ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND TRULY "INDIAN" VISTAS OF MUMBAI CAN BE HAD FROM THE CHARMING HANGING GARDENS, ON TOP OF MALABAR HILL. Located in one of the wealth sectors of this wealthiest of Indian metropolises, the Hanging Gardens and the adjoining Kamala Nehru Park rank as two of my favorite places to chill out in Mumbai. The beautiful lush green of the lawn, and the vivid colors of the flowers make a perfect backdrop for the riotous sari's often seen walking these two parks. The specialty of this garden is that the edges have been cut into animal shapes. Also there is a flower clock. There is a giant Shoe House, straight out of that children's story, THE WOMAN WHO LIVED IN A SHOE (or whatever it is called.) Lovely sunset views over the Arabian Sea and Chowpatty Beach are a given -- here is a glimpse of what you can expect to see:
o n + m a l a b a r + h i l l
DESPITE ITS SNOBBINESS, MALABAR HILL IS ACTUALLY A REWARDING TOURIST ATTRACTIONS -- there is plenty to see on this rich mound. Not far from the Hanging Gardens, another attraction presents itself -- it is the Walkeshwar Temple, a truly stunning and colorful place, originally built by the kings of the Silhara dynasty, who ruled Bombay from the 9th to the 13th century. The Banganga Tank, belonging to the temple, was also first constructed at this time. The tank was rebuilt in 1715 out of a donation for the temple by Rama Kamath. The main temple, has been reconstructed since then and is at present a reinforced concrete structure of recent vintage.
g e t t i n g + t h e r e
AS ALWAYS IN MUMBAI, THE BEST WAY TO GET ANYWHERE IS JUST TO GET IN A TAXI AND TELL THE DRIVER WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. I was foolhardy enough though one day to attempt to walk to the Hanging Gardens from Colaba -- it took about 2 or 3 hours in 33+ degrees heat, but it was a beautiful walk. Anyway, to get to Malabar Hill from Marine Drive, that most important of Mumbai's roads, follow Walkeshwar Road and Ridge Road. As you advance up, the sea recedes further and further until you reach the gardens, and the views return with a gusto!