South Mumbai is full of beautiful Gothic-revival architecture, and the Bombay High Court is one of the city's best examples. Dating to the 1870s, the courthouse features two octagonal towers. Visitors are allowed inside and may even sit in on court cases, but most just come to view the architecture from the outside.
Bombay High Court is one of the oldest high courts in the country. While the court itself may be of interest to law buffs, it’s the architecture that attracts most visitors; the 19th-century building is part of the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Bombay High Court is a stop on some full-day tours of Mumbai, as well as on tours focused on the city’s architecture and colonial heritage. Most tours stop outside the building rather than leading participants inside, but you can enter independently.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Admission to the Bombay High Court is free, and visitors may sit in on court cases.
- Visitors must pass through security to enter, and cameras are not allowed inside.
- The courthouse is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Bombay High Court is located in South Mumbai's most touristy area, sandwiched between the Colaba and Fort neighborhoods and overlooking the Oval Maidan, a popular cricket ground. It's about a 15-minute walk from the Gateway of India and only five minutes from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Station (aka Victoria Terminus).
When to Get There
Bombay High Court is open weekdays throughout the year, and entrance is free. However, many visitors come just to see the architecture from the outside, in which case it’s often best visited in the early morning when temperatures are cooler or after dark, when the building is illuminated with soft flood lighting.
The Sculptures of Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court is full of interesting sculptural work, including life-size statues of Justice and Mercy and tucked-away depictions of forest creatures. There's also a sculpture of a monkey holding the scales of justice unevenly; according to legend, an Indian subcontractor working on the building sued the English contractors for money they owed him. He lost and added the monkey in retaliation.