Oval Maidan 〜 Bombay's Another World Heritage


--- If I win a Lottery, I would buy a flat in one of the Art Deco building next to Oval Maidan !

--- The residents of these buildings will never leave.

Oval Maidan, together with its Victorian Neo Gothic architectures in one side and the Art Deco style residential buildings in the other side, is one of my most favourite place in Mumbai.

How wonderful it would be if I can admire Victorian Neo Gothic Bombay High Court, Bombay University building, and Rajabai Clock Tower behind southern palm trees, or see cricketers, club palyers or amateurs, and footballers playing in the field when I open the window of the Art Deco appartment.

Before land reclamation project in Back Bay area in 1920s, this place was called Esplanade and faced directly to Arabian Sea --- Nariman Point or Marine Drive did not exist at that time, not even the Art Deco buildings which were built in 1930s..

For long time, Oval Maidan belonged to the state government.

Years of lack of maintenance and anti-social visitors, degradation by construction debris and garbages lead ORCA, Oval-Cooperage Residents Association, to take the ground's maintenance issue to the Hight Court.

Oval Maidan was handed to the assosiation in 1997, who set up to makeover the Maidan in two years time. Debris were removed, steel fence was installed around the ground.

Since then, shopping centre, underground parking, elevated railway corridor --- renovation projects appeared one after another on this very central area, just to the south of Western Railway's terminus, Churchgate Station.

This environment is to be preserved.

Together with Victorian Gothic and Art Deco buildings surrounding the ground, this place is not listed in UNESCO's World Heritage list like city's Elephanta Island and CST station, but it is on the tentative lists since May 2012.

It is also protected under the heritage regulation by the state government since 1995.

Amateur cricket players in Oval Maidan

The number of cricketers is impressive during weekend.

And number of football players increases in the ground.

To the south of Oval Maidan, just across the road, there is Cooperage Stadium, which is local football club Mumbai F.C. (I-League)'s home ground.

And in 2015, I saw female players for the first time.

Mumbai is second city in the world after Miami Beach, USA, which has largest number of Art Deco buildings' collection. Art Deco style hotels and appartments were costructed between 1920s and 1940s in Miami Bach.

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