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Mumbai ( Bombay )

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City: Mumbai ( Bombay ) / Country: India / World Region: Asia

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      04.10.2013 12:41
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      Not the most obvious tourist spot for some, but recommended

      I visited Mumbai, better known in the past as Bombay, for two weeks this summer and found it a very positive experience. The city is situated in the south east of India and is the largest city in the country and one of the largest in the world. It is difficult in a review to even begin to sum up this city so I will try and just highlight my particular experiences.

      The British left India in the 1940s and when they left they went through the Gateway to India, which is also better known by many as one of the main entrances to the city. It remains today as one of the most visited tourist locations in the city, situated near to the Colaba district, and is an impressive site. It was built nearly 100 years ago to mark the visit of King George V and Queen Mary and hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets to see them arrive.

      For visitors today the temperatures can be very hot and humid and although I visited in September it remained very hot, although still cooler than in previous months. The heat can be quite intense so visitors who might be affected by that are best to travel in winter months and I did see numerous children struggling with the heat as well. There are though lots of air conditioned locations in the city for when it gets too much. If I visited the city again I would personally rather travel in the winter months, although I did find that the trains and taxis were generally sufficiently cool with their fans and air conditioning.

      For those who like visiting historic attractions there are plenty of these in Mumbai, many a legacy of British rule. Sometimes not as well maintained as they should be there a few museums such as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum) and the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum of Mumbai (formerly the Victoria and Albert Museum). Also worth visiting is the Mani Bhaven, the former home of Gandhi and which is now a museum. The architecture of the buildings in the city centre is staggering and the old station building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. My own personal preference was the Prince of Wales Museum with its large number of artefacts and which offered a good introduction to the city's history. Charges for non-Indians are much higher than for residents, but they still represent very good value for money.

      One thing which is noticeable are the amount of name changes there have been to locations in Mumbai, including the name of the city itself. Contrary to expectations I discovered that the use of the name Bombay wasn't politically incorrect and that many locations are known by their former British names. Most of the changes were made in the 1990s when a right-wing party took control of the city and wanted to assert its independence.

      For me one of the greatest parts of the city was the food which was available. Whether eating at the hotel or in the city centre the quality of the food was superb and there is a great range to choose from. I generally stuck to Indian food during my visit and the quality of the sauces used in the curry was very high and they had a rich and intense flavour. My own personal favourite restaurant was the Konkan Cafe on Cuffe Parade.

      In terms of my favourite part of the city I personally really enjoyed the Colaba district and the walks by the sea nearby. The views over the harbour are fantastic and it's a reminder of when the city was once comprised of seven different islands, with water playing a large part in the city's history. The layout of the city, it is bordered by sea on each side other than the north, is what has made expansion so difficult in recent decades. A project in the 1980s

      Transport in the city can be chaotic to say the least and the suburban rail network struggles to cope with thousands of people hanging out of trains at rush-hours as there is no space inside. An average of nearly ten people are killed per day on the railways, a quite staggering number, many simply trying to cross the railway lines to get where they need to be. For those wanting to use the trains it is very cheap, just a few pence (although first class tickets are usually no more than a pound) but do all that is possible to avoid busier times. Trains don't tend to have doors and stop for only around 15 seconds at stations so get off quickly. On a positive note though the metro system which is under construction will make things much easier for visitors to the city and relieve some of the pressures from the current railway network.

      There are though lots of taxis and rickshaws available for hire in the city, and these tend to be quite cheap. It is best to either agree a price in advance or check that the meter is running as a few drivers will try and charge exorbitant sums at the end of the journey. Taxis can be harder to find in the north of the city where there are more rickshaws and in the city centre itself only taxis are allowed, although they are easy to hail off the street.

      The poverty in the city is manifest and affects a significant proportion of those who live in Mumbai, with about 65% of the city's population living in slums. One of the most famous slums, which appeared in Slumdog Millionaire, is the Dharavi slum which houses around one million people and thousands of small businesses. I visited a slum tour here which showed just how innovative and hard-working the people were and how complex the whole slum was.

      Terrorism is a problem for the Mumbai authorities, although there have been no recent attacks and the chances of being involved in any action are small. In recent years most attacks have involved railway stations and the transport infra-structure, although in 2008 there were serious attacks on key tourists locations in the heart of the city, including some of the most expensive hotels in the city such as the Taj Mahal Hotel.

      There is much which does need improving about the city, whether that be the transport infra-structure, housing, heritage or just the general living conditions. The number of people coming to the city though does make this difficult as hundreds come to live and work in the city in a hope for a better life and providing housing for everyone is a huge challenge. That said the city hasn't recently been served by particularly effective governance and it can only be hoped that in the future it changes for the better.

      Mumbai is a huge city, which like all others has good and bad to it, but it is one which has a very vibrant atmosphere and is multi-dimensional. It might not be the most obvious tourist destination, although it isn't geographically that far from Goa, but it is one which is rewarding to visit and offers a perspective on what the future India might look like. Definitely a recommended place to visit and my personal favourite of all of the Indian cities which I visited.

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        15.03.2010 22:17
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        A tale of Two Extremes.... But Magnetic too... Loved it!

        I travelled to Mumbai about two yrs ago for a shirt, four day break... and honestly - I think I fell in love!! I appreciate that you cannot gain anything more than an essense/feel of the vibrant city within four days, but we covered a lot, and having family from other parts of Indian, I have to say this is my most favourite destination and I cannot wait to go back.

        From the moment you step out of the airport, it is like a bollywood film-set with all the taxis and roads exactly as shown in those bollywood movies we would watch as kids.... I think because of this I was not in awe of the City and immediately felt comfortable and almost like I knew where I was going/doing (I didn't!)

        We booked our hotel when we arrived and found that this was better because we actually got to see the hotels prior to agreeing to stay. This is a little more strenuous, especially in the heat, but I'm so glad that we did this because the first hotel which I had written down whilst in England (due to the great reviews - from who I don't know) was DISGUSTING!! We then went to another which was in the Juhu Beach area and this was much much better!!! The staff were very attentive and it was not a dingy little hovel out in the sticks....

        I must admit the staff at this hotel made our short stay amazing. It was a family run hotel and they made a lot of effort in asking us what we wanted to do/see and making sure we got the most out of our time there. They later told us their son was in England too, so they know what we expect of hotels compared to what is available and strive to achieve UK standards where possible.

        We travelled during March (around this time two years ago) and saw the city alight with festivals and celebrations catering for the different religions who actually live in harmony there.... I found it amazing that people could celebrate Easter, Holi and an Islamic religious day within the space of that weekend and respect one another, when here, there can be issues between people... It was quite something to see Holi (festival where colours are used upon one another) being played on Juhu Beach... I myself was not able to take part due to the advice of the hotel owner, because apparently they use textile dyes and bleaches in the colourants, and also ground glass, etc - which of course can be unsafe for anyone's skin, and diseases/infections can be spread. Still, I took lots of pics!!

        We went shopping in the main areas, and I picked up some gorgeous outfits.... Ahead in style and still some of my favourites! We also found ornaments and religious statues which were unique and very well priced. We went on a tour of Mumbai and saw the huge ranges encompassed within the city... there are the areas which are lush and beautiful, and incredibly rich, whilst opposite (I believe this was Pali Hill) there are tiny fisherman's huts on the beach and people actually live in extreme poverty. There are slums and mansions, there are the poor and rich... There is the beauty and grandeur of the Taj Palace Hotel, and opposite is the boating area and people peddling wares on the streets - but the atmosphere is electric and there is something about the stark contrast which makes you crave it!

        We loved the cinema... I must say that one thing we had to do was watch a bollywood movie in the capital of Bollywood cinema, and for 120rupees.... (about £1.50) we had a seat which allows us to practically lie back, in an air-conditioned cinema and enjoy the movie.... it was GREAT!

