Bhau Daji Lad Museum Mumbai : With a large number of archaeological finds and historic photos that are displayed with pride, this place has a lot of interesting facts about our trade capital. It is a very well maintained museum that is constructed beautifully. When we went, there was no crowd and thus we got to see everything properly!
After my awesome experience at the Prince of Wales Museum it was time for some solace. So I set foot towards the famous meditation hall located near Gorai at the North- West of Mumbai, which is known as the Global Vipassana Pagoda. Constructions of this monument begin in the year 2000 and were completed after a time span of 8 years in 2008. It was inaugurated on 8th February 2009 by the former President of India, Pratibha Patil and has been the epitome of peace and harmony since then.
This Pagoda has been dedicated to Gautama Buddha and the community of monks who propagate his philosophy of peace and love. It has been built in Burmese style which is symbolism for gratitude towards Myanmar, which has preserved the Vipassana culture and practices till date.
The architects have constructed this meditation hall imitating the Shwedagon Pagoda located in Yangon, at Myanmar. A very notable feature in the construction style of this monument is the efficient blending of ancient as well as modern Indian technology, which has laid its foundations strong enough to last for a thousand years.
The structural system of the Global Vipassana Pagoda is a stone dome which is self-supporting with stones that interlock with each other, hence giving it a very firm foundation. This monument comprises of the world’s largest stone dome which is located centrally to the structure.
I was awestruck to discover that this mega structure is built without any pillars for support. This structure is twice the size of the Gol Gumbaz Dome located in Bijapur. The dome is approximately 29 meters high which makes the whole building to appear to reach the sky at a height of 96.12 meters.
The interior portion of the Pagoda is hollow and covers an area of more than 6000 square meters which is spacious enough to seat more than 8000 people. This meditation hall offers a ten day free Vipassana mediation course at the meditation centre which is incorporated in the Pagoda complex. I was quite keen to attend at least one meditation session and was fortunate enough to get an opportunity. The feeling of peace and comfort that I got was indescribable. I felt as if I was freed from all my worries and stress. Definitely it was a magical experience.
The Leela Hotel Mumbai : During my official trip to Mumbai, I chose to stay at The Leela Hotel! Yes, you have heard it right! The F-A-M-O-U-S Leela hotel! I was even surprised to meet the well known chefs here; one of them was Ranveer Brar. The spa treatment of the hotel gave me a great experience too, simply WOW!
As my trip continued now it was time to find myself some solace and peace of mind. So what could be a better destination than the world renowned place for spirituality and devotion, i.e. the Siddhivinayak temple. It is located in the Prabhadevi area of Mumbai.
Originally built in the year 1801 by Deubai Patil and Laxman Vithu this temple is currently one of the richest temples situated in Mumbai. Ironically the current generation of the Patils is dwelling in a condition of utter despair very near to this temple. The Siddhivinayak temple as the name suggests is devoted to the god Ganesha who is mythologically believed to grant all our wishes.
The temple comprises of a small shrine of lord Ganesha, which is located in a small hall inside the temple. The doors of the sanctum are carved out of wood and portray the images of the eight manifestations of Lord Ganesha, colloquially known as Ashta Vinayak. The inner roof of the sanctum sanctorum is gold plated and therein is located a statue of Lord Ganesha in the centre. A Hanuman temple is also constructed in the periphery of the main temple.
This temple has evolved over time from a small place of worship to this grand sacred site for devotees who come from near and far of places with the conviction of getting their desires and wishes fulfilled. Religion indeed is no less than opium that is particularly very evident in the faith of devotees who flood the places of religious beliefs with a hope of getting the blessings of gods and goddesses.
Like in case of the Siddhivinayak temple which has been popularized not only by politicians but also the Bollywood film actors who frequent this place to seek the blessings of lord Ganapati. Devotees also call lord Ganesha or Siddhivinayak as “Navasala Pavanara Ganapati” or “Navasacha Ganapati” in Marathi.
This means lord Ganesha fulfills the wishes of every human being who wishes humbly to him. My visit to this sacred place of worship was a very different and fulfilling experience and I could feel the calmness in the environment of the temple that I carried with me as I headed back to my abode.
