This is a personalized one week emersion into one of the most modern and complexly ancient cultures in the world. If you dream of unabashedly dipping yourself in opulence then Mumbai is the city for you! If I had to sum Mumbai up in a few words I would choose rapid growth, diverse religions, and fierce commerce in one of the fastest changing cosmopolitan cities in the world. This tour is about these two concepts God and shopping.
I know consumerism and spirituality don’t normally mix but in Bollywood they are completely entangled. Burkas, kurtas, salwar kameezes, parshminas, and mini-skirts collide. The wealth of Kashmiri markets, Jaipur’s rich heritage of fabric block printing, and the finest handwork of the country are for the taking. Frost yourself in bling in the land of diamonds and gems galore, bling, bling and more bling! Size zero to size 10 in ready-mades are the norm, but all sizes can be had, anything hand sewn within a day or so. Shoe shops are in abundance in a city where walking in high heels on uneven pavement is an art form. You’re in the mecca of the scarf or duppata locals call it, just get wrapped up in it!
Get ready to devour the finest cuisines and plunge into spa treatments from around the world. Accessorize yourself and your home to your heart’s desire. If it does not fit into your suitcase no worries we will ship it back! If gold gilded glassware and tiger printed china are your things I know just where to take you. If you want to balance your inner curiosity about world religions this is your place. In a country were the oldest roots to the religion are so omnipresent you get to experience the finest Hindu and Buddhist temples, ancient Mosques, pre-colonial catholic churches, and a few religions that you may have never heard of like Parsi’s and Jainism. All these extremely devote followers and some so not so devote have all condensed themselves in the city that is now called Mumbai for a shared purpose, commerce. Eating, praying, and conducting business under one roof formerly known as Bombay.
This is where you will see Lamborghinis, Porches, Ambassadors, Fords, BMWs, Tatas, Taxis, Rickshaws, and oxen pulled carts all fighting for road space on the main thorough fares. You will dine by the sea, high above the city in five star delights; eat street food if you dare, dine in the best pav baji joints, dive into South Indian dosas, eat Bombay Chinese, and eat Indian cuisine from all over this diverse country. Coconut curries from Kerala, idli from Chennai, Momos form Darjeeling, heavy cream rich curries from Kashmir and the north, and local seafood joints that will blow your mind.
Being a textile freak myself I will take you to the finest sari shops and fabric shops Mumbai has to offer. Then if you haven’t had enough I will take you to one of Mumbai’s oldest bazaars that makes 'A Thousand and One Nights' seem a reality, the fabric bazaar. Shop in this ancient building from men on white mattresses with miles high of fabric all around them! I will take you to my local market where I shopped daily for my fruits and vegetables but this same market also has so many surprises! Santa Cruz Market is in the one of Mumbai’s richest northern neighborhood markets. Here we will explore my favorite Gandhi’s handloom Khadi shop, ponder over bangles galore, be be-dazzled over beaded purses, spellbound by larger than life earrings, entranced by spices, bewildered by religious artifacts, and wide–eyed by golden treasures.
On a quieter side, if you wish to wake up with me at the crack of dawn for an old school yoga class or a walk down Juhu beach it is all available. If serenity is what you crave admits the business of the city then Marbar Hill and its ancient well is where we will hang for awhile. It’s also an interesting place to discover the dobi walas, cloth washers of south Mumbai. I’ll take you down lush back streets of Bandra to quaint cafes and shops. We can explore the lovely romantic Hanging Gardens and circle walking parks. We can sit and contemplate the meaning of life and rebirth in ancient temples where you will meet which ever Hindu god you admire the most. Does a seaside walk tickle your fancy then Bandstand is the place for you. If international spa treatments are what you desire that also can be arranged at your connivance or you might want to simply lounge by the pool and take in the rays of the hot Indian sun.
This is a city that is constantly redefining itself. The cosmopolitan Mumbaikar is totally engrossed in all that is modern yet with one or both feet still steady in ancient traditions. Here is a city that you will find exceptions to every rule. You will find kindness and happiness in its people as well as ugliness. You will see things that amaze you and totally disgust you. It will make you laugh and make you cry. Today, Mumbai is the epitome of greediness & self prophecy mixed with spirituality with the new guise of eco-friendliness, a remixing cultures, ancient traditions, and religions in one. If you are a fashionista or just smitten with anything that is Indian this is the trip for you. In one week you will be dripping in all that is India!
*Prices are all worked out on an individual basis based on your size of group, were you want to stay, how many spa treatments you want, what you what to see, and where you want to eat: high-end or off a banana leaf in a place only I could only find!