There is so much that goes unseen in the everyday grandeur and chaos of a city life. Cityscapes today consist of a myriad of layers, faces, stories and a sense of urgency that they carry forward. There is seldom any time to pause and gaze at the natural decay of city infrastructure that once was. There are often pockets in every Indian city that act as a portal to the past. This may be in preserving old, long-term haunts that have shaped a city’s culture or the untouched architecture of yesteryear that may or may not have aged gracefully.
From distinct Art Deco architecture in Old Bombay to the colonial rundown houses of Calcutta or the traditional homes in Bengaluru, here is a list of archivists on Instagram that are preserving the last remaining charms of Indian cities.
Run by conservation architect Mallika Keer, Beyond Heritage acts as a portal to the Bombay of yore. The account is an ode to the lesser-known structures in the city that have played a pivotal role in shaping its heritage and culture. From the rundown chawls of Dadar to Art Deco buildings, Beyond Heritage captures a slice of nostalgia through its digital dairy.
II. Art Deco Mumbai
There is a very apparent distinction in South Bombay’s architecture. The homes and buildings represent a moment in the city’s history that has stood the test of time. Documenting this Art Deco style of architecture through an intensive digital conservation project and sparking a larger conversation around conservation architecture, Art Deco Mumbai is well-known for its initiatives both online and through on-ground guided walks and tours.
III. Calcutta Houses
A page simply dedicated to the simplicity and unhindered charm of colonial Calcutta homes, this archive holds up a mirror to the evolution of the city’s residential neighbourhoods and how this has subsequently helped shape the city’s culture at large.
This visual documentation is a local Goan sibling duo’s attempt at breaking down Goan architecture, history, heritage and culture through the elements that help build it. The page also captures snippets of an unseen Goa, one that is privy to the local eye alone.
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