A Travellerspoint blog

Sunday cricket was never like this

Thanks to a What’s App message from Marina saying that it wasn’t worth doing the Elephant Island boat trip, I used Lonely Planet walking tour as a guide. Glad I did and sort of using the side roads to walk along seeing more of the locals go about their Sunday morning. It was Sunday and the area was very quiet with most businesses closed.

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Opposite Regal Cinema - Waterloo Mansions.

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Reflections

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Opposite Regal Cinema - Hotel Majestic, today, a hostel and department store.

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Again the storekeepers were happy for their photo to become taken and all agreed (just the policemen said no). The chai seller and in his poor English beckoned me to sit and have a chai for 20 rupees / NZ$0.40 / US$0.30 - which I did.

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Classic cars on display and I love what the policeman did when he and his men drove up.

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Horniman Circle / Elphinstone Circle

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Even on a Sunday the dabbawala lunch box delivery system was operating

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Hutatma Memorial Statue

Hutatma Memorial Statue

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Who said Mumbai was always busy with cars? Mahatma Gandhi Rd and Dr Dadabhai Naoroji Rd. Oriental Building (center).

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Churchgate Railway Station

Churchgate Railway Station

Sunday cricket was never like what I saw in the Oval Maidan. Hate to think of the numbers of Indians who were out there with bat in hand.

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With a late check out arranged till 2pm / 14:00, this was enough.

Taxi from outside the hotel was only 800 rupee / NZ$16.90 / US$12.40 to the airport.

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Not bad. An hour from leaving the hotel to have in my hand a boarding pass for Jet Airways 9W 625 window seat 40A. Being Sunday the traffic was certainly much less and the actual journey took some 50 minutes. No queue at check in so hassle free so far.

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Like leaving Cochin security was obvious. Passport and booking details that has your name on it before you can enter the airport with your bag, passport and boarding pass to enter the domestic departure area, at security one queue for ladies and another for gents to be screened, once body scanned, both parts of the boarding card stamped.

Connected to the free wi fi and tried to catch up with posting my images. Trouble free wi fi was only available for 45 minutes.

Jet Airways dinner

Jet Airways dinner

A delayed lift off to Kolkata at 6.35pm / 18:35 due to the flight arriving late. Climbed and headed east with a thin band of orange in the distance being the sun’s last remains rays as it headed west.

Captain informed us of an 8.40pm / 20:40 touchdown with 10 minutes taxiing.

Temperature of 16C will certainly be cooler than down south.

My bad luck as each of the 2 queues for the prepaid taxi booth had over 30 people in it. Plus they were slow in processing each person. Nearing the front I was second behind when the dot matrix printer ribbon decided to play up and it took forever for the staff to fix it. However eventually got my prepaid taxi chit. Despite using a prepaid taxi for just 260 rupee / NZ$5.50 / US$4.00, the driver still expected a tip. I suppose this is India where tipping is part of the culture.

Posted by bruceontour 12:31 Archived in India Tagged cars cricket chai Comments (0)

Sassoon Dock

Smelly, noisy with thousands of fish for sale

Sassoon Dock is the main fish loading and trading area in South Mumbai. The Kolis or original inhabitants of Mumbai work here and I knew that they did not like their photos been taken.

Koli people are an ethnic Indian group native to Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana states. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koli_people

http://www.indiaprofile.com/lifestyle/kolis.htm

The salty whiff of the ocean sea air and the scent of fish greeted me from afar before I could see the Docks.

I’m glad that I got here this early watching where to walk on the wet slippery ground and trying to capture the atmosphere as best I could. Constant noise and this time not from vehicles horns but the traders bidding or calling out what they had to sell. Red snapper, tuna, octopus, baby sharks, cuttlefish, blue crabs and stingray are some of the fish sold here.

Currently about 1,500 trawlers bring in around 20 tonnes of fish every day.

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I’m glad that I got here this early watching where to walk on the wet slippery ground and trying to capture the atmosphere as best I could. Constant noise and this time not from vehicles horns but the traders bidding or calling out what they had to sell.

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Seeing the many women huddled around in a circle taking the prawn shells off the body. Big fingers were not needed for this delicate task.

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I’m glad I came early as when I was leaving around 9am, much of the activity I saw walking in had already finished.

What is the cat after?

What is the cat after?

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Walking back heard this noise and around the corner saw how the big blocks of ice were so quickly machine shaved and then shovelled into plastic crates.

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Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=sassoon+docks&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiAovuwtOHZAhXFyrwKHcJiAggQ_AUICigB&biw=1536&bih=734

On the airline flight to India I read about the Dock Art Project. I couldn’t obviously find it. (On my return found that I had passed the entrance that was hidden by the fish traders and that it had just closed 30 December.)

This is one of the outside murals painted just for the Dock Art Project.

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Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&biw=1536&bih=734&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=8o-hWv2dGMj08QX56pSgAg&q=Sasson+dock+art+projects&oq=Sasson+dock+art+projects&gs_l=psy-ab.12...3338.4679.0.8750.7.7.0.0.0.0.213.998.0j3j2.5.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..2.0.0....0.qXNhx52xPYE

Posted by bruceontour 01:42 Archived in India Tagged fishing market mumbai sassoon_docks Comments (0)

Sunrise with the birds

The body must be getting travel wary as I awoke later at 6.45am / 06:45, much later than I had been waking and had to force myself to get out of bed in order to be out and see the sunrise. Last night googled when sunrise was (7.15am) as in my mind I wanted to get the Gateway of India in the picture somehow.

