We thought we had seen a lot of people at the Gateway to India, but it was a close tie with Church Gate Station. After waking up and having breakfast, the group headed over to Church Gate Station to check out one of the busiest places in all of Mumbai. It is the main train station, and it is in the center of the city. The main reason for visiting the train station was to see the Dabbawalas in action. Dabbawala’s, some people say, are what makes Mumbai run.
A “Dabba” is a meal time that these people deliver food in. The Dabbawala are said to carry more than 130,000 lunches in dabbas per day and they deliver every day of the week except Sunday. They have this delivery system that has been studied by many, even Harvard, and no one can quite figure out how they are so precise. There are about 5,000 of these men delivering food each day as well.
Not all the deliverers are literate. Because of this, they use codes and signals such as the color of a Dabba or a code to display where and to whom it goes. They are the food delivery service with the least number of mistakes in the world. The Dabbawalas are only shown to show around 300 mistakes throughout their 80 million deliveries in a year. Crazy! We loved getting to see behind the scenes of this spectacular tradition.
After marveling at the wonder of the Dabbawala’s we had to get ready and head to the airport to fly to Udaipur for our next adventure. I have to admit, the traffic to the airport was bad. Chris and I’s eyes were glued to the window at all of the beautiful chaos as we left Mumbai.
There were even cows all around us on the way and some even crossed the road. The security at the airport was very heavy. They made us take out every electronic battery we had and all their cables, it took us the two hours that we arrived early just to clear all the checkpoints.
We had a good flight to Udaipur and from there headed on to The Oberoi Udaivilas Udaipur. We drove up and it was like a computer screen background, unreal. This 5-star hotel was stunning and decorated with the most Indian beautiful colors. The staff, who were dressed in royal orange uniforms, greeted us with dancers, smiles, and camels! They gave whoever wanted the opportunity of riding the Camels, a chance to ride them around the courtyard.
Chris and I were content just watching the celebration. After this 30 min VIP entrance greeting, we headed inside. As we entered the building there was a downpour of bright red rose petals from above. The staff was on the next floor showering us with these beautiful flowers and it felt like we were in a fairytale. I do not think it gets more romantic than that!
They had champagne and snacks waiting for us in the main courtyard overlooking the water. We all drank, laughed, and soaked in the beauty of our beautiful home for the next few nights. After some good chats, Chris and I headed up to our room to get ready for dinner
We headed down to the main private dining hall. It had a piercing dark blue dome ceiling that was hard to stop staring at. Beautiful glass chandeliers hung down effortlessly from all over. Chris and I had another amazingly prepared Indian Meal with some of the other group members and then headed to bed after a very exciting Day 3.