29 July, 2022
4 mins read
Byculla is a popular suburb in the posh South Mumbai area. The Byculla railway station services this historical and upscale suburban area. The area is famous for the heritage structure of the Byculla railway station and some popular places to visit in Byculla.
Byculla railway station was built around 1852 and was one of the original stations on the Thane-Bombay rail network that was inaugurated in 1853. Originally, the Byculla station was built as a simple wooden platform, and the construction of the structure we see today was started in 1887 and completed in 1891.
This station is a Grade I heritage structure. The poles, arches and wide porches of the present-day station, now obscured from view by the clutter and chaos of modern hoardings, are a testament to the beauty of the heritage structure.
Byculla railway station falls on the central line of the Mumbai Suburban Rail Network. It is one of the major and crowded railway stations, and all trains, including fast suburban locals, halt here.
In the early 18th century, Byculla was a part of Mazgaon, one of the seven original islands of Mumbai. During this period, the Great Breach of Mahalaxmi caused the low-lying Byculla to be periodically flooded during high tides.
The Hornby Vellard project of 1784 connected all the islands, and soon Byculla was inhabited by the Europeans. Most of the erstwhile Bombay elite moved from the ‘congested’ and ‘crowded’ Fort area of South Mumbai in the early 19th century to the more open and verdant Byculla for the fresh air.
In a few years, this area saw the advent of the iconic mills of Bombay. The proliferation of mills led to many middle and lower-middle-class mill workers setting up homes here, leading to the construction of the famous chawls of Mumbai.
Most of the erstwhile mills have closed down, and their desolate structures are being demolished to make way for new structures, especially massive residential projects. Even in the case of chawls, some old and popular ones like BIT Chawl in Byculla are still standing. However, most were razed down to make way for modern structures. The BIT Chawl in Love Lane, home to a huge working-class Marathi population, houses the famous Love Lane cha Raja, one of the largest and most popular Ganeshotsav Mandals of Mumbai.
Here are some popular places to visit in Byculla:
The Byculla railway station is accessible from all parts of Mumbai. The accessibility, high-quality social infrastructure, historical significance and good transport facilities make Byculla a viable residential neighbourhood. As it lies in the upscale South Mumbai region, it offers some premium residential spaces.
Piramal Aranya offers luxury residences overlooking the lush gardens of Rani Baug and the beautiful Arabian Sea. Get well-designed homes and state-of-the-art amenities that cocoon you from the bustle of the city while still granting you the privilege of a premium South Mumbai address.
The Byculla streets were instrumental in transporting the first locomotive to Mumbai, with around 200 labourers pulling it across the streets of Byculla. Byculla station was also instrumental in conducting the test runs of the first steam locomotive before the successful 1853 run between Bombay and Thane.
Byculla Railway Hospital, officially known as the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Railway Hospital, is the biggest national railway hospital in India.
The Headquarters of Mumbai’s Fire Brigade is located in Byculla near the famous Y Bridge.
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