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Taj Mahal Hotel and Taj Mahal Tower

Taj Mahal Hotel and Taj Mahal Tower

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Gateway of India

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Taj Mahal Hotel

Taj Mahal Hotel

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Taj Mahal Hotel and Taj Mahal Tower

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Gateway of India

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Taj Mahal Hotel and Taj Mahal Tower

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On last night’s walkabout I saw chairs and staging being put up in front of the Gateway of India. Now know the reason. A sunrise concert.

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So hung around and eventually saw the sun rise with the sightseeing boats at anchor providing the foreground subject matter. The higher the sun rose, the more orange it became.

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I had read about the Sassoon Dock and googled last night its whereabouts. Google maps said just 22 minutes if walked to get there.

Along the sea wall passing:

  • pigeons and seagulls being fed

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Right opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel

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  • couples getting their photo taken with the sunrise in the background

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  • runners, walkers, people exercising

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  • Colaba sea front boutique hotels

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  • fishermen at work

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  • people living rough sleeping on the pavement.

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Through Colaba early morning vegetable and fruit market. What a contrast one block makes. From the up market expensive hotels to this area where the locals live, shop and work. It had the same atmosphere as the other local markets I have been through.

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Posted by bruceontour 00:16 Archived in India Tagged market sunrise Comments (0)

Babu Amichand Panalal Adishwarji Jain Temple

Jainism is an Indian religion that prizes peacefulness and non- violence above all.

Jainism is a non-theistic religion founded in India in the 6th century BC by the Jina Vardhamana Mahavira as a reaction against the teachings of orthodox Brahmanism, and still practised there. The Jain religion teaches salvation by perfection through successive lives, and non-injury to living creatures, and is noted for its ascetics.

https://www.google.co.nz/search?rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&ei=3_ucWuvvMcHM0ASdob2IBA&q=jainism&oq=Jainism&gs_l=psy-ab.1.0.0i67k1l5j0l3j0i67k1l2.96885.98832.0.100930.5.4.0.1.1.0.375.768.0j1j1j1.3.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..1.4.772...35i39k1.0.Yf3zmu3Kt74

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism

Jain Temple Mumbai, also known as Babu Amichand Panalal Adishwarji Jain Temple, is a popular place of religious significance. Located in Walkeshwar area, this shrine is dedicated to Adishwara – the founder of Jainism. It was built more than 100 years ago in 1904 and is larger than most of the Jain temples in the city. Within the temple complex, there is a small shrine dedicated to Shri Ghantakaran Mahavir (Jain deity).

https://www.makemytrip.com/travel-guide/mumbai/jain-temple-mumbai-religious.html

Mumbai has one of the largest populations of Jains among all the cities in India. Mumbai also has numerous Jain temples. One of the best known is the Babu Amichand Panalal Adishwarji Jain Temple, Walkeshwar (Malabar Hill).

Jains are among the most prosperous communities in Mumbai, with a number of big businesses owned and industries dominated by them. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism_in_Mumbai

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Kamala Nehru Park

Drove pass Kamala Nehru Park. Located at the top of Malabar Hill named after Kamala Nehru, the wife of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Down below was Marine Drive and the Arabian Sea.

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Red Light Area

A drive through one of the main red light streets. Not many girls were out tonight. In fact it looked just like a normal busy suburban city street with shops and side walk traders.

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CSMT Railway Station

Finally stopped at the CSMT railway station that was all lit up like last night as I was driven by taxi back to the hotel. Tonight was able to get out and from the safety of the island in the middle of the road specially built for us camera snapping tourists took these images and got a better sequence of the purples, red, blues .....

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BMC office - opposite the CSMT railway station

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Tour over. Not quite 12 hours non-stop.

A walk around some of the local streets capturing some of the sights before a late dinner.

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Taj Mahal Hotel and Taj Mahal Tower

Taj Mahal Hotel and Taj Mahal Tower

Boats at anchor by the Gateway of India

Boats at anchor by the Gateway of India

Taj Mahal Hotel

Taj Mahal Hotel

Gateway of India

Gateway of India

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Taj Mahal Tower

Taj Mahal Tower

Taj Mahal Hotel and Taj Mahal Tower

Taj Mahal Hotel and Taj Mahal Tower

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Plenty of places to eat around the hotel and I chose Pizza Express and their Romana Formaggi 670 rupees / NZ$14.10 / US$10.40. Thick crusted cheesy pizza with mozzarella buffalo mozzarella and emilgrana topped with shaved emilgrana to be cheesier.

Add the Kingfisher 295 rupees/ NZ$6.20 / US$4.60 the total came to 1,114.59 rupees / NZ$23.50 / US$17.30. Round up for the tip and it became 1,200 rupee / NZ$25.00 / US$18.50.

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Hotel's evening 2 doormen

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PS - Just 295 photos / videos today. Not able to take photos inside Dhavari was the reason for less photos today.

Links for future if I ever return to Mumbai …

http://realitytoursandtravel.com/index.php

http://www.insidemumbaitours.com/

http://bethelocaltoursandtravels.com/aboutus.html

Posted by bruceontour 13:13 Archived in India Comments (0)

Banganga Tank

Stopped to get some sore throat tablets. Not a good sign … This area had so many pharmacies … what is this saying?

Down many steps knowing that we will just have to climb back up. But it was worth it.

