It was during the first Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in February 1999 that the founders (who were, at the time, fresh architecture graduates) volunteered to lead open-to-public heritage walks. These were conducted in association with Rahul Mehrotra and the late Sharada Dwivedi, authors of the book “The Fort Walks” which was released during the Arts Festival in 1999. The founders were already working on several urban improvement and preservation projects in the individual capacity which added to the authenticity of the presentation. The walks drew large crowds comprising locals as well as visitors. Buoyed by the public enthusiasm, overwhelming turnout and positive reactions from participants, 'THE BOMBAY HERITAGE WALKS (BHW)' group was formulated on April 18th 1999 – also World Heritage Day.

People were taken on discovery walks in (what were then) little known heritage precincts all over the city. We covered a variety of locales from Banganga Tank - a holy Hindu pilgrimage centre to Ballard Estate - an early 20th century Edwardian neo-classical business district. In the foremost effort of its kind, citizens and visitors were invited to explore the city’s architecture and exposed to terms like ‘Bombay Gothic,’ ‘Indo-Saracenic’ and ‘Art Deco.’ For the first time ever in Mumbai, public entry was permitted into many otherwise off-limits Government-controlled heritage properties like the administrative wing of the Victoria Terminus and the 1800s Gothic-style State Police Headquarters. To encourage public participation, private homeowners in residential enclaves like Khotachiwadi and Ranwar proudly opened up their heritage homes. Mumbai residents were finally waking up to the fact their city had so much history and architecture to be proud of!

BHW allied with a number of organisations to arrange unique free-of-cost heritage walks – Dockyard Walks with the Indian Navy, a Freedom Trail in association with the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sanghralaya (Gandhi Museum & Research Centre). In 2004, we were requested by the Asiatic Society of Mumbai to train student volunteers to conduct heritage walks as part of their Bi-Centennial Celebrations which were attended by the then President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam.


  • As of 2014, BHW does not offer tours in all areas listed above. Heritage routes offered are listed on following page.

  • BHW now offers only PRIVATE walking tours "on-request" for individuals/groups only. OPEN-TO-PUBLIC walks have been discontinued.


ABHA BAHL (architect) graduated from the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai in 1998 and received her Masters in Urban Design degree from the University of California at Berkeley, USA in 2002. She has been associated with the Urban Design Research Institute, and has worked on various urban management schemes and area improvement projects in Mumbai such as the 'Improvement Plan for the Corporate District of Ballard Estate’ and ‘Churchgate Revival – A Proposal for Urban Management of the area.’

BRINDA GAITONDE-NAYAK (architect) graduated from the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai in 1998 and completed her Masters in Architecture degree from Sir J J College of Architecture, Mumbai in 2006. She has worked on a number of restoration and urban improvement projects across India with ANL Associates. Two of the projects that she worked on, won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards in 2004 (restoration of Elphinstone College building, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai & Design for Street Furniture on DN Road heritage streetscape, Fort, Mumbai).


Since 2005, the BHW group has grown beyond the original team of architects. Enthusiastic, well-spoken and heritage-lovers to the core, the BHW team of presenters are a bunch of talented young individuals. Their backgrounds range from Architecture, Art History, Literature and the Arts.

Avinav Venkatachalam, 23 years– he is a final year student of architecture at BSSA-NMIMS University, Mumbai (graduating in 2014). His interests include art, sculpture and a love for storytelling. Avinav is setting up his own start-up firm to take forward his award-winning proposal for street-children-oriented products. He is also part of an UN-supported team working on replicable roof-garden modules for re-greening urban hillsides. Avinav has been with BHW since 2008 and believes that the walks that he leads are an attempt to link the historical background of the city to its contemporary issues, beyond the 'heritage' aspects. He welcomes dialogues on his walks and feels that a meaningful interaction is necessary for a memorable experience.

Sarthak Chand, 22 years – he is a final year student at the Dr Baliram Hiray College of Architecture, Mumbai (graduating in 2014). He is a self-confessed travel-addict, photographer, writer, biker and a fan of anything with a legacy. Sarthak sees himself as wanderlust with an undying curiosity to explore, and has been rediscovering Bombay ever since he can remember. This curiosity made him a part of BHW team in 2011 and he uses the opportunity to spread this infectious love for the city and its history. He invites interested persons to join him for a round of exploration and fall in love with Mumbai all over again.

Payal Bhosekar, 30 years - she is an architect by profession and a guest lecturer at an architecture school but her passions have led her to a variety of fields like solo travelling and volunteering with NGOs. Among other things, she has also been part of a movie-making team that has produced an Indie-Marathi film. A member of the BHW team since 2014, Payal conducts heritage tours in Mumbai as she believes they are a perfect combination of architecture and tourism. She encourages and enjoys interactive sessions with participants on the walks.