        To be honest, I could go on and on about this city which is alive at all times and you could do practically anything you wished... the place is huge!!! (and this is only from 4 days worth of a visit!) I can't wait to go back!

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          25.02.2009 06:40
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          A city one must visit

          Mumbai derives its name from Mumba Devi a local diety worshipped by the Maratha fisher folk of the region. Mumba Devi is the goddess of sea and according to folklores she blessed the region and took care of the Fisherman community.

          When India was under the British rule the name Mumbai got slightly changed , as they were unable to pronounce the name , and was called Bombay for all official purposes. But the locals continued to refer to it as Mumbai. And after nearly 45 years after India gained its Independence , in the nineties , the city was officially called by its original name.

          I grew up calling Mumbai as Bombay and I am yet to get used to calling it Mumbai. For me Bombay has remained a dream city, whatever the harsh realities may be, I still have a special feeling for this city.

          I visited Mumbai in the late seventies as a student . My first impression of the city was very favourable. It was no doubt far more crowded than Bangalore or any other city I had visited , but it had a certain charm. There were broad tree filled roads and huge shopping malls and the sea and all those fantastic hotels like the Taj Mahal, Oberoi, Sun n sand - I really was impressed. There was so much to do there , sightseeing, shopping, eating out at different restaurants, and you even got to see some Bollywood stars. For me, at that time Bombay seemed like the ultimate city. I thought all those relatives who lived in Bombay were really lucky , even if most of them had to manage in only two rooms . Space was at a premium in Bombay and most people seemed to be living in chawls or dormitory housing estates.

          But once we got to tour the less attractive parts of Bombay , I realised that Bombay was a city that has been stretched to its limits ..

          Bombay (Mumbai) is India's main port and commercial centre, and considered to be the City of Gold, it lures the poverty stricken rural population and the expanding middle class equally. There was a population boom in the '50s and '60s , and the city was unprepared for this , which led to disastrous health problems and loads of pollution that left the city choked to capacity and the situation has worsened steadily, with the authorities doing precious little. there are attempts being made, but mostly half hearted ones by politicians , who loot the city more than they contribute while in power !

          Bombay and Calcutta are 2 mega cities that have attracted people from all over India .There is something for everyone here.

          As a tourist destination Bombay is a great place , besides being the financial capital, and the biggest metropolitan and celluloid capital of India. The Gateway of India , used to be the arrival point for visitors from the west. Today the Gateway of India is synonymous with Bombay. It is a landmark of Bombay , a must visit spot of the city. But, now since 26/11, 2008 it holds bitter and sad memories for all Indians. It was the entry point for the Pakistani terrorists who played havoc with the city taking siege of the Majestic Taj Mahal Hotel , The Oberoi and the entire surrounding area and killing hundreds of innocent people, many of them foreign tourists who were visiting India. This is an event that can never be forgotten or forgiven by any Indian .. People came together during this time of crisis, flocking to the hospitals to donate blood, and thousands offered strangers bed to sleep in, as the entire city was disrupted and traffic stopped for a couple of days, while the anti terrorist squad was combing the city.

          The roads of Bombay were filled with people walking home, they were taken care of, offered water and food by people living in the neighborhood ,even the Slum dwellers , offering help to the stranded people walking home. Rides were offered and nobody asked anyone as to what their faith or religion was ? and there was no backlash on the Muslims. Thankfully people had matured and did not try to take their anger upon other innocents.

          I remember author Salman Rushdie writing about Bombay , to quote his words " Bombay, a relatively new city in an immense, ancient land is not interested in yesterdays. In Bombay, all Indians met and merged. Bombay was central; all rivers flowed into its human sea. It was an ocean of stories, we were all its narrators, and everybody talked at once. What magic was stirred into that insaan-soup (the soup of humanity), what harmony emerged from that cacophony! This is a city that belongs to nobody but everyone"..

          It definitely takes a lot more than a few bombs to break the spirit of Bombay, and, Bombay is no stranger to terror strikes, it has been constantly at the receiving end since many years.
          I have visited Bombay recently after the terror attacks and surprisingly , things are back to normal except that , there is a memorial for all those who were killed on 26/11 , and every single visitor to the city feels duty bound to pay homage to the departed souls , thats the least one can do !

          I have had mixed feelings about this city right from my first visit in the seventies to the present day. I have visited Bombay several times, lived there for 2 months , and I love the city with all its short comings. I have never seen a city that is as contrasting or magical as this. It repels and attracts you at the same time.

          There were times when I simply wanted to run away from the surrounding mass of humanity, traffic and utter chaos. But now living away from Bombay, I feel like going back there experiencing that life again.

          I have had so many memories attached to the city. Wandering through the choked footpaths looking for second hand books, and eating Bhelpuri and Chaat on Chowpathy beach, which is the best that you can find anywhere in India, shopping at street side bazaars for shoes and handbags..

          Mumbai or Bombay as I have known it through my growing years is a place one must visit in one's life time ..

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            23.11.2008 19:38
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            The place to be if you really want to live life.

            My parents never really enjoyed staying in Mumbai, it was too loud and over-crowded for them. However I loved every second of being there.

            There was always so much going on that you never seem to get bored. And if you ever felt you needed a change of environment, you could easily jump into the many taxi's roaming about and ask the driver to whisk you away to another location.

            You would also never be short of finding souvenir's for dear and near one's. Table-top stalls selling everything from personalized key-rings to tarot cards could be found at almost every street corner. Just make sure you do some haggling before you part with your cash as prices will always be quoted 4-fold more to what they originally are!

            The key to making most of your stay in this great city is to 'plan ahead.' Make a list of all the attractions or the, 'type of attractions,' that would interest you then hook up with a cab driver. Tell him exactly what your after and get a fixed price off him. He could take you on the tour and stick around with you for the day.

            If your not so sure what you want, most taxi-drivers will offer you a package tour anyway. Just make sure you're both clear with prices beforehand so that no shocks arise at the end of the day.

            Some must-see places of significance include Princes of Wales, Nehru and the Victoria & Albert museums; Gateway of India; Haji Ali Mosque; Chuppati and the Juhu beach.

            And still on the subject of, 'planning ahead,' it would be a good idea to book your hotel or place of residence before you travel.

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              23.11.2008 17:08

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              A city which has a strong pulse, with life in abundance.

              I used to think Bangkok was the most diverse city I had lived in. Then I visited Mumbai. I came. I saw. I fell in love. Nowhere else I have visited has quite the range that this vast melting pot of a city displays. Where else have I seen wealth and poverty, glamour and dirt, and joy and misery mix in such a blend?

              You can get in a taxi and trundle through the congested city road structure. But I tell you something. If you want to feel alive then use your feet. Go on. Don't be afraid. Give it a chance. Go for a walk across the city of Mumbai. Stroll into the CST rail terminal, experience the bustle of thousands and look at architecture that belongs in Victorian England. March around the Gateway of India and see symbolism on a grand scale. Go along Marine Drive and eat a gorgeous lunch in an air con cafe bar where you think you might just be sitting next to the next big thing in Bollywood. Meander through the busy street and hear the cries of shop keepers selling their wares to you.

              Mumbai's charm is that it is quite frankly crazy. The energy and madness that goes on around you will probably unlike that of anything you have encountered before. But it is somehow no invasive. Strangely you feel like you have your own space. You can breathe.

              Before going I heard scare stories. Seriously, do not be afraid. Throw yourself in. I bet you will like it.

