Colaba, southern most part of Mumbai, is the historical center of the city and where most of the main tourist attractions are held. My friend E arrived in Mumbai over the weekend for a one day stop over before heading to Kerala. Since the day she was in town was a festival day, we decided to do a quick trip to Colaba to show her the sights before the festivities started and the steets got too crowded.
Early on a Sunday morning, my family, E, and my brother-in-law set out to see the sights. We drove over the modern and impressive Bandra-Worli Sea Link, which connects the Western suburbs of Mumbai with South Mumbai. Our first stop was Marine Drive. Marine Drive is a 3K road along one of the bays of Mumbai that leads to Chowpatty Beach. The beach has a wonderful walk way where you see couples and families strolling, joggers, and even boot camp classes in the morning. We did a short walk on the walkway before the rain interrupted our plans.
|The walkway is a popular spot for locals and tourists|
Next stop was the famous Taj Hotel, the most famous and luxurious hotel in Mumbai. Known for hosting such famous guests as Oprah, Bill Clinton, and the Beatles, every day folks can enter to view the lobby, see the ultra exclusive shops, and eat in the restaurant. One of the sights of the infamous November terrorist attack in 2008, there is strict security to pass through to enter. The six of us passed through the metal detectors and bag checks to view the architecture inside and enjoy the lavish brunch in the restaurant. The Taj has a number of international guests so the spread included traditional Indian breakfast of Masala Dosa and Pongal, as well as baked beans, made to order omlettes, fresh fruit, and an assortment of cheeses and pastries, and even olives and smoked salmon. The waiter even brought out a Mickey Mouse shaped chocolate chip pancake for my son. (Unfortnatly for me, I did not get to enjoy as much as everyone else as that’s the moment my daughter became vocal and I had to exit to find a spot to calm her down and nurse her). Excellent service and quite a treat for the morning.
|The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel|
After breakfast, we walked across the street to Gateway of India, a monument completed in 1924 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. An immersive and large structure, the plaza itself is of just as much interest. Here you see many families from all over India who come to view the monument. Also running around are photographers to capture and instantly produce your picture, and vendors set on enticing your children with their assortment of colorful balloons, cheap toys and bubbles for sale. The plaza is very, very crowded so you will need to keep a tight hold on your younger children here. My son is a runner, so we kept him in the stroller to avoid losing him in the crowd.
|Scenes from the Gateway of India plaza|
|Group Shot in front of the Gateway is a must|
Once the obligatory picture taking was done at the Gateway we headed back to the Chembur area of Mumbai for some shopping and lunch with the family. But Colaba is just a short drive away, I’m sure we will find our way back that way soon.
* Starred photographs were taken by Atma Photography