Time to tour again! YAY! In a trip packed full with clinics any opportunity to get some of the Indian flavor is welcome.
We hired a car to take us to see some of the local sites. Our driver speaks pretty good English and is anxious to show us more than we’re asking for. But we have to curtail his enthusiasm so we can be back in time for our late appointment with Rotunda.
First we are going to go to the hanging gardens but on our way we finally get a shot of a cow in the city. This one happens to be on the end of a leash – rather than wandering the streets without an attachment. But we’re happy to finally catch one. Mumbai has far fewer than Delhi, but they’re still here and still sacred. On our way we also spotted a very cool Hindu Temple – replete with giant elephant. We stopped like typical tourists to take pictures. Not being dressed appropriately for an indoor visit we had to be satisfied with some outdoor pictures. The temple was under renovation, but was still colorful and exotic. Try as I may to figure the name of the temple I can’t find the paper I wrote it on – so if anyone recognizes it from these photos, please post the name for me! There was this delicious bakery next door if that helps.
Next stop, Mumbai’s famed Hanging Gardens. What you’d expect: Lush pots filled with overflowing plants dangling to the ground. What it is: a lovely park built over a water table. Very beautiful, but not at all what we were expecting.
Off to Gandhi’s house. For anyone too young to recall or who hasn’t come across him in their studies of non-violent conflict resolution, Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world. Born in1869, trained as a barrister, he was an aesthete who lived with minimal possessions and fought the injustices of the underdog (including the Indians who remained under British rule until their independence, and also untouchables) with Gandhi at the forefront. He was killed in 1948 by what appears to be an assassin. The house in Mumbai we visited was his home from 1914- 1934. It told his life in dioramas, and photos of his life.
Time for laundry – fortunately not my own. Dhobi Ghat is called the world’s largest outdoor laundry, where rows of open-air concrete pens are each fitted with their own flogging stone.. It’s located next to a train station and we got a great bird’s eye view from the bridge of Mahalaxmi station. I also heard they made a Bollywood movie by the same name in 2011 – now I have to Netflix that one!
Final tourist stop – an art festival near our hotel – the Kalah Goda Arts Festival. There, between booths of Indian national artisans are fabulous pieces of artwork commenting on modern India, including the recent rape that caught international attention (. Clearly this was more than a tourist attraction. Throngs of people lined up to see the wares and artwork , eat top restaurant food, and have their photos taken with Bollywood stars!