Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 4 : The Spiritual Mumbai


Here I am back again. Too tired to blog honestly because I had a long long long but an AWESOME & MEMORABLE day.  

Back home, when I was reading about places to visit in Mumbai, I realized that the city has got a lot to offer when it comes to spirituality. So, at that time only I decided that I am gonna visit the following places in a single day : 

1. Siddhivinayak Mandir 
2. Haji Ali Dargah
3. Mahaluxmi Mandir
4. Mumba Devi Mandir

and my twitter friend Ajit ( @Ajitwrites ) asked me to not to miss out the ISKCON temple of Juhu and Madhusmita ( @JustMadhusmita ) was very keen on me visiting the Mount Mary Church. So, I decided I would add both these places to my list too. 

Yesterday when I was with Dheera ( @Dheera_ ), she asked me about my plans for today and when I told her, she said that she would try and join me and Rishika but would confirm today morning. Yesternight only, she BBMed me saying that she is on for today and that added to the excitement. Dheera also offered that she would take us to all the places as she knows the city quite well.  

Today morning, Rishika's plan got changed and she decided to watch the latest bollywood flick playing "Gangs Of Wasseypur" . I was a bit upset about the fact that she would not be with us, but its okay. Dheera and me decided to meet near Gold Spot Factory in Andheri around 1 P.M. 

After having breakfast and all, I was talking to my mamaji and mamiji as they were leaving for Jaipur tonight. Right now they are on their way to Jaipur. So, I told them that I would definitely come with them to the station and will be back home by 9:00 P.M. 

So, got ready and left home at 12:30 dot and took an auto-rickshaw to the decided place and at exact 1 I met her. We were all set to roll and as per Hindu rituals we decided to begin our tour with Ganesh Ji. 

While on our way to Siddhivinayak, Dheera told me that we would be taking the Bandra Worli Sea Link or Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link to go to the temple. I was so excited about the fact. It took almost 9 years to make this sea link and it looks AWESOME. That 7 Km drive is sheer pleasure but the toll tax that you have to pay to use it is quite high (Approx Rs.82 including return, if I am not wrong) . As soon as we entered the sea link, I was mesmerized. You get to see a whole new look of the city from that Sea Link. Every penny and each second you spend on it is totally worth it.

Sea has always been special to Mumbai. I feel its the Sea only that makes Mumbai what it is. Every city has its own pros and cons but it is all about how you take it.

Siddhivinayak Mandir :

Ganpati Bappa Morya!!! 

So, from the sea link we directly drove towards the temple in about 10 mins we reached there. Dheera was worried about where to park her car but we got lucky that we got a proper parking place. As soon as we were about to come out of the car, rains started. Mumbai rains are very unpredictable. We decided to wait for a few minutes and it was worth it. Rains stopped. Tuesday is considered as the day of Ganpati at Siddhivinayak. I was told by my cousin that it would take around 3-4 hours for me to have darshan there. But it hardly took 30 mins for me and Dheera to go inside and come out and had almost PERFECT darshan there. I think Ganpati Bappa made some special arrangements for me only. On that note, I would like to say it again


Haji Ali Dargah : 

Straight from Siddhivinayak temple, we headed towards Haji Ali. Its right in the middle of the sea and you have to walk through a special bridge sort of a path to reach there. As there was no parking space available, me and Dheera decided to park her car in a mall and took a cab for Haji Ali. We went inside the area from where that path starts and got some flowers and other things to offer to Baba Haji Ali. As soon as we started walking towards mosque, we observed that it was high tide and as it was hitting that path, the sea water was all over it. Quite a mesmerizing scene it was. Suddenly, in no time, it started raining heavily. We both were in the middle of that path and had nowhere to go. THE VIEW THOSE RAINS OFFERED WAS MIND BOGGLING. Honestly, I had never seen such a beautiful view in my entire life.You get the whole view of the city from that path and while its raining, the city looked majestic. Dheera and Me had goosebumps, we were totally drenched and high tides of the sea played a role in that along with the rains. As soon as we entered the mosque, it stopped raining. Haji Ali Baba welcomed me in his own style and showed me his city in a completely different light. Offered my prayers and then we came back to the mall. Filled ourselves with Mc'Donalds burger and hot coffee and we were all set for our next destination.

