The high court and the Tourists Guide Association have jointly taken this initiative. One of the oldest courts in the country, the MHC was built over a period of 7 years in the Gothic revival in the early English style architecture and was commissioned in services in 1878.
It has been declared as a world heritage by UNESCO. The walkthrough of the site is available only on Saturdays and Sundays at Rs 100 for domestic tourists and Rs 200 for international tourists. The visit can be booked on bookmyshow.com. According to tourism officials, a similar walk will be arranged for the adjacent Mumbai University campus very soon.
The court was founded on August 14, 1862. The construction of the building was started in 1871 and belongs to Victorian and Art Deco structures. In 2018, UNESCO included it in its list of heritages.
The structure of the building has been designed akin to a courtroom of a judge. The Bombay high court was one of the three high courts in India established at the Presidency Towns by Letters patent granted by Queen Victoria.
The structure was designed by British engineer Col James A Fuller and the first sitting in this building was on January 10, 1879. Justice MC Chagla was the first Indian permanent chief justice of Bombay high court after independence . To the west of the central tower are two octagonal towers. The statues of Justice and Mercy are atop this building.
The application made by Mahatma Gandhi in 1890 to study law and a certificate along with a degree in law awarded to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in 1891 has been put on display.
Dhananjay Sawalkar, joint director at Directorate of Tourism said each heritage walk will be of one hour and has been scheduled between 10am and 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays. These walks will be available in Marathi, English and Hindi languages. To showcase the rich heritage and culture besides architecture is the motto behind the initiative, he added.
According to tourists, the great Indian leaders like Lokmanya Tilak, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel were associated with this court and to visit such a structure will be an honour for the tourists.
The heritage walk will begin from gate number 4 with the first visit to the library and central court hall number 46. Guides will provide information about the building architecture in three different languages while tourists will have permission to take photographs only at select sites in and around the building.