The European hangover refused to go away. Back in Mumbai after backpacking through Europe, I realized that I haven't really seen Mumbai as a tourist. After a couple of days at IIT and sorting out electives crap, I look for a way to tour Mumbai. I was sure that there must be a tour agency that takes you sightseeing around Mumbai and began looking for one.
On the advice of my dear friend - Shobhit Singhal - I decide to take a Mumbai Darshan tour by Neeta Bus agency that run probably the most popular Mumbai Darshan tours in the city.
I thought that I will not find any other person to join me on this crazy idea, but then you never know. Another person back from his trysts in Maple country (Avinash Prabhu) was interested enough and together we booked our tickets and decided to set on this exciting and daring adventure that would chill the bones of any other mortal. :P
Armed with food supplies and rain gear, we climbed in the bus at Dadar. There was a guide in the bus who immediately, as soon as we sat down, announced that we had to pay Rs.210 additional to the Rs.150 tour fee. This money was to buy entry tickets to all the places that they were going to show us around. That came as a little surprise to us. We had thought everything was included. :P
I must confess that most of the places that he took us to hadn't been seen by me in my 3 years here as a student.
We were taken to (my expert comments in brackets)
Meenakshi Temple (nothing special)
Houses of Lata Mangeshkar, Jackie Shroff, Vinod Khanna and Amitabh Bacchan (who doesn't want to see that)
Nehru Science Center and Planetarium (Science center is for kids and tourists like us and Planetarium was a nice place to sleep)
4-D motion picture at Atria Mall (The chair moves in only one direction and there is only cold air when you are expecting a hot one - not worth it)
Tarapore Aquarium center (In an unbelievable state of decay. Didn't think that a famous thing right in the middle of marine drive would be so crappy)
Marine Drive, Hanging gardens, Gateway and Juhu beach need no description.
The Gateway has been closed post 26/11 and is now under heavy security. It's just not the same anymore.
Of course there were some gems that can only be found on the hoardings and boards in India that kept us entertained.
Apparently, according to the super shopkeeper, there are some Indian vegetables and some English vegetables. Interesting!
Me and Avinash after coming out of the Planetarium
A board near Tarapore Aquarium. Need I comment?
You can see the bullet holes in The Taj here. Brings back the days of the attacks.
Probably the best picture of Mumbai we took all day.
Don't know if it can be made out, but this is an ad for IIPM featuring Shahrukh Khan saying that it is the No.1 management institute in the whole world!!
Now, I wouldn't really recommend this tour to anyone except for a different experience. By the end of the day, we were sweaty, dirty and in desperate need of a bath.