Take your taste buds for a treat this Ramzan

The festivities of Ramzan are only a week away. The streets would be soon filled with Seek, Shawarma and Salli vendors. But where would you find the most succulent portions of your favourite Ramzan delicacies? We bring you the most sought for street corners in the city that are a must visit this festive season.

1. The bustling Crawford market and Bhindi Bazaar

The streets from Crawford market till Bhindi Bazaar are set alight with hot and spicy non-veg fried and grill goodies. From kababs swimming in greasy goodness to biryanis soaked in saffron, this place is a feast for the eyes as much as the stomach. The vendors also offer an assortment of dishes that tantalise the sweet buds. Here you get to feast on smooth and creamy Firnis, spongy Malpuwa’s and hot crackling Jalebies.

Places to visit in the area:

Haji Tikka: This is one of the lesser explored gems at Bhindi Bazaar for skewed meat.

Surti Barah Handi: The name Barah itself refers to 12 parts of goat that are cooked over night in different pots (Handis). The tender meat coupled with soft naans will take your Ramzan experience to the next level.


2. Murg and Mutton at Mohammad Ali road:

This time of the year another place in Mumbai that all roads seem to lead to is the Mohammad Ali road. 10 minutes walking distance from Masjid and Sandhurst road station you will find a thoroughfare filled with items that are staple to the hardcore non-vegetarians. This is best place to have juicy mutton kebabs, fiery tandoori chicken. You also find special delicacies that include Khiri (Udder) and Kalegi (Liver) preparations. End your meal with a generous portion of Khichda- a mixture of mutton, rice and just the right amount of spices that fills your belly and sooths your soul leaving the pure taste of Ramzan in your heart.

Also Read: Desi fast food for the soul

Places to visit in the area:

The Shawarma stalls – the cheapest eateries

Chinese-N-Grill: Do not let the name fool you. They cater the most authentic Mughlai cuisine.


3. The cool offerings of the Taj

It is obvious that your heart will yearn for something cool at the end of a hearty meal in this typical summer heat. Head over to the Taj Ice Cream at Mohammad Ali road. This place has been offering rich and icy treats since the past 125 years. It is especially known for its fresh fruit infused ice creams.

If you are cynical about eating at road side stalls then you must pay a visit to places like Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar, Noor Mohammadi (famous for the ‘Sanju Baba Chicken’), Persian Darbar, Shalimar, Zaffran’s and Bade Miyan among others for the royal taste and experience of Ramzan.

The enthralling Backwaters of Kerala

The backwaters of Kerala are the prime attraction for visitors and tourists. Being the epitome of tranquillity this place has several scenic destinations to offer.

The Backwaters are easily accessible from Cochi. It takes about 75 minutes from Cochi airport to reach Kumarakom (approximately 53 kilometres). Here there are many luxurious hotels available for a comfortable stay for the entire family.

Alappuzha - the main attraction of the Backwaters
Alappuzha – the main attraction of the Backwaters

While Alleppey (Alappuzha) is the main attraction of the Backwaters there are many other destinations that are waiting to be explored.

ALSO READThe enigma that is Ladakh!

Kumarakom is well known for its splendour of avifauna species. An early start of the day with a bird watching safari is just what you would need to get in sync with the natures’ mood. The ‘Vembanad Bird Sanctuary’ here stretches for about 14 acers and is home to vivid bird species that include kingfishers, water ibis, flycatchers, Siberian cranes, teal, duck, osprey, wood beetles, larks, water duck, Indian Darter, herons, pin-tailed, owls, cuckoo, steppe eagle and many more.

You can explore the beauty of the Kumarakom area or hit the beach for a swim or fun activities like water sports. When at Kumarakom a visit to the temple of ‘Vaikom Mahadev’ is a must as it dedicated to Lord Parshuram one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

Kumarakom - Backwaters of Kerala
Kumarakom – Backwaters of Kerala

To experience the true scenic beauty of Kumarakom a sunset cruise is exceedingly prescribed.
Approximately 33 kilometres away from Kumarakom is the famous Alappuzha where houseboat cruises take you through a remarkable experience of nature that Kerala has to offer. The road trip is about 1 hour maximum. There are luxurious houseboats meant for a comfy indulgence throughout. These boats are huge and slow moving so as to let you bask in the beauty of the habitat. The ride ensures to sink you in a natural bliss.