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By now the light was quickly fading but I’m glad my lens captured this sight. I thought that if you take out the water and with its tiered steps around all 4 edges, turn it into a stadium for concerts or sports.

The 135 meter long and 10 meter deep tank was built over the spring, which continues to provide a flow of fresh water.

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Fables of Banganga Tank

The origin of Banganga Tank is steeped in legend dating all the way back to the Hindu epic, the Ramayana (which is said to have been written about three centuries before the birth of Christ). Apparently, Lord Ram stopped there to seek the blessing of a sage, while on his way to Sri Lanka to save his wife Sita from the evil clutches of demon king Ravana.

When he was thirsty, he shot his baan (arrow) into the ground and a freshwater tributary of the Ganga (Ganges) River sprouted from below the surface. Hence, the name Banganga. Now, a pole in the middle of the tank marks the spot where Ram's arrow pierced the earth.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/banganga-tank-photos-ancient-mumbai-3968191

Posted by bruceontour 12:36 Archived in India Tagged banganga_tank Comments (0)

“Beach Beach” ~ Chowpathy Beach

Sunset - Now which ones for my photobook?

Chowpathy in Hindi means Beach so it’s “Beach Beach”.

Was told the people down at the beach are mainly non Mumbaians.

Why is it famous in Mumbai? Besides located in the heart of the city, it is popular for its local delicacies which I enjoyed last night on the Street Food Tour. Plus tonight watching the glorious orange sun drop between the distant buildings is a sight worth seeing especially trying to capture the locals and tourists providing the foreground subject!

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How quickly the sun sets! Just a short 25 minutes from the first to last photo taken in this sequence.

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This beach is a retreat from a tedious routine for many as people of all age-groups come to relax after a long, tiring day. The sea though polluted, with its long stretch of white sand is a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of the city where one can experience the peaceful and serene atmosphere. Beach vendors selling balloons, toys and local dishes such as spicy raw mango, roasted peanuts and Mumbai fast-food (or chaats).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girgaum_Chowpatty

https://www.mumbai.org.uk/marine-drive/chowpatty-beach.html

Posted by bruceontour 12:35 Archived in India Tagged sunset beach Comments (0)

Radhacopinath Temple

ISKCON Chowpatty is a Hare Krishna temple, community, and ashram dedicated to the practice of bhakti-yoga or loving service to Krishna, the Supreme Person (God). We are a branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), a worldwide spiritual movement founded by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in New York City in 1966. Under the guidance of His Holiness Radhanath Swami, ISKCON Chowpatty is home to a loving community of practicing Hare Krishna devotees and over 200 resident monks.

http://radhagopinath.com/new/

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Jitu

Jitu

Our shoes

Our shoes

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Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=radha+gopinath+temple+mumbai&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjxr7jy7dnZAhXH0FQKHR1VAgEQ_AUICigB&biw=1536&bih=734

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Posted by bruceontour 01:41 Archived in India Comments (0)

Mani Bhavan

I will let Mr Wikipedia describe Mani Bhavan.

Mani Bhavan situated at Laburnum Road in the Gamdevi precinct of Mumbai was the focal point of Gandhi's political activities in Mumbai between 1917 and 1934.

The mansion belonged to Revashankar Jagjeevan Jhaveri, Gandhi's friend and host in Mumbai during this period.

Mani Bhavan was Gandhi's Mumbai headquarters for about 17 years, from 1917 to 1934. It was from Mani Bhavan that Gandhi initiated the Non-Cooperation, Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Khadi and Khilafat Movements. Gandhi's association with the charkha began in 1917, while he was staying at Mani Bhavan. Mani Bhavan is also closely associated with Gandhi's involvement in the Home Rule Movement, as well as his decision to abstain from drinking cow's milk in order to protest the cruel and inhuman practice of phookan meted out to milch cattle common during that period.

In 1955, the building was taken over by the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi in order to maintain it as a memorial to Gandhi.

Once you enter the place, there is a library with statue of the Mahatma where people offer tributes. Then a staircase dotted with Gandhi's pictures depicting his life leads visitors to the first floor which has photo gallery with photographs from his childhood till his assassination, along with press clippings. The room that Gandhi used during his stay there is on the second floor, where through a glass partition people can see two of his spinning wheels, a book and his bed on the floor. Right opposite that room is a hall where photographs and paintings of his lifetime are on display. And finally when one reaches the terrace, where he was arrested on Jan 4, 1932.

In his November 2010 visit, Barack Obama became the first high-profile international visitor to visit the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya in the last 50 years. Before him, only Martin Luther King Jr. had visited Mani Bhavan in the 1950s. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mani_Bhavan

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Gandhi's room

Gandhi's room

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I was told to look out for the letter that Gandhi wrote to Adolf Hitler.

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While I didn’t take any pictures I enjoyed walking through the scale models of the significant events in his life. It was like looking at an old tube TV with the wooden rectangular frame and inside the figurines.

Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=gandhi+house+mumbai&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNp5Hl4NTZAhWKlpQKHdeDBJ4Q_AUICigB&biw=1542&bih=728

While I saw Ghandi Museum in Maduri and wasn’t that interested, this one interested me. Don’t know why?

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Posted by bruceontour 01:23 Archived in India Tagged ghandi Comments (0)

World’s most expensive house ~ Antilia

Only US$ 1 billion

The world's most expensive house reputed to cost over US$ 1 billion house is a private home owned by Mukesh Ambani who is worth at least $22.3 billion.