As my stay continued in Mumbai the next destination that I headed towards was the Kanheri caves which are actually a group of monuments chiseled out of rocks. This tourist spot is very famous and is situated to the north of Borivali that lies on the western outskirts of Mumbai.
It is a part of the Sanjay Gandhi national park and is located at a very short distance of 6 kilometers from the main gate of these forests. From Borivali station these caves lie at a distance of 7 kilometers. The site is open for tourists after 7:30 hours in the morning.
The Kanheri caves are a clear and strong depiction of Buddhist influence on the architectural style, art and culture of India. This term “Kanheri” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Krishnagiri”, this refers to black mountains. The caves have been carved out of a single massive basaltic rock.
These caves are beautifully chiseled and are of great archaeological importance as they consist of nearly 51 inscriptions that are legible as well as 26 epigraphs. In the cave 90 of this mega structure epigraphs engraved with Brahmiand and Devanagri script are discovered along with three epigraphs with Pahlavi inscriptions. One of the inscriptions has quite interestingly mentioned about the marriage of the Satvahana Emperor Vashishtiputra Satakarni to the daughter of king Rudradaman.
The caves also consist of a couple of paintings dating back in history. On the ceiling of cave number 34 the unfinished paintings of Gautama Buddha draws attention of visitors. Apart of the beauty of these caves their location is also a favored picnic spot for tourists due to its scenic beauty. Located deep inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park this site is well connected via bus services that operate every hour and carry tourists to the caves. The tourists are supposed to pay entrance fee at the main gate as well as at the entrance of the caves.
The hilly terrain of the Kanheri caves offers an awesome site in the rainy season as many small and large waterfalls are created due to its geography. Families also enjoy lazy weekends on the banks of the streams that bisect the road to Kanheri from the entrance of the Sanjay Gandhi Park. Hence, my visit to this destination was a very peaceful and refreshing experience and I would look forward to visit this site again.
David Sassoon Library Mumbai : This beautiful library was situated in the heart of the city. Over thousand people visit this beautiful architectural beauty everyday in search of books and knowledge. Located in Rampart Row and completed in 1870, this building was surely a sight for sour eyes. We learnt many historic facts about the building and found it to be very interesting!
As decided previously the very first destination that I visited in Mumbai was the Gateway of India, which narrates the history of British rule in India. Overlooking the Arabian Sea this giant gateway is located on the waterfront of the Apollo Bunder region in South Mumbai. This mega structure is an arch carved out of basalt rock and acquires a height of 26 meters.
Earlier the Gateway of India was a crude jetty that was used by fishermen but later it was transformed and renovated into a prominent landing place for British governors and officials. In earlier days the first structure that was visible to travelers arriving to Mumbai via waterways was the Gateway of India. It is often referred to as the “Taj Mahal” of Mumbai and is the most preferred tourist destination of the city.
The structure was founded on 31st March 1911 to commemorate the landing of Queen Mary and King George V at Apollo Bunder on the lands of India in the same year. This historic monument is built in Indo- Saracenic style of architecture. Its final design was given by George Wittet and was approved in the year 1914. Hereafter it took 10 long years of unceasing endeavor by expert craftsmen to complete it in the year 1924. This gateway was then used as the ceremonial entrance for viceroys and new governors of Bombay who visited or appointed in India.
Unfortunately this majestic monument has been witness to three terror attacks right from the beginning of the 21st century. It was subject to terror activities twice in 2003 and was used as a disembarkation point by four gunmen who attacked the Taj Mahal Palace and tower in 2008.
The gateway of India is of great historical significance as it serves as a livid monumental memento of the British subjugation and colonialisation on the lands of our motherland for almost a century. This structure erected by the British is a constant reminder of the power and majesty of the British Empire. Due to its historical and cultural relevance lakh of tourists visit this site every year from far off and nearby lands.
Mount Mary Church Bandra Mumbai : This Roman Catholic Church captured my heart because of its beauty. This church was built in the 17th century and its architecture was phenomenal. The blissful setting inside, calmed my mind and soul thoroughly. We climbed a few stairs and placed a candle in front of Mother Mary. It was a very liberating experiencing for me.
