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The Indo-Saracenic Style of Architecture

The Indo-Saracenic Style of architecture is seen in several of Bombay's famous landmarks dating from the early parts of the 20th century. The most famous is, of course, the Gateway of India.

In 1890, Swinton Jacob published the Jeypore Portfolio of Architectural Detail, a project undertaken with the patronage of the Maharaja of Jaipur. This consisted of about 600 large-scale drawings of details from buildings in North India from the 12th to the 17th century. Organised by function, this deconstruction of Indian styles lent itself to a ready reconstruction into an exuberant new style.

The entry by R. F. Chisholm for the design of the the Municipal Corporation building in Bombay was perhaps the first major plan worked out in this style. It was rejected in favour of a Gothic design by F. W. Stevens.

With John Begg's design of the General Post Office in Bombay, the Indo-Saracenic style came into focus. This was followed by many buildings by many architects, notably George Wittet.

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