Recently I was asked to show some friends from France around Mumbai. Turns out I know as much as they do about my own city, or even lesser. I spoke to a lot of my local friends asking for tips on where to take them and apart from restaurants or bars nobody had any concrete suggestions. So I asked myself, does living in a city since birth actually make you a stranger to your own city? Or have we become so lazy or engrossed in our life, work, commitments etc that we have no time or inclination for discovering our own birthplace? So, I set off to discover Mumbai from a tourist's eye and actually witness the living city.
Ban Ganga - Apparently this is the holy water from the river Ganges and every year in Feb, they celebrate the Ban Ganga festival where people from all over come here to bathe in the holy water and purify their lives.
Booty Call - interesting saree patterns and drapes, something we locals always tend to overlook or refuse to observe
Other random clicks at Dhobi Ghat:
When the French got a taste of India: (A typical religious procession in Mumbai)
I also happened to visit INS Vikrant, Indian Navy's first aircraft carrier ship. Something to be proud of. There is so much more to this city than just restaurants. Turns out Mumbai is indeed a charming city, and not just a busy commercial hub. We hopped onto a cab and took a ride around the Bombay High Court, Mumbai University(Gothic architecture), Oval Maidan, Azad Maidan, CST station (the only functional UNESCO World Heritage Site), the BMC building. Now these are places I pass by almost every day but have never stop to take in their magnificence.
I've made a list of places I plan to visit in the near future:
- Jehangir Art Gallery - They've just completed 60 years and are hosting a variety of events currently. For further details check here.
- Prince of Wales Museum - Look at the size of that thing.
- Mani Bhavan - Gandhi's museum. Even Obama visited this place on his trip to India in 2010. Shame on me!
- Asiatic library - getting myself a membership here.
I came across this link for anyone interested in further reading about Mumbai.
Other interesting places for tourists or locals are:
- Bhau Daji Lad Museum
- Catching a play or just hanging in the cafe of Prithvi Theatre
- Walking or sitting at the Queen's necklace
- Colaba Causeway and Gateway of India, get a coffee at the Taj and maybe dinner at Ayubs
So, that's that. I'll see you around.