In a moment of great pride, Mumbai’s historic Byculla Railway Station was bestowed with the prestigious UNESCO Asia Pacific Cultural Heritage Award. The award, declared in November 2022, celebrates the station’s significant role in conserving cultural heritage. The recognition comes as a result of extensive restoration efforts that restored the station to its original grandeur.
The restoration work was led by the NGO ‘I Love Mumbai,’ with the dedicated involvement of spokesperson Shaina NC, a BJP politician. Collaborating with heritage conservation architect Abha Lamba and the Minal Bajaj Trust, the team undertook the challenging task of preserving the station’s historical and architectural significance.
As one of the oldest railway stations still in operation, Byculla Railway Station boasts a remarkable history spanning 169 years, bearing witness to the evolution of India’s railway system. Originally constructed as a wooden structure, it was later rebuilt with stone in 1857, taking on its present form in June 1891. The station’s history is intrinsically tied to the arrival of the first locomotive in Mumbai in 1852.
Designated as a Grade-I heritage structure, Byculla Railway Station holds immense cultural value, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding its original design and features for future generations to appreciate and learn from.
The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation have been recognizing remarkable achievements in conserving or restoring structures, places, and properties of heritage value in the region since 2000. The award program aims to identify exemplary practices in heritage conservation, encourage youth engagement, and promote knowledge management of Asian heritage through various mediums such as video, online, and print formats.