Mumbai: An Englishman Who Never Sleeps

Tuesday, September 05, 2017
Formerly known as Bombay; Mumbai is the most populous and wealthiest city in India. An estimate of the city population lands around 18.4 million people, which includes the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India. In 2008 Mumbai was named an alpha world city and is also called the Asia city which never sleeps or the Commercial Capital of India. It was heavily colonized by the British up until 1947, when India gains independence.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or CST Mumbai Railway Staion, India
The British did not leave Mumbai without a mark. Architectural structures and buildings are still characterized by the British kinda Gothic styles. Double-decker busses still run in the streets and you can't help but feel like you're walking inside a European capital.

Double-Decker Bus in the streets of Mumbai, India
The British also left a few fountains behind. One of the most well-visited is Flora Fountain, which stands on the site of the old church gate of the Bombay Fort, now a major crossroad named Hutatma Chowk. It was erected to honour Sir Bartle Frere, a former governor of Bombay and named after the Greek goddess Flora.
Besides erecting fountains, the Englishmen also erected Cathedrals, which are open for visit and also well-used by the local Christians. Some of the cathedrals houses memory plates for sailors who lost their lives during the East India Trading Company times. One of these is the St. Thomas Cathedral.

St. Thomas Cathedral in Mumbai, India
During the British Empire's rule in Mumbai, ships where the common transport for arriving in Mumbai. So the British built a 26 meter (86 ft.) high arch. The monument would be the first thing visitors saw upon arriving in Mumbai. Hence the name "Gateway of India". Today, the most prominent landmark of the city.

Gateway of India in Mumbai, India
Right next to the Gateway of India there's another prominent building. The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai's first harbour landmark. Built in 1903 and the site of the first licensed bar in the city. For more than a century, the Taj has played an intrinsic part in the life of the city, hosting Maharajas, dignitaries and the eminent personalities from a across the globe.

The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, India
Passing through the Colaba area, which are stuffed with street vendors selling everything from clothes, watches to books or souvenirs. A perfect place for a bargin, before heading to Nariman Point. A district of business, which also holds Mantralaya; the administrative headquarters of the state government of Maharashtra.

Mantralaya government building in the Nariman Point district of Mumbai, India
Exiting Nariman Point onto Marina Drive you'll pass several statues, monuments and even modern art sculptures.

Modern Art Face Statue in the Nariman Point District of Mumbai, India
Eulogized by Bollywood, Marine Drive caresses the seashore from Nariman Point to the foot of the Malabar Hill. Passing Chowpatty Beach, Marine Drive is also famous as the Queen's Necklace. One of the busiest roads in Mumbai, it is also one of the breeziest due to it's proximity to the sea.

Marine Drive in Mumbai, India
Along the Marina Drive and pretty much anywhere from CST to Nariman Point old taxis are running the streets. Taxis of the model Premier Padmini, with "sofas" instead of seats, gear in the steering wheel and sometimes loose breaks. Grabbing a ride can be quite the experience for car enthusiasts.

Premier Padmini Taxi on Marina Drive in Mumbai, India
Mumbai is one of the most vibrant and lively metropols in India, if not THE most vibrant. Whether you're planning to travel India for a week or a month, the Englishman who never sleeps should most definitely be on your bucket list.

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