Mahaluxmi Temple :

Mahaluxmi temple was a disappointment. We couldn't get a parking space there so we decided to go inside the temple and offer our prayers from outside only. But I will try and visit this temple again in coming days.

Mumba Devi Mandir : 

On our way to Mumba Devi, Dheera showed me the world's costliest building "Antilla" built by Mukesh Ambani. The building is an epitome of modern architecture. On our way, Dheera was telling me about her life and stories about different places, bollywood celebrities etc. We entered that area which was set up by Britishers. Crossed Mumbai University which has got amazing architecture. Mumbai police headquaters and many other place. We also crossed Jahangir Art gallery, Marine Drive on our way to the temple. Finally we reached near Mumba Devi and parked our car and decided to walk down towards the temple. Mumba Devi temple is located in the heart of Zaveri Bazaar ( The jewellery market of Mumbai). After a 15 minute walk we reached the temple, offered our prayers and came back. While on our way back, we crossed Marine Drive, Worli Sea Face and again Bandra Worli Sea Link and entered Bandra.

Mount Mary Church : 

Mount Mary Church is one of the oldest churches of Mumbai. Actor John Abraham lives very close to this church. It has got a beautiful architecture. When we entered the church, we were mesmerized by its beauty. It offered the much needed peace of mind that a person looks for at the end of a long tiring day. We sat there for a few minutes, offered our prayers to the almighty and left the church.

The last destination left was ISCKON temple Juhu, but before that Dheera decided to show me Shah Rukh Khan's house Mannat at Bandstand which is in Bandra only. Mannat is a very beautiful property and too many people were standing outside expecting SRK to come out and wave to them. Right opposite to Mannat, there is Bandstand beach. You can see all the couples in love sitting their and chatting. One of the nicest things about Mumbai is "Nobody cares what the other person is up to" unlike Delhi, where your neighbor knows much more about you than you know about yourself. No one really cares and likes other interfering in one's business.

So, we drove on the road right next to Bandstand beach and headed towards Juhu. Dheera told me that too many bollywood celebs live in Bandra and you can spot them every now and then. She also showed me former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen's house too.

ISKCON Temple, Juhu : 

ISKCON stands for International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Honestly, their temples are the most organized and clean temples you would find anywhere. With the help of Google Maps, we located the temple and finally reached it. It was around 6:45 P.M when we reached there, parked our car and went inside. I have been to many ISKCON temples since I was a child, but Dheera was going there for the first time. She was mesmerized by the beautifully dressed idols of gods and goddesses and the paintings that were done on the walls. After spending like 15 mins in the temple we left for Andheri.

Dheera finally dropped me at Juhu Circle, where I had to wait for almost 20 minutes to cross the road. Finally somehow I managed it and waited for another 10 minutes to get a cab to return home. My mamaji and mamiji had to leave for Jaipur tonight so me and cousin decided to drop them at Bombay Central Station. Anyhow, I had to reach home by 9:00 P.M so I asked Cab driver that I will pay you extra if you drop me home by 9:00. The driver was from U.P and we exchanged a few words. I also told him that I am from U.P so he got all nostalgic. He somehow managed to drop me home at 8:45 and when I offered him extra money, he refused by saying "Aap toh apne area ke ho, aapse extra nahin lunga". So nice of him.

I reached home, dry cleaned myself for the next task of the day. We all  had decided to take Local from Kanjur Marg Station which is close to the place where I am staying. We took a slow local till Dadar which is on the Central line and then changed our line to Western Line and reached BCT (Bombay Central Terminus). After dropping them at the station, while on our way back I had a Vada Pav (Yes, I am in love with it) and somehow by 11:30 we managed to reach home. My cousin was sharing his experiences with the Mumbai Local when he was new in the city.

So, that was all about how I spent my day today. What I observed today is there is vast faith in God in the heart of every human being but sadly religions have divided it. I know I am touching a controversial topic here, but  honestly, I dont believe in religions and all. We humans are much above than this whole religion system and high time people realize it and stop ridiculing each other on the name of religion.

So, thats all for today. I have another long day waiting for me tomorrow and my eyelids are getting really heavy now, so no proof reading for this post and excuse me for all the grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Signing Off.


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