle. Located in the heart of the ‘Fort’, it holds within itself the early history of the Portuguese and British presence going back to the mid-sixteenth century. It is the very birthplace of Bombay. It is, at the same time, a hub of contemporary Mumbai, anchored in its economy and ethos.

The co-presence of varied institutions – financial, commercial, governmental, intellectual – gives it a special character. The dual orientation to the past and present, the multiple weave of institutions and diversity of people who work in them, and their mutual interconnections, continuities and disjunctures form the theme of this book which seeks to document the intangible heritage of Horniman Circle.

The 21 essays and photographs by a range of academic and creative professionals, in a style that is lively and engaging, combine historical and ethnographic research. They describe, analyse and reflect on not only the architectural and historical artefacts, but also the distinct work ethos and leisure activities, democratic and civic impulses, public spaces, commercial dynamism, traditions of scholarship and journalism, reading and food culture.

Responding to Mumbai’s increasingly proactive civil society groups, the book addresses a broad spectrum of readers – professionals and informed laypersons – with a serious, critical yet empathetic approach to issues of urban heritage.


1. Acknowledgements
2. Introduction:- The Intangible Heritage of Horniman Circle
3. The Horniman Circle Precinct: An Architectural Road Map
4. Echoes of Many Voices: The Town Hall
5. Beyond Orientalism? Not Quite, Not Yet! The Asiatic Society of Mumbai
6. In Longhand: Manuscript Collection at the Asiatic Society of Mumbai
7. Paeans in Stone and Oils: Statuary and Portraiture in the Asiatic Society
8. From Manor House To Marine Base: The Story of the Naval Establishment in Mumbai
9. The Mumbai Collectorate
10. The Reserve Bank of India and the Mint House: Titans of the Central Banking District
11. A Tour through the History of Money: The RBI Monetary Museum
12. History of the Bombay Stock Exchange
13. The Bombay Stock Exchange: The Inexorable Movement of Time
14. St Thomas’ Cathedral: A Living Heritage
15. Conserving Heritage Through Legislation in Mumbai
16. Beginnings of the English and Gujarati Press in Mumbai
17. Mirroring the Precinct: A Spectrum of Bookshops
18. Going A La Carte on the Streets of Horniman Circle
19. The Horniman Circle Garden: A Multivalent People-space
20. Horniman Circle Garden and the Prithvi Theatre
21. The Precinct as Workspace: Snippets from Conversations
22. Through the Eyes of the Traveller
23. Index
24. About the Contributors