Engaging Heritage – The Pyaavs of Mumbai - Swadesee
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As knowledge seekers, travellers or enthusiasts, we often view heritage as something exclusive or inaccessible to the public. There is a perception that heritage only exists in certain areas or that it is only to be photographed and documented. It seems all too distant from our everyday lives.

What if we explored deeper and understood what defines our heritage? Is it just the centuries-old architecture or is it also the living, breathing sociocultural past and present that adds value to a heritage structure? Furthermore, is heritage itself only limited to structures?

On this interactive workshop led by Ar. Rahul Chemburkar, we will immerse ourselves headfirst into the water heritage of the Mumbai region. Through a virtual visit of various Pyaavs (drinking water fountains) dotted across the Mumbai region we will understand the purpose with which they were built and learn how they are being revived to serve their original purpose once again.

Drawing cues from Rahul’s passion to conserve and revive heritage, this workshop will teach us how this approach of identifying, repurposing and reviving our heritage can be applied to the heritage around us.

Do note that this workshop requires active participation and engagement. The format involves a series of case studies and discussions led by experts who have devoted their careers to restoring, conserving and reviving heritage across India. A few simple assignments that require no prior knowledge or skills will also be part of the workshop.

1. Introduction to our cultural heritage
2. Tangible and intangible heritage
3. Understanding water heritage
4. A virtual visit of the Pyaavs of Mumbai
5. Case studies
6. Interactive assignment

This workshop will be conducted virtually over two sessions on 28th June 2020

Session 1 – 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm
Session 2  – 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm

The time between the two sessions is for a break and to work on a simple assignment. No prior skills, knowledge or materials would be required for this assignment.


Architect Rahul Chemburkar is the founder and partner of Mumbai based firm Vaastu Vidhaan Projects. His work encompasses the conservation and sustainable restoration of varied heritage structures and creating awareness about architectural history and heritage by means of walks, lectures and discussion forums.

An ardent heritage enthusiast, he is spearheading the conservation and revival of several Pyaavs across the city. On this online workshop with the passionate ‘Pyaavist’ Rahul we will head out on a virtual Pyaav trail with him and quench our cultural thirst.

Pyaavs – a typical urban feature of the city of Mumbai are more than just a public drinking water fountains; more so they are repositories of the architectural history and socio-cultural life of the city. They are symbols of architectural finesse as well as philanthropic motives from the 18th and 19th century. Varied in form and nature, Pyaavs are in dire need of being conserved to quench the thirst of the modern city and to serve the purpose they were originally constructed for. A movement to reclaim these heritage structures and to restore them to their original glory has already begun where architects, historians, bureaucrats have joined hands.

Upon completing the workshop you will also receive a e-certificate of participation from Vaastu Vidhaan Projects and Swadesee.

This workshop would be conducted online via videoconferencing softwares such as Zoom or Webex. Please do ensure you have a smartphone or laptop capable of supporting such applications along with a decent internet connection. The meeting link would be shared prior to the workshop.

The language used during the workshop would primarily be English, however we welcome participants to interact in Marathi or Hindi if they wish to.

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We will offer you a complete refund (minus payment gateway charges of 2.5%) if your cancellation is made more than 24 hours prior to the start of the workshop.