Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sightseeing in Mumbai - part 2

As I wrote in the previous post, hubby and I did sightseeing in Mumbai on 30th December 2013. We hired a taxi for about 8 hours and visited the must-see sightseeing places in Mumbai. In the morning we visited many interesting places about which we can read in the post here. In this post, I will write about the afternoon time sightseeing.

After lunch, our taxi driver took us to Marine Drive. Marine Drive is a 4.3-kilometer-long C-shaped six-lane concrete road in southern Mumbai stretching north along the coast, which is a natural bay. This road links Nariman Point to Babulnath, and is situated at the foot of Malabar Hill. The official name for this road is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road. The highlight of Marine Drive is a beautiful seaside promenade along the road. Large crowds of people visit the promenade to walk and take in the fresh air, and view the setting sun. The promenade is lined with palm trees which offer visitors an enthralling experience. The real estate prices along Marine Drive are very high. Many hotels dot the drive, most prominent among them being the five-star hotel named Oberoi. Hubby and I walked along the seaside promenade and loved seeing the endless horizon. The sight of sparkling water of the Arabian Sea was amazing and scenic. We stopped for a moment and looked across the bay to appreciate the awe-inspiring skyline of Mumbai. We also saw a Banyan tree next to the promenade which looked so tempting with its cool shade on such a bright sunny day.
Seaside promenade along Marine Drive road

I am walking along the promenade. Marine Drive road is partly seen on the right side of the photo.

Hubby standing at the promenade

Skyline of Mumbai as viewed from the promenade

A Banyan tree next to the promenade

Hotel Oberoi

Next, our taxi driver took us to Chowpatty Beach. The formal name of the beach is Girgaon Chaupati and is one of the most famous public beaches located towards the northern end of Marine Drive. Chowpatty Beach is located in the heart of Mumbai City and local people visit this beach to relax after a long tiring day. Watching the sunset from this beach is a glorious sight worth seeing. The beach is famous for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations when people from all over Mumbai come to immerse the idols of Lord Ganesha in the Arabian Sea. The festival falls sometime during Mid-August to Mid-September, and it is interesting to visit the beach during that time. The beach is also very popular for its local delicacies which people enjoy whenever they visit the beach. There are several Bhelpuri, Panipuri, Ragda patties, and Pav Bhaji vendors on the beach. Hubby and I walked along the beach and enjoyed the scenic beauty offered by the beach. The sea, adorned by its long stretch of white sand in addition to the magnificent sky above was so heavenly. There were not so many visitors as it was afternoon time. Although the shops were open, most of them were just starting their business for the day and so we could not get a taste of the local delicacies.
Hubby standing near the food stalls

I am standing at Chowpatty Beach with Malabar Hill in the background

The beach with Malabar Hill in the background

Hubby, the beach, Arabian Sea, and Malabar Hill in the background

The beach with Nariman Point skyline in the background

Hubby, the beach, the sea, and Nariman Point skyline in the background

I am standing at the beach

Next, we visited a garden named Kamala Nehru Park. The park is located at the top of Malabar Hill, and is named after Kamala Nehru, the wife of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The park extends over an area of about 370 square meters, has well maintained green lawns, and provides a panoramic view of Mumbai City. The park is very popular with children because it has a unique structure called the Old Women’s Shoe or the Boot House. The design of this structure is derived from an old nursery rhyme ‘There was an old woman who lived in a shoe’. Inside the park, we also saw a stone pillar of the national emblem of India. From the park, we got a spectacular view of Chowpatty Beach and Marine Drive. Marine Drive when viewed from this spot at night resembles a twinkling jeweled necklace due to the street lights and is therefore also named as Queen’s Necklace.
Old Women’s Shoe at Kamala Nehru Park

A stone pillar of the national emblem of India located inside the park

Chowpatty Beach and C-shaped Marine Drive as viewed from the hilltop park

Next we went to the Hanging Gardens located just opposite to Kamala Nehru Park. Hanging Gardens is formally known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens. It is a terraced garden located at the top of Malabar Hill, on its western side. The garden was built in 1880 and renovated in 1921. The garden is built on a water reservoir and covers a vast area. It has splendid green vegetation and numerous hedges carved into the shapes of animals. We walked leisurely in the garden and enjoyed the views. From this garden, visitors can get a spectacular view of the sun setting over the Arabian Sea. But sunset was still a few hours away, so we left the garden after about fifteen minutes of strolling.
I am standing inside the Hanging Gardens