Over the years, BHW has organised numerous open-to-public walks and heritage-awareness workshops for students. Specialised private tours have also been conducted including those for visiting dignitaries, consular guests and global corporate heads. We have also organised walks for travellers from all over the world.


Our clients have included:

  • Dr. Raghuram Rajan – Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (2013)

  • Ms. Chelsea Clinton – d/o of former US President Bill Clinton (2000)

  • Australian Minister for the Arts – Mr Simon Crean MP (2012)

  • Australian Minister of Defence – Mr. Stephen Smith MP (2011)

  • Ms. Maha Aziz – d/o of former Pakistan PM Shaukat Aziz (2006)

  • Guests of the Netherlands Consulate in Mumbai (2010 onwards)

  • Guests of the Canadian Consulate in Mumbai (2011)

  • Director of the Port of Antwerp, Belgium (2010)

  • Diplomats group, Greece (2008)

  • Guests of Japanese Embassy, Mumbai (2007)

  • Members of the US Consulate (Mumbai)

  • Visitors delegation hosted by the Government of India, Finance (Audit) Department

  • Members of the expatriate community living and working in Mumbai


We regularly organise and conduct heritage tours for guests/delegations of corporate houses. Among our many past clients include:

  • Reserve Bank of India

  • HSBC (Board of Directors from UK)

  • Deutsche Bank

  • Citibank

  • Standard Chartered Bank

  • Novartis Healthcare Private Limited

  • Siemens India

  • Jindal Steel

  • GlaxoSmithKline

  • Private business groups & delegations from UK, USA, Singapore & Scotland


We regularly organise and conduct heritage tours for guests/delegations of corporate houses. Among our many past clients include:

  • Kala Ghoda Association as part of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festivals, annually from 1999 to 2010

  • Indian Merchants’ Chamber (2009, 2011)

  • Young Presidents’ Organisation – Conference delegates (2008)

  • JSW Foundation (Jindal Group) (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)

  • Tata Insitute of Social Sciences

  • International Association of Law Librarians – Mumbai Conference delegates (2007)

  • Leaders' Quest, UK (2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010)

  • The Urban Vision (2012)

  • Indian Architect & Builder – hosts to delegates from Corus, France (2008)

  • Delegates of the Monsoon Asia Conference, hosted by the Dept of History, Mumbai University (2010)

  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai)

  • Tata Management Training Centre, Pune (2008)

  • Urban Design Research Institute, Mumbai

  • Asiatic Society of Mumbai – as consultants for ASIATIKA bi-Centennial Celebrations attended by former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (2004)

  • Max Muellar Institute, Mumbai (2008)

  • Lions’ Group of Juhu, Mumbai (2012)


  • Andrea Zegna, Italian architect (2013)

  • Prof. Howard Gardner – American developmental psychologist, eminent author & professor at Harvard University, USA (2012)

  • Carol Mitchell – Director of US Library of Congress, Field Office in Islamabad, Pak (2007)

  • Robin Woodhead – Director of Sotheby's, London, UK (2009)

  • Guest of the Max Muellar Institute, Mumbai (2008)

  • Prof. Solfie Wolfrum, Chair of the Urban Design and Regional Planning Dept, Technical University of Munich (TUM)

  • Shoba Narayan, award winning author (2008)

  • William Dalrymple, award winning British historian, writer and curator (2006)

  • Navin Ramani, author of ‘Bombay Art Deco – A Visual Journey 1930-1953’(2005)


BHW has organised tours for tourists/ visitors from all over the globe including U.S.A., Germany, U.K, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Scotland, France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, South Africa, Netherlands, Venezuela, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, etc.


BHW has organised many tours, workshops and training sessions for (International and Indian) graduate groups, students of architecture, arts, history as well as school children.


  • Sathyabama University, Chennai – Students of Architecture (2013)

  • Wellingkar Institute, Mumbai – Management students (2009, 2013)

  • JB Petit High School, Mumbai (2005)

  • Bombay International School, Mumbai (2005)

  • Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai (2006)

  • National Association of Students of Architecture - all-India group (2005)

  • Mumbai University students (History major)

  • SP Classes, Mumbai - Students of Architecture (2005)


  • Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada (2013)

  • NYU, Dubai (2011)

  • Brearley School, New York (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)

  • Sevenoaks School, UK (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)

  • DePaul University, Chicago, USA (2009, 2012)

  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (2008)

  • New School, New York hosted by TISS (2007)

  • Tilburg University, USA (2007)

  • Kent, UK

  • Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, USA (2007, 2012)

  • University of Wyoming, USA (2007)

  • Pace University, USA (2006)

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