Bay of Bombay.
Bay of Bombay from Malabar Hill. Foreground: Chowpatty Beach.

Bombay, or Mumbai as it has been renamed recently, is an island (formerly seven islands, slowly consolidated by land reclamation) joined by bridges to the continent, and looks like a peninsula that sticks approximately South into the Arabian Sea. Malabar Hill is a posh residential area in the north end of the bay, and it boasts the Hanging Gardens; just south is Chowpatty beach, where most activity begins at dusk. Further south and east the city is commerce on streets and markets, intermixed with housing, teeming with cars and scooters and pedestrians, and yes, the occasional cow. Near the south end of the bay (Nariman point), turning inland (east) one gets to Churchgate, and a little further northeast is the other large train terminal, VT. Across, the east coast of Bombay is mostly docks, but it still has, further south, the genteel atmosphere lent by the Gateway of India monument and the Taj Mahal hotel. This ultra-posh, most traditional hotel was built early this century by a prominent Indian industrialist, because, it is rumored, he was denied entry to a British-run establishment.

Monumental Architecture

Taj Mahal hotel, at Gateway of India. Gateway of India. Cris at the Gateway of India.
Taj Mahal Hotel; Gateway of India (by G. Wittet) and Taj; Cris at Gateway.

Lobby, Taj Mahal Hotel. Buggy in front of Taj's entrance.
The Taj's lobby; a buggy in front.

Night view, Gateway of India. Gateway of India park, Taj Hotel in back, night view.
At night: Gateway of India; its park with Taj Hotel, background.

Elphinstone Bldg., Fort district. Flora Fountain.
Downtown (the Fort): Elphinstone Bldg.; Flora Fountain (Hutatma Chowk: Martyrs' square).

Churchgate train station, from the West. Churchgate Station, from the South.
Churchgate station (Western Railway): West and South views.

Victoria Terminus, Bombay. Building across from Victoria Terminus.
Victoria Terminus (Central R.); opposite, Municipal Corporation, both by F. W. Stevens.

Commerce is the streets

Street snacks, near Churchgate. Water sold on street, near Gateway of India. Lunchtime near V.T.
Street offers: snacks, water, and a full meal cooked before your eyes.

Street shoe store. Street vendor: clothing. Mini drugstore.
Stores need no store: shoes, clothes, drugstore in a box.

Crawford Market, North of V.T. Inside Crawford Market. Bazaar near Crawford Market. >
Crawford Market area: fruits, veggies, and much more.

Idle trucks. Water cart, outside Victoria Terminus. Hand carts.
Goods trucks (notice `horn please' signs); hand carts are better in the alleys.

Eating out

K & R serenaded at Casa M. Purohits veggie Gujarati restaurant. Inside Leopoldo's, Fashion Lane.
Food and Song at Casa Mexico, Oberoi Hotel; Gujarati food at Purohit's, near Churchgate; Leopoldo's, Mahatma Gandhi Rd. (aka Fashion Lane!).

Street snapshots

An alley in Bombay. Posh Atomic Energy Dept. housing, Malabar Hill.
Crooked streets are common; Posh Malabar Hill apartments.

Movie bill, near V.T.
More movies are produced in Bombay than in Hollywood.

Double decker bus at Victoria Terminus. Bus stop, BOM. Inside a taxi.
Double decker at VT; Bus stop near Churchgate; Inside a cab.

Hanging Gardens, Malabar Hill

Hanging Gardens, Malabar Hill. Hanging Gardens, Malabar Hill.
A place for people to relax from the pressures of city life...

Penguin eats rubbish, Hanging Gardens. Vegetarian Rhinoceros, Hanging Gardens.
Couple guarded by rubbish-eating penguin; Vegetarian rhinoceros.

Chowpatty Beach

People hanging out, Chowpatty Beach. Men washing clothes in Arabian sea, Chowpatty Beach.
Cooling off at dusk on the beach; Waterless men doing their wash.

Monkey working in Chowpatty Beach. Monkey, Chowpatty Beach.
Monkey dances to percussion; Locals take in the show.

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© Cris 1998-Y2K updated 1998/10/04