Mumbai, Day 2

May 1, 2023

Mumbai is also known as Bombay which was its official name until 1995. It is in the center of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the sixth most populous metropolitan area in the world. It is actually made up of seven islands. During the 18th century, Mumbai was reshaped by a project that undertook reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. It was completed in 1845 which transformed Mumbai into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Now Mumbai is one of the world’s top ten centers of commerce in terms of global financial flow.

We had our guide from yesterday and we really enjoyed her knowledge and her support of women. The agency she works for employs only women unless there is an area that they cannot get female guides.

We started our day with a visit to Hindu neighborhoods. We saw many shopkeepers setting up for the day. Hindus do not try to recruit people into the religion. You must be born a Hindu.

In each of the Hindu temples, we saw people preparing the day’s offerings. There is no formal service or leader in the temples. Each person does their own form of honoring the gods.

Here is what one of the areas of offering looks like. It would change every day
You must remove your shoes when going into the temples
In Hinduism and Buddhism, the right facing symbol is called swastika, symbolizing sun, prosperity and good luck. It was appropriated as the left facing symbol of Nazi antisemitism.
Families set up their own offering areas around the water

The water is considered to be a substitute for the holy river Ganges. Each area here has its own crematorium. For those who can afford it, electricity is used for the cremation. If not, traditional wood fire is used.

Here are some other pictures of this area. They have their own outdoor laundry. In an ingenius move, they hang the clothes using intertwined ropes so no clothespins are necessary!

In a contrast between the levels of society here, this 27 story building is owned by the richest man in India. 5 people live there. They have a staff of 600 servants who do not live there. The first 6 floors are the garage for the owner’s 140 cars. There are 5 elevators. One is just for the man… even his wife cannot ride in it. There are 3 swimming pools. One for the husband and wife, one for the 3 kids and one for guests.

In contrast, most of the apartment buildings have put cages around their balconies just to have extra storage.

This statue honors the famous dabbawallas who have delivered lunches by train and bicycle since the 1800s. Between 175,000 and 200,000 lunch boxes are moved each day by 4,500 to 5,000 dabbawalas and it is estimated that there is only one mistake in 6 million deliveries.

The second part of our day was a visit to the spice market. What an experience! There was every type of spice that you can imagine. Every home has its own recipe for curry and other spices, so people buy the whole spices and have them ground here. Many women were waiting with their bags of spices to be made into their own unique blend.

This is the betel leaf which is supposed to be a stimulant, an antiseptic and a breath freshener, It is widely used here in the treatment of cough, asthma, headache and arthritic joint pain. The betel nut is chewed by people here and it dyes their mouths red. It was thought to be an aphrodesiac.
This woman is picking the stems off of the chilis

We visited a Hari Krishna temple that we explored on a previous trip. That time we had lunch in the restaurant. Hari Krishna is a Hindu sect that tries to raise consciousness and worships the god Krishna. It does try to recruit followers and was successful due to the founder who was an Indian actor, producer and politician. It became popular in the US during the 70’s when the hippies first embraced it.

After touring all day – and it was quite hot – we were ready for a late lunch at Kala Ghoda Cafe. The apricot iced tea was excellent. I had a wonderful roasted vegetable and hummus sandwich and we shared this mango tart for dessert. As the sign indicates, no one could have alcohol!

Our guide needed to be paid in rupees so we had to find a money changer since the ATM we tried yesterday didn’t work. One rupee is about $.82 US so we got a stack of money!

What a wonderful and educational two days in Mumbai. On to Goa tomorrow.

G20 will be here in September – signs are everywhere.

This entry was posted in Asia, Excursions, Food, May, World Cruise #4. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mumbai, Day 2

  1. <

    div dir=”ltr”>Thank you for another t


  2. Sharon Krohn says:

    What a fabulous experience!


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