Earlier these houseboats were freight carriers and used to carry up to 30 tons of products to Kochi port. The products mainly included rice and spices. Due to the development of roadways and truck infrastructure the freight business of the boats was rendered redundant. This gave birth to the houseboat business which boasts of five-star level accommodations including plush bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. The interior of the boats is made of natural material which keeps the passengers connected to nature even while inside the floating house.

There are a lot of cruising options here from small country boats to luxury vessels mentioned above.

Apart from these destinations there are other treasures of the Backwaters including the Chandragiri Cruises, Kuttanad- the major rice granary of Kerala, etc.

The enigma that is Ladakh!

What is all the fuzz about Ladakh. The attraction of new landscapes for riders and hikers but what else does this sterile piece of land offer that enthrals kids and adults alike?

In simple words, it is the land of marvellous landscapes that provide tranquillity and a sense of adventure at the same time.

With the Himalaya and Karakoram, two of the mightiest mountain ranges, surrounding it, the city lies between the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges. But it is not just the scenic beauty that attracts the globe to this place. The vivid culture that one experiences in this place creates an impression both in the heart and mind of the travellers and visitors.

Also Read: A sanctuary in the midst of a bustling city – Sanjay Gandhi National Park

As far as the stay in Ladakh is concerned there are hotels, inns, guest houses and bed and breakfasts’ available that cater to every budget array and are known for their hospitality and comfort.

Leh the larges town in Ladakh provides multiple cuisine varieties that are suitable for every palate. The food fare includes Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and there are even places where you can find Korean flavours.

The local dishes that define the Ladakh tradition include Tsampa also known as Ngamphe- made from roasted barley, it is a staple breakfast dish in the Tibetan and Himalayan regions. Thukpa- a Tibetan noddle soup. Other delicacies include Skyu- a heavy pasta dish loaded with veggies. Momos are recognisably found here in plenty. Both the vegetarian and non-veg distinctions have an enormous appeal among the tourists.

Maneuvering through Ladakh is not difficult if adventure is in your soul. There are buses, taxis and bikes available on rent for a fee. It is best to fix the fair first before hiring. It is recommended that you take the assistance of registered travel agencies for your transport requirements.

Ladakh is conveniently connected to major cities in the north. Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is the main airport with connecting flights from Delhi, Srinagar and Jammu. Most of the prominent flight companies provide airline services to the airport. Though the flight schedules are set they may fluctuate owing to weather conditions prevailing in Ladakh.

goats-in-ladakh

Though Ladakh promises a picturesque experience it is not for all. If you are looking for a leisure travel this might not be the place for you. But if you are hungry for adventure and love the thrill of the road and do not mind the occasional wandering this is the location you are looking for.

The temple of ‘Adi Shakti’ Mahalaxmi

Regulars must be knowing how diverse India is in every domain, be it food, culture, or religion. Every Indian including Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, and Christian, every single human under these religions have their own spiritual sentiments and their own holy idols and places to worship. So, from temples to Gurudwaras, to Dargas, and Churches, we have them all. Speaking of Hindu temples, here is one of the prime worship places of Mumbai that you should know about.

Mahalaxmi Temple is one of the most famous temples of Mumbai. It situated on Bhulabhai Desai Road in Mahalaxmi area. It is dedicated to Mahalakshmi the central deity of Devi Mahatmyam.

The Mahalaxmi Temple in Mumbai is managed by the ‘Shree Mahalaxmi Temple Charities’ Trust. They look after the temple so that devotees can benefit from the ‘Darshan’ of the idols of the three Goddesses viz. Shri Mahalakshmi, Shree Mahakali and Shree Mahasaraswati placed in the shrine.

