Monday, March 17, 2008

INDIA, MUMBAI , March 17th and 18th 2008 Monday and Tuesday

Marvels of Mumbai

To experience the highlights of Mumbai, you must start with the city’s most famous landmark—the Gateway of India. This Indo-Saracenic archway was built in 1911. Continue on to the Victoria Terminus railway station, built during Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee year. It is an extraordinary conglomeration of domes, spires, Corinthian columns and minarets in a style described by journalist James Cameron as Victorian-Gothic-Saracenic-Italianate-Oriental-St. Pancras-Baroque. The first train in India left from this station in 1853; now, half a million commuters pass through the station every day. Next, you’ll stop at Mani Bhavan—Mahatma Gandhi’s Bombay base from 1917 to 1934. This building is now a museum and memorial to the famous leader of ‘non-violent non-cooperation’. The room he slept in has remained unchanged and still contains his bed and many of his personal possessions. From here you will drive to Dhobi Ghat where you can take advantage of a unique and colourful photo opportunity—laundry from all over Mumbai is brought to be soaped, soaked, boiled and beaten here. You will also visit the Prince of Wales Museum with its white Mughal-style dome by architect George Wittet. Inside, you will find displays of jade, Mughal Empire weapons, 3rd-century BC terra cotta figures from Gandhara—a former colony of Alexander the Great. However, the museum’s main attraction is a superb collection of Indian paintings, illustrated manuscripts and exquisite miniatures. 

The Queen's Necklace: Mumbai by Night

Ride through the city during the early evening hours. Some of the highlights you will see include the Indo-Saracenic Gateway of India, where you’ll stop to take photos; then, you will continue on to Marine Drive. You will follow Marine Drive, with its glittering lights visible from across the bay. Known as the Queen’s Necklace, this road boasts beautiful views of the ocean and its graceful curve is a favorite evening promenade for the locals. Continue past Chowpatty Beach and many old Victorian buildings that are charmingly illuminated at night. Your guide will point out the fine Victorian Gothic architecture of the Victoria Terminus, which is the main railway station of Mumbai and was built during Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee year. The first train in India began its journey from there in 1853. After the drive, you will return to the ship. 


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