Starting point for almost every soul that wants to explore the city, this tour too starts from the Gateway of India, Mumbai’s very own victory arch, built to commemorate the landing of King George the fifth and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar. The Gateway of India was built as a symbol of the power of the British. Ironically, this beautiful structure also marked the end of the British rule, as the last infantry left Indian shores from the Gateway.
Further exploring fort area of Mumbai, Kala Ghoda literally Black Horse is a neighbourhood in South Mumbai area of Maharashtra state of India. The crescent-shaped precinct is the city’s premier art district. You will drive past large number of the city’s heritage buildings, and is full of museums, art galleries and educational institutions like the Jehangir Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Modern Art, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and The Arts Trust.
Post this, you get to see the Dabbawalas (Shut on weekends) or the 6 sigma workers of Mumbai sending over 5, 00, 000 boxes of lunch to their rightful owners with extreme precision. Studied by consultants and business schools for the secrets of their proclaimed near-flawless efficiency, the dabbawalas have been feted by British royals (Prince Charles) and titans of industry (Richard Branson) alike. Even FedEx, which supposedly knows something about logistics, has paid them a visit.
Further driving down to what’s presently called the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), this station has a unique place in Indian history. The first train of India departed from CST and travelled a distance of 40kms. Today, the station sees a footfall of nearly a million people daily.
Our next stop , a popular tourist spot known as the Dhobhi Ghat. It has the power to make your jaw drop. It is an area where the laundrymen, more popularly known as the Dhobhis, wash the clothes of Mumbai-folks. You will see the Dhobhis at work, flogging and beating the clothes tirelessly to ensure it is devoid of any stain. With nearly most of Mumbai’s washing done here, it comes as a little surprise that these guys can be safely christened as the ‘Washing Machines’ of Mumbai.
Next stop, Mani Bhavan is one of the few important places hallowed by Mahatma Gandhi’s close association.
Mani Bhavan, a modest two-storied building on the Laburnum Road in the comparatively quiet locality called Gamdevi, served as Gandhiji’s Bombay head-quarters for about seventeen long and eventful years (1917-1934). It was from Mani Bhavan that Gandhi initiated Civil Disobedience, Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Khadi and Khilafat movements.