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              28.03.2008 16:01
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              Best place

              Mumbai (Formerly Know as Bombay) is my Home Town. I grew up in this lively city. Its the capital of Maharashtra a state in India. Its one of the most populated metropolitan city in the world. It is is the commercial and entertainment center of India. It is one of the world's top ten centers of Commerce.
              we also call it Ammchi Mumbai in marathi, the language use in Maharashtra State.
              It has the Famous Gateway Of India, which attracts a lot of tourist, Nariman Point etc...
              Also a few miles away from Mumbai are many Historic sites like Elephanta Caves......
              Mumbai has got many places to visit 7 it has fast life style, a very good night life number of night clubs you can visit. Mumbai in my words works 24*7.
              The climate of the city, being in the tropical zone has two the humid season, and the dry season. Between June & September its Raining over here.
              It holds theBCCI headoffice, It also has the Haji Ali Dargah in the sea which is visited by people from every caste in huge numbers everyday.
              Bombay stock exchage is the place where money flows, Nariman point & cuff parade are other business areas.
              its status as the state capital means that state and central government employees make up a large percentage of the city's workforce.
              It aslo has film industray as in the likes of Marathi & the Famous Bollywood, Bollywoood being the biggest film industry through out the world, you will find all the major stars residing here in mumbai. The place where the stars like to reside is called the surburb like Bandra, Andheri so on.
              It has a diversed sets of people from every caste residing here and want to make a mark here. Cricket is the fav sport here , but other sports are also played here. gully cricket is the most famous cricket here which is i belive played everyday in their street lane, people over here loves Sports.
              Food - as it has diversed variety of people it also has diversed variety of Tasty food, either be it Veg or Non-Veg mumbai i feel is a delight for food lovers, if you love non -veg then you should visit Mohammed Ali road atleast when u visit mumbai coz here you will get the best Non Veg food. i'm falling short of words t odescribe this place ....but anyone of you who would like to visit Mumbai i can assure you that Mumbai wont let you down..........

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                29.02.2008 11:14
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                Mumbai, The gateway to India........

                Well in 2005, I went on a 6 week trip to India and Dubai, it was during the summer holidays and my cousin was getting married there so I figured why not go and see the wedding and say hello to my grand mum who I hadn't seen for about 10 years. I visited quite a few different cities in India, but this particular review is about my time in Mumbai or Bombay, which ever you want to call it. I spent a total of 5 nights in this buzzing, beautiful yet populated city. My first trip to Mumbai was when I was about 6 years old, I hated it 100%, however at the age of 18, I found myself enjoying my second trip to this city, and I could actually go to clubs, travel on my own and explore the city with some independence. This review will focus more on what I saw during my time in the city, where I stayed, the places I visited, the culture and lifestyle, whilst also providing useful tips for travels that may one day go there, remember although Mumbai is a beautiful city, its still very dangerous. Furthermore, you will here an encounter of how I and my family were stuck in Mumbai during the dreadful July monsoon storm, which left us trapped in a car for about 26 hours, more about that during the review.

                History of Mumbai:

                Mumbai has a long lifeline of history spanning almost 500 years ago when the Portuguese came and established the city, then known as Bombay. However, when the British controlled India, this was later changed to Mumbai. The city created cottons, and steel during the American Civil War and after the 1970's experienced a huge shift in global investment and reconstruction, new buildings were being created and foreign countries were taking a great interest in this city. Most people make the common mistake of thinking Mumbai is India's capitol, this however is not true since its Delhi. To day, Mumbai is the largest city in India, and the most populated not only in India, but in the world.

                Hotel:

                Well Mumbai has hundred of hotels to offer, catering for the super rich, to the affordable to the very affordable, I had always asked my dad that we stay somewhere nice, because past experiences with Mumbai hotels had really put me off coming back, furthermore my cousin that was getting married was actually paying for our stay in Mumbai, and so offered to pay for any hotel.
                Having taken all that into consideration, we decided to stay at The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, which is considered to be the best hotel in Mumbai, and perhaps in Asia, excluding Dubai of course.
                Now even though we didn't pay directly for the room, I though I would give people info on the price etc, so if they did decide to stay there they would have a rough idea, warning it is pricy.
                We hired the standard rooms, as they were the cheapest of course, with two beds in each room, for 4 nights the total worked out to just over £850 this included bed and breakfast, lunch, dinner, use of all facilities and free drinks in the bar, which was a plus.
                The hotel was actually really beautiful, there were so many things to love and adore about it, the lobby downstairs almost made us feel as if we were in Buckingham Palace, the elevators with gold buttons, the friendly, and polite and attract female staff, and the rooms were all brilliant. Our room included two single beds, all with silk duvets, and chocolates under the pillow. We had a nice plasma TV, with the basic cable channels, 24 hour room service, a fully air conditioned room, and nice bold red carpets, somewhat the same as those you would find at Hollywood movie premiers. The rooms also came with state of the art showers and bath tubs, take it from someone who knows, bath tubs in India are a luxury and a rare, you hardly ever see them. Furthermore, the swimming pool located downstairs at the back lobby was simply magnificent; it had a standard pool, along with a small children version, with sun decks and a small bar located on the left hand side.

                Other facilities:

                They provide free laundry service 24 hours a day, which was quite helpful as we wanted to use the service before we flew back home. We also had a small baby with us, and they provided free childcare service, a special unit that had all the kids, a play area is you would, with cartoons, toys and just anything a little child would want. We actually ran out of rupees on our visit, and having our credit cards they were more than happy to exchange money for us, and yes they offered a better rate than what we paid in London. Finally, if you ever wanted to plan a visit to a shopping centre, temple etc, they would book you a cab, a proper cab, with a smart driver and have him take you there and back to the hotel, a professional, quick and helpful service.

                The Staff:

                Now having been to India a few times, I would be honest in saying some people have no manors, its just the way the culture was bough up back then, but the staff here are brilliant, please and thank you's always helping you with any questions, if you ask for room service, their with you in minutes.

                The Hotel Food:

                Like most first class hotels, they have there very own dining hotels and food from all over the world, we actually dined here most of the time, either breakfast lunch or dinner, and had a large number of places to chose from. At present the hotel has the following restraints;
                Aquarius:
                Harbour Bar:
                Golden Dragon:
                La Patisserie:

                The hotel offered anything from English, Indian and American, to Italian Cuisine, and they also catered for your won needs, for instance for breakfast one day I wanted to have a full English breakfast, which was made for me, off the menu.

                Attractions:

                I actually saw quite a few things whilst in Mumbai; however I would go on all day, so Im simply going to talk about the important and popular sites, also ones that have a special place in my mind.



                The Gateway to India:

                One cannot leave Mumbai without visiting the "The Gate of India", this was actually right opposite our hotel, and all we had to do was walk across the road to the other side, however even that can be testing at times. The gate of India is perhaps one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, in terms of architecture and scenery, its presence is made even stronger by its backdrop of the waterfront. The place is of course free to see, however you will find police patrolling it, and monitoring you very carefully, especially if you're a tourist. One must also mention that street beggars, patrol this area in a way of trying to evoke sympathy from the rich tourists, Without sounding rude, don't give any money there, as once you give it to one person everyone will come, and they wont leave until you give them something, and this can spoil the experience of the gateway.
                Little history lesson for you readers, the gateway was actually built to commemorate the visit of King George V, and Queen Mary, during the early 19th century, however it now symbolises, peace, power and independence. Furthermore, it's seen as an actual gateway into India, since most merchants and travels i.e. the Portuguese came from boat into Mumbai.

                Elephant Caves

                To be honest I had never actually heard of this place, although my dad had been like here several times, when he was young and old, its located Mumbai harbour off the coast of Mumbai, and is a place were you get to see sacred statues, and sites that were very historical to the country. It is here you will find carvings of sacred Hindu gods mad goddesses, such as Vishnu, as well as a temple for Lord Shiva, the sculptures are magnificent, and really look detailed. It also gives you a chance to get away from the loud city, and a chance to relax, and become well get to grips with the beauty.
                There was no fee whilst we went there, however it is a sign of respect if you leave a small donation, or make a little prayer in the small temples, as you are respecting the culture and history, to be honest it was also the only place I didn't find beggars asking for money, this is how symbolic and respectful this place is.

