Sharada Dwivedi completed her schooling at Queen Mary’s in Mumbai before graduating from the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics from the University of Mumbai. She went on to a degree in Library Science from Mumbai University and then to Paris for training in reference work.
She gained early recognition with Lives of the Indian Princes (1984) co-authored with Charles Allen. Her seminal work, Bombay- The Cities Within co-authored with Rahul Mehrotra was published in 1995. Their continued collaboration produced bookssuch asBanganga, Sacred Tank (1996) Fort Walks (1999) Anchoring a City Line – the History of the Western Suburban Railway and its Headquarters in Bombay (2000) The Jehangir Art Gallery (2002) The Victoria Memorial School for the Blind (2002), The Bombay High Court (2003) A City Icon (2006)andBombay Deco (2008).
Dwivedi also published on a variety of topics including Reach for the Stars (1993) – the corporate history of Blue Star Ltd, The Broken Flute (1994) – a children’s novel, The Maharaja (1999) and A Celebration of Style (2000) about designers Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla.Harper Collins in the US, later published her book Almond Eyes & Lotus Feet, co-authored with Shalini Devi Holkar. One of the triumphs of her research careerwas a book on the history of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai co-authored with Charles Allen, which waspublished in 2011 shortly before her death.
Apart from her reputation as a historian and writer, Dwivedi was also involved in several conservation projects in Mumbai and was a strong voice in the Bombay heritage movement. She served on the panel of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee, was a member of the Executive Committee of the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) and the Kala Ghoda Association. She was well respected amongst her peers and a friend and mentor to many journalists, photographers, historiansand writers throughout the city.