Rediscover India: Secret Places to Visit in Mumbaiby Vijay Patel Vijay Patel
It's no surprise
that Mumbai has been called the City of Dreams, being such a vibrant
metropolis. Tourist spots like the Gateway of India and Hanging Gardens are
impossible to miss. But this isn't all Mumbai has to offer. Take the road less
traveled and discover the best-kept secrets of India's greatest megacity.
We just can't
seem to stop gazing at the Taj Mahal, right? Mumbai has its own version, the
Hasnabad Dargah, the "little Taj Mahal" found in Mazagaon. The
brilliant white stone, arched doorways, towering minarets - the beauty of this
place overflows with history and majesty. It's accessible through both the
Central or Harbour Railway Lines or via cab ride from the Lower Parel Station.
history, how about a 66-million year old black basalt rock to kickstart your
travels? Perhaps you're wondering how a chunk of stone can be so important.
Well, Gilbert Hill is something else entirely. It rises 200 ft from the ground,
formed when molted lava shot up from beneath the Earth's crevices - a rare
geological phenomenon. It has two Hindu temples nestled atop it, accessible
only through a steep staircase carved directly from the stone. Make sure you
get there either by sunrise or before sunset to get the best view of the
suburbs at the top. You can reach it via the Andheri train station.
Mumbai shows us
the beauty of her natural landmarks yet again through these caves in the
Jogeshwari suburbs. Here you'll see some of the earliest Hindu temple
structures filled with thick pillars and relics of the gods carved into the
walls. You'd also find the temples of Hanuman and Ganesh. The vibe of this
place is more reflective and mysterious. It's filled with bats so be prepared
for that. To get here, go down at the Jogeshwari train station (just right
after Andheri station).
For a more lively
experience, celebrate the colorful and lively February music/cultural festival
in the Banganga tank, a vast rectangular pool surrounded by steps and temples.
Hindustani music takes center stage during this event. On quiet days you can
just relax by the poolside, offer flowers at the temple or take gorgeous
photos. You may travel here by Central Railway via Dadar station or Charni
Road/Grant Road stations from the Western Railway. It's also easily accessible
via cab/car ride from the Gateway of India or bus ride from Walkeshwar.
Cathedral of the Holy Name
If you're looking
for a more enclosed sanctuary, this century-old Roman Catholic shrine in Colaba
is just the place. This is the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Bombay known
for its display of artifacts like a bell from Pope Paul VI and a
gold-embroidered stole given by Pope John XXIII. Its pipe organ, Gothic
architecture and detailed ceiling frescoes are magnificent to behold. It's a
short cab/car ride away from the Gateway of India.
Global Vipassana Pagoda
monument is perfect for those who seek a Vipassana spiritual immersion. You can
sign up for guided meditation courses that last for days. If you have no plans
for a spiritual trip, just seeing the impressively pillarless dome structure
and gilded facade of this site is well worth it. Inside you will find the relics
of Buddha and a massive 8,000-seater hall - the largest of its kind in the
world. The pagoda can be accessed via a ferry from Gorai Creek or MBMT bus from
the Aarey Milk Colony of Goregaon East, Chota Kashmir is a scenic park and lake
where you can take picnics and boat rides. Here you can see colorful birds and
immerse yourself in the tranquility of this no-vehicle oasis. Nature
enthusiasts would fall in love with its lush forest. Avoid visiting during the
monsoon season to get the best utdoor experience. The site is a rickshaw ride
away (about 5 km) from Goregaon station.
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Created on Oct 31st 2017 04:43. Viewed 582 times.