Gillbert Hill - A 200ft Volcanic Rock in Mumbai

Nestled in Mumbai's Andheri West is a 66 million years old volcanic structure which has been unknown to Mumbai, let alone to India since aeons now. The structure that has been discovered can only be found in two other locations in the world.

The200-ft-high Gilbert Hill, a volcanic structure from the Mesozoic era, has been brought to light by a Delhi filmmaker- Jaskunwar Kohli, aged 24, who studied filmmaking at St Xavier's College two years ago, made an enlightening film called 'Nobody Knows' highlighting the structure and released it on YouTube.

It is said that the site has been formed at the time of the mass extinction of dinosaurs due to an asteroid hit. The film was uploaded on July 10th and, with a duration of 4.57 minutes, has gone viral on the internet. By far it has gained 1,14,888 views already.

The film starts by building anticipation in the viewer's minds as it begins with the statement- "there is an ancient secret hidden in the heart of Mumbai, except that it is not really a secret." The phenomena is then explained further on with evidence collected during a photo walk done by people who call themselves klicktorians who are nothing but photography enthusiasts. 

Kohli said that until he began working on his college project, he was unknown to this phenomena himself like all other Mumbaikars. He added "I like delving into unique subjects. While researching the secrets of Mumbai, I learned about Gilbert Hill. I was awestruck. Can you believe that such a geographically significant structure sits in the city and people barely know about it?"

He aims to build awareness around this structure. He said "Many people admitted to seeing it during their day-to-day travel, but never thought of finding out what it was"

About the Video

The video highlights the hill and its surroundings. It gives a scenic view of the prehistoric Gilbert. It was intended to be elucidative in nature, but it majorly holds back due to the lack of awareness about the structure, even though the structure sits tall in such a thriving hub of Mumbai, thus revealing only its significance. 

Kohli stated- We only wanted to emphasise its significance and keep it open-ended so that people can decide how they want to preserve this piece of history," when questioned about the absence of an open talk on its preservation.

Opposing this, a 7-minute-long science fiction film 'Gilbert' released by Mumbai-based filmmaker Omar Iyer in November last year, delved upon the encroachments around the hill that took place in the previous year. 

Even though 'Nobody Knows' is not the first film that highlights this project, it was the only one which came to the sight of people. "We just wanted to make a video on the hill. We didn't imagine that it would become a hit"- said Kohli.

The short film has been produced under the banner of AlterEgoCrew, and Kohli worked on it for a month.

Gilbert Hill's Degrading and Why?

Gilbert hill is in the threat of collapsing soon, and it is all because of the uneven and claustrophobic real estate growth around it. Until 2007, a lot of debate grew over the hill, but BMC put all the quarrying to rest by declaring it a valuable heritage structure. Construction is still being carried out around it and legally permitted. Grade II tags are given to areas that preserve heritage and architecture.
There are rising concerns over the deterioration of the hill. Bombay High Court has issued orders to IIT Bombay to make a report on the preservation of the project and come up with prospective solutions.

Did you know about this Gilberts Hill? Let us know in the comments below.

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