  • 5 people live here.
  • 600 staff.
  • 168 car parks over 6 floors.
  • 9 lifts.
  • 50 seater mini theatre.
  • 27 floors with extra-high ceilings. (Other buildings of equivalent height may have as many as 60 floors.
  • 400,000 square foot.
  • Designed to survive an earthquake rated 8 on the Richter scale.
  • Considered by some to be the tallest single-family house in the world.
  • Not one but 3 heli pads.

Want some more facts and see inside Antilia ... then watch these You Tube videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvHM6GsxOYg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP0GK8qYYJE

I only took one photo from the street.

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… and one of the building across from it.

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Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Antilia&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjB7ZSy59TZAhUJtpQKHYOeC7AQ_AUICigB&biw=1542&bih=728&dpr=1.25

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/antilia-mumbai-most-expensive-house-mukesh-ambani-2012-5?r=US&IR=T#the-400000-square-foot-is-27-stories-high-but-since-some-ceilings-are-double-height-its-closer-to-the-size-of-a-40-story-building-1

https://www.businesstoday.in/photos/in-the-news/10-amazing-facts-about-mukesh-ambaniss-home-antilia/1183.html

http://allthatsinteresting.com/antilia-the-worlds-most-extravagant-house

Posted by bruceontour 01:20 Archived in India Comments (0)

How the locals love taking selfies

Time to start the afternoon tour.

This is what Reality Tours said …

Mumbai Sightseeing Tour

You decide where you want to go with this tour package! We do, however, have a suggested route if you would like our help.

Our route focuses on religion (so important to the lives of most Indians) and you learn about Hinduism, Islam and lesser known Jainism. Visually, this is an impressive tour- you will admire the Haji Ali in the middle of the sea, enjoy views from Mahalaxmi Temple, and get a one-of-a-kind perspective of Mumbai (and Marine Drive) from the Hanging Gardens. Dhobi Ghat, the world's largest open-air laundry, as well as the Gandi museum are also conveniently located en route.

All sights are in the Mahalaxmi/Malabar Hill area. Malabar Hill is a 15 minute drive from Colaba.

We generally use the same route on our Dharavi and Sightseeing Tour, so to save time and money you might want to do both on the same day (with a stop off for lunch.

This a private package tour and customized for you, so you can omit or add anything to the list. Or, if you prefer, we can do a completely different route, that's fine!

http://realitytoursandtravel.com/sightseeing-car.php

From the Bandra Worli Sea Link overlooking Mahim Bay.

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Haji Ali Dargah

When I was driven in Thursday night from the airport, I saw in the distance at the end of a long causeway what looked like a show ground / theme park with many coloured lights changing on the building and on a tower the lights as if it was spiralling downwards like a water park water slide. It turns out to be Haji Ali Dargah (Mosque and tomb).

For our next stop I had read that if it was high tide the water would cover the 500 metre / yards causeway. Luckily it wasn’t high tide but getting closer it was packed with people.

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The main attraction is not the mosque but the tomb. The Haji Ali Dargah is a popular pilgrimage site today and most tourists visit the tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari to seek his blessings for wealth, health, marriage etc.

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To me the main attraction was seeing the locals down at the end of the causeway taking selfies with the sea breaking over the rocks.

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The Haji Ali Dargah was constructed in 1431 in memory of a wealthy Muslim merchant, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who gave up all his worldly possessions before making a pilgrimage to Mecca. Hailing from Bukhara, in present-day Uzbekistan, Bukhari travelled around the world in the early to mid 15th century, and eventually settled in present-day Mumbai.

According to legends surrounding his life, once the saint saw a poor woman crying on the road, holding an empty vessel. He asked her what the problem was, she sobbed that her husband would thrash her as she stumbled and accidentally spilled the oil she was carrying. He asked her to take him to the spot where she spilt the oil. There, he jabbed a finger into the soil and the oil gushed out. The overjoyed woman filled up the vessel and went home.

Later, Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari had a recurring and disturbing dream that he had injured Earth by his act. Full of remorse and grief from that day he became very serious and was not keeping well. Then with the permission of his mother he traveled to India with his brother and finally reached the shore of Mumbai – near Worli or at some place opposite the present tomb. His brother went back to their native place. Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari sent a letter with him to their mother informing her that he was keeping good health and that he had decided to reside at that place permanently for the spread of Islam and that she should forgive him.

Till his death he kept spreading knowledge about Islam to the people and his devotees would regularly visit him. Before his death he advised his followers that they should not bury him at any proper place or graveyard and should drop his shroud ('kafan') in the ocean such that it should be buried by the people where it is found.

His wish was obeyed by his followers. That is why the Dargah Sharief is built at the very site where his shroud came to rest in the middle of the sea where it perched on a small mound of rocks rising above the sea. The Tomb and Dargah Sharief were built in the years to come.

On Thursdays and Fridays, the shrine is visited by an enormous number of pilgrims. Irrespective of faith and religion, people visit the dargah to get the blessings of the legendary saint. Sometimes, especially on Fridays, various Sufi musicians perform a form of devotional music called Qawwali at the dargah. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haji_Ali_Dargah

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About 10 - 15 thousand people visit the Dargah daily. The number of visitors increases to 20 - 30 thousand, on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

http://www.hajialidargah.in/

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Posted by bruceontour 01:15 Archived in India Comments (0)

Dharavi

The main thing that I wanted to see in Mumbai was Dharavi or the largest slum. I have been into the favela of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the township of Swakopmund, Namibia. With Reality Tours “no camera” policy, my notebook and pen had to work overtime.

