When you hear about Mumbai (or Bombay) I bet the first thing that comes to your mind is Slumdog Millionaire and the slums of Mumbai .Or maybe it makes you think of Bollywood movies, glamour and cosmopolitan lifestyle. Well all of these are true…cause indeed Mumbai is a city of huge contradictions.
When we arrived in the city we weren’t quite sure as to what to expect to see either. Mumbai is a huge city. Actually the largest city of India and the fourth largest city in the world it population counting 20.5 million people!! It is also the richest and the poorest city of India…The worth of property in Mumbai can be compared with that of Manhattan in New York but at the same time it has the second largest slum in Asia.
Naturally as we got out of the train station we went straight to our hostel situated in the touristic area of Colaba (always following the advice on the Lonely Planet guide).After that we went out to explore the streets.
Mumbai isn’t like any of the other we visited in India.The centre has amazing colonial buildings that remind the visitor the time that Mumbai was under the control of the Portuguese .The numerous coconut trees that cover every part of the city though make the picture more exotic and interesting.
We managed to explore only the South part of Mumbai during our stay there because it was only 2 nights that we spent there. This part is the most touristic one and the oldest part of Mumbai at the same time. Among the most popular sights rules the Gateway of India situated on the waterfront and built to celebrate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay in 1911.In front of the gate we found once again the scene India is famous for . There one can see strange Silvery carriages waiting for tourists to take a fancy ride around town.Again curious people taking photos as always trying to capture the moments and others are selling objects or just trying to find a shade away from the heat of the sun.
|Happy Truck :)|
If you feel thirsty rush to the nearest fresh sugar cane juice stall.This is a very very popular drink in India and it is usually prepared by putting the whole plant in a machine and squeezing hard by sometimes(or most of the times not very clean hands:P). We actually found one stall advertising that it was prepared by a totally hygienic machine (as said in the sign nearby).
Very close to the Gateway if you continue on the Mahatma Gandi Road, you will see lots of impressive colonial buildings.The one we loved most and lingered a while to take photo of it,was the Prince of Wales Museum.
A little bit further it is certain that you will notice the Oval Maidan .This actually is a big plain were people of all ages are gathered and socialize or play cricket most of the times.This was one of my favourite spots in Mumbai because of the exceptional scenery and the coconut trees surrounding the maidan, but also because of the view of the top of Rajabai Clock which was beautifully lit at night.
Another are a worth visiting is the Hanging Gardens in Malabar Hill. As you climb the multiple stairs of this quiet and picturesque neighbourhood you admire the amazing views of the city below.When you reach the top of the hill you find a very nice garden full of colorful plants and flowers covering every inch of it.There a huge shoe that you could climb on top that reminded me of some old cartoons ..:P
Generally life seems to flow very easily in Mumbai. One of our best evenings we passed it strolling up and down the Marine Drive and in the Chowpatty beach (where swimming is not allowed by the way:P).People enjoy long walks with their families along this street overlooking at the sea.We could sit for hours there hearing the peaceful sound of the sea and the waves crushing on the barriers. As the day was coming to its end, we watched the sun setting one more time over the Indian horizon leaving us completely at awe for this majestic land that kept on surprising us with its beauty.
|Glorious sunset :)|
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