Being an architect I have great love for buildings and archaeological structures. Although I am mostly held up with my job but often I manage to squeeze out time to visit various places of interest. Mumbai is well known to be the city that never sleeps and also it is the hub of film industry in India.
It also flaunts a variety of brands as well as street shops to purchase stuff at affordable prices. Moreover there are a lot of tourist sites in the city. Hence I was very eager to visit Mumbai as soon as I could get free. Finally I got the opportunity and materialized my wish for a Mumbai trip. As I prefer budget travel and hotels I wanted to get value for my money. So I compared a lot of routes and means to travel via Agra to Mumbai on many popular travel websites. Finally I decided to make my bookings on a train from Agra to Mumbai.
There are various routes to travel between Agra and Mumbai so I selected the route which suited my budget and timings. The distance between the two destinations is approximately 1043 kilometers. If one wishes to take the road from Agra to Mumbai it would take around 18 hours and 35 minutes to complete the journey.
Via flight it takes just 2 hours or so to reach Mumbai. I also had the option to take a bus from Agra to Mumbai that would have charged me around 1400 bucks. But the bus route is from Agra to Indore and then to Mumbai. It is a very time consuming journey of around 36 hours and 30 minutes so I didn’t find it convenient to take a bus for my trip.
I also checked out the train routes and schedules for Agra to Mumbai journey. I had the option of boarding a train from Agra Cantt to reach Kalyan junction in about 16 hours and 49 minutes time. The fare for the train would be around 1500 rupees. Hereafter I could again board a train from Kalyan junction to Kurla which is a 51 minutes journey and would charge only a mere rupees 16 as train fare.
But instead of changing trains I made my Agra to Mumbai train booking on the Avadh Express (19040) which I boarded from the Agra fort railway station (AF) to the Bandra terminus Mumbai (BDTS). I found this route quite convenient as it would drop me directly at the heart of the city.
I was quite satisfied as I got the best possible route to travel via and it also fits my budget. Moreover the conventional style of travelling by trains always charms me as I enjoy the scenic beauty when I peep out of the train windows. And now since I boarded the train I was just waiting eagerly to reach Mumbai and start my expedition.
Are you trying to lose some weight ? You must have tried everything but failed. You may be disappointed but still it’s not too late. The answer for all your issues is Yoga. It may sound boring but trust me it is very effective.
I learned yoga from my mom. She is 55 years old but looks more beautiful than any other young woman. Mum never had any health scares that comes with the her age and she owes it to yoga. People like her are perfect examples of how yoga improves one’s life. It not only brings a good change to the person practicing it, but also beautifies the surrounding he or she lives in.
It will spread your positive vibe towards your friends, family, kids and even society. A happy person can make the entire family cheerful. Such families can make a happy society. I’m an advocate of yoga and I strongly believe that it not only helps you maintain your physique but also provides you with a happy living.
Yoga affects each and every aspect of your body; be it waist, thighs, face or internal body organs or mechanisms. It is highly effective and you don’t have to waste any money by enrolling into those expensive gyms.
If you are starting with yoga, make sure you start with a basic asana.
One of my favorite asanas is Ardha Chandrasana:
It is perfect in shaping your upper, inner thighs and buttocks. If you want to target these areas then try it out. This stance strengthens your core by stretching on the sides of your tummy, it also burns off those flabs.
Steps to follow:
If you are comfortable with this asana, you can move on to others.
Please note : This particular asana should be avoided by individuals with spine injury, high blood pressure or digestive disorders.
Hope you liked the post. Please feel free to give you suggestions.
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A big hello to everyone here... I am 'the' Geeta Sharma, a young, vibrant, and fun-loving girl from Agra. As a kid, tall buildings always inspired me and now as I type, I myself have attained a master’s degree in Architecture and am working on several projects in and around my city. Whenever I feel taxed of my job, I find a way out in the nature, my second habitat for obvious reasons! Meditation, camping, and photography are activities for which Mother Nature inspires me! On my way back, I also make it a point to get my mind and body relaxed at nearby spa centres. That is about me and you will find much more in detail with regular blogs and updates from me. So stay tuned and sit tight for new experiences every day!