                Juhu Beach:

                Well no visit to Mumbai is complete without a visit to Juhu beach, the famous beach of Mumbai. The beach actually spans across most of Mumbai, and is just one of the best places to be to watch a sunset or sunrise, because you get to see everything in its glory. The beach is one you should at times also be careful of, there are three sections of the beach, one were everyone hangs out, and the other two, which is more cleaner and sophisticated. You should be careful of broken glass, and general junk lay around the sand. However, sweeping all that to one side, the beach is a very busy place for traders, they offer a wide variety of street food, which I will be discussing, whilst also offering small donkey rides around the beach, be careful of when you go to the beach, during the night time its very busy and its hard to move, and if your by yourselves this is dangerous.

                Shopping Centres:

                There are several big shopping centres around the city of Mumbai that allow tourists to pick up a bargain on jeans, or t shirts or book, you name it they have it.
                The shopping centre I visited was called Crossroad Mall, from here you can go shopping, eat food, and just chill out and relax, it almost seems as if your not even in India, it's a totally new world. The food is great there, why because they have Pizza Hut, who would have though it hey, and its cheaper and better tasting to, what more can you ask for. They also offer, subway, and Burger King. The price of clothes is actually cheaper there too, and your always better off if you try and haggle, trust me it always ends up paying off. Some shops even offer you drinks, just because you're a tourist and even if you don't buy anything they are still pleasant, and o yes not to mention they have Marks and Spencer's, I was shocked when I saw that. Your best bet of getting there is by taxi, just tell them Crossroads and they will no exactly what you mean.

                Street Food:

                No visit is complete without having some traditional street food, which you will find sold by every street vendor all over Mumbai. Trick is to eat only one thing, because if your stomach is negative towards spice, then your in some really big trouble, because it can get hot. Some of the traditional foods you can find are, Bhel, Pani Puri, Dubaroti, and Dosa. Its worth giving all these ago if you can because there so tasty and I could eat it all day. Ok so abit about price, most vendors only charge a few rupees, however a tip don't take your whole wallet out because they will see you're a tourist and rip you off, instead only take out the small coins and then ask, them worse comes to worse you will be charged a few rupees more, but don't forget my tip.

                Culture and Lifestyle Tips:

                This next section is dedicated to educating people about the culture and therefore habits in Mumbai, so if you ever go there you would no what how to be respectful etc.
                First thing is first, clothing, most men tend to wear either jeans or trousers, but you can wear shorts because its hot, however even though Mumbai has become more modern and understanding, women should still to a certain extent be careful of what they wear, for instance wearing a small skirt and tight top, will attract you a lot of attention, both from men and women, and yes Mumbai does have its fair share of perverts so please me careful, im not saying you shouldn't wear this or that, just acknowledge their culture and lifestyle.
                The street children are out in their masses in Mumbai, and its really sad to see how people especially children are forced to live on the streets and beg for money, namely from tourists. I wouldn't say no to give money, because ive done it, however only give it if there by themselves as bigger crowds mean giving more. Also my dad made me aware that most these kids then have to pass this money on to a street pimp that takes it from them and then gives them a small share, we then instead of giving money offered them food and water, or a drink, it given them a chance to get something inside them, and it wouldn't be taken away from them, which I find to be much more useful.




                Transport:

                There are a number of ways of getting around Mumbai, the most common one being Taxi, however they can at times rip you off, so please be careful. If your staying in a hotel, ask them to book you a cab to come and pick you up, the cab drivers are picked by the hotels and therefore are the trust worthy ones, I remember leaving my phone in the cab, only for the man to come and run and give it back to me. Other methods include Train and bus, but this isn't recommended if your travelling small distances, just take the cab.

                Climate:

                Mumbai is hot all year round, however July and August tend to be monsoon seasons, so be careful or you might get trapped in a monsoon like we did. We actually found ourselves trapped in a car for almost 26 hours, because the water was so deep the jeep couldn't drive, traffic was still and we realised we were soon in trouble. We had no water in the car and that's a big no, as well as no food. The rain was so bad that a heard of buffalos located near are car drowned and we could hear them all night long. As morning came, we had to walk in stomach deep water, dirty water I may add, and you didn't no what you were walking on,, hundred of people died, some of which were only a few metres away from us, I guess that was the biggest downside to this holiday.

                Anyway, hopefully this review was of some help to the community, will be back with another one on Gujarat soon.

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                  20.03.2006 15:49
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                  Mouth of India

                  MUMBAI THE MOUTH OF INDIA
                  I came to know about Bombay(Mumbai) when I first started playing Monopoly, the game my board had Kalabadevi, Santacruz, Marine Drive, Chowpaty, Victoria Terminal etc., I was familiar with these names because all during summer vacations, I used to spend days purchasing sites and erecting houses and demanding rents from everyone landing on them. We used to discuss the chances of winning the game, which sites are useful and helpful. Soon I grew up I qualified in my parents eyes to watch Hindi movies, it again was a topic among friends who has the qualifications to watch hindi movies yet.
                  The hindi films had Mumbai in abundance, thousand and millions of heros in hindi films lived in Mumbai, majority of film stories revolve around lanes and bylanes of Mumbai, every nook and corner is filmed one time or the other in our films, it is saved permanently in archives for posterity. Raj Kapoor days in Mumbai to Arjun Ram Pal all are seen walking the streets of Mumbai, I have seen Mumbai old, classical, modern, cultural, emotional, human aspect of this city. I have seen singing, dancing, stealing, running on the streets millions of times.

                  This is the one thought stopping me to write about this wonderful city Mumbai, whenever I think of writing a review I freeze up, how can I write about a thing so well known as Mumbai, who will be interested in knowing my reveiw of Mumbai that was the big question ?
                  The whole of India and many parts of the world see this city every day on their screens but the charm of this city made me warm up to take up my pen. I wont dare to write a usual review of sites and places to visit in here, I wont persume to pen down the lanes and places, what I am doing is the emotional aspect of Mumbai in relation to me and rest of India, this is a world city now and before, nobody can make it their own property, it is best to let it flow like a wild river, it has made contributions to the world Indians, let it grow naturally no one can stake a claim to the sun. Mumbai is such a vital source of energy like sun.

                  God made this Earth and let it grow in its natural pace, that is the reason Indians living in Chicago, Toranto, Milan, Napoli, Jeddah, Riyadh, Muscat, Singapore, Bangkok, Hongkong, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Wellington, Fiji, Rio-de-jenero, Cairo, Shanghai, manila, Jakarta, Casablanca all know Mumbai like the back of their hands, our films are screened every minute of the day in world theaters, even Poland theaters has our films with subtitles. Now we are spread all 6 continents of this world and Mumbai is the most visible city of India.
                  Mumbai is and was the mouth of India from a century now, a healthy mouth will have a healthy India, I have lived in this city for many short periods, I have only fond memories of the people and the places, hanging garden can only be in Mumbai no other city can have such a place, leave the poor people, they come in flocks for the food available here, a big dense tree will have flocks of birds in it, so is the case of Mumbai, such a essential city like Mumbai cannot be a piece of decoration for the backyard of a few people, things like Mumbai should not belong to anyone, if air can be owned and copy righted then stake a claim to Mumbai.

