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ShiviAugust 3, 201810min773

Mumbai is one of the most loved and extensively featured cosmopolitan cities in the world. From Bombay to Mumbai a lot of things have changed in this city, but what this short blog will talk about the Gothic architecture and the heritage sites that lies just in the heart of South Bombay and leave a mark to every Mumbaikar and traveller coming to this city.

Street Walk Photography blog, Spirited Blogger

Mumbai has a quite mixed and complexly layered history that dates back to the East India Company’s era. This unique history was our whole idea to explore behind having this one-day event called as – street walk photography – Mumbai walk. This event was organised by a group Backpacking Budget Travelling in India.

Where we explored many old architectural buildings on south Bombay that best reflects its diverse architectural buildings and combination of many worlds and eras. One can see High Victorian to the Indo-Islamic tinge of the era in the design and architecture of these buildings.

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

We all started from one meeting place from south Bombay near CSTM railway station, waited for the gang to gather and then the heritage walk began. We roam the streets and explored many iconic buildings, that has aesthetic appeal and best represents the unique offerings of Mumbai.  The art deco and modern buildings give the city its cool and fresh look. , but it’s the diverse Victorian-era structures – the neo-Gothic, Indo-Saracenic and Venetian Gothic medley – that have come to describe Mumbai and make her the showy beauty that she is. All the shapes and the designs, the spires, the tombs, the gables and the arches – everything makes for a pleasant walk through the city’s past. Let’s talk about what all we explored – though there were many but have a look at the major ones. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus), Taj Mahal Palace hotel, the Gateway of India – these live up to their reputation, and the great joys are the church, Kayani’s, Bademiya, Jimmy’s etc. etc.

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

It is the Mumbai’s most iconic landmark, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, still functional and central to life in the city today. It is almost 130 years old building and is not just the most famous railway station in India, but also a UNESCO World Heritage site. This huge structure is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival and Indian architectural styles.  While an architectural prodigy to gaze in esteem for the tourists, this glorious building is just part of the daily commute for thousands of busy Mumbaikars.

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

Mumbai High Court

The High Court of Mumbai building was built in the 1870s in early English-Gothic style. It was designed by Colonel J.A. Fuller, R.E. where blue-basalt was used as facing over the walls that were made of rubble and chunam. This colonial British-style marvel features many architectural details that amaze visitors.

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

 

 

The Taj Mahal Palace

No wonder it is one of the famous and the first clear marker of the Bombay harbour until the Gateway of India was later built next to it around 20 years later. This quintessential Arabian Sea-facing hotel was built in 1903 under Jamsetji Tata and designed by architect Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya. It takes stimulus from around the world, displaying the most remarkable Victorian Gothic, Romanesque and Edwardian elements. A century later, the deluxe and archaeologically significant hotel remains unmatched among others in India.

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

 

Gateway Of India

The Gateway Of India – Mumbai’s most significant monument was built to venerate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city. Representing its association with the British Raj era in Mumbai, it is also the predicament from where the last of British troops deceased the country after its independence. This Indo-Saracenic architectural display was designed by Scottish architect George Wittet, taking from Indo-Islamic, Indian and Roman inspirations. Built from yellow basalt and armour-plated concrete, the building was completed only in 1924 while its foundation stone was laid in 1911.

 

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

Few more clicks from our amazing photographers @Anurag Kakkar @Naveena Mohan @Niraj

She is #Chiya the youngest amongst us. PC – @Anurag Kakkar

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

Gothic Styled Architecture – Brilliantly Restored

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

The stars of our event

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

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ShiviApril 1, 20188min2622

It is rightly called as Dalia Lama’s abode – McLeod Ganj and when I gave a thought to travel solo to this wonderful place I never realised that by the end of my travel journey I will be in love with this place evermore.

When travellers talk of heading up to Dharamsala, what they really think to visit or experience – to see the Dalai Lama, to visit the best treks with valleys, to trip high on the hippie hills – reason can be many for different kind of travellers, so as mine as a solo traveller.

Dalai Lama Temple Mcleodganj

Here’s why and how I loved McLeod Ganj why I love to travel solo to this place.

Starting with the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, which is 3 kilometres north of Dharamsala town (or 10km via the looping bus route. This small place is the home to a huge Tibetan population, that includes the monks and the nuns and other locals.

dalai-lama-temple - Mani stones

So, the Tibetan government-in-exile is based out here just at the downhill of Gangchen Kyishong. When I visited McLeod I was amazed to witness this huge part of Tibetan population that is peacefully yet unofficially residing here. This is one of the main reason why this destination attracts thousands of international visitors each year to volunteer this Tibetan community. One thing which holds my attention is the courses which you can take on Buddhism, meditation or yoga, and then of course trek in the Dhauladhar mountains, Parvati Valley and many other players lying deep on the foothills of Dharamkot and McLeod. You can shop at the Tibetan crafts, or just hang out with the firangis all around who come here and stay for long to witness this remarkable blend of culture and heritage of North India.

McLeodganj Local Market

Travelling solo makes you close to your soul, and helps to challenge yourself in any situation. One cool thing that I learned on my visit to Mcleod Ganj is that it is the suburb of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh, which is popularly known as “Little Lhasa” or “Dhasa” as it has a huge population of Tibetans. Moreover, the Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered in McLeod Ganj.

You get good homestays to stay that is cheap and comfortable all through your journey. Being a solo traveller or a “woman solo traveller” (yeah, had to quote it this way as it is India and there are some parts of India that are not easy for woman solo travellers) I was a bit sceptical on how and where to stay. But McLeod Ganj offered me the best and the safest stay during my entire vacation. The streets are colorful and perky filled with local cafe’s and shops that offer local jewellery  Apart from other stuff one thing which caught my attention is a handful of shops that offer musical instruments.

Cafes of Mcleodganj - SpiritedBlogger

There are some of the unbeaten places to visit in McLeod that will leave you speechless with its natural surroundings and snow-cladded mountains.  Hike to the mighty Triund Trek, it is 9 km away from Mcleod Ganj, beautiful peak and an ideal place for a solo traveller to relax and rejuvenate amidst the mesmerising meadows.

Triund Trek - Spirited Blogger

Bhagsu Falls and Bhagsunath temple lies 3 km from the McLeod city. A beautiful walk, great surroundings, stunning pools and lush green vicinity makes it a perfect place to visit. This place has its own historical importance that dates back to Lord Shiva, Nag Devta and the King Bhagsu. Due to this reason, this place is worshipped by both Hindus and the Gorkha community.

Bhagsu Falls - Dharamshala

Other than this, I took a road to explore Namgyal Monastery, took a trail till Naddi, Tsuglagkhang (Dalai Lama’s residence), a non-gothic architecture – the church of Saint Johns in the wilderness and the list can be countless. McLeodganj has everything to offer to a tourist. For me, it is like a second home, where every time I go, I feel new and explore new things.

Best Time to Visit – September to June

How to Reach – Passengers buses are available till Mcleodganj bus stand. Then hire a taxi to reach further in the town. One can also walk the lanes. Pathankot is the nearest Railway Station.

Come to McLoed… and breathe free 🙂

 



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There is a piece in me that like to tenderly imagine my maverick and seditious soul. But, precisely, I love to have a picky and cosy relationship with my soul that can rub up against a little bit, putting me alive.


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