10 Lesser Known Things You Can Do in Mumbai
Much written about for its rich nightlife, Victorian architecture, bustling roads, business centers and local trains, there are some noteworthy things do in the city that aren’t as famous as their illustrious counterparts. The Other Home brings to you a list of 10 lesser known things you could do in Mumbai; things that stand out from the stereotypical image of the city as a fast paced metro.
Speak Your Mind at the Speakers’ Corner
Sagar Vihar Park in Sector 7 located in Vashi, New Mumbai is a place dedicated to those who want to speak their mind out. One can speak on any topic, yell out their frustration, voice their opinion and even sit and gossip about things. The only rule is that one shouldn’t use mikes or speakers. Everything that is spoken can be heard only if one is in the earshot of the person speaking. If at all you want to hold a musical concert, one can hold an unplugged version between 6am-7am and 6pm-7pm. Go nuts, it’s your time to speak!
Answer Nature’s Call in a Heritage Toilet!
Ok, don’t go vandalizing preserved architecture when I say take a leak in a heritage toilet. Wouldn’t it feel exhilarating to know that somebody was doing the exact same thing you are doing right now, some 250 years ago? Well, if you crave for that kind of an experience, Mumbai, as always has a solution.
Mumbai dockyard plays home to India’s only functional heritage toilet. It was built in the 1750 for the sailors and has been in use ever since. Walk into Lion Gate at Mumbai Dockyard and into Bombay Castle and find this fully functional washroom between the celebrated Duncan Dock and Bombay Dock. It’s open only to Indian nationals and only on the first Sunday of every month, so plan your trip accordingly! You can also call the dockyard at 022-22655750 for further details and a tour of the place.
Watch That Venom Being Extracted
Fascinated with poison? Interested in snakes? Love to watch the venom flow? Or haven’t seen the venom flow out of the fangs? Don’t miss an opportunity to visit Haffkine Institute at Parel if you have some space in your schedule. The institute houses a snake farm and in it are some common Indian snakes that are venomous. This Institute For Training and Testing allows visitors to watch the venom being extracted from the snakes’ fangs; safely of course! You can call the institute at 022-21640947 for timings further details.
Visit an Authentic Chinese Temple
Did you Mumbai is home to an authentic Chinese temple? Hidden away in the sluggish bylanes of Mazgaon is the oldest surviving Chinese temple of Mumbai. You might expect grandeur, but it has nothing of it. The Kwan Tai Shek temple is an old building doused in the auspicious red colour and is adorned by minimal decorations. The only grandeur of the place is the huge Kwan Tai Kon statue that’s dressed in silk garments. The Cantonese sailors from Hong Kong who worked for the East India Company established this temple way back in 1919. Another feature of this temple is that it houses a future telling bamboo sheet. An absolute delight to experience, this temple is rarely visited except for the Chinese New Year. Make it point to add this place in your list! One can visit the temple from 10 am to 6 pm.
Mumbai’s Oriental Connection
Constructed in 1931 following the prophecy of Japanese monk, Mahabodhisatva Nicherin that humanity’s only hope lies in India, Nipponzan Myohoji is a Japanese temple that lies in Worli. With walls etched with artwork that depict the life of Buddha, this temple is gives every visitor a sense of peace and tranquility one might not find in the heavily congested city that is Mumbai. From 6 am to 7 am and 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm, the ‘Daimoku Mantra’ is chanted with a faith that chanting it will lead to attaining enlightenment. One should absolutely visit this temple to know what tranquility means. One can also visit the lesser known cemetery that lies behind this temple. This cemetery is home to ashes of Japanese prostitutes and Japanese immigrants who came to India in the early 1900s. It also has a couple of Buddhist Gompas and a temple. One can visit the temple from 6 am to 8 pm.
Build a Model Aero plane
Inspired by the Wright Brothers? Wish you could make your own plane? Mumbai is the place to be. One can take a 3-day aeromodelling course at Space Apple in Virar to make realistic miniatures of aero planes. Those participate are taught the basics of the aviation principles and can make model aircrafts out of thermocole, paper etc. One can call 095250-2586764 for further details.
Listen to Bollywood Tracks with a Hundred Others
You’d wonder why I would suggest listening to Hindi music. The difference here is that enjoying the old melodies alongside you, will be a bunch of hundred others. An enthusiastic group of music lovers, Sargam, holds its free listening sessions once a month. They play classic Bollywood music that’ll take you down the memory lane. Believe me, it’s a whole different experience when you listen to your favourite songs with a hundred others crooning over it with you. One can call 022-24465983 for further details.
Get a Bollywood Poster of Yourself Painted
Feeling filmy? The movie bug has bitten you too much? Want to be your own superstar? You can get yourself etched as the Bollywood character of your choice in a painting! Durgadutt Pandey and Arvind Chudasama are two artists who will paint you in the Bollywood movie poster of your choice in two days! Pretty sweet, isn’t it? You can call Durgadutt at 09819346775 and Arvind Chudasama at 09820876707 for further details.
Mumbai’s Got A Giant Heart
Remember when Mumbaikars say ‘Mumbai ka dil bohot bada hai’? Well they actually mean it. Nehru Science Centre, located in Worli has a huge installation of a human heart. It has all the vital parts of the heart like the aorta, the septal wall and whats more? you walk in and out through a ventricle! Pretty cool, isn’t it? Although the staff would frown upon you for this, steal a kiss inside this heart. After all, how often do you come across a heart which literally has space for you? One can call 022-24934520 for further details.
Go Down in History. And Up and Down
Wondering what I am talking about? Hold your guessing horses, for I am talking about the heritage elevator ride you can take in Mumbai. One of the oldest hydraulic elevators of India is located in our very own ‘Aamchi Mumbai.’ The first of its kind in Mumbai, this lift is paneled with wood and functions using the mechanism of an old-school crankshaft. One can hence go up and down in history at Navsari Building in Fort.