Fujiyama, Japan

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Mumbai

Google Maps: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

No city represents true India better than Mumbai. The disparity in every dimension of life is breathtaking here. Visit a night club and you may find the most expensive luxuries of life in abundance. Visit a slum and you will have a lifetime of pictures and images to remember. So what should a tourist do here?

Lion Point @ Lonavala

To begin with, there are definitely the tick mark spots - Gateway of India and further to it Elephanta by boat. Close by is Queen's Necklace, the seaside curve that's perennially crowded. That's most of south Mumbai if you don't forget Chaupati's bhel puri.

Toy Train @ Matheran

Towards the North is Sanjeev Gandhi Bio-reserve which holds the ancient Kanheri Caves. The Western Expressway that holds the entrance to this reserve, takes you northwards to Ahmedabad. Further north-east is the closest to hill station that Mumbai has - Matheran, accessible by road as well as a heritage toy train that almost runs on the edge.

Buddha Statue @ Kanheri Caves
Northeast of Mumbai is Nasik which holds the famous Jyotirlingas of Trayambakeshwar and Bhimashankar. Further is the holy city of Shirdi which is home to revered Sai Baba. If there is a west to the longitudinal, almost an appendix shaped, Mumbai the landmarks will be Juhu and Bandstand - famous as a lover's paradise. Haji Ali Dargah is a short walk. Siddhivinayak Temple is nearby and so is Iskcon Temple.

Waterfall @ Nagothane
The east is somewhat of a gateway to Maharashtra. Lonavala and Khandala are on the way to Pune and further east is the famous Mahabaleshwar. A turn from eastern exit to south will take you to Goa - Nagothane and Ganpati Phule are worthy stopovers.