Day 2 Experiencing India. Chris and I woke up early with jet lag and headed down to breakfast at about 8:00 am. We met in the dining hall with the other travel agents who are masters of trip planning.
The same as we did for the other meals, we had eaten at the hotel so far. The menu for each meal was so diverse.
It had cuisines from all over India and Japan. We found out that Japanese cuisine was available because a lot of visitors and travelers from Japan come here. But since COVID hit, there have been far fewer people from Japan who come to India.
They also informed us that tourists from outside India frequently visit the Oberoi which was a 52-minute drive to Jaipur Airport. During this same era though, the Oberoi Hotels had many wealthy Indians stay at their hotels. This was important for them to be getting local customers during such a tough time in their economy.
We enjoyed until the very last bite of our 5-star breakfast. And then put on our walking shoes to set out on our morning Day 2 walking tour of Mumbai.
Together with the other participants and our tour guide, we gathered and headed out to explore this stunning city. Once we exited the hotel property, life was happening everywhere. People washing their cars, walking their kids to school, horns honking, women cooking meals outside, etc. I can really say that India has colorful culture from what I see on this trip of a lifetime.
The beauty and creativity embedded in the everyday routines of these individuals captivated us. They carried out their tasks in a practical manner. Infused with an artistic flair that added an extra touch of beauty and creativity. And that added an extra layer of enchantment to their daily lives.
Walking past Thomas Anglican Church, we could hear the service going on. Despite our best efforts, Chris and I were unable to attend at this time due to our day itinerary.
Next, we encountered a place called Dhobi Ghat. It was extraordinary. Women come to this wash house to clean clothes and bedding. The hospital will use those or sell them as second-hand items.
These strong women would wash and beat the clothes and then hang them to dry and repeat. We were amazed to see how beautiful chaos could be so organized.
Next, we eagerly approached the bustling Gateway of India, which greeted us with an overwhelming crowd, to say the least. It was the most people Chris and I had seen in one place in a long time! People taking pictures, up against each of your shoulders, and little room between you and the next person, if any.
Our focus lay not so much on the people but rather on the sheer awe-inspiring magnitude of this monument. Also, the immense historical significance that envelops it. Its presence held us spellbound as we stood before it, enthralled by the profound richness of its storied past.
This historical relic honors and depicts the legacy of British colonial rule. The Jewish Community also uses it to light their menorah. Because of such importance, the security was very heavy (some even with guns!).
We drove to the next Tank called the Banganga, which was about a mile away. Afterward, we drove a large bus through narrow roads that even a smart car barely fit! Negotiating with everyone along the road and being a part of it was an enjoyable experience.
Upon arriving at the tank, a crowd had gathered around it. They have been lamenting the loss of their loved ones and performing rituals in memory of their lost relatives and friends. Some were even throwing flowers, rice, and ashes into the water.
Ancient legends speak of this place as a sanctuary where Lord Rama and his brother sought refuge. During their valiant quest to rescue Sita, Lord Rama’s beloved wife. In the epic tale, they found solace and strength as they sought refuge here during their noble quest.
The Lord asked his brother to get him a drink of water. The brother looked around and did not see any, so he shot his arrow into the ground.
Suddenly, fresh water started rushing from the hole and made a beautiful water source for all the people to come to. That is where the name “Banganga” comes from, meaning Arrow. Despite being strongly discouraged, a few individuals daringly swam in the waters, risking their safety and well-being.
After experiencing some of India’s rich culture, we headed to the Wellington Club. An exclusive, members-only club to have lunch. The place had an incredibly refreshing lap pool and outdoor seating area, allowing us to bask in the delightful weather. With temperatures in the pleasant 70s, the atmosphere felt absolutely perfect, creating an ideal setting for relaxation and enjoyment.
We felt like VIPs because the prominent members of Mumbai Society regard this club as the most elite in the country.
Joining this community requires not only being born into it but also obtaining permission for a member’s child to become a part of it and partake in the fun. They served us a delightful Indian-style variation of tapas. Small plates of different Indian foods that were all exquisite.
A place called the Ambani House, boasting 27 stories, sits right near this exclusive sports club. Mukesh Ambani is a well-known businessperson throughout India.
He is in second place on Fortune’s India Rich List of 2022. He is the 11th richest person in the world. We were just looking up in awe and could not believe that only 5 people lived in that tall tower.
Once we had explored the town’s highlights, The Oberoi’s sister hotel, the Trident, graciously escorted us to their premises. Then we dined at India Jones restaurant. There was so much delicious food from start to finish of the course.
We couldn’t resist indulging and ended up eating to our heart’s content, leaving our stomachs filled to the brim. It was like never before in a long time! I would definitely enroll in an Indian cooking class after this trip! Everything we eat so far was very delicious!
We do have to say that there was no shortage of delicious food on this trip! (Chili Relish, glazed tofu, wild mushrooms, curries, etc.).
hat night the tailor came back with all the clothes he had made for Chris. Chris tried the jacket, shirts, and trousers, and they fit perfectly! We were off to bed after the exciting Day 2 Experiencing India Trip.
Hold your horses; on our following days here, we’ll be touring the other regions of India, the Golden Triangle, the Taj Mahal, or maybe the Hawa Mahal also known as the Palace of Winds.
Read: Day 1 Experiencing India Trip, Day 3 Experiencing India Trip, Day 4 Experiencing India Trip