                  This city is the only reason Emergency regime failed, that essentially put brakes to plans of Russia to make India a iron curtain country, we were so close to it, the Industry and culture of Mumbai kept India healthy and free. Mumbai is free and liberated since 1947, its commerce is free, it is like a blood circulatory system of body India. Love India keep Mumbai free, India will not need any outside support to make it great, just see Mumbai is free that is enough to make everything good in India.

                  Once upon a time USA could approach India only thru Mumbai otherwise India was so close to Russia, I think the first opening up of India happened thru Mumbai, Sam Pitroda is the first man in this adventure, but now in India there are other small mouths opened to feed India, it is a good thing for the future India, but we still miss Mumbai. This new name for the city is more easy on our tongues and sounds more Indian, eventually it will become as good as old, just take a deep breath on the beach of Mumbai, you will feel invigorated and ready for more action.

                  This city has fast brains, fast tongues, fast machines, fast hands, fast eyes, fast habits and fast foods, the pace is very fast in this city, the magic is very real, soaring to the tops is the only thing this city does well, let us dream again, let who ever come here become a participant in the culture of this city, I cannot remain a Allahabadi living in Mumbai, or a Keralite or a Andhrite or whatever, I must first learn to be a Mumbaite.

                  We have our Biggest heros from Mumbai, Campa Cola the only cola in the world which could have beaten Pepsi and Coca easily evolved here in this city. I do remember CAMPA COLA, Sunil Gaveskar, Salman Khan, Sachin Tendulkar are the products of Mumbai, is there any other city capable of producing the smile of Madhuri Dixit or Sonali Bendre ?

                  Do you think Salman will be so charming if he was born in Hyderabad, or do you think Sachin could have reached the status he is on today, if he belonged to any other city in India, there is money in Mumbai and people of Mumbai like to back their city folks in all walks of life, because a Mumbai person trusts Mumbai person. Even Kambli made it to India 11 and movies because he lives in Mumbai.

                  Mumbai is energy, Mumbai has a aura over its head, Mumbai has charm in all its corners, be it the slums or the colaba everything joining togather makes Mumbai what it is today. How good this city was in the times of AR ANTULAY the faithful man who gave up everything in obidence to his masters.

                  Like the world has share in Mumbai, India has a share too, like the sun Mumbai has the power to give life to things, dont let clouds claim the sun as their own. it is not practical, it is causing losses to everyone, JRD TATA , NULSI WADIA, DHIRUBHAI AMBANI, SAM PITRODA, AMITABH BACCHAN, every one worked hard to raise the status of Mumbai, so everyone should have peace here. A tamed Lion never looked charming.

                  Yo mumbai lions raise and be free, its is in your nature to be free and gain profits.

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                    25.07.2003 21:48
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                    “Bombay Meri Jaan” – This line is from a Hindi Song. Meaning - “Bombay my Love”. People who live in Bombay are crazy about their city. Want to know the reasons? 1. The commercial capital of India so people come here to make money. That’s the main reason of migrated population. There are several ways to make money – from bagging to lucrative job of a CEO. This is head quarter of many big business house and MNC’s. 2. Hollywood of India – so fondly called as Bollywood. Hindi is national language of India and most of the Hindi movies are produced and released from Bombay. People from all over the country (even from neighboring countries) rush here to become silver screen stars and most of them remain here doing something else – and naturally they sing that famous song. 3. City of Dreams – Everyday hundreds of people migrate to earn their bread & butter even from the neighboring countries without proper documents. That’s a big problem. Population is about 15 millions and anyone who comes to Bombay with a dream mostly remains here, with all problems, to complete the journey of life. 4. World Class Education Centers like University of Bombay / Indian Institute of Technology / University Department of Chemical Technology / many Institutes for management studies and Technology and research centers like Bhava Atomic Research Center is here in Bombay. Students from all corners of the country come here for higher quality education. 6. City that Never Sleeps - Someone said, “There is scarcity of beds for the 15 million people of Bombay”. It is partially true because of too many migrants. However main reason is its importance as a commercial center and some markets starts very early. Feeding 15 million people is not an easy task and there will be lot of traffic at night carrying supplies for the next day. International airport, several harbors, nearby
                    industries keeps this city busy. Nightlife of Bombay is not like that of Paris or Amsterdam or Rio however it is much lively than any other part of India. Pubs and Discos, theaters, eateries remain open till midnight and there is traffic due that. 7. People and culture – Generally people are friendly and harmless. It’s a cosmopolitan city so people from different religion and culture have learned to live together though there are instances of bitter experiences because fundamentalists try to disturb harmony. People normally celebrate festival of different community. Some festivals are really noisy and government has to restrict movement and activities of crowd to maintain law and order. Many social groups and NGOs try to maintain harmony and they are successful to a very great extent. Ganapati Festival (Aug/Sept) and Dewali (festival of lights in Oct/Nov) are two main festivals. Bombay is nerve center of Indian movies and also famous for English, Hindi and Marathi plays. There are good theaters over here. It is also the nerve center Indian Fashion Industry, Jewelry Industry. 8. Health Care – Few very good hospitals and medical colleges operates in this city. People from even neighboring countries come here for treatment. Cost of the treatment is comparably less. =X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X==X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X=X= Friends, this article is in travel section so let me do some justice with the travelers. I do not live here though I have a small flat at the neighborhood. I visit Bombay very often to meet my boss. So know about this city quite well. Let me share my experience. =X= Weather =X= There are may be four seasons in India but in Bombay there is only one season and that is Summer. My opinion about seasons of Bombay is - Hot summers - March to May is very hot and humid. Avoid this time of the year to reach here. Wet Summer - July t
                    o October is monsoon time so temperature drops to around 30’C. Rainfall is very high and not a nice time for the travelers. Pleasant summers – November to February. During winter you need not put on your winter cloths. It’s hot but comfortable. Best time to visit Bombay. =X= How to travel =X= Overseas flights touch Bombay mostly around midnight. Local time is +5.30 GMT. Searching hotel at night may not be safe. So, I will suggest to book hotel in advance so that one can relax few hours and divest you of jetlag. Next day take help of hotel reception and plan a half-day city tour. You get an overview of the city and finalize your plan for the rest of days. There are bus services but not as good as trains. I prefer taxi because I am not a regular commuter. There are two types – Blue and White taxis are air-conditioned / Yellow and Black are without air-conditioner. Cheapest way to travel in Bombay is by Local Trains. Too much of crowd (hanging out from the door) and people have to rush to go to their destinations. Otherwise service is good and mostly in time. During the day in main lines trains are there after every two minutes however after midnight frequency is less. If you want to try, keep valuable at hotel locker. People who do not have speed and refluxes like that of Bruce Lee should avoid local trains. =X= Major Tourist Attractions =X= # Gate Way of India – Photograph shown above is that of Gate Way of India. It is the most visited landmark of Bombay. Situated by the side Arabian Sea, next to Taj Mahal hotel – one of the most expensive hotels in the town. # Chowpaty Beach - it is a small but very famous & crowdie beach. Visit this place not for sunbathing but to see Sunset, for relaxing, watching crowd and may try some Indian snacks. Walk down along long marine drive. You will find many Pea Nut vendors – chew and walk. Marine drive
                    glitters with beautiful lights at night, also known as Queen’s Necklace. There are few famous Pubs and Discos in that area. # Essel world According to me this is the best Amusement Park in Bombay. Several entertainment rides, games and Water Kingdom keep you busy with fun and frolic for the full day. # Mahalaxmi & Siddhibinayak temple – these are two Hindu temples. Thousands of devotees stand in long queue to have a glimpse of their beloved goddess and god. ISCON temple – You may spend some time at ISCON to know about Indian religion and culture. Haji Ali Darga – a mosque on a small island connected by footpath. Wonderful place – however avoid Friday. These are some great places of worship. Whether you believe in god or not do not miss these temples / mosque. # Hanging Garden – Nothing is hanging there. A garden at an elevated place and people call it hanging garden. # Elephanta Caves - About an hour by motorboat from the Gateway of India. In Elephanta Caves your can see carvings dedicated to Lord Siva. Most of the people like this place. On the way one can see the Naval base at Bombay. # A brief Visit to Dharavi, the largest slum in the world, may be a lifetime experience for many. This place is also famous for leather goods. You can get all world famous brands at a throw away price (all imitation). # Shopping at Fashion Street – Small roadside stalls sells reasonably good casuals at a very cheap rate. # Watching Crowd at Churchgate Railway Station during peak office hours. It is station for local trains for daily commuters. One of my European friends used to go there everyday at 9 O’clock and might have taken at least 250 photographs. # Sanjay Gandhi National Park – Greater Bombay is surrounded by sea and bull hills. In one side there is a huge jungle and this national park is the
                    re. Hideout of Leopards. There is a very old temple inside the jungle. Take care if you visit that place. =X= Love eating out… =X= Damn cheap but look for hygiene. Better you ask for non-spicy food if you are not used to Hot Indian food. You get everything here from McDonald to roadside stalls. Try Pure Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Thai..… Well just try anything and that too within the budget that suits you the best. Continental food is available at selected places normally these are costly joints. Water - Be careful about water. Even Indian go for bottled drinking water. There are some good brand names like Bisleri, Aquafina from Pepsi, Kinlay from Coca Cola. Beer – Kingfisher Premium is my favorite. You also get Indian make Australian Foster. In selected places you may get other imported stuff. Other Drinks - I will not advice you to try Indian Wine or Brandy. If you are a wine lover than it is better to bring your quota. There is Indian Single Malt named as McDowell’s Single Malt. There are good blended whiskeys like Signature, Blenders Pride, Teachers, Royal Challenge etc. Imported stuffs are available at selected restaurants. Get the list of good eateries from hotel reception. =X= Shopping =X= One suggestion – you need not carry to many cloths when you travel to India. You will get clothes of all range. Readymade cloths and shoes are very cheap here. Shopping here is fun. You can spend the whole day window shopping or getting bankrupt. Take care you might just happen to spend a lot without even realizing the weight restriction of airlines. Check out the latest casual at Fashion Street. For formals and hi-fi stuff at Shoppers Stop, Crossroads, Shital, Akbarally’s or departmental stores of Raymonds, Zodiac, Double Bull. Crawford market is another place to do some shopping. “Chor Bazaar” (meaning – market of t
                    hieves) is a place where one can buy anything from paper clips to airplane parts at dirt-cheap prices – please do not ask for guarantee. =X= Last suggestion =X= You just cannot come to India to see Bombay alone. You may include places like Goa, Aurangabad for the caves Ajanta & Ellora, Sirdi (a religious place for Hindus) etc in your travel plan. In both cases one has to travel about 12 hours by road. Better travel by land so that you can see Rural India – very different than that of Europe. Thank you for reading this opinion and will love to read your comments.

