Photos from a short trip to Mumbai

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to go on a short but action-packed trip to Mumbai, India’s largest city, better known to most as Bombay.

Dabbawalas in Mumbai
A team of the famous dabbawalas, who deliver lunch to thousands every day

Before I left I’d read a bit about the metropolis (including the first few chapters of Suketu Mehta’s excellent Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found), so I was preparing for an overwhelming, stifling, oppressive and perhaps even shocking experience for a naive first-timer in India. Having visited Thailand I had some idea of how bewildering and strange life in an Asian city can seem to a westerner, but I’d also been told that India is more extreme than the more well-trodden tourist paths of South East Asia.

While that proved to be true, Mumbai was still an endlessly fascinating place. I could go on about some of the amusing, eye-opening and surprising sights and customs I noticed on the streets of this teeming ant’s nest of a city, where everyone seems to have their part to play. Or I could make some (no doubt naive) comment about the Indian election result and how it might (but will probably not) help alleviate the poverty you still see in the slums that sprout up among the half-finished tower blocks.

But I’ve saved that for the longer piece I’ve written for The Scotsman. In the meantime, here are a few of my pictures from the trip.

Update (23/6): you can read my Scotsman feature online now.

Victoria Terminus in Mumbai
The bustling Victoria Terminus, as featured in Slumdog Millionaire
Street food in Mumbai
Mumbai is famous for its street food
Mumbai street food
I tried these toasted snacks – spicier than expected
Dhobi Ghat in Mumbai
Dhobi Ghat is said to be the world’s largest open-air laundry
Dhobi Ghat in Mumbai
The city’s laundry hung out to dry
Mumbai cow
Up close and personal with one of the sacred cows
Mumbai crow
These crows were everywhere – this one’s perched on the Victorian railings of a park
Mumbai architecture
Most of the historic buildings were in a bad condition
Mumbai architecture
Concrete tower blocks dominate the skyline
George Harrison sitar
Ravi Shankar taught George Harrison sitar on this instrument – it’s in one of the suites at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel
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3 thoughts on “Photos from a short trip to Mumbai

    1. Thanks Gabe. I’d definitely like to go back, but escape the city next time. Hope you have a great road trip!

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