Walking through the impressive buildings the Brits built in Mumbai I could not stop thinking how did they feel to be sent to India. Probably at the time Bombay was not so crowded as today but for sure it was as hot and humid to unbearable levels. So for them coming from their $%#@! English weather to India was a major change and malaria took also its toll, the cemetery being full with young lads who did not make it back. For the ones who could afford an option was to move to higher ground and live part of the time in Manali or Shimla, the famous hill stations. I decided to walk by myself in the Fort area but it turned out to be a almost impossible task for the short time that I had In Mumbai. I was used with Indian heat from the south or the sejour in Varanasi where the temperature was 43C making myself the only foreigner out shooting video relentlessly. But in Mumbai the heat and the humidity took its toll and no matter that I wanted to move quickly I was constantly held back by an incredible number of people who were clogging the sidewalks that forced me and many others to walk symbiotically into the chaotic Mumbai traffic. I started at the impressive train station and the The Times building but I could not make it further than the Flora Fountain. And to make things worse the entire city is a building site, digging for the metro and few and far between things could be seen. Beside the traffic is completely stalled and the bad idea I had to go by car killed easily two hours while I simply sat in traffic.
In the end I gave up after seeing something on the main buildings route and coming back in the same traffic. We turned to the Marine Drive, a sort of Cuban Malecon but without any Latin vibe where the heat was a little subsided by the breeze but the haze was such that you barely could see any of the buildings in front. It was obvious that not to much can be done in Mumbai by driving and I had a brief stop for the main Hindu Temple, Mahalakshmi Temple dating from the 18th century.
Haji Ali Dargah Mosque sits closely to the Hindu temple on an island ind the Mumbai Gulf. It is connected by a causeway that gets covered in water during high tide. Pilgrims come to the Mosque continuously and the walk to the mosque is aligned with beggars and cripples waiting for alms. When the tide is high the mosque is looking like is floating on water. The mosque dates from the beginning of the 15th century commemorating a traveler/saint from Uzbekistan who eventually settled in Mumbai and performed numerous miracles. At his wish his shroud was dropped in the ocean in order not to exist a place to be worshiped but his followers figure it out and built a mosque that float in high tide on the place his shroud was dropped.