Heritage Walk down the lane of 100 temples and other interesting sights!

May 4th, 2014, 7pm

It was 31°C with nil significant cloud. The breeze was gentle.

Mumbai is such a diverse city. No matter how long you’ve lived here there is always something new to discover everyday!

Tucked away a couple of kilometers from the iconic Chowpatty beach in South Mumbai is a outstandingly old heritage area called Girgaum. I had never had a reason to visit this place in the past so when a Jane’s Walk was organised by an area expert, I got a reason to head there. There are some must see places that must be visited.

KotachiWadi, a heritage village with old Portugese styled homes. Founded in 18th Century, the village had more than 65 houses. Today there are only 25 left because most families are succumbing to the real estate mafia deals of building high rises in place of their homes. Nobody knows when this heritage might be wiped of completely, so one should go visit as long as it exists. KotachiWadi

Keshavji Naik Chawl, a low and middle income house colony where Lokmanya Tilak started the celebration of the Ganesh Festival in Bombay. When the festival first started in 1893, the purpose was to dodge the British ban on political rallies. Lokmanya Tilak wanted to use the festival as a vehicle to promote nationalistic fervor through cultural programs. Keshavji Naik Chawl

Krishna Baug which houses a temple and homes. Krishna Baug

A colonial-styled Hira Baug at C.P Tank Circle, which houses an ashram, a community hall and one of the earliest Hindi publishing houses, Hindi Granth Karyalay. Krishna Baug

Madhav Baug with a temple, shops and houses. Walk across the Baug and you’ll reach tiny intersecting lanes with houses, a Jain Temple and some more shops. What’s not to be missed is a drink called ‘Thandai’ made with milk, sugar and many other spices. which is sold at the open courtyard. Madhav Baug

Bombay Panjarpole, a 176-year-old infirmary that looks after 350 cows and other stray animals like donkeys, hens, birds, dogs, goats, parrots and ducks. Photography is not allowed inside, but one can move around and feed the animals. Bombay Panjarpole

Samudri Mata Temple which is around 100o years old and one of the oldest in Mumbai. Believers say, the idol of Goddess Mahalakshmi appeared from the sea, at the same place where the temple now stands, hence the name.

Venkateswara Balaji Temple which is 87 years old and built in traditional Dravidian Style and dedicated to Lord of the Seven Hills Sri Venkateswara Swamy. I got to see a very interesting ritual at the temple which including unveiling the diety for a short while, while the swarms of followers ensured they atleast got a glimpse. Venkateswara Balaji Temple

We finally rounded off with a Breakfast at Vinay Health Home known for its authentic Maharashtrian fare in Mumbai. A must try is a kothimbir vadi (Coriander Cutlets). I also loved their cooling Kokam Sherbet which should not be missed.

Shu said thanks.

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Mariam Dholkawala

As a game developer, I make mobile games! As a traveller, I love to learn about a city's history, architecture, food and how the locals live! http://www.mariamdholkawala.com

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