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                      10.10.2001 05:22
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                      Bombay airport meant oven-heat, a push through the ragged crowds, and a drive by battered taxi, past endless slums, to a room in a tall block of flats, near Vile Parle. The room was full of giant cockroaches but there was air-conditioning. Going out for a meal I passed a heavily-pregnant woman living under a plastic sheet on the pavement. Her ten year old son looked starved and I suggested he join me for a meal in one of the restaurants across the road. The boy agreed. I ate heartily but the boy refused the food offered. It was a Moslem restaurant and the hungry boy was a Hindu. The lad returned to his plastic sheet home. On my first morning I took a red city bus, past Bombay's sooty blocks and gaudy markets, to the Haji Ali Mosque. This wonderfully exotic building is reached by a long causeway. And this was where I met 15-year-old Muna and 17-year-old Marshall, two of Bombay's many abandoned, or run-away children. They both looked about thirteen years of age and they had both left behind their families in Karnataka State in the South. They earned their living by cleaning taxis for a few rupees. Muna, a Hindu, slept in Mahalaxmi station and Marshall, a Catholic, slept in Bombay Central station. Muna and Marshall showed me Chowpatty beach, which can be used as a bathroom, the Prince of Wales Museum, the Zoo, the huge Taj Mahal Hotel and the New-York-style skyscrapers around Nariman Point. There, beside immense wealth, we watched ragged children wait beside the foodstalls for the chance to eat the left-over scrapings from plates. Then the sky turned totally black and the monsoon rains burst upon us. My pockets and shoes were filled with water. The streets were flooded up to knee level. Muna and Marshall took me to a cinema in tumbledown Falkland Road. I did not like the look of the people in the cinema queue. The men had bull-heads and snake-eyes and I imagined they were all pickpockets or racketeers. <br> After the film, we waded along Falkland Road, trying to avoid the floating human excrement, a humpbacked cow and the muscular arms of the hundreds of girls crowded together in almost every doorway and caged-window. Some of the caged girls looked like sad little primary schoolchildren. Following the example of an Arab, I dodged into a restaurant for a warming cup of tea. In the restaurant's spacious lavatory there was child who had made this dry haven his home. The following morning I decided I wanted to avoid having a guide. But a young lad called Suresh disagreed. Suresh followed me through the markets and parks. When I hopped on a bus, he followed. When I hopped on a train, he followed. When I took photos of lingams and statues of elephants, Suresh was around there somewhere. When I returned to my flat, Suresh was still trailing me, and the muscular guard at the entrance to the block then threatened him with violence. When I went out for supper, Suresh was waiting round the corner. I relented and decided to speak to him. He lived with his father in Victoria Terminus Railway station; his father drank too much; tourists were Suresh's only source of income. I gave him a little money and off he sped. The sun shone next day, and on Juhu Beach I met Sunil, aged thirteen. He lived with other ragamuffins at Vile Parle Sation, but on sunny days he liked to wander along the beach talking to the horses and digging for sea shells. That evening a middle class Hindu family invited me to a vegetarian dinner in their flat in a tall block. "How about a trip to Poona?" asked Ramesh, the head of the household. "I've got some business with Poona's Rajneesh Ashram." "Do you support the Ashram?" I asked. "No," said Ramesh. "The Ashram is all about sex. It's full of men who've left their wives back in Europe." <
                      br> <br>Next day I was in Ramesh's car, similar to a Morris Minor, being driven past slums apparently made of mud. "Filthy devils," said Ramesh, pointing to the shanty town. Our journey to Poona took us past scores of crashed lorries, bleeding lorry drivers, pot-holes the size of dustbin lids, and battalions of workers out on strike. The Rajneesh Ashram contained hundreds of beautiful, upper-class, western girls and boys, enjoying a sort of 'Club Mediterranee' existence. The grinning master, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, was talking on the subject of 'boredom', so I wandered off to look at the bookshop. Two of the books by the fantastically rich master were entitled 'Blessed are the Ignorant' and 'The Great Nothing.' One class on yoga had been cancelled as the teacher had a bad case of hepatitis. Back in Bombay I visited the wonderfully Victorian Bombay Central station. Here I encountered a host of Dickensian characters: a tiny hunchback with bare feet, pencil limbs, an umbrella, and such a sad face; tribal children whose limbs had allegedly been broken and twisted by their beggar masters; little barefoot rubbish collectors with jute sacks over their shoulders; a skin and bones boy too weak to stand up; the dead body of a young man being carried outside by his friends... On a piece of pavement near Haji Ali I found a shivering and coughing Marshall sheltering under a plastic sheet. I bought him some egg masala and suggested he seek shelter at one of the 'Friendship Homes' run by the Catholic Church for abandoned children. As we travelled by taxi to Holy Family Church, Marshall told me of his ambitions to become a car mechanic. At 'Snehasadan :Friendship Home', we were greeted by Eloy Molines, a smiling, middle-aged Spaniard who helped run twelve homes. Eloy, together with a female social worker, interviewed Marshall and
                      found out his story. Marshall had worked up to his knees in water in the kitchen of a restaurant; he had found his legs growing so stiff that he could not walk; Marshall's father had beaten him because he had refused to continue working; Marshall had run away. Eloy arranged for Marshall to stay with houseparents Richard, who worked for Metal Box, and his wife Celine. Eloy warned me that more than half of the boys who come to Snehasadan do not stay long, perhaps because they prefer the freedom of the railway station to the restricted life of the homes. Some boys drop into the homes temporarily, when they need a doctor, a new shirt, or shelter from the monsoon. The boys at the home, from a mixture of religious backgrounds, seemed remarkably cheerful. They sang as they skipped down the corridors. The kids on the swings in the gardens looked tall and well fed. I left Marshall at the home, but, when I phoned Eloy a few days later, I learnt that Marshall had decided not to stay. Out at Vile Parle, in the suburbs, I met Michael, a middle-aged little tailor, originally from Kerala. Like so many Keralans he was Christian and highly educated. Michael decided I must visit an orphanage run by Mother Theresa's Missionaries of Charity. The rooms at the orphanage seemed as big as aircraft hangers and were filled with babies in cots. The sister in charge, a beautiful and calm woman from Bangladesh, pointed out one sickly wrinkled baby suffering from boils. I doubted if it could have any chance of survival, but the sister assured me it would live. One toddler grabbed my hand and kissed it. Another put a razor blade in its mouth, only to have it calmly removed by the sister. Back outside, Michael gave me a tour of Nehru Nagar, the slum where he lived. We waded through mud past rows of black hovels constructed from bits of wood and palm leaves. We chatted to naked children who scratched their heads as t
                      hey played with skinny scurvy dogs. As we left, some urchins threw tiny stones in our direction. Michael immediately got them to apologise. (How unlike Glasgow!) At Vile Parle station Sunil and his one-legged friend were having breakfast. I gave Sunil one rupee and both he and the one-legged boy danced up and down the stairs of the railway bridge in delight. The train into the centre of the city was crowded and I discovered too late that some unknown person had slit open my money belt. Fortunately I kept my real valuables in a second money belt hidden by my shirt. However, I decided to transfer to another compartment. It turned out to be a women-only compartment and I was swiftly ejected. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hotels: Bombay attracts LOTS of Arab tourists, some of whom come for the girls, and boys. Bombay does not have a surfeit of hotels. So I would strongly advise booking your hotel in advance, if you don't want to end up homeless. Holiday Inn, at Juhu Beach, is reasonable but not cheap. Riviera Hotel, at Juhu Beach, is cheaper. In the city, the Ascot Hotel, on Garden Road, is fairly comfortable, and not too expensive. The Taj Mahal is very central and rather expensive. It can arrange tours of the city. The Taj's Tajore restaurant has traditional Indian food which is excellent. Shopping: Chor Bazaar, off Grant Road, is the place to buy Indian souvenirs. Taxis : lots of them, except when it rains. Buses: excellent buses, but watch for pick pockets!!!! Trains: lots of trains to the suburbs from Bombay Central. Health: watch out! Don't drink the water. Take advice before you go. AIDS is a very major problem. Riots: if there are riots, stay indoors!!!

