How to plan comfortable Mumbai Darshan!
We humans are really weird. We never tend to value what is easily accessible, instead crave for the unattainable. Just for example, I keep day dreaming about exploring world's exotic locations, but never take the pain to drive over to marine drive and witness the mesmerising sunset hues.
Exploring the vicinity happens only when you have relatives at your place. Taking them around gives you that rare chance to cherish and celebrate the city that is your home.
Recently my sister and niece had paid a brief visit to my place and while planning of 'Mumbai Darshan' for them, I realised how wonderful my city is. Time was short, and there was a lot to explore. Here's how I planned and successfully rendered the flavour of the 'Mayanagari' to them.
Your guide to plan comfortable 'Mumbai Darshan' for your guests:
I divided our trip into two days, for I had no intention of tiring them in their vacation.
1. Day 1, JUHU BEACH AT SUNSET: My sister and niece aren't used to the exorbitant traffic of Mumbai, so day 1 plan was short and sweet. As it is the month of May and the summer sun is in full galore, peaceful exploration can only happen after dusk.
We started at around 5:00 in the evening and it took us 1.5 hours to reach Juhu Beach from my house in Thane.
It's been ages since I went to Juhu beach and surprisingly it was clean, although overcrowded as usual. But we reached just at the right time, we were nearing sunset and the sky was lit up with varied hues of yellow, red and orange. The cacophony of colorful life, the vendors and 'Mumbai special, Pav bhaji and kulfi' made our evening rapturous.
After witnessing the hopeful setting sun, we returned to Thane and explored the famous 'Viviana mall' followed by sumptuous Chinese dinner at 'Main land china'.
2. Day 2, SOUTH MUMBAI HAS A LOT TO OFFER: Day 2 was action packed.
We started with Gate Way of India, although the crowd was not too great, we loved the ambiance of dusk, with the blue expanse of the sea and yachts, undoubtedly a treat for the eyes.
The next destination was a must in our list, 'Siddhi Vinayak Temple'. It was a full moon night and the crowd was more, however we had a peaceful and divine rendezvous with the positivity of the place.
The night was beautiful and Mumbai turns truly glam as the darkness descends. Embellishing its aura with the queen's necklace, Marine drive looked resplendent. But probably due to cleanliness drives, there are no food vendors, so carry water and some eatables with you. But be responsible and do not litter.
The cool sea breeze, the lights and the vibes were infectious; we sat for long pouring our hearts out, and imbibing the never dying spirit of Mumbai.
It was late when we started; Haji Ali Dargah looked divine with its intimidating illumination. I instructed the driver to take us via Sea link and Bandra Reclamation; the drive gave a feel of the beautiful city a little more.
When time is limited we cannot plan everything, but the flavour was passed on, and I am happy about it. I also wanted them to see a play in NCPA, but time didn't permit.
Points to remember:
a. Plan a comfortable trip, book cab, hire a vehicle or take your own. For first time visitors, local train might not be a good option.
b. Carry water, some eatables like dry fruits, an umbrella, shades and some emergency medicines. Mumbai traffic is highly unpredictable, so keep a track even during your trip.
c. Do not plan Juhu and Marine lines in a single day, the journey would be very tiring.
d. Some places in Mumbai demands darkness to evolve in their glory, like Marine drive, plan judiciously.
e. Be aware of the season you are in and plan your trip with care. Mumbai is a beautiful city, but like all other major cities of the country, it has its pros and cons. If aware and explore its beauty.
Pictures are taken by : Aritra Chakrabarty