India

Things to do in Mumbai

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The world’s third largest city, with a population of over 17 million, Mumbai is also home to the Bollywood film industry. Capital of the state of Maharashtra and the financial powerhouse of India’s economy, Mumbai is a trilingual city with Marathi, Hindi and English as official languages. Mumbai is a peninsula city that has expanded […]

India

Victoria Terminus, Mumbai

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Chhatrapatri Shivaji Terminus (CST) or Victoria Terminus (VT) is the largest railway station in Mumbai.  From here one of the world’s greatest railway networks originates, and terminates.  Next to the station lie the Central Railway Headquarters, and behind that, Mumbai’s GPO (General Post Office). Opened in 1887 and named after Queen Victoria, the station is […]

India

St Thomas Cathedral, Fort

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I really like this church in Mumbai.  Bright white, offset with gold features, St Thomas’s Cathedral looks dazzling against the blue sky. It is situated in Fort, my favourite city precinct to wander around.  The cathedral provides a cool, quiet space for calm and reflection, away from the heat, noise and hustle of the streets […]

India

Ganesh Chaturthi

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The Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10 day festival, celebrating the rebirth of Lord Ganesha. Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati, and his rebirth is an auspicious time in the Hindu calendar. The festival involves the immersion of Lord Ganesha idols, made from clay and plaster of Paris. These idols are painstakingly prepared before […]

India

Seven Islands of Bombay

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Bombay was originally a cluster of islands.  The seven major ones are shown on the first map below, and consisted of Mahim, Worli, Parel, Bombay, Colaba and Little Colaba.  Additional islands of Mumbai included Elephanta (Gharapuri) Island, and the Middle Ground Coastal Battery, which now belongs to the Indian Navy, and is a fortified defensive […]

India

Bandra Fort

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Bandra Fort lies at the extreme end of Band Stand promenade in Bandra West.  You walk all the way along the promenade and past the Taj Land’s End hotel, and there, on the last tip of land before it drops into the sea, is the fort. From Bandra Fort there is a very good view […]

India

Homesickness

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I have been in Mumbai for more than three months now, and when I left my brother at the international airport I started feeling homesick.  His presence here had thrown me back into a world where it is normal to have all my family and friends around me, and deeper than that – the comforting […]

India

Bandra Skywalk

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Bandra has a skywalk, which runs for about 1.8km (1.1miles).  It connects Bandra East and West with the station, a series of interconnecting footbridges (or one long one), providing a safe, elevated platform for pedestrians to walk along. The Bandra skywalk was finished in June 2008 and was the first one in Mumbai.  There are […]

India

Haji Ali Dargah

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A photo tour of Haji Ali island tomb and causeway. On the approach to the Dargah. Inside the Haji Ali complex. This is the view upon leaving the tomb.  Note the stacks of sandals all around! An empty fountain beside the tomb chamber

India

Mahalakshmi

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Just beyond Mahalakshmi station and over the rail bridge lie the dhobi ghats.  These are concrete vats where dhobiwalas wash laundry every day; loads of washing are brought here from all over the city to be soaked and beaten at the dhobi ghats.  Mumbai’s dhobi ghat is said to be the largest outdoor laundry in […]

India

Holi – the festival of colours

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Holi, 27th March 2013 Today is Holi, the Hindu festival of colours. There is a drum and brass band playing outside my building, and the pigeons are busy dropping nesting material in through my window.  I clear the twigs, bits of plastic and twizzled curls of paper off the inner windowsill and out of my […]

India

Elephanta Island, and the spirit of E. M. Forster

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I visited Elephanta, an island that lies in Mumbai’s harbour, about seven miles north-east of the jetty in front of the Gateway of India.  I went down to the Gateway and bought a ticket for the ferry to the island (Rs 150 at time of writing), and then queued up on the jetty with groups […]

India

Bombay by Night

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I went to an InterNations event, taking a taxi from Bandra over the Sea Link suspension bridge to Worli village. I met Hitesh, we got along well and at around 1am when the event was finishing, he took me on a drive through the city.  Surrounded by dark water and lights, Mumbai is incredibly beautiful […]

India

Bandra West and Suburban Trains

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I’ve been quite busy in the past week or so acquiring a flat, and moving in.  I live in a suburb called Bandra West now, which lies north of Mahim Creek and west of the railway line, beside the sea.  I’ve been riding on the suburban trains, and doing a bit more wandering around and […]

India

Arriving in Mumbai

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I arrived yesterday and saw the sunshine and palm trees beckoning to me outside the airport.  Had a very interesting taxi drive from the north of the city where the airport is into south Mumbai.  Drove past the slum Dharavi, and saw in the distance the looming high-rises of the suburb Bandra.  The drive took […]