CONSTRUCTED BY THE British in 1838, Colaba Causeway helped integrate the main city with Colaba, its southernmost spur. Today, the Causeway, also known as Shahid Bhagat Singh Road is a lively mix of shops, restaurants and residential enclaves. Among them is the charming Parsi housing colony of Cusrow Baug, built in the 1930s, where the distinct culture and lifestyle of this dwindling community is preserved. Of the Causeway’s many restaurants is one that has become an institution, the Leopold Café and Bar established in 1871, and a popular meeting place ever since. Further south are the Sassoon Docks, worth visiting early in the morning when they are buzzing with activity. This is when the fishermen bring in their catch and a wholesale fish market is set up by the lively, sharptongued Koli fishwives.
At the southern end of Colaba is the Afghan Memorial Church of St John the Evangelist, built between 1847 and 1858. This grand Neo-Gothic structure with its tall spire and imposing front porch in buff basalt stone, was built in memory of the soldiers who died in the First Afghan War (1843), and the church is full of poignant memorial stones. It has superb stained glass, especially on its west windows, where an outstanding panel depicts the Crucifixion. A memorial to the martyrs stands in the garden.