Plastic bags illegal in India
its illegal to bring plastic bags into India, although many ppl in India still use them please do not encourage it, its definitely illegal, also remember no liquids are allowed in cabin baggage, not even make up , shampoo, perfume, sun tan lotion... nothing liquid allowed in CABIN baggage.
Bombay or Mumbai?
Bombay or Mumbai? Since the 1990's, the right wing local Maharashtra State government has been slowly erasing English names from the city that was created and almost entirely built during the British Raj. Streets, public buildings, railway stations, and the city's name of course, have not been spared. Each English place name was replaced with a word or name in Marathi, the national language of the state, thus rendering it unrecognisable by locals and unpronounceable by foreigners. The government mandated that all businesses and publications use the Marathi name for the city, Mumbai. As the world respectfully embraced the renaming of Bombay to Mumbai, the stubborn Bombaykars - or should I say Mumbaikars? - have continued to call their city Bombay and to use traditional names for streets and buildings, partly in rejection of less tolerant right-wing government policies. How long will this last? Perhaps it will be a generation before the old names are all but forgotten? Only time will tell.
But where do the names Bombay and Mumbai come from?
It is commonly believed that when the Portuguese discovered the Bombay area and its seven islands in the 16th century, they recognised its potential as a natural harbour and called it Bom Bahia, meaning "Good Bay" in Portuguese. It is presumed that Bom Bahia later transformed into Bombaim before it was anglicised in the 17th century by the British to "Bombay." Others argue that the Portuguese would have named it Boa Bahia, to be grammatically correct, and that Bombaim actually came from Maiamba or Maha-Amba, a derivation of Mumba Devi, the Hindu goddess worshiped by native inhabitants of the area prior to the arrival of the Portuguese. Therefore, the official change of the name to Mumbai is an assertion of the latter theory and a hijacking of the history of the city away from the colonising Portuguese and British. Indeed, the British were brutal in their occupation of India, but would altering the names bring any new victories over the British Empire?
For now, I will go with the locals and simply call it Bombay. Perhaps one day I will have to update this page and eliminate all references to Bombay, Victoria Terminus, Flora Fountain, Marine Drive, Colaba Causeway and many, many more. I may even question if the British were ever here...
The spirituality of the residents of Bombay is hard to miss. Not only is the city dotted with numerous structures of worship of nearly every religion, but its residents seem to erect shrines for their saints and holy people everywhere. Some of the more important and famous shrines are described in the "Things to do" tab on this page, but there are numerous others that one comes across that are only known to the locals. Moslem, Hindu, Christian, Parsi shrines - and the list goes on - can be seen all over. Naturally, though, Hindu shrines are the most widespread given that Hindus make up the majority of the population. Attached are photos of some of the shrines I've come across.
See Mumbais very own Castle
Every year in Nov / Dec the navy opens up the Bombay Fort , an impressive structure 5 mins from regal cinema . Situated within the naval base it opens only for a week every year during nov , dec . Reservations must be made by contacting the Indian Navy PRO , Mumbai .
Guided tours are available . On special request , the Commanding Caption at the base might just allow you in during the rest of the day provided you make arrangements in advance .
The inside is really beautiful , as it is the same castle from where the history of Dutch Bombay starts and ends .
Go to the movies!
An indian movie is an unforgettable experience. They are a mix of video-clips and love stories, easy to follow (even in hindu without subtitles). Just choose a cinema and enter at any time. I went to Metro Cinema in Mumbai to see 'Yaadein'. 60 Rs at 14:00h.