Pyaavs of Mumbai: A Visual Tour

in Image Gallery
Published on: 03 July 2018

Swapna Joshi

Swapna works in the fields of Archaeology, History and Conservation and currently is a Ph.D. fellow in the Humanities and Social Sciences department at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune.



The Pyaavs of Mumbai are beautiful but often overlooked architectural edifices scattered across the city. They were erected during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as charitable projects, often commissioned to commemorate a departed loved one or were an outcome of generosity of wealthy gentlemen. This visual tour is a journey showcasing the pyaavs from past to present, in their different moods, pointing out their various facets and nuances. There are approximately 28 recorded pyaavs in Mumbai today and many more are probably still hidden in nooks and crannies of the metropolis.


The following is an inventory of all the pyaavs whose locations are known, with their ethos captured at various hours of the day, and some which are undergoing restoration work as well. What we see through these visuals are the bustling streets of Mumbai where people halt in the vicinity of the pyaav, quench their thirst and move forward.