Standing as symbols of the city's astounding history and heritage, 'pyaavs' of Mumbai, amalgamate the city's brilliant architectural legacy and its spirit of community service. Claimed to be established during the days of the 18th and 19th centuries, pyaavs are drinking water fountains, that reflect upon the erstwhile social-cultural panorama of India's financial capital. Ranging from simple structures to intricately designed edifices, pyaavs come in a variety of forms, much like the city's heterogeneous populace.
Slaking the thirst of humans & animals for decades!
Though the story behind the origin of the name 'pyaav' is not clear, some reports claim that the word comes from Gujarati roots. Erected with philanthropic aims primarily, they have evolved to occupy a significant place in the city's endowments from the British era. Ensuring benefits for all, pyaavs consist of water spouts for humans and troughs for the animals.
Lining most of the city's major roads that pass through bustling markets and witness heavy traffic movements, pyaavs have helped a large number of people to quench their thirsts, throughout the decades. Additionally, they can also be observed along tram routes and roads that were used for the transportation of goods.
An architectural marvel of its times!
While the underlying altruism is the most striking feature of the pyaavs, the architectural genius of their designs never fails to amaze tourists. From small 5-feet structures to monumental establishments like Bazaargate Street Pyaav or Keshavji Naik Fountain, they come in a variety of sizes. Built with special materials like red sandstone, Kurla stone and others, pyaavs narrate tales of a glorious past and the eye-catchy adornments overlaying these structures cannot be missed.
Some of these pyaavs were raised in the memory of individuals, which further highlights their significance. Amid the hustle and bustle of the cosmopolitan days, these edifices encapsulate the semblances of the bygone days.
BMC working on the restoration of these archaic repositories
Collaborating with Vaastu Vidhaan Projects, BMC is trying to restore and revive the beauty of the pyaavs. As per reports, the civic body has now targeted its attention to the Vitthal Koli Pyaav at Dadar. Out of the 29 pyaavs owned by the body, BMC is trying to refurbish more than 20 pyaavs lying on the tourism circuit. Besides extensive repair and restoration, these structures will be cleaned and they will be also be upgraded with new additions.
Located on the Gokhale Road, Anand Vitthal Koli Pyaav, was built in 1929 with the help of Malad stone. Reportedly, the drinking water facilities will be improved through streamlined measures and the plans also entail the beautification of the surrounding environs with the introduction of paving, steps and mural work, amongst other things.
Stitching together years of flourishing times, Mumbai boasts of diversity, that is too difficult to find anywhere else. Amid its serene and scenic landscape, some elements like the pyaavs are such quintessential gifts, that one finds them neatly engrained in the soul of the city.