India Part IV: Mumbai

Marine Drive

Bandri-Worli Sea Link

The Mujeeb Acharwala Bridge connects the intersection of the Western Express Highway and Swami Vivekanand Road in Bandra to the Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Road in Worli. From Worli Seaface, it connects to Mumbai’s arterial Annie Besant Road.

Mahim Causeway was the only road connecting the western suburbs to Mumbai’s central business district. This north-southwestern corridor became a bottleneck and was highly congested at peak hours. The Western Freeway project was proposed to span the entire western coastline of Mumbai to ease congestion. The Bandra–Worli Sea-Link, a bridge over Mahim Bay, was proposed as the first phase of this freeway system, offering an alternative route to the Mahim Causeway.

The project was commissioned by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Limited (MSRDC). The contract for construction was awarded to the Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), with project management led by the UK offices of Dar Al-Handasah.

The foundation stone was laid in 1999 by Bal Thackeray. The original plan estimated the cost at ₹6.6 billion (US$93 million) to be completed in five years. But the project was subject to numerous public interest litigations, with the 5-year delay resulting in the cost escalating to ₹16 billion (US$220 million), with the additional interest cost alone accounting for ₹7 billion (US$98 million).

Gateway of India

On March 31, 1913, the Governor of Bombay laid down the foundation stone of the gateway. The height of this building is 26 meters. It is a combination of Hindu and Muslim religious symbols and expresses the unity of India. The gateway was built by George Wittet, a Scottish architect who mostly worked in Mumbai.

The main reason for making this building was to please King George V and Queen Mary. The British government wanted to make their visit memorable. From the Gateway of India, the last British headed to England after the end of their rule. Its location, architect and the people of Mumbai makes it must visit place in modern India.

Global Vipassana Pagoda

The planning for the construction began in 1997, while actual building work started in 2000. The pagoda consists of three sub-domes. The first and largest dome was completed in October 2006 when bone relics of Gautam Buddha were enshrined in the central locking stone of the dome on 10/29/2006, making it the world’s largest structure containing relics of the Buddha. The relics were originally found in the stupa at Bhattiprolu, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, South India. They have been donated by the Mahabodhi Society of India and the prime minister of Sri Lanka to be kept at the Global Vipassana Pagoda. The second and third domes sit atop the first dome. Construction of the third dome was structurally completed on November 21, 2008.

There is a museum that depicts the historical life and non-sectarian teaching of Gotama the Buddha. The Global Vipassana Pagoda’s educational displays communicate the Buddha’s teaching of the universal practice of Vipassana as a path towards real happiness.

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum

Top left picture: Meeting the King in London, 1931—Gandhi went to London to attend the Round Table Conference. On being invited by the King, he went to Buckingham Palace in his usual dress.

Top middle picture: On the A.I.C.C, passing the ‘Quit India’ Resolution on August 9 to end the British rule, Gandhi gave a dictum for the non-violent soldier of freedom, ‘Do or Die.’ On Gandhi’s detention, India’s national pride rose in revolt.

Top right picture: The World Bowed in Homage, 1948—On January 31, Gandhi’s body was laid on a sandalwood pyre at Rajghat, Delhi. From the pyre comes the message: Lead me from the Unreal to the Real, from darkness to light

Bottom left picture: Return of the Hero, 1915—-On their return from South Africa after 21 years, Gandhi and Kasturba were given an imposing reception in Bombay. People spontaneously addressed Gandhi as ‘Mahatma’ the great soul.

Essel World

Juhu Beach

Red Carpet Wax Museum

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