A trip to India wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Mumbai, the New York of India. Everybody told me that it would be more congested, louder and hotter than Bangalore. Well I’m not too sure about the more congested and louder part, but it was definitely hotter. I had a few on the brink of heat stroke moments. The locals told us that this was considered good weather and that it didn’t get much better. Oy! I can’t imagine what hot is to them if nice means you get swamp ass every time you get exposed to sunlight!
Claire and I stayed right in the heart of the Colaba at the Taj Palace and Tower Hotel. If you recall a few years back, this was the same hotel that was the site of terrorist attacks. Comforting, isn’t it? This is also the same hotel President Obama will be staying in later this week. We noticed the city preparing for his arrival by “cleaning” the streets. Well they were really just repainting curbs, but our taxi driver seemed to think this was a big deal.
The hotel was directly across the street from the Gateway of India, a monument built to welcome the British back in the colonization days. In the picture above, you can see the Gateway of India with our hotel peeking out from behind it. Talk about tourist central. Here’s a photo looking out into the Arabian Sea, in what looks like a parking lot for boats.
We went on a 40 minute trek on one of these ferries to get out to Elephanta Island, which is home to a set of five Hindu caves dating back to the 6th century A.D. Finally, something older than the Liberty Bell! Here are some pictures from the first and most impressive cave. There’s Shiva in all
her his (thanks, Karthik) glory.
What trip to Mumbai would be complete without a visit to the stock exchange? Only kidding, of course. Claire and I went for work. Unfortunately, they don’t allow photos inside.
After looking through my photos of Mumbai, I realized that I did a horrible job of documenting our trip. Most of our time was consumed by shopping, which meant lots of haggling and negotiating with street vendors for pashminas, leather sandals and bangles. I didn’t get a single shot of the vendors at Linking Road or at the Colaba Street Market. Maybe I didn’t want to give myself away as a tourist… oh wait… did my face already do that?