Bombay, India
18° 58' N 72° 49' E
Aug 23, 2009 17:03
Distance 1335km

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Brief stop at Mumbai (Bombay)

Flying into Mumbai (Bombay) shows the city at its best, made up of a range of islands and coves jutting out into the Indian ocean.  No wonder this was a fantastic trading route that the Brits got their hands on.  Didn't have much time here, but managed to catch site of the Hindu Temple built out to sea which can only be reached at low tide.  Also, the Festival of Ganesh (god of good fortune) was in full swing and I saw plenty of festival goers in the streets escorting their various statues of Ganesh either on large trucks or smaller bakkies (uts?) done to the sea.  Really festive atmosphere, with plenty of music and dancing, avoiding the sacred cows simply parking out in the middle of main roads and motorways!  That's India for you  .... :-) 

 Would definitely be up for a few days in Bombay in the future, looks like fun and obviously home of Bollywood!  But a very big city next to the sea with plenty skyrises... although I believe some great colonial buildings. 

Some interesting bumf on the festival:  Ganesha Chaturthi is a Hindu festival of Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati (the king and queen so to speak).  Believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha.  For 10 days from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi, Ganesha is worshiped.  On the 11th day, the statue is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing and fanfare to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolising a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees.  All join in this final procession shouting 'O father Ganesha, comae again early next year).  After the final offering of coconuts, flowers and campphor is made, people carry the statue to the river to immerse it.  Ganesha, the elephant headed son of Chiva and Parvati is widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

Photos / videos of "Brief stop at Mumbai (Bombay)":

Giant Ganesh on a truck with devotees Ganesh being paraded through the streets of Mumbai (Bombay)