Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mumbai Tourists

This time around in Mumbai, we spent a lot of time touring the city - away from the usual attractions of InOrbit and Atria malls :) Here are some experiences of Mumbai from a tourist's eye...

First, the Jeejamata Udyan (Byculla Zoo). Most of the animals are gone, and the Zoo now awaits a multi crore renovation. All we could catch are 3 monkeys, a rhino, 2 elephants, 2 hippos, a hyena, a croc and a bear...

The majestic clock tower at the entrance is beautiful - just like so many similar buildings in Mumbai, especially in downtown.

Interesting multi-barrel cannon - hadn't seen one like this before!

The animals are missing, but there were some amazing, giant trees that made the trip worthwhile!

Medieval torture chambers like these are thankfully out of service now - can only imagine the hell the animals would have gone through in the early days of the Zoo.

Next stop, the Taj and downtown Mumbai.

It's always an amazing feeling being here, and every visit to the Taj makes me realise how well this city and this country has fought back terrorism and how pointless the 26/11 attacks have been. Another evening in Mumbai as a proud Indian.

The shark fin and crab meat soup at the Golden Dragon was simply out of this world. The lamb stir fry with cumin and prawns garlic also rocked.

What rocked most was the hospitality. The waiter who served us was Elvis, a Goan, who told us his experiences from that fateful night. He also treated us to the Bud Tea - an amazing concoction with hot water and a finger-sized dry grass like bud, which opens up into a beautiful "flower" in a matter of seconds in the hot water. We also got four scoops of delicious ice cream.

Being driven around town in a beautiful horse drawn carriage is a lot of fun.

From there, we went to the Planetarium, and a day later, to the Nehru Science Center - both must-do visits when you have kids with you. Both are close by, in Worli. Also make sure you land up there as early in the day as possible, so you get to see the various shows and movies, which wind up by late evening.

A tourist trip to Mumbai is incomplete without a visit to Esselworld.

I am not too much into the rides, but this Aqua Dive is really fun - you hurtle down in the car from a huge slope straight into the pool, and come out soaking wet. Terrific fun!

Some of the rides made me go white with terror!

With Varun, wet as a kitten, after the Aqua Dive.

The Golden Pagoda, being built as a meditation center by the Goenka group, is a fantastic edifice, and worth a visit. Looks absolutely majestic in the sun! Still a lot of work in progress, though..

And finally, it was time for the horse power to rest and refresh with coffee and pakodas.

All in all, a good trip, and an excellent way to reboot after a difficult week in office.

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