Mumbai is like traveling back in time for westerner travelers. All over south Mumbai (the wealthiest part of the city) you have a feeling that time stood still in the 40’s or 50’s. People dress conservatively – walking around in shorts made me feel like I was walking naked by the looks I got from the locals. You never see a woman’s legs, they always wear colorful saris and interesting jewelry, but most of their body is covered with fabric, even on a hot and humid summer day at the tropics.
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As a contrast, if you go to the Taj Mahal Hotel or the Oberoi Hotel in south Mumbai, you will be in a world of luxury, unthinkable for most of the Indian population. But it’s worth to try the Falooda (a milk based shake with rose syrup) at the Sea Lounge.
A visit to Victoria Station is another must when visiting Mumbai. An UNESCO’s world heritage site, it’s an amazing mix of architectural styles. The Crawford market is a horror show at open air that took me totally by surprise and it’s something that I will not easily forget. You have to see to believe.
Another big thing in India is Bollywood. The thriving movie industry in Mumbai feed the dreams of 1,2 billion people around the country. Unknown to the rest of the world, Bollywood stars are adored by their people. I attended a birthday party while in Mumbai and saw a show with Bollywood musical numbers. Click here to watch the video!
Religion is also a big part of India’s culture. Several religions exist peacefully together – Parsi, Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Sikh… to visit to a temple and witness the faith of this poverty stricken people is an unforgettable and moving experience.
Now my journey continues in India. Next stop New Delhi for a night before leaving to Agra and visit one of the seven wonders of the world… the Taj Mahal. Stay tune!