Fascinating Town hall (Asiatic Library & Museum) building, Mumbai

Town Hall building, Mumbai.Alamy

Built in the year 1833, and presently houses the Asiatic Society of Mumbai, Town Hall - this early colonial building  was designed  by Colonel Thomas Cowper, in neo classical style that has features  like a portico adorned with eight, iconic Doric columns and a flight of  steps leading up to it. Located on Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Fort,Mumbai, it is one of the most majestic structures among the other heritage buildings in this city and is one of the last architectural remnants of the Victorian Bombay.

Often colloquially referred to  as Tondal in the 19th century, the construction work began in 1911 and the progress was slow due to financial constraints.  The 'Literary Society of Bombay' wanted to construct a nice building to house library and museum to create interest among the people in art, science and literature. In the later years, it became a storehouse of information for the well-read people. An initial amount of Rs.10,000.00 came through lottery for the early constructon work and the work continued slowly whenever the funds were made available to the society and, at last, the building was completed in 1933. 

Town Hallbuilding, Mumbai. India Tours And Travels

 The Greek and Roman architectural styles gave inspiration to the architect of this building,
Colonel Thomas Cowper. The structure has a 
span of 200 feet and a height of 100 feet, with the entrance to the building adorned with a Grecian portico and 8 impressive Doric styled pillars.  A flight of steps  with 30 steps  leads to the entrance of the Town Hall. An interesting feature is the building was made of stones specially imported from England and this was done to add zest to neo-classical  design introduced here. The major features inside the building are  wooden flooring (using ancient wood), spiral  staircases  and the ornamental terraces  with beautiful wrought iron. The hall has a collection of  beautiful marble statues of the 19th century.

Town Hall(Asiatic Society)building, Mumbai.Alamy

The library of the Asiatic Society, has vast collection of books -15,000 rare and valuable books among its collection of over one hundred thousand including one of the two known original copies of Dante’s Divine Comedy (first issue of 'Inferno') and Sanskrit texts dating back to the 13th century. Besides the ancient manuscripts in Persian, Prakrit, Urdu and Sanskrit, several other treasures are safely preserved inside the hall. Also included is a  collection of 1,000 ancient coins and the exceptional gold 'mohur' that once  Mogul ruler Akbar owned.