Continued from Part 2
This maximum city offers beautiful sites. Sunday, the 15th was Chinese temple time. After a breakfast of Vada Pav and tea at the Balapur station, I took the CST train that I thought would stop at the Dockyard Station. The train took after it stopped at Kurla, took the Central line, headed towards CST via Dadar. So the train did not stop at the Dockyard Station. I got off the train at the Sandhurst station and took a taxi to the Dockyard station. From there I went on foot on the Nawab Tank Road in search of the Chinese temple. I went down the street and took a left down the steps after the bridge. Take the first right and walk fifty meters, and you’ll see the red building.
I spent an hour at the temple, and after lunch in a nearby restaurant I went over to the Dockyard station. It was a Sunday and so the station was closed due to maintenance. Maintenance was the reason the train took a detour to the Central line from the Harbor Line at the Kurla station. Many trains run in the Mumbai tracks and it is important to keep the train lines checked for errors and fixed. The Railways do a good job about it. The lines will be opened at 4PM the supervisor said, but the Sandhurst station would be open he said. I could see the Sandhurst station and I saw people walking on the tracks. I could do the same I figured. And so I got to the tracks.
I had no problem until I reached the bridge over the Central Railway Godown. I looked down through the gap, I stepped on and crossed the two wooden sleepers but then I saw the huge gap. A misstep would send me down in the 50 foot drop. I looked behind me at the Dockyard Station but I thought if I should walk back two kilometers back to the station, that would be a safe option. When I was deciding what to do, a man who was walking behind me got his foot on the rail and jumped over to the steel platform.
There was a gap between the steel platform and the rail. I was afraid of slipping if I stepped on the rail. The man stopped walking, turned back, held out his hand, helped me cross over to the platform. Before I could thank him he walked away. He was there only to help me get on to the platform. Cool. But why was I there in the first place? I could have taken a taxi back to the Sandhurst station. After all I took a taxi from there to reach Dockyard. I reached the Sandhurst station, got to the Central Line platform and took the CST train.
Outside CST I shared a taxi with a father and son duo, and a couple to the Gateway. This time I walked behind the Taj Mahal Hotel and found a Starbucks. I loved the place because it was attached to the Taj, and it’s also a prime place. Nice place to hang out. I recommend you Starbucks Taj Mahal Hotel.
A coffee and a sandwich later, I walked around to look for the Leopold, but it started to rain. So I took a taxi and came back to the CST. By then the rain had stopped. At the bus stand, I boarded the Nariman Point bus. By the time I reached Nariman Point it was 6 in the evening. I reached the start of the Mumbai promenade. It started to rain heavier this time, and so I took shelter at the NCPA. Earlier I tried to get a ticket, but I had arrived late for the show. The Sunday ended with dinner at Nariman Point, taxi to CST, and then train to Belapur.
Monday morning was Ganapati Bappa time. This time I found a direct train from Belapur to Dadar. There were taxies at Dadar but no one agreed to take me to Siddhi Vinayak. I walked the streets of Dadar asking for directions to the Siddhi Vinayak. Dadar was like Jayanagar in Bangalore. Full of trees, cobblestone pavements, small grocery, and electronics stores. However Dadar has taller buildings than in Jayanar, I guess more business happens here than in Jayanagar. Siddhi Vinayak was a visual treat.
I expected Monday would be a no show for a huge crowd, but I was wrong. There were people from my state of Karnataka, Andhra, North India, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and from all over Maharashtra in the line. Patience was of the paramount importance here, but I guess Mumbai will teach it to you. The Darshan happened an hour later. The favorite part of the visit there was that I saw how smooth the crowd management happens. The priests didn’t lose patience, and the security guards didn’t lose their cool.
After the Siddhi Vinayak, I took a taxi to the Japanese temple. The Japanese temple was a fifteen minute taxi ride from the Siddhi Vinayak. This time it wasn’t an adventure, and it was 5Pm in the evening, and the temple was open. A bus ride to CST after the visit to the Japanese temple, train to Belapur, a dinner at a Udupi hotel, and a lassi at CBD Belapur’s Sector 4 market later I went home to sleep.
Read the conclusion in the Maximum City Stories