Chimeras, grotesques and gargoyles of Mumbai

It’s a good thing the roads are more or less maintained inΒ  the historical parts of Mumbai – for it’s rather hard to watch your step when the buildings are so adorned and embellished πŸ™‚ Even after all these years in the city I find myself looking up quite a lot. Sometimes people slow down and look with me, and these moments are the most rewarding. The vast array of architectural elements is worth being noticed and acknowledged. Decorative openwork patterns, elegant tracery holding the glass of Gothic windows, pointed arches, intricate stone carvings and steep-sloping roofs – all of these are the reason to be madly in love with the city.

Sitting with grim solemnity atop the walls, mythological creatures of every kind add a special character to the buildings. Gargoyles of Mumbai are particularly charming. Serving an ornamental function, they are also designed to convey rainwater from the roof and so protect the building from damage. Don’t we imagine a perfect guardian just like this – unshakable, fearsome and eerie?

Mumbai gargoyles Mumbai gargoylesMumbai gargoyles Mumbai gargoyles Mumbai gargoyles Mumbai gargoyles Mumbai gargoyles

There are also grotesques. While being very similar to gargoyles, these figures don’t work as waterspouts – their function is purely decorative.

What a cutie πŸ™‚

The chimeras of Mumbai are rather peculiar. Who is this guy, for example? One would say it’s a griffin, but he doesn’t have an eagle’s head.

And this one is even more mysterious. Assyrian Lamassu?

What is your favorite architectural element? And who is your favorite mythological creature? πŸ™‚


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