India is the land of festivals but Diwali is certainly one of the most anticipated festivals of India. Like many others, I am always excited to celebrate this festival with my friends, family and colleagues. One of the best things about Diwali is that people from all walks of life and different religions, regions and state celebrate it with the same joy and excitement. It is the festival of lights that inspires all of us to spread the love and happiness and to drive away the darkness, sorrow and negativity within and around us. Being a shopaholic, shopping is what excites me during the festive season and being a Mumbaikar I am always looking for places for Diwali shopping in Mumbai.
Museums have always attracted me since my college days. I love to explore and read and check out the objects and paintings that are on display. Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum surprised me with its classy interiors and the number of objects they have on display. In terms of size, the Prince of Wales Museum is definitely larger, but Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum is no less. The moment you enter the museum the interior décor of the museum captures your attention. The long hall of the museum makes it look grand right away.
Museums are the windows into the history. It might sound like a boring quiet place where all you see is artefacts from the earlier times. However, when you look closely each one has its story and importance. Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum is not a huge museum when you look at the building, but it stores around 3,500 objects revolving around Mumbai’s history. The museum has photographs, books, textiles, maps, lacquer ware, manuscripts, and weaponry and exquisite pottery which engulfs you into its beauty and craftsmanship. In the first part of this three-part series, we read about the history of Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, once known as the Victoria and Albert Museum. In this part, we focus on its revival and the renaming of the museum to its current name.
Mumbai, once known as Bombay is the city of contrasts. It is home to the billionaires of India and also to some of the poorest who live on the streets. Here you will find people working for hours to make their ends meet. In addition, you’ll find people just sitting idle watching the crowd pass by. Mumbai provides a view of the modern India but still retains its history. In this three-part series, we explore the history of Mumbai. Before I proceed, I would like to thank the museum officials for their quick email note. In addition, for allowing me to take pictures and for providing me guided tour and sharing information. All images are courtesy of Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum and clicked without using any camera flash.
Have you ever felt this feeling that some places call you subconsciously? I mean like the moment you heard about it or seen it in pictures you get this feeling that you have to visit this place. Well, a few weeks ago, I was working on a blog post of Vasai Fort, which is now already on the site. However, when I was clicking pictures I was attracted by this towering golden structure which is visible from the Vasai Fort (at least if you have a good zoom capability camera). So, when I and Sarah were home we decided to visit this place and see if we can experience it in person. We researched on it and got in touch with the concerned authorities to help us write more on the place.
As a travel blogger, I have visited different cities across India. However, so far I haven’t come across any Indian city that matches the spirit of Mumbai. Of course, you can say I’m biased. I was born and brought up in this city that fuels the economy of India. However, even those who are not from Mumbai would agree with me. Often Mumbai is compared with New York City and London as both these cities are economic powerhouses in their own countries. However, I believe every city has its soul and character which is quite unique in its own way. Now, I can go on and on bragging about what Mumbai has to offer. However, I will stick to top 7 reasons why I love Mumbai and why it is the best city in the country.
Recently, while I was working on my client’s projects I came across an article in an Indian newspaper. The article mentioned that Mumbai, India’s Maximum City, has been ranked among the top 20 expensive cities in the world. While London was ranked ahead of New York and Hong Kong, Mumbai, my birth city, was the only Indian city that made it to the list. The news further tells us that all the top cities are most expensive for businesses and workers to occupy. This means that the report only focuses on the real estate segment and does not take into consideration the average lifestyle and living conditions. Ironically, Mumbai is often voted as the most expensive city in India, but I can assure you that majority of the Mumbai population survives on less than Rs. 20000 per month (that’s US$300). To all those who grumble about the rising cost of the city, let me tell you this – Mumbai is all about finding options. The city is open to all from beggars to millionaires; therefore all you need to do is find what you want. If you are in the Maximum City on a limited budget for business purposes, or if you are visiting someone just for a day or two, here are some ways on how to survive in Mumbai at a minimum cost.
In the final part of the birds in Vasai-Virar series, I will be focusing on the urban garden Vasai birds. Most of these birds are found in Vasai-Virar region throughout the year. However, that does not mean that these birds are easy to photograph. While some birds are always close to human civilization some birds still prefer to be left alone and they take some time to be discovered. If you have not read the previous part of the series you can read more about Vasai aquatic birds here and Vasai forest and grassland birds here.
In the previous post, I mentioned about the aquatic birds in Vasai. These migratory birds are usually in Vasai during the monsoon period from July to September when small lakes and ponds appear all over the places offering better conditions for these birds to settle and breed and then move ahead. In this post, we move on to the forest and grassland Vasai birds and many of these resident Vasai birds are here throughout the year because they are not dependent only on fish for their food.
In my previous post, I wrote about the history of Vasai and how it has gradually become the Vasai as we know of today. So, in case you’ve missed that part, or if you are interested in the history of this place, I would recommend you read that before you proceed. However, if you are a nature lover Vasai is one place to visit especially during the monsoon season. Now, there are no special areas in Vasai-Virar region so I cannot recommend any particular places which you should visit. The region is quite vast and open and there’s a lot of greenery around which attracts the local and migratory aquatic Vasai birds to settle down here for some time before they continue their journey elsewhere.