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Travel in and around Mumbai
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
- St. Augustine
Mumbai - the city of dreams, the cultural melting pot, the sweltering metropolis, the city of sin - whatever you may call it, is the commercial capital of India, and the biggest city in India in terms of the population.
A bit of history:
A bit of history in a travelogue always helps put things in perspective, and helps read between the lines when you are doing sightseeing.
The city of Bombay originally consisted of seven islands, namely Colaba, Mazagaon, Old Woman's Island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, and Matunga-Sion. This group of islands, which have since been joined together by a series of reclamations, formed part of the kingdom of Ashoka, the famous Emperor of India. Read more on the following links...
Many people, especially the ones from the rest of India, find the names of the suburban train stops in Mumbai quite amusing. Hence I decided to devote a page to those who would like to delve deeper into the logic behind these names! You can find the page here.
Places of interest in Mumbai:
You can find out about the touristy things you can do while you are in Mumbai here.
Books about Mumbai:
Shantaram, by Gregory David
Roberts - this one is my absolute favorite, and by a huge margin! The
author of the book, after escaping form a high security prison in New
Zealand for charges of armed robbery and drug abuse, arrives in Mumbai
in the beginning of 1982. The book talks about the author's experiences
of Mumbai, its people and places, its culture, and the habits of its
people. What makes the book special is that it gives you a view of
Mumbai from the eyes of a westerner, an outsider, who falls madly in
love with the city, purely for what it is. And what the author has to
say is not shallow - he has been there and done that. He lived in the
slums of Mumbai, spent months in a remote Maharashtrian village,
traveled on the roof of Mumbai's local trains, and even worked with the
Mumbai underworld and got involved in gang wars!
City - Bombay Lost and Found, by Suketu Mehta - contrary to the
above book - Shantaram - Suketu is a Mumbai native and provides an
insider's account of the city - now rechristened Mumbai - and its
various facets. His insightful observations, his obvious love, and the
pitiful deterioration of the city - due to infrastructure issues, crime,
religious conflicts - and the author's pain show through in this
narrative. Certainly among the best contemporary books written about
Weekend Getaways from Mumbai