Dharavi is by some considered to be the heart of Mumbai because of its central location, located between 2 main railway lines plus all of the manufacturing that is done here. (Photos from "Inside Dharavi - the photobook" Reality Tours & Travel)

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From my note book:

  • 1 million people live here.

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  • 570,000 per sq km.
  • 20 times more dense than rest of Mumbai.
  • 175 hectares = 432 acres = 1.75 sq km = .07 sq m = 500 football pitches or what I can understand = ½ New York’s Central Park.

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  • 10,000 small business.
  • Earning estimated 665 US$ income.
  • Most is given to owners who live OUTSIDE Dharavi.
  • Generally work 9 – 10 hours a day.
  • While those in the garment industry will work 6 days, others may work 7 days.
  • Often start work at 18 or 19.
  • 35% of Indians are under 35.

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Health and Safety

Love (not) the total lack of health and safety – practice, equipment or signage. Employees are here to earn commission as they are working on piece meal rate. Adhering to health and safety procedures will just slow them down.

Plastic

Plastic sorted by colour and shredded into tiny pellets.

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Workshops

Light industry making machinery parts for the small factories.

Roof Top View

Climbing several flights of stairs came out onto a roof top and had a much better overview of the size of not only the size of Dhavari but also the narrow alleyways that we had just walked through.

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SRA or Slum Rehabilitation Authority

Learnt a bit about the SRA or Slum Rehabilitation Authority which started in 1995.

In 2004 housing was provided free to slum people where they can live for 10 years and can then sell. However they felt isolated plus the cost of living. Electricity and water is given by the government plus they have private toilets.

http://sra.gov.in/dashboard

Housing

  • Families of 4-5 live in a single room.
  • Average 10 sq metres.

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  • Rent of 3,500 – 4,000 rupees / NZ$73.80 – 84.30 / US$54.30 – 62.10 a month.
  • 8 communal toilets (4 male and 4 female) are used by 100 families.
  • Water is on for just an hour a day and stored in barrels.
  • Each place has a postal address.

AFCT13
7.261618117

  • Each community has what I will call a residents association where their views are conveyed to the local authority.

In the middle of each community was an open bare rocky rough ground with chicken, dogs, goats roaming and the children playing cricket, soccer or spinning tops

Soap

What happens to the hotels half used soap? It is collected from hotels, boiled down and made into soap that is used for dishwashing.

Sari dying

250 a day where they are soaked for an hour.

Leather Tanning

This was once a major industry here but banned in 1996 partly because of the chemical acid. Now the tanned leather is brought in from surrounding cities where it is still tanned and finished off here. However the flip side is factories are closing down due to the transportation cost.

Goat and sheep skins are washed, levelled and coloured. Then imprint. The Dharavi brand is proudly promoted.

Bakery

The bakery we went into was making trays after trays of khari biscuit which is a breakfast food. 4,000 pieces are made a day in what to me was a pizza oven. 100kg of butter is added to the flour to give it the orange colour. They are then packed in kerosene tins for despatch.

Khari biscuits is an Indian version of puff pastries which is dipped in tea and coffee.

https://www.pinterest.nz/recipes/khari-biscuits/

Garment

The garment industry is the 2nd largest business after the plastic. Finished product has good margins. The factory that I went into, each person was able to produce 20 pieces a day. Twenty people worked here. They were making shirts when I walked through.

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Screen Printing

Another factory was screen printing.

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How much are people paid?

Skilled labour earn 450 – 500 rupees / NZ$9.50 – 10.50 / US$7.00 – 7.80 a day
Those in the recycling earn 250 – 300 rupees / NZ$5.30 – 6.30 / US$3.90 – 4.65 a day.

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Poppadum

While I saw the males behind the sewing machines, the women were out making poppadum.
1 kg will make 14 pieces.
They make 2 – 3 kgs a day in a couple of hours.
Dried in the sun for 2-3 hours.
The company gives the ladies the dough and pay for rolling by the weight of the finished items.

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Community Centres

Went into one of Reality Tours 3 community centres – Ashayen Community Centre where computer skills, English, life skills, sports workshop and dance was on this week’s programme.

While the classes are free, each person pays 500 rupees / NZ$10.50 / US$7.80 deposit which is refunded if they achieve a 90% attendance.

http://www.realitygives.org/ashayen_project.php

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otAdtKaGNYE

With the limited places available, the challenge is getting them into college and university as it is based on merit. Children gets free government education till the age of 16 and the Community Centre adds to this by offering extra skills especially English and computer skills to help them get a job. The Centres have been going for 8 years now offering these extra curriculum activities like football. They can cater 20 students in 2 classes at a time.

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Pottery

1,200 families are employed in the pottery area. The guy making pottery cups said he produces 250 to 300 cups a day. The waste from the garments factories come free and are used as fuel for the kilns. Cotton is used as a filter to cover the pots when fired and it helps control the smoke after a couple of hours burning.

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I don’t usually buy books when on tour but couldn’t resist their photo book for 960 rupee / NZ$20.20 / US$14.90. That plus a 60 rupees / NZ$1.25 / US$0.90 postcard to send to Eve to add to the collection in their lunch room.