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                        30.04.2001 20:22
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                        “City of dreams” A lonely man in his dhoti, got down out of the train and looked around the station and he sees only people all around, its around 11.30pm in the night and is amazed at the number of people around. He comes out of the station and he gets to see the busy traffic and busy office goer’s, teenage guys, hawkers he is really inspired by this fast moving city and feels that inspite of leaving this village he feels at home…This is the common man of India , in the India’s Commercial Capital Mumbai. Welcome Common Man!!! To this city of dreams!!!…Hope your dreams are achieved… This review of mine is not going to touch any of the political aspect and would like to present my favourite city and were my roots are their, City of Dreams my MUMBAI. Like my review on India, Mumbai has also had a nostalgic aspect and cant take anything away from this great city, were every person getting out of the VT (CST NOW) railway station comes out with a dream. Mumbai or Bombay Like Shakespeare has said, what’s there in Name? How true, by changing the name will that change the city of Bombay or Mumbai …No it won’t. It is sad that because of few morons, the name conversion has been taken whether Bombay to Mumbai or Madras to Chennai, or Calcutta to Kolkota. When Mumbai’s famous railway station Victoria Terminus (VT) was changed to Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus, we used to joke them as the Centuries biggest sex change. Do we follow the past... ------------------------ Anyways, Mumbai is a place, which has been always liked by many rulers, and the English liked it so much that they gave it as a dowry gift to its Queen. It’s a mix of 7 islands. The Portuguese initially occupied it and the first Parsi trader Dorabji Nanabhai had settled in this city of dreams, hence you can see good amount of Parsi Population in Mum
                        bai. In the 20th Century lots of Textile mills started setting up and it became the source of India’s main revenue. This Financial Capital of India is well supported by air, water, and road and railway network. Lord Shiva…stays here … ------------------------ Some of the places to look are the Elephanta Caves, which is 1hrs boat ride from the Gateway of India, which is bang opposite Taj Hotel. You can find some great and excellent sculptures of Lord Shiva in different stages right from the Dancing Natraja to the Fierce Killer, killing a demon. This has been one of the great places for the tourist to look out, on your way; you can see the most advanced seaport of India. Mumbai is the only cosmopolitan cities in the world were all the religion has special place. Hajiali, Mountmary, Siddhivinayak Temple, Mahalaxmi temple are some of the places to visit, were it has special place in the heart of all the mumbaites. Platform No 4 train is 15mins late… ------------------------------------ This fast life of Mumbai has made it the most populated city in the world. Mumbai’s railway system is said to carry nearly a Lakh of commuters in a day. Which is highest in any part of the world. The two railways, western and Central railway carry a total of more than Lac commuters, right from Churchgate to Kasara which is handled by Western Railway and VT to Karjat / VT to Panvel by the Central Railways. This is a city were the last Local train will be filled by people either singing Bhajans or playing cards or sharing the days hard work or which companies shares have gone down. For a normal mumbaite every day is different and you see the unexpected. Hence every mumbaite will have a different story to tell you every day. Raste ka maal saste mein…(Road side stuff for a dirt price..) ------------------------ For all you guys who want to wear
                        a Omega watch or a Rado watch, but your pockets are not responding to the price then you have the heaven of duplicates. The Musafir Kana or the Manish Market or the Heera Panna, you have the latest watches, shoes, shirts etc. The Fashion Street is place for people who want to be in current trends and but cant afford it, get the latest T-shirts, shirts, trousers, shoes and you can tell your friend …”Hey Buddy…have u seen my latest Omega watch and my Red Tape Shoe” No doubt you can’t make the difference. Pav Baji…se…Vada Pav tak ka safar (Food stuff made of bread..and veg) -------------------------------- For all you food crazy guys, you have the latest cruisne available whether you want to try the Mc Burger at the Mc donalds or the Pizza’s at the Pizza Hut all you get in Mumbai. But if you are in Mumbai and you have not tasted a hot Vada Pav with a pack of Digen Verma (Frooti) then you missed the essence of Mumbai food. Pav Baji, is one thing which none of the city can better, a great evening snack with a couple of friends at your local snack shop can’t be missed. The food of Mumbai is the Bhel Puri’s at the beach, which is spicy as the city of Mumbai itself. Again don’t miss the spicy food of Mumbai… No where in India will you find all the dishes, you name it and you have got it. Whether it is a South Indian Dosa, or the Gujrathi Dohkla or the Punjabi Panner , or the Parsi Egg Dish or the Chinese Manchurian. You have it all here… In the middle of the night… --------------------------- Mumbai is known for the nightlife, whether it is the pubs and discs of Mumbai or the parties happening or the Dandiya during navarathri. This short poem gives you the names of most of the discs and pubs of Mumbai… It was the year "1900s" at the Taj which had aroused a chemistry of "Fire&Ice" between a g
                        irl and a boy, which was nothing but close to a "Cyclone" but their was "Earthquake" in the pipe line, but they didn’t cared and had a "Temptation" to be at "Jolly Rogers" but the music created "Madness" which was at the door no "J49" . The "Headquarter" was arising with commotion because they were "Three Flights up" which was shaking with the beats of Techno so they finally settled down at "Jazz at bay" Lights, Camera , Action ------------------------ This is a home to world’s biggest Film Industry they call it Bollywood. (Still don’t know why do they call it Bollywood?). Want to check some action then don’t forget to visit the Film City. I can go on and on about this great city but this space is too small to write about a city where dreams are achieved. Even a small person from a village comes to city and goes out successful. I don’t know whether I have done justice to this City, I know I have missed many things, but the question how can you describe this city in Three words… “City of Dreams” This song by Billy Joel perfectly suits my Mumbai and would dedicate this song to my Mumbai… In the middle of the night I go walking in my sleep From the mountains of faith To a river so deep I must be looking for something Something sacred I lost But the river is wide And it’’s too hard to cross And even though I know the river is wide I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore And try to cross to the opposite side So I can finally find out what I’’ve been looking for In the CITY OF DREAMS…