Another view of the garden

Afterwards our taxi driver took us to Mani Bhavan. Mani Bhavan is a simple old-style three-storied building located in Laburnum Road in a quite and shady lane. The building is a memoir of Mahatma Gandhi. It is a Gujarati style residence where Gandhi lived for about 17 years from 1917 to 1934. Gandhi's association with the Charkha spinning wheel began here in 1917. This historical building was the focal point of Gandhi’s political activities like Non-Cooperation, Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Khadi, and Khilafat movement. Outside the building there is a beautiful plaque with a description about the building inscribed on it. On entering the building, we saw a library located at the first floor which consists of 40000 books and periodicals on and by Gandhi, Gandhian thoughts, and freedom movements. Just next to the library there is a statue of Gandhi where people offer their tributes. Then we climbed up a staircase dotted with Gandhi's pictures depicting his life. At the second floor, we saw a big photo gallery where photographs from Gandhi’s childhood till his assassination are displayed along with press clippings. Next, we climbed up to the third floor where we saw the living room that Gandhi used during his stay here. There is a glass partition and we could see several of his spinning wheels and floor bed still preserved in the same way. Right opposite the living room we saw an exhibition hall where photographs, posters, paintings, and a few replicas of Gandhi's belongings are on display. Adjacent to the living room, we saw yet another room that exhibits Gandhi's political life and the freedom struggle of India through mini figures in about 28 tableaux, made and arranged by Sushila Gokhale-Patel. We loved viewing these detailed mini figures.
I am standing near a plaque located outside the building

I am standing at the entrance area of the building

A bust of Gandhi located at the first floor

Library located at the first floor

Hubby standing next to a bust of Gandhi located adjacent to the library

A poster describing the history of Indian flag located on the staircase

I am standing next to the cutout of Gandhi located on the corridor

Photo gallery depicting Gandhi’s life located at the second floor

Living room that Gandhi used located at the third floor

Exhibition hall giving glimpses of Gandhi located at the third floor

Display of a few replicas of Gandhi's belongings

A room exhibiting Gandhi's political life located at the third floor. This tableau depicts the Dandi March of 1930.

Tableau depicting the Salt Satyagraha of 1930

Tableau depicting Gandhi meeting the King in London in 1931

Tableau depicting Quit India movement of 1942

Tableau depicting Gandhi’s martyrdom in 1948

Finally, our taxi driver took us near Haji Ali Dargah. Haji Ali Dargah is a historical mosque and tomb built on a tiny islet located 500 meters off the coast of Worli in Southern Mumbai. The Dargah is one of the most recognizable landmarks of Mumbai. The Dargah was constructed in 1431 in memory of a wealthy Muslim merchant who later became a saint named Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. The building is a brilliant and exquisite example of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. It is a whitewashed structure spread over an area of 4500 square meters and is flanked by crisp marble pillars. The accessibility to the Dargah is dependent on the tides because the narrow causeway leading to the Dargah gets submerged during high tide. When we reached near the Dargah it was low tide and we could have gone inside the Dargah but it was getting dark so we just appreciated the beautiful architecture of the building from afar.
Haji Ali Dargah Mosque as viewed from afar

Hubby and the Dargah

Enlarged view of the Dargah

We could see many visitors and worshipers entering the Dargah

At this point, our taxi driver informed us that the sightseeing tour of Mumbai was over. We loved visiting the must-see sightseeing places of Mumbai. The next day we visited Elephanta Caves located on an island in Mumbai Harbor. I will write about Elephanta Caves in the next post.


राकेश श्रीवास्तव said...

lovely snaps.

Yogi Saraswat said...

lovely photos and well written

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks Rakesh for the comment.

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks Yogi Saraswat for your nice comment.

Harshu said...

Very good post and nice photos