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Some more interesting links:

https://www.storypick.com/interesting-facts-about-dhararavi/

https://dharavislumindia.weebly.com/fun-facts.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/world/06/dharavi_slum/html/dharavi_slum_intro.stm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharavi

Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&biw=1536&bih=734&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=5QahWtCcLcWx8wXfzanQBQ&q=inside+dharavi+mumbai&oq=inside+dharavi+mumbai&gs_l=psy-ab.12...14540.18076.0.19655.9.9.0.0.0.0.309.1050.0j1j2j1.4.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..6.0.0....0.NJYPyJW3_LU

Posted by bruceontour 01:05 Archived in India Tagged dharavi Comments (0)

Down inside the bowels of Dhobi Ghat

Dharavi & Sightseeing & Night Tour

Three more “back to back” tours today. It is going to be another long day. Wonder how many photos / videos that I will take today? Not as many as yesterday.

Leaving from the hotel at 9.30am / 09:30 with Reality Tours guide Jitu as my guide and Pradeep as my driver in an air con car.

This is what Reality Tours said …

Learn about Dharavi and the rest of Mumbai in one day and get a full picture of life in Mumbai.

Known to many as 'one of the largest slums in Asia', we prefer to think of Dharavi as Mumbai’s beating heart. It houses about one million of Mumbai’s inhabitants and its industries have an annual turnover of approximately US$ 665 million.

Through our educational walking tours, visitors experience a wide range of these business activities: recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadom-making and many more.

We’ll also visit the residential areas of Dharavi. People from all over India have come to live in Dharavi, making it a microcosm of India. This diversity is apparent in the temples, mosques, churches and pagodas that stand side by side.

Our three community centres that are funded through the profits from the tours are also located in the residential area. We will visit one of them and you will learn about the programs that our NGO, Reality Gives, offers the community.

Our 2.5 hour introduction to Dharavi aims to give visitors a much more nuanced understanding of life and work in Mumbai slums.

In the afternoon we will show you other, more traditional sights that Mumbai has to offer. For a list of what sights we generally see in the afternoon, see our Sightseeing by Car page.

This tour is individually designed for you, and you can do and see as little or as much as you please. The tour guide, who also has detailed knowledge of the more traditional sights, will be with you for the day. He can give some suggestions for what to see, but ultimately, the itinerary is completely up to you.

http://realitytoursandtravel.com/dharavi-tour-car-mumbai.php

Because it was a private tour and as I had already yesterday seen Dhobi Ghat the open air laundry and flower markets we had time up our sleeve.

Marine Drive

First stop was at the 4.5 km long ==Marine Drive== which is India’s Miami with its art deco buildings. In the evenings both locals and tourists throng here to enjoy the cooling sea breeze. Besides the coolness it is insulated and away from the horns!

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Useless fact: Mumbai main employer is finance, then pharmacy and finally government.

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Dhobi Ghat

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Asked if I wanted to go back to the open air laundry, I said “Yes”. Then an offer was made to go on a walk through the laundry itself with a local. It was certainly taken up. Let’s just say he was an “acquaintance” of the guide.

Two hundred rupees / NZ$4.20 / US$3.00 was the tip for the short 10 minute walk through. Yes, I wish that I had more time but felt really privilege to have seen what went on below the rows and rows of clothes hanging up drying. The usual tourist view is merely looking down from the overhead bridge.

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For 30 more photos inside Dhobi Ghat.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/VipulPrasadPhotography/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1006516062713274

Wholesale Flower Market

Because my time spent yesterday in the wholesale flower market by the Dadar railway station was short, decided to go back there.

However trouble with the car meant a short delay. At one stage I thought it would be into a taxi! Or perhaps Reality Tours had the helicopter on stand by for me!

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Indians love bright colours especially the orange and yellow marigold and small sun flowers, black represents hell.

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A toilet stop at Cafe Coffee Care plus a latte before heading into Dharavi.

Posted by bruceontour 00:57 Archived in India Tagged dhobi_ghat open_air-laundry Comments (0)

Street Food Tour

17:30 / 5.30pm
Meeting Point - Churchgate Station
Reality Tours Guide = Nilesh

This is what Reality Tours said …

Get off the eaten path with our delicious tour of Mumbai’s best street food!

Mumbai is famous across India for its outstanding street food but discovering good eateries in a big city is not always easy. Not to worry, that’s where we come in! We’ll help you experience all the flavours the city has to offer by guiding you through Mumbai’s two best street food areas.

We’ll start at Mumbai’s most famous beach, Chowpatty, where we’ll try an array of Mumbai’s best vegetarian street food as we watch the sun set. We’ll have classics such as dahi puri, pani puri and pav bhaji. Then we’ll take a short taxi ride to the lively Mohommad Ali Road area. In this predominantly Muslim neighborhood we’ll introduce you to the local culture and, of course, the delicious food. In the bustling ali khao gaullis (eating lanes) you will find mainly non-vegetarian options such as chota kebabs and chicken tikka.

Hope you’re hungry!

Note: many foods we’ll pass by, and a few items we’ll try in the Mohammed Ali Road area are non-vegetarian. However, there are plenty of options for vegetarians so just please let us know when booking. All snacks at Chowpatty Beach are vegetarian.

http://realitytoursandtravel.com/street-food-tour.php

Chowpatty Beach

It was now 6.30 pm and dinner time. With the sun about to set and a Street Food Tour ahead, no time to watch the sun set, do that tomorrow so let’s start eating.

