The Tourist’s Digest; Mumbai Edition

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By Glenn Okayo

Mumbai, known as Bombay, is the city of dreams and the land of opportunities. It’s the capital of Maharashtra and financial as well as the industrial capital of India. It is also a vital seaport. This city is always bustling with people and traffic 24/7 and has the reputation that it does not sleep!

However, Mumbai is famous as it’s a prime hub of the Indian Film Industry – Bollywood. The most popular of these are the Elephanta Caves and the Gateway of India. There are also gardens, theme parks, and beautiful beaches. Those who like a good bargain can head to Fashion Street or Chor Bazaar for the latest in clothing and accessories. Though Mumbai is known all over the world for its street foods (especially the Vada Pav), it also offers various dining options from quaint coffee shops to award-winning restaurants. Home to people from various cultures, Mumbai is a true representation of the phrase ‘Unity in Diversity.’

Lifeline of Mumbai – Mumbai Local

The Mumbai Suburban Railway consists of an exclusive inner suburban railway to serve the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and it is spread over 300 km. Mumbai’s local train network is a part of the rich heritage of Mumbai. Mumbai locals are rightly called the lifeline of the city, with almost all of the city’s inhabitants relying on them to get to work or other destinations at some point of time. Many of them rely on these services on a daily basis. This is why Mumbai Suburban Railways operates over 2,300 train services every single day. People prefer to stay close to a railway station for easy access to the metropolis. Many city-dwellers lead a fast-paced life with very little time for other activities owing to a significant amount of time spent on daily commuting. But it is no surprise that overcrowding, here, reaches epic proportions. There’s also an app called m-Indicator which guides you through Mumbai locals. Also the most outsiders, but by its local trains and dabbawalas. They are both an integral part of the city, as Mumbaikars cannot function without their food. Dabbawalas who practically runs the city’s food delivery service depending on the city’s local trains to get to their various destinations.

Street Food
Mumbaikars are fond of street food, Maharashtrian food, Punjabi dishes, Chinese cuisine and sushi food. The city is always developing its food culture over the decades. The city is well known for distinctive street food. Since years Vada Pav, Ragda patties and pav bhaji are famous food items of Mumbaikars. Not only do Mumbaikars have a chance to taste some incredibly flavorful combinations of ingredients, but standing along the humid streets of Mumbai, watching countless people go by, is part of their experience. They try various snacks almost every evening. The most interesting thing about the street food of Mumbai is that people from all economic classes eat on the roadside and enjoy the taste of delicious food. People from Mumbai are the best example of Unity in diversity as they cut barriers of class, race, religion.

Street Shopping
Mumbai is famous for being a shopper’s paradise. A place often referred to as the City of Dreams or Maya Nagri, Mumbai is the ultimate manifestation of the new age Indian dream of making it big in a much-relaxed economy. At almost all places nearest to the station you can find street shopping stalls with gorgeous clothes and accessories, especially earrings, you can also find great bargains on home decor stuff such as lampshades, curios and antiques. You can also find designer stuff. Various places for best street shopping are Linking road, Hill Road, Colaba Causeway, Fashion Street, Hindmata market and so on.

Mumbai, the city of dreams houses the prime centre of Hindi film industry known as Bollywood. It almost produces 1000 movies per year. It’s one of the biggest film industries in the world. Since the origin of Bollywood, it has made a long journey starting from simple silent movies to sound films than from coloured movies to technically advanced movies. The 21st century brought immense popularity in Bollywood so much that films appeal to the audience of all segments. Bollywood movies and songs are widespread, streamed online and also offer subtitles in multiple languages. Tourists also take authentic Bollywood experiences by visiting a film studio, meeting stars Bollywood and by taking a tour of Film City.

Since 10 to 15 years trekking and camping have become a weekend activity for Mumbaikars. As Mumbaikars have 5 to 6 days working they love having adventure and thrill on the weekends. Campaigning is stress relieving, boosts up the mood and is enough to get through the toughest weeks. They don’t think about a frantic pace like being at the office or home – campaigning forces them to slow down a bit and somehow makes me better at living in the ‘now’.It builds a great connection being so much more aware of the natural sounds and the smells that modern brick buildings shield us from. Nature energises and centres Mumbaikars and campaigning is the best way found of getting a big prolonged dose of outdoorsy good stuff. Famous campaigning places in Mumbai are Pawna lake campaign, Karnala campaign and so on.

Mumbaikars are always keen to get away from the grind of daily life. A much-needed adrenaline rush is needed which is acquired by having a perfect adventurous trek. Mumbaikars define trekking as a form of meditation, by which they can focus consciously on each step and can feel the touch of the ground. Breathing the fresh air and feeling the calmness and peaceful mountainous scenery and diverse landscape will rejuvenate their inner soul. Beautiful Panorama and feeling lost in nature enhance mind and soul so completely. Mumbaikars get the opportunity to clear their mind and consider life in a new way. If any significant decision has to be taken, a trek away from home can help in changing one’s perspective.

Fitness has its own value and Mumbaikars are very cautious about their health which is why trekking is one of their favourite activities. The subconscious mind starts to remind you about the altitude, the high mountains, the walking distances and challenges to overcome and conscious mind starts to make pre-training planning, and your body begins taking action that brings benefits of building your stamina, bones and muscles before they embark. Mumbaikars take out time from their busy schedules for 4 to 6 hours a day and burn many calories while drinking lots of water helps to purify the overall body. Famous trekking places in Mumbai are Mahuli Fort, Kanheri caves in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Tungareshwar which is between Virar and Vasai and so on.

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