"Aadil's Mumbai (Bombay) City of Gold!!!" Top 5 Page for this destination Mumbai by aadil
Mumbai Travel Guide: 2,022 reviews and 4,078 photos
The picture above is of the five visible planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter) along with the crescent Moon and an airplane flying past in this time exposure taken on the 14th of May 2002. Astronomy is my favourite hobby and aircrafts are my job (I work with Air-India as an aircraft service engineer) and hobby (aircraft scale modelling)!! Picture taken from the terrace of my building in Mumbai. The coconut trees in the foreground are a common sight at any beach in Mumbai. I live a hop, skip and jump away from the beach!!
WELCOME to Bombay (or Mumbai as it is now known) which is the City of Gold since everyone comes here to try and make a fortune!! I was born and brought up here and I just love the place. Most people will find it a drab and dirty place with problems in everything they come across. But the people are nice and always try to make ends meet and are resilient enough to bounce back and face the problems as they come!
There are lots of places worth visiting in Mumbai for the traveller and some of them are the Gateway of India on the seafront where you can take a day trip to the famous Elephanta Caves (see my Elephanta Island page for more detailed tips and pictures) by boat. The Prince of Wales Museum is now known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastusangrahalaya which houses a lot of artefacts worth seeing. The Jehangir Art Gallery is next door and opposite the Museum is the National Gallery of Modern Art. You may visit the Banganga Tank near the Walkeshwar temples which surround it on all four sides, the Hanging Gardens, the Parsi Towers of Silence (view from outside only), Chowpatty beach for some local snacks and Kulfi (Indian icecream), Mani Bhavan (Mahatma Gandhi's residence in Mumbai for 17 years and now converted to a Museum and Library of his books) and the Bhau Daji Lad (erstwhile Victoria & Albert) Museum at the Zoo premises.
There is the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali (a suburb) which is the largest green space in Mumbai and also has the 109 Kanheri caves in its premises, an aquarium at Marine Drive and the Zoo at Byculla (highly avoidable if you hate cruelty to animals!).
The Nehru Planetarium with a capacity of about 600 seats and the tickets are at Rs.25/- for an hour of heavenly entertainment!!!
There are a lot of sandy beaches (but the water is not clean so don't go in the water) in the city but you have to be careful of onlookers who will keep staring at you if you are a foreigner and urchins who will pester you for alms or food (Please do not encourage them, just ignore them!).
Mumbai is the most cosmopolitan city in India and is also the trade capital. Bollywood or the Indian Hollywood is here in Mumbai and hundreds of films are made every year in Mumbai studios. Most Indians (not me!) are crazy about films and songs are a major part of any Indian film.
The modes of transport in Mumbai are train, bus and taxicabs along with autorickshaws in the suburbs. The red coloured buses and the local trains are the lifeline of the city and seldom do they stop running. They are the cheapest way to getting around the city but yellow & black taxis are also not that expensive for the foreigner. Some of them are blue in colour and are air-conditioned and more expensive. The night rates are slightly more than the day fares. The rates have to be read off a tariff card from the metered reading.
Staying in Mumbai is a difficult and expensive proposition and the rates for a good and clean hotel are quite high compared to other Indian cities. Food is never a problem and restaurants are open till late night unlike other places in India where everything shuts down by 10 p.m. There are a lot of pubs and discos in the city where one can enjoy the night life.
This is just a very brief introduction to the City of Gold and I may have left out a lot of details but if you have any questions regarding anything to do with Mumbai please feel free to send me a line by e-mail and I'll try to respond as soon as possible. Hope to see more VTer's in Mumbai!!
There was an amazing fly past of military and civilian aircraft along with a grand display of aerobatics by aircraft of the Indian Air Force and Air India held on the 17th of October 2004 at the city's Marine Drive promenade where the whole city seemed to have descended to see the spectacular event!!! The trains were so packed with people as if it was the last train going!!! There was a stampede at many stations along the route to the venue as many men, women and children eager to see the air show wanted to be there in time for the one hour event that would enthrall the viewers with so many different stunts and displays that no one wanted to miss being there!!! There were just people and more people on the road starting from the Land's End near the Hilton Hotel all the way upto the Chowpatty beach at the other end of the Queen's Necklace!!!
The Display started with a trio of Alouette-III (Chetak) helicopters that had the Indian tricolour along with the IAF's flag and the Air India flag with a showering of rose petals on the crowds!!! Then came the two Air India civilian aircraft Airbus 310-300 flanked by the Sukhoi SU30 MKI on either side followed by the Boeing 747-400 in similar fashion flanked by the Sukhois. There was a thunderous round of applause from the enthralled crowd below as they saw the airplanes so low down as never seen before, come in above them and disappear above the buildings behind them!!! There was almost a sonic boom as two Sepecat Jaguars flew past with little warning in almost no time followed by the Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-27 bombers!!! Then came the Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 fighters along with the Sukhoi SU-30 MKI fighters which put on a mock battle with the Sukhois driving out the attacking MiG-29's!!! Then there were a couple of Sukhoi SU-30 MKI's being refuelled mid air by the Ilyushin Il-78 tanker aircraft that showed the process in a few seconds over the crowds below!!! There were a few other smaller aircraft like the Dorniers and the Antonov An-32 that also flew past and then there was the only helicopter aerobatics team in the world with a trio of the Sarang team of the new Advanced Light Helicopter ALH1 from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which was followed by the Surya Kiran team of basic jet trainer aircraft giving a scintillating display of the flying skills and breathtaking aerobatics that can only be seen to be believed!!! The oohs and the aahs never drowned out in the full one hour of the airshow!!! The grande finale was the Akash Ganga team of sky divers who descended over the crowds to land precisely into the hallowed cricket grounds of the Brabourne Stadium nearby!!! There were many heartbeats that fluttered as they came down over the ecstatic crowds and the parachutes in the tricolours of the nation were seen to be heralding a new dawn of an era as many young minds were impressed to join the Indian Air Force as pilots or ground crew!!! A grand display of aviation's latest aircraft as well as the designs in the sky as the contrails made colourful patterns in the sky were a real treat to watch and all credit due to the valiant men in their flying machines for putting on a great show in the skies above Mumbai!!!!! A rare treat for all to see and remember for a long time to come!!! May we see you soon again!!!
- Pros:India's most culturally active, lively and happening city!!!
- Cons:India's most dirty, overpopulated, polluted, concretised city!!!
- In a nutshell:India's City of Gold!!! Everyone wants to live and work here!!!
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