Highlights of Bombay
Duration: 4 1/2 hours
Tour Code: mum-001
The fastest growing, most affluent and industrialized city in India, Mumbai represents the ever-changing face of today's India - the old coupled with the dynamic new. Begin with a drive along Marine Drive, a winding stretch of road with tall buildings on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. Due to its curved shape and many street lights, it was once called the Queen's Necklace.
Departing the pier, you'll take in some of the elements and sights that have shared a long association and typified the city, starting with a spiritual experience at ISKCON; the amazing temple of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The god Krishna often blue and playing a flute has a mischievous nature and his peasant background and legendry exploits with the milkmaids have made him of the most popular gods. Krishna devotees believe the material body is subjected to birth, old age, disease and death, whereas the spirit soul is by nature eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. You'll be able to witness the prayer chanting offered for the welfare of humanity in this stunning temple.
Re-boarding your bus, you'll drive up to posh Malabar hill making a stop at the Hanging Gardens, to experience the city's most exclusive neighborhood. Sought after since the 18th century for its forested slopes, fresh sea breeze and panoramic views, the landscape here is dotted with luxury mansions and bungalows built by wealthy merchants and colonial generals alongside modern high-rises.
Continuing on, it's a photo stop at colorful Dhobi Ghat, a once-in-a-lifetime sight where thousands of pieces of clothing are sent each day to be hand-laundered, dried and ironed by Mumbai's dhobi wallahs or laundry men and women. Continue with a visit to Mani Bavan, the Gandhi Memorial. This famous house used to be the Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi, and is where he was arrested in 1932. The memorial contains a reference library with over 2,000 books, memorabilia and a photo feature on the Mahatma's life. Cross the city, with photo stops at the High Court, Churchgate Station, and the magnificent Victoria Terminus with its exquisite ornamentation and carvings of peacocks, gargoyles, monkeys, elephants and British lions mixed up among the buttresses. Spend time at the Prince of Wales Museum, opened in 1923 and built to commemorate King George V's royal visit to India. Exhibits in the museum include an impressive collection of artifacts from Elephanta Island, Jogeshwari Caves, ivory carvings, terracotta figurines from the Indus valley, and a large collection of miniature paintings.
The last stop is the impressive Gateway of India. Another structure built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911, the Gateway is considered the principal landmark of Mumbai. Standing over 85 feet high, the archway was built in the 16th-century Gujarat style, with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone. Return to the pier following your photo stop at the Gateway.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing and there are several steps to negotiate at some of the venues visited. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light-weight cotton clothing; sun glasses; sunscreen; socks; and flat comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Shoes and shorts are not allowed in temples.