Our second day in Mumbai we have free time before we have to prepare our Expo Indonesia exhibition booth, so we arranged for a half day city tour around Mumbai. These were the places we saw and went:
The Gateway of India
The Gateway of India is the most popular tourist spot in Mumbai. Influenced by Indian, Arabic and Western architecture, the gateway which is overlooking the Arabian Sea, was the entry and exit access to India through waterways before their independence. It was also the exit point where the last British ship finally left India.
We went for a drive through Marine Drive, a 3km long six lane concrete road that stretches north along the coastline, forming a natural bay. It is sometimes referred to as the Queen’s Necklace because they say that from an elevated point along the pathway of the drive,the street lights at night time make the road look like a string of pearls. We drive by here often and I find that the view at night with the lights showing its colors is much more beautiful than the day as during the day it is too hazy and thus reducing the beauty of it.
Malabar Hill is one of the prominent residential areas in the city and one of the most expensive residential areas in the world. It is where you can find many celebrities living here and it is also the official residences of the Governor of Maharashtra and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
Built in 1880 and renovated in 1921, it is called Hanging Garden because this terraced garden lies on the slopes of Malabar hills. It is believed that the terraced gardens were built over the three main reservoirs of Mumbai, to protect the reservoir’s water from contamination of the nearby Towers of Silence. You willl only find big trees in the outer side of the park whereas in the inside of the park there are only small trees so it will not to damage the underground reservoir water system. I find the gardens in Bali are much more beautiful than this though.
Tower of Silence
We didn’t stop by here, we only drove by while our guide explained to us the function of the tower. It is used by the Parsi, which were a group of followers in India of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster, for their burial system. The Parsi do not bury or cremate the corpses, instead they leave the body in this tower for the birds to consume. It doesn’t leave a smell because it will only take about an hour for the birds to finish eating the corpses.
Colaba Causeway is one of the most famous street in Mumbai where you can find the first cinema in Asia with art deco architecture. Along this street you will find lots of food and clothes shop to make our eyes wonder and be tempted to shop.
It is an open air laundromat in Mumbai where the washers are known as Dhobis. There can be up to 2000 men washing up to 100,000 cloths from hotels and hospitals. Only men performs the washing while the women are in charge of hanging and ironing the cloths.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum
The museum used to be a hospital in the first World War before being inaugurated as a museum in 1922. It is formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum where it showcases several collections of ancient artworks, sculptures and artifacts. I was kind of surprised when looking at the collections as it shows the large influence of India in Indonesia. The entrance fee for foreigners is INR 500 and if you want to bring a camera it will be charged INR 50. The architecture of this museum is built in the Indi Saracenic style where it is a blend of 15th to 16th century Gujarati and Islamic design, in addition to English brickwork. It is one of Mumbai’s prized, British Raj era structures.
It was lucky for us that we stayed at Fariyas Hotel where it was strategically located within walking distance to the Gateway of India and Colaba Causeway.