Mumbai has never been a destination for us – too noisy, too big, too expensive – although we’ve enjoyed seeing the CST and Churchgate train stations and all of the other Raj style architecture in the area. Last year we attended a five-day meditation retreat in Mumbai and became good friends with the family who organized the retreat. Even though we didn’t make the retreat this year they invited us to stop as we passed through on our way from Goa to Varanasi. They live in one of the new towers mushrooming in central Mumbai.
We arrived Friday night and our host was free over the weekend to ferry us around showing us some very interesting areas of Mumbai we probably would never have seen on our own: upscale Colaba, once a Parsi neighborhood with Victorian homes that have colorful stained glass windows and verandahs covered with flowering vines;
The most expensive residence in the world owned by one of the Reliance brothers. Estimated to be worth more than $1b, it boasts a cinema, swimming pools helicopter pad, gardens and lotus pools and a beautiful Krishna temple – but the exterior leaves much to be desired.
…and nearby Chowpatty Beach
From the Hanging Gardens, designed by the British on top of a water tank, we could see the “Queens Necklace” – the circular bay lit up with its string of streetlights. It all looks much better at night. Our final stop was the best kulfi shop in town.
But best of all was the family. We love traveling and enjoy each other’s company but it is wonderful to be included in such a loving family.