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                          27.08.2000 05:11

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                          Bombay was awesome! I've just got back and England feels like the North pole now! I mean, India has everything that England doesn't: cheap goods, good food and of course, great weather (although it was monsoon season when I went). The people were also very friendly, although I know little Hindi, I still managed to get on OK, as many of the people there spoke Engliash. The culture is also rich, the scenery breathtaking-basically, India is a must-see destination! Although it is yet to become a 'trendy' destination, it is well worth a visit for the culture alone.

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                          17.08.2000 23:12
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                          After a 15 hour night bus trip we made it to Delhi through a massive storm and a flat tire. [To this day, I'll never understand how the laws of physics allowed it to rain INSIDE the bus.] We stayed in Delhi only long enough to plan our escape (Delhi is everything people don't like about India). This involved booking two tickets on the Rajdhani Express to Bombay (now called Mumbai). We were informed by our berth-mates that this was the finest train in all of India. And I think they were right. The seventeen hours passed without too much discomfort. We figured out that A/C is worth it's ticket price in gold (and no wiping the grime off your face when you arrive). We were given food (none of it eatable, but the gesture was nice), pillows, blankets, souvenir turbans (just joking), and enough A/C blasting through the vents to suit a misplaced eskimo. (I heard this is how the clever attendants make their tips, by providing freezing passengers with additional blankets. Who said entrepenuerism isn't alive and well in India?) We arrived in Mumbai, relatively grime-free, to meet my friend at the station. Mumbai has 4 times the population of Delhi in a quarter of the space. It also has India's largest mass of slums, which we passed along the tracks as we came into the city. (very, very sad) You wouldn't believe that humans can exist in such squalor. Houses built completely of garbage in a veritable sewer/dump just alongside noisy, filthy, dangerous, railroad tracks. Mumbai is entirely different than any other city we'd seen in India. Colonial legacy is strong here and British architecture could be seen everywhere. The magnificent buildings lend an undeniable charm to the city. Yet with such a strong sense of history, Mumbai does not fail to be one of the most forward-looking cities in all of India. Qui
                          te cosmopolitan by Indian standards, it offered shiny new shopping malls, glitsy restaurants, and trendy cafes for India's nouveau-riche, who could be seen everywhere donning western dress and cell phones. Nearby our hotel was the ubiquitous "Gateway of India" which the British symbolically departed through after independence. The signature snake charmers, henna painters, balloon vendors, samosa sellers, beggars, stray dogs, and Indian tourists all vie for space in the square surrounding it. From there, you can watch the cargo ships coming and going. On the other side of the island, we visited the Haji Ali Mosque, built on the end of a long, thin, man-made peninsula that disappears during high tide. Once you make it through what has been dubbed "beggar's row", you can sit outside the mosque and look out into the Arabian Sea. We managed to catch a "Bollywood" flick while we were there at the historic Eros theater. Like all of these "masala" films that are so popular here, there was lots of singing and dancing and very little plot. Basically three hours of man-chasing-woman, woman-playing-hard-to-get, bad-guy-chasing-woman, man-chasing-bad-guy. It was an endurance test of bad love songs and gratuitous violence. But, the ending was the by far the best part, as the man and woman together, stone the bad guy (who has already been shot, thrown off a cliff, stabbed in the leg and had a stick gouged in his eye) for the never-ending death scene. By the end, it looked like a bad "B" horror flick.

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                            13.08.2000 00:03

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                            The Portugese found this natural harbour in the west coast of India so enchanting, they called it 'Bom Behia' (beautiful bay) thus it got its name: Bombay. Indians, anxious to shake off the colonial past and memories of foreign occupation, have renamed it Mumbai. somehow I prefer Bombay (but then I am an Indian living in England!). When you arrive in the bustling international airport of Bombay, the first thing that hits you is the heat. As you ride through the congested roads ( I dare you to take a 'pat-patti' -one of those autorickshaws made famous by Bond in Octopussy) it is the sheer wave of humanity. Bombay manages to squeeze over 12 million motley citizens into its sweaty arms. Bombay is a schizophrenic metropolis. There are skyscrapers, exclusive discotheques, art deco buildings, Victorian monuments providing beauty and culture; but then there are slums and stinking hellholes. Avoid them unless you're shooting a documentary. You don't want to be upset on your holiday. The pride of Bombay is its natural harbour, there is then the Gateway of India the proud yellowstone structure built tocommemorate the visit of King George V in 1920.The mysterious Elephanta caves celebrating God Shiva which is a few miles away by boat from the Gateway; there are the three lighthouses built in different centuris, the Price of Wales Museum, the University buildings; the Afghan church and several temples. It is a Building -spotters wet dream. Bombay is the Business heartbeat of India, with Dalal st. ranks with Wall st. in financial buzz. It boasts several five star hotels boasting ultimate in luxury: the Taj Mahal, the Marine Plaza, The Residency, Four seasons, Hliday Inn..the list is endless. In addition Bombay has several restaurants providing a wide variety of cuisines: Indian, Chiense, Thai, Japanese, Mexican- you ask for it, they've got it. But if you really want to taste India, walk down Mar
                            ine Drive in the late evenings, check out the several food stalls selling aromatic snacks: Pani-puri, Bhel Puri, Ras malai, Ghulab Jamun.. yum! Night life is great too. You can have tour of Bollywood, boasting several film studios, the biggest dream-factory in the world! And should you be lucky you may get yourself a walk-on cameo in one of those extravagant musicals - shaking your booty along with a hunky Indian hero and a pouting heroine. Go on, you are tempted, aren't ya?

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                          "Mumbai (Marathi: मुंबई Mumbaī), fomerly known as Bombay, is the capital of the state of Maharashtra, the most populous city of India, and by some measures the most populous city in the world with an estimated population of about 13 million (as of 2006). Mumbai is located on Salsette Island, off the west coast of Maharashtra. Along with its neighbouring suburbs, it forms the world's sixth most populous metropolitan area with a population of about 25 million. The metro population ranking is projected to rise to 4th in the world by 2015 due to an annual growth rate of 2.2%. The city has a deep natural harbour and the port handles over half of India's passenger traffic and a significant amount of cargo"