metropolitan, fast-paced and modern city. No less than sixteen million
inhabitants fit into this hectic and colorful place. Rich with
shopping, culture, history and friendliness, Mumbai is one of India’s
Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) and her famous Port have long been
considered one of the main gateways into India and has played an
important part in India’s colonial history – with strategic importance
for the Portuguese to the British and the East India Company.
Today Mumbai is a modern city, made famous by the huge Bollywood film
industry and with some of India’s best restaurants, most stylish
shopping options and most colorful nightlife. The city originally
consisted of seven islands which are now all part of the mainland
thanks to an extensive land reclamation project.
This colorful city has much to offer visitors – the main area of Colaba
is a great place to be based. Near the landmark Gateway of India
monument lies a wide variety of restaurants and hotels, including the
colonial and wonderful Taj Mahal Hotel.
The Prince of Wales Museum offers some beautiful art. The gothic St
Thomas Cathedral is the oldest British building in the city and is
worth a visit. There is also a museum dedicated to Gandhi, based in a
house where he lived and which was used to co-ordinate his struggle for
the Independence of India. If the hustle and bustle of the city gets
too much, escape to one of the many ‘maidans’ or open parks, or
alternatively visit the picturesque Hanging Gardens.
Mumbai also offers some wonderful opportunities to observe the daily
life of the Indian people. Visit Dhobi Ghat, where the dhobi wallahs
congregate to clean thousands of garments daily. Their intricate
system ensures that clothes are always returned to their rightful
owners spotlessly clean, something which is hard to believe in the
melee of this ghat.
Visiting the train station at midday also presents an opportunity to
observe the tiffin wallahs who transport millions of home-cooked
lunches from dutiful wives in the countryside surrounding Mumbai (up to
3 hours away) to their hard-working husbands in their office downtown.
Using an incredibly complex marking system and India’s intricate train
network, meals are passed from person to person and never fail to reach
their intended destination. The empty metal stacked containers
(tiffins) are then returned by the same process to the wives, since it
is not the done thing for a husband to be seen carrying such things!
Above all, Mumbai is a fast-paced, lively city. With some of India’s
finest dining and the colorful life of Mumbai ‘high society’, there
will be never a dull moment in this incredible city.