On Friday morning, a group of Mumbaiites rediscovered the gem that is the General Post Office (GPO) building, and got to know their home city a little better in the process.
The Hindustan Times No TV Weekend organised a free walk through this iconic but little-known marvel, in partnership with the Kala Ghoda Association.
“I came from Andheri, shaking off my morning malaise, and it was so worth it,” said homemaker Adelia Nunes, 50. “I love heritage sites and rarely get to travel, because of the responsibilities of home and children. Such activities help me discover new places in my own city.”
The walk was conducted by Sadia Dhailey of Caribou Drift, which organises trails across the country.
“The GPO was built in 1913, modelled on the lines of the Gol Gumbaz, the mausoleum of Muhammad Adil Shah, in Karnataka,” she told his audience, as they walked through the heritage building. “These are sites that tourists from around the world visit every day, but we Mumbaiites often miss them altogether.”
Among the group of eager listeners — and shutterbugs — was a group of students from the Baliram Hiray college of architecture in Bandra.
“Every Mumbaiite must visit this building at least once, like a tourist,” said Kinnary Jadhav, 20. “I have been here as a child, and I remember how I awestruck I was at its beauty.”
Director of the Mumbai GPO VV Satyanarayana Reddy also dropped by, and introduced his guests to various innovations undertaken by the post office. “One of our most interesting inventions has been the ‘My Stamp’ initiative, which allows people to get their own photos printed on stamps. These make for great mementos or gifts,” he said.
Anupama Krishnan, 18, a college student from Borivli, said it was her first visit to the GPO and “it was amazing”. “It’s sad to think that we have heritage sites right here in our city and yet ignore them,” she added.