RTW Trip Mumbai, India Day 74: Friendly Mumbai with so much to see! Laundry, mosques, and people watching, oh my!

I love laundry.  I don’t like doing it, but something about seeing hanging laundry seems so magical to me.  If you are like me and like hanging laundry pictures, you definitely have to head to Dhobi Ghat, THE laundry place to visit in Mumbai.

Dhobi Ghat

Dhobi Ghat

Getting laundry done.

Getting laundry done.

Dhobi Ghat is an area where a lot of washing is done in one small area.  You will see lines and lines of laundry hanging to dry, and beneath that is a pit filled with washing cubicles.  The majority of the workers here are men, slapping away at laundry, washing everything by hand.  Most of the tourists tend to view the laundry area from above, but I highly advise heading into the laundry grounds to get an up close view and interact with the friendly workers.

Our first street eat in India was our favorite street eat.  I love virtually anything featuring the scrumptious potato, so the vada pav is an instant winner for me.  I was surprised I never ate this on my first trip to India, but then I learned that the vada pav is a Mumbai thing.  It is basically a cumin or curry spiced mashed potato, dipped in batter, deep fried until golden brown.  It is then topped off with a delicious cilantro sauce.  We got our first one, ate it and loved it, and then ended up getting seconds.  The locals LOVED watching us eat these, and were quite amused when we got a second serving.  They were crazy delicious, and if I could, I would eat these every day.  Best of all, they were only 10 rupees each!

Officially the best street food I ate during my two months in India. Vada Pav!

Officially the best street food I ate during my two months in India. Vada Pav!

No visit to Mumbai should be complete without visiting the Haji Ali Shrine.  Visiting this mosque was reminiscent of my first visit to India, a bit of old world in present day.  The mosque itself is not as spectacular as other mosques I have seen, but the walk up to the mosque is charming for those that are lured and intrigued by India.  The narrow walkway towards the mosque is nestled in the Arabian Sea.  There are several vendors selling all sorts of things, beggars and pilgrims are abundant, and people charging money to check your weight on a scale.  There were tons of people there, and many were excited to take pictures with me.

mosquecollage

Haji Ali Shrine

sisters copyGreg getting weighed.Greg getting weighed.

We then wandered to Tank Banganga, which was like Pushkar without the pilgrims.  Take a taxi to this large outdoor pool of sorts that has neighbors hanging out, swimming, bathing, and doing laundry.

Bantanga Tank

Bantanga Tank

girl at ghat copy

From there, visit Kamala Nehru Park for some views of Mumbai, and then head on over to St. Teresa Church in Bandra and walk around to see the wooden houses in a cute little charming neighborhood.

neighborhoodcollage
At the end of the day, we walked back towards our hotel finding exciting back streets full of life and vendors selling clothes, vegetables, and snacks.  We even saw a family doing a street tightrope show for money.  Make sure you give yourself a chance to wander the streets, as the sights, sounds, and people will really make your day.

A friendly paper sorting guy.

A friendly paper sorting guy.

streetscenecollage

street scene copy

We headed back to our hotel to grab some food downstairs, and then took a taxi to our night bus to Goa.

Goa overnight bus: Bouncy but you can stretch out!

Goa overnight bus: Bouncy but you can stretch out!

Costs:
Taxi to Dhobi Ghat 90 rupees
Dhobi ghat entrance 200 rupees
Vado pav x4 40 rupees
Haji Ali mosque scale 2 rupees
Dhobi Ghat toilet 4 rupees
Taxi to Tank Banganga 70 rupees
Taxi to Kamala Nehru park 25 rupees
Overnight bus to Goa 3400 rupees
Taxi from park to St. Teresa Church 70 rupees
Coconut 30 rupees
Maharashtra Hotel Pure Veg Restaurant aloo gobi, water, chips, Pepsi 165 rupees
Taxi from hotel to Goa bus 40 rupees

 

What I learned:  we paid 200 rupees to walk through the laundry pits and paid some random guy to go through the area.  After we paid him, a different tourist just wandered in without paying.  I don’t think this guy was official, and while the book says you may have to pay someone, I really don’t think it is necessary as it isn’t an official fee paid to the city of Mumbai.  I think you are just giving money to a tout that can take advantage of tourists.  It was only 200 rupees anyway, but getting in for free is definitely possible.

Actual date of travel: Nov. 16, 2014

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