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Pani Puri

It consists of a round, hollow puri, fried crisp and filled with a mixture of flavored water (commonly known as imli pani), tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion or chickpeas. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panipuri

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Sev Puri

Although there is no fixed recipe for sev puri, the basic ingredients used widely are the same. Sev puri is essentially made of puri which is loaded with diced potatoes, onions, three types of chutneys: tamarind, chili and garlic and topped with sev. It is seasoned with raw mango, when raw mango is in season or with a hint of lemon and chaat masala. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sevpuri

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Dahi Batat Puri

Sev puri can be made with a variety of fillings and garnishing ingredients. Some popular variations are dahi sev batata puri (sev puri with yogurt and potato), palak sev puri (Sev Puri with spinach) and corn sev puri. Sometimes mint chutney and paneer are also added in its preparation. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sevpuri

The round, hard, puffy puri shell is first broken on top and partially filled with the main stuffing of mashed potatoes or chickpeas. A small amount of haldi powder or chilli powder, or both, may be added for taste, as well as a pinch of salt. Sweet tamarind chutney and spicy green chutney are then poured into the shell, on top of the stuffing. Finally, sweetened beaten yoghurt is generously poured over the shell, and the finished product is garnished with sprinklings of crushed sev, moong dal, pomegranate and finely chopped coriander leaves.

Dahi puri typically comes as 5 or 6 dahi puris per plate. While pani puri is typically served one piece at a time, a plate of many dahi puri is often served together. Each dahi puri is intended to be eaten whole, like pani puri, so that the spectrum of flavors and textures within may all be tasted together. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahi_puri

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Pav Bhaji

Pav bhaji has many variations in ingredients and garnishes, but is essentially a spiced mixture of mashed vegetables in a thick gravy served hot with a soft white bread roll, usually cooked on a flat griddle (tava).

Variations on pav bhaji include:

  • Cheese pav bhaji, with cheese on top of the bhaji
  • Fried pav bhaji, with the pav tossed in the bhaji
  • Paneer pav bhaji, with paneer cheese in the bhaji
  • Mushroom pav bhaji, with mushrooms in the bhaji
  • Khada pav bhaji, with vegetable chunks in the bhaji
  • Jain pav bhaji, without onions and garlic and with plantains instead of potatoes
  • Kolhapuri pav bhaji, using a spice mix common in Kolhapur
  • White pav bhaji, with no garam masala or no chilli powder.

Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pav_bhaji

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Kulfi

Kulfi has similarities to ice cream in appearance and taste; however it is denser and creamier. It comes in various flavours. The more traditional ones are cream (malai), rose, mango, cardamom (elaichi), saffron (kesar or zafran), and pistachio. There are newer variations such as apple, orange, strawberry, peanut, and avocado. Unlike ice cream, kulfi is not whipped, resulting in a solid, dense frozen dessert similar to traditional custard-based ice cream. Thus, it is sometimes considered a distinct category of frozen dairy-based dessert. Due to its density, kulfi takes a longer time to melt than Western ice cream. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulfi

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Nilesh

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What was my favourite? Yes, when offered I had seconds for most but it was the kulfi and I am not a sweet eater!

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Mohammed Ali Road

Into the taxi and off to the bustling ali khao gaullis (eating lanes) around the Muslim neighbourhood of Dr A V Memon Marg / Mohammed Ansari Taher Rd / Memonwada / Mohammed Ali Road.

I was getting full and didn’t finish the couple of dishes that we had here.

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Top clockwise:
Egg Roti
Onion
Green sauce
Chicken roll
Chicken sandwich

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B U T I still had room for desert!

Taj Ice Cream

How could I not have a second after the Chikoo so it was their Roasted Almond – Chocolate Chips.

But what is Chikoo?

Chikoo, most commonly known as 'Sapota' in India, is a very familiar fruit. Chikoo is also called as Naseberry, Mud Apples, and Sapodilla Plum. Chikoo is a delicate brown fruit which tastes sweet and yummy. Chikoo is scientifically known as 'Sapodilla.' It comes from the Sapotaceae family in Central America.

https://mavcure.com/health-benefits-uses-chikoo-sapodilla-fruit-juice/

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/scoop-bhendi-bazaars-best-kept-secret-is-an-old-ice-cream-shop/articleshow/57352677.cms

https://www.likealocalguide.com/mumbai/the-taj-ice-cream

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Manager

Manager

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Chikoo

Roasted Almond – Chocolate Chips

Roasted Almond – Chocolate Chips

Jalebi

Jalebi, also known as zulbia, is a sweet popular food in countries of South Asia, West Asia, North Africa, and East Africa. It is made by deep-frying maida flour (plain flour or all-purpose flour) batter in pretzel or circular shapes, which are then soaked in sugar syrup. They are particularly popular in Iran and the Indian subcontinent.

The sweets are served warm or cold. They have a somewhat chewy texture with a crystallized sugary exterior coating. Citric acid or lime juice is sometimes added to the syrup, as well as rose water. Jalebi is eaten with curd or rabri (North India) along with optional other flavours such as kewra (scented water). Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jalebi

It was said that the sugary, bright orange jalebi is the national sweet of India. Sorry ... not for me. I would prefer the ice cream or kulfi.

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So that was it ... I was full (of food) … A really busy day seeing and experiencing so much. My senses: taste buds, smells, sound and sights were working overtime today.

12 hours from taking my first to last photo / video today and time to head back to the hotel. Took these photos of the CSMT railway station from the taxi while waiting at the traffic lights.

BTW – About 435 images taken today or one click every 1.65 minutes. Yes, my shutter finger had a busy day.

