UNESCO Award Recognition
The historic Byculla Railway Station in Mumbai has been awarded the prestigious UNESCO Asia Pacific Cultural Heritage award in recognition of its extensive restoration efforts. The award, declared in November of the previous year, celebrates the station’s significant contribution to cultural heritage conservation.
Initiators of Restoration Work
‘I Love Mumbai,’ an NGO, led the restoration project of Byculla Railway Station in collaboration with heritage conservation architect Abha Lamba and Minal Bajaj of Bajaj Trust, crucial partners in the conservation efforts.
Byculla Railway Station: A Historical Landmark
- Oldest Railway Station in India Still in Use: Byculla Railway Station, standing for 169 years, holds the distinction of being one of India’s oldest operational railway stations, reflecting the country’s rich railway heritage.
- Grade-I Heritage Structure: Byculla Railway Station is designated as a Grade-I heritage structure, underscoring its architectural and historical significance, emphasizing the need for preservation.
Other Heritage Railway Stations in Mumbai
Mumbai boasts several historically significant railway stations, including Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Western Railways Headquarters Building (Churchgate), Bandra railway station, and Reay Road railway station, contributing to the city’s cultural heritage.
Historical Significance of Byculla Railway Station
Byculla Railway Station played a pivotal role in the early operations of the Bombay-Thane railway and witnessed the arrival of Mumbai’s first locomotive, marking the beginning of railway transportation in the city.
UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation
The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation, established in 2000, aim to acknowledge exceptional efforts in conserving or restoring heritage structures, places, and properties in the region, recognizing both private sector entities and public-private collaborations.
Objectives of the UNESCO Project
The UNESCO project focuses on promoting heritage conservation practices, facilitating research and professional practice exchange, building capacity in heritage conservation, engaging youth in preserving cultural heritage, and enhancing knowledge management of Asian heritage. These initiatives seek to protect and promote cultural heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.
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