Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mumbai!

2014 was a great year with a considerable part of my salary going towards exploring new places. The Thailand-Laos trip in September was the highlight of 2014. During that trip I met people from across the world who asked me a lot about India and I realized that I have hardly explored my own country. In October last year I visited the historical places in Maharashtra and it made sense to start the new year by continuing from where I had left off - Mumbai. This trip was different from my other trips because it was more about spending time with my best friends and less about exploring the new place. It was the reunion of my PESIT gang :) I will not post the day to day details here but will just post the places that I visited in my short 3day stay in Mumbai. Took the trip during 1st week of January but was too lazy to sit and write this blog.


Bandra-Worli sea link:
We were staying at a friends place in Andheri and needed to get to the Gateway of India. My friends dad suggested us to take the taxi as none of us were aware of which train/bus to take. After getting silkboarded (being stuck in terrible traffic) almost the entire route, the Bandra-Worli sea link gave us hopes of reaching the destination. The entire structure looked amazing and the view was equally awesome. We could finally see our taxi moving.



Gateway of India & Taj:
The visit to Mumbai would not be complete without getting a glimpse at the Gateway of India. This place is very crowded and also sunny. The old block of Taj hotel will catch your eye when you try visit this place. If you decide to take the ferry to Elephanta caves then you will get the best view of both Gateway of India and the Taj.


Elephanta Caves:
You need to pay Rs 160/- to take the ferry to the caves. The ride takes around an hour to reach the island. There is a toy train that you can board to reach the foot of the caves. It can be fun or alternatively you can walk which is healthy. You get the raw mango and other berries on the way in case you need something to munch on. There are over 100steps that you will need to climb in order to reach the caves. There are 7caves here. If you have been to Ellora caves then these caves will look familiar (You can call these caves as prototypes to the Ellora caves)

 
 

Leopold Cafe: 
When the 26/11 Mumbai attack happened, the terrorists shot at the people in this overly crowded cafe. The bullet holes still exists in the walls and even a few broken glasses are kept as it is. This place is always crowded but serves the finest food that I have tasted recently, specially the vegetarian choices offered here. The prices are bit on the higher side but it is still cheaper than few famous places in Bengaluru.

Marine Drive:
The beautiful coastline of Mumbai can be seen from Marine Drive. If you are single it is better to spend a few minutes and then leave to avoid feeling depressed. This place is always filled with couples. You need to visit this place at around sunset to see the lights.

 

Hanging Gardens:
The water supply to the entire city comes from a huge tank on top of a hill. There is a garden constructed above this tank. Hence the name hanging garden. There is nothing much in hanging garden but you get to see the marine drive from a distance.

 
CST:
Experiencing the Mumbai locals is a must when you visit the city. The station looks like a palace from the outside. Locals are always crowded and getting a seat to sit is a challenge. In case you get a seat it is advisable to go near the door atleast 2 stops before your destination. Stand near the door/platform and you will automatically be pushed in/out of the train.

Haji Ali:
Haji Ali is the darga in the middle of the sea. You need to walk around 300mts to reach the darga. People of any religion can enter the darga here. From behind the darga you get a glimpse of the Bandra-Worli sea link and also can see the coast line of Mumbai. Try the samosa here. We also had the tea but was not that impressive.

 
 
 

Siddi Vinayaka Temple:
This is one of the famous temples here. Almost all celebrities/businessmen seem to be visiting this temple for festivals. We went on a Sunday morning and it was crowded. Not as crowded as Tirupathi but comparable with Shirdi Sai Baba temple. Might take over 2hours to get in and out. One of my friends dad knew the PRO here which fastened to darshan for us. (I know its not good but couldnt say no)

Juhu Beach:
On the way to the beach you will see Amitabhs house where there will be a huge crowd waiting for a glimpse of the star. Apparently AB steps out to balcony for 10mins every evening. The beach is overly crowded and you will not find a decent place to sit. Just watch the sunset and head over to the chat shops by the beach. The falooda and kulfi are famous here. And not to forget the vada pav :)

 
 
 

Juhu was the last place we visited before we headed back to Bengaluru. It was a memorable trip not for its places but for the friends who were a part of it. Re-lived the good old hostel days and the time after college when we stayed together in an apartment. With this trip I sign off on Maharashtra. Next major trip is going to be northbound. Watch out for the blogposts :)

Credits:
1) I would like to thank Jami, Uttam and Guru for arranging the accommodation.
2) Twitter - A whole bunch of suggestions on places to visit and places not to visit came from fellow tweeps.


Google+