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Posted by bruceontour 23:58 Archived in India Tagged market Comments (0)

Gold - Zaveri Bazaar

Next it was passing Zaveri Bazaar with its jewellery shops.

Zaveri Bazaar is a jewellery market and a major hub for B2B jewellery industry in Mumbai, India. Located at Bhuleshwar in South Mumbai, just north of Crawford Market, Zaveri Bazaar is a muddle of narrow lanes, dotted with hundreds of jewelry shops that sell gems and jewels, notably Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ), Dwarkadas Chandumal, Dhirajlal Bhimji Zaveri & UTZ. 65% of all gold trading and dealing in India is estimated to originate from the market. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaveri_Bazaar

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Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=zaveri+bazaar&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjAheDk_dXZAhVKp5QKHfeeB64Q_AUICigB&biw=1550&bih=738&dpr=1.25

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Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri Ltd. (TBZ) is a noted Indian jeweller and jewellery retail chain based in India. Established in 1864 (153 years ago) by Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri in Zaveri Bazaar, the jewellery district of Mumbai, it was subsequently headed by his son, Gopaldas Tribhovandas Zaveri, and now Shrikant Zaveri, is the present chairman and managing director of the group. The company today, has 31 showrooms in 23 cities across eleven states, including Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Rajkot.

The company has 30 showrooms under "Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri" brand for gold jewellery and diamond studded jewellery. Apart from that it has two designer boutiques under "Krsala", where its sells jadau and diamond-studded jewellery. Its main showroom at Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai is built across five floors and said to be the largest jewellery showroom in India. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribhovandas_Bhimji_Zaveri

Mumba Devi Temple

Mumba Devi Temple is a renowned ancient temple dedicated to 'Goddess Mumbadevi'. This beautiful temple situated in Mumbai was built in the 18th century.

The 'Koli' fishermen or the early inhabitants of Mumbai greatly respect and honor Goddess Mumbadevi and consider her as their guardian. Goddess Mumbadevi is recognized as 'Goddess Shakti' or the Goddess of Power.

Today, this elegant temple is sited amidst the crowded steel and cloth markets of Mumbai.

Within the jam-packed Zaveri Bazaar, one can see the Mumba Devi Temple surrounded by several flower shops.

People attend the 'aartis' in this temple that are conducted in the mornings and evenings. The Mumba Devi Temple is open on all days except Mondays. Apart from the regular devotees who flock the temple, tourists from all over the world too, come to admire this gorgeous temple in Mumbai. Mumbai city derives its name from the Goddess Mumbadevi and therefore, this temple is truly an important structure for the dwellers of this beautiful city.

https://www.mumbai.org.uk/religious-places/mumba-devi-temple.html

Hindu priests were bestowing blessings called prasad upon their devotees.

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No photos inside.

Here are some images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Mumbadevi+Temple&tbm=isch&gws_rd=ssl

Flower Alley

Down a small side lane off Maruti Lane that would be so easy to miss where flowers like saffron-coloured marigolds and red rose garlands have been sold for nearly 100 years.

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Bombay Panjrapole

If you aren’t looking for it, you’d probably miss it. Tucked somewhere in the by-lanes of the crowded Bhuleshwar bazaar is the Bombay Panjrapole, a 176-year-old infirmary that primarily looks after 350 cows and other stray animals like donkeys, hens, birds, dogs, goats, parrots and ducks. The shelter, painted bright blue, spreads across a sprawling two acres within the congested market; it is airy and calm. The only sounds you hear are those of fluttering pigeons at the courtyard kabutarkhana, or cows mooing in the sheds.

http://www.bombaypanjrapole.org.in

To increase their karma, local people shelter and feed the cows, considered sacred to Hindus.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/bombay-panjrapole-cow-shelter-mumbai-3914775

Inside it was really peaceful. In fact it felt more like being in the country rather than in the middle of one of the most crowded cities in India.

It was no photos inside Bombay Panjrapole.

Here are some images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Bombay+Panjrapole&tbm=isch

and

http://www.bombaypanjrapole.org.in/gallery/

Madhavbaug Temple

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Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=madhavbaug+temple+mumbai&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwijxIq7jtfZAhULvLwKHb1mC5oQ_AUICygC&biw=1551&bih=744&dpr=1.25

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By now I was running late for my next tour but was handed over to the next guide.

Link to some other market tours:

https://www.tripsavvy.com/top-mumbai-markets-1539691

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/mumbai/activities/south-mumbai-walking-tour-markets-and-temples/a/pa-act/v-6283BOMMARKET/356405

Posted by bruceontour 23:31 Archived in India Tagged market Comments (0)

Cloth by the kilometre - Mangaldas Market

Opposite Crawford Market was Mangaldas Market and Mulji Jetha Market (also known as M.J. Market).

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If locals or India’s famous fashion designers were looking to buy cloth by the meter / yard or un-stitched dress material to make Indian outfits or costumes, this is where they would come for either every day or special occasions such as weddings and festivals.

Rows after rows of stalls were filled to the brim with a diverse assortment of colourful fabrics, from bling to block prints!

These sprawling wholesale markets are among the largest textile markets in Asia and we went through only a small part of it.

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Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Mangaldas+Market+and+Mulji+Jetha+Market&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjesNypsNfZAhUHvbwKHW7gD1UQ_AUICygC&biw=1536&bih=734

Posted by bruceontour 23:12 Archived in India Tagged market Comments (1)

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