96 Hours in Mumbai
I just spent around 5 days in Mumbai. All the Agile and scrum stuff I will leave out of this post as this will be a travel report and some tips about Mumbai. And don’t even try to apply this text on the rest of India as I was repeatedly told that Mumbai is special and is not like the rest of India. We started our journey from Chandigarh to Mumbai by Kingfisher Airline. We arrived to the airport (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport) by noon. We collect our luggage and caught a cab towards the hotel. There is nothing truly exceptional to talk about and there are even more hostile and beautiful beaches on Konkan region. At the hotel we checked in and took a shower and had little snacks with coffee. Yes we had a driver that drove us to and from the hotel or any other destination we wanted.
Well it is a major city and a work in progress. They build everywhere, and the mix with sheds/slum and luxury hotels. The fact that the sheds have air conditioning and satellite dish is also very confusing. The air is full of smog, the streets full of rickshaws, and the city full of good food. I liked it but would probably never move there. We started our journey to discover the Mumbai with the Ajanta Ellora caves. This is the jumping-off place to visit two sets of unusual caves, both World Heritage sites. The caves at Ajanta contain exquisite and still bright murals depicting scenes from Buddhist legends and dating from 200 BC to 650 AD. The newer group, at Ellora, consists of 34 caves cut out of solid rock, from the top down. Using the most rudimentary tools, the artisans removed an estimated 200, 000 tons of rock and carved multiple galleries, a bridge, two massive elephants and countless statues, columns and decorative panels. We clicked there so many pics and enjoy a lot.
In the afternoon we toured the city. We went to the Prince of Wales Museum, which has a glorious collection of miniature paintings and some excellent sculptures, the headquarters of the University, Victoria Station, a Victorian Gothic building through which three million people pass daily. The train system is excellent, built by the British immediately after their own rail system was completed. On to the Jain temple, a small but beautiful temple. The Jains respect all living things including microbes, so they wear masks over their faces to prevent inhaling something which is alive. At this point we were high above the city and saw the “Hanging Gardens” built over the reservoir. From the gardens we noticed very large birds circling a short distance away. They are the vultures, which live at the Parsi Towers of Silence. This is where the Parsis dispose of their dead by leaving the corpses on towers for the vultures. We drove along Marine Drive and Chowpatty beach on the return to the hotel and stopped at a rug store but bought nothing. We came back to hotel and has our dinner and went to bed.
Next morning we woke up at 6:30 got fresh and had our breakfast and planned to visit the next main attractions of Mumbai. We hired a taxi and went to the Gateway of India. It was really a dream come true to see it.
Then we came back to hotel. It was our last day there in Mumbai.
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