|The four of us hired a car and driver for the day to see the more hard to get to sights of Mumbai. The first stop was the Dobi Ghats (the massive laundry area). Hard to tell how anyone gets there clothes back but it all seems to work. The clothes seem to be pounded first in the large water tanks and then put in washing machines, hung up to dry and ironed as necessary. It seems totally chaotic. This is one of two large laundry areas in the city.
From the laundry we went to a slum area of fisherman. This is life at its most basic. There is garbage everywhere and everything is done on the beach! The sea here is understandably highly polluted, luckily the fisherman do go out 70km or so to fish.
From here our drive took us along the shore of Marine Drive known as the Queen’s Necklace because it is beautifully lit up at night. This was a literally a breath of fresh air. A quick photo stop, and then on to the Jain Temple. This was a surprisingly opulent temple with lots of silver adornments. Our driver told us the Jain are into selling diamonds and obviously very wealthy, not quite what we expected.
Other stops were:
- The Hanging Gardens – a reservoir built by the British that supplies the water for city. It has a lovely park area on it that is a nice quiet place in the busy city.
- A viewpoint over the city
- The Tower of silence where the Parsi Community leave their dead to be eaten by the birds. No Photo opp here.
- Mani Bhavan house where Gandhi stayed when he was in Mumbai. It is now a museum depicting his life in video and Photographs as well as some dioramas. The
library there has 50,000 books by or about Gandhi. This is the place where “he lived and conversed with his colleagues and moulded the Nation in the image of his
cherished ideals of Truth and Non-violence”.
- Victoria Train Terminal, a beautiful Victorian set of buildings.
- another slum area where they make thousands of pots in primitive conditions. He also took us by the area where they made the movie “Slum dog millionaire”
It certainly is another world here and shocks our senses and sensibilities but they seem to make it work for them. The distance between the rich and poor is enormous. Our driver told us about some rich families who live in what looks like a whole apartment block.
Next 2 days at sea and then Muscat, Oman for an overnight stay.