Also Read: Siddhivinayak – The Shire of the God of Happiness

Legend:

  • To protect the idols of the three Goddesses from the Muslim invaders a cult of Hindus immersed them into the Arabian sea, near the Worli creek. Years later during the British rule, Lord Horneby ordered for the connection of Worli-Malabar Hill creek. The work was to be carried out under the supervision of Shri Ramji Shivji Prabhu, a Government Engineer serving under the British Empire.
  • Even after immense hard work it was impossible for the engineer to accomplish the task. Then, it is said, one day the Goddess Mahalaxmi herself visited him in his dream and told him to recover the immersed idols from the creek. Upon doing so the connecting of the creeks was made possible.
  • Captivated by his efforts Ramji Prabhu was awarded a piece of land, by the English rules, on the hillock where the Mandir (temple) now stands.

Mahalaxmi-Temple-Mumbai

Today the temple is designated as a heritage sight due its architectural and archaeological significance. It has a modest structural design which gives it it’s unique quality. Also it is surrounded by low rise buildings, flower and sweet shops that gives it a proper cultural vibe.

During the time of ‘Deepawali Laxmi poojan’ there is a lot of pomp and show here. Devotees gather from all around the city. A special Pooja is held in the honour of the ever giving Goddess Mahalaxmi.

The temple is open to devotees of all casts and backgrounds. There is a great faith among individuals that Mahalaxmi grants boons which deliver them from poverty and other financial problems.

The church of Mount Mary

Flip through our pages and you will find us talking all about the sacred and beautiful worship places of India. India is a melting pot of religions from around the world and has a rich collection of spiritual places. India’s business lifeline, Mumbai, alone boasts a variety of religious architectures that have gained an immovable place in the heart of the locals as well as visitors. Let us tell you about one such amazing place in the heart of Mumbai, known as Mount Mary.

Mount Mary Basilica, Bandra is a Christian Church located at the hilltop near the coastlines of Western Mumbai. Looking over the Arabian sea this complex has been standing for over hundred years.

It is a majestic complex of stone that stands as a symbol of peace, tranquillity, and hope for all. It is a place of worship for all and the mother does not differentiate between her children. The doors of the Church are open for devotees of all religions and backgrounds. The location and ambiance of the place is so divine that it takes your heart and soul to a peaceful place where all you want to do is pray and be in the grace of the divinity.

Once a simple shrine today it has transformed into a regal structure. Over the year many devotees have strived for its development.

Also Read: The temple of ‘Adi Shakti’ Mahalaxmi

Mount Mary

The principal front of the building facing the gates is about 67.5 feet long. The entire foundation of the edifice is entrenched in rock. The entire construction has total four floors. The ground floor is where the beautiful statue of Mother Mary holding baby Jesus is placed in a large indentation. There are benches with kneeling space where the devotees can offer their prayers. Candles and other offerings can be placed below the statue of Mother Mary on the white marble floor.

The most popular event of Mount Mary is the Bandra Fair which is connected to the annual Feast of ‘Our Lady of the Mount’. This event is conducted each year on 8th September. The feast is celebrated over 8 days. Before the feast a fasting period of 9 days is followed called the ‘Novena’.

Masses are conducted in the morning and evening during the ‘Novena’ while during the feast the masses are conducted only in the mornings. There are stalls of delicious savouries and sweets lined up outside the Church during this time for the famished devotees.

Image Credit : mountmarybasilicabandra.in

The sacred tomb – Haji Ali

Mumbai is a hub of all religions that come together and form our impeccable India. This city has a space for each and every religion and its followers and keeps them safe in its heart. Flip through our pages and you will find information about almost all the famous religious places that are in and around Mumbai. We have talked about the super famous Siddhivinayak temple, Mount Mary, and etc. For today’s edition of information, we shall take you to the south side of the city to one of the most beautiful spiritual places of Mumbai – Haji Ali Dargah. It is one of a kind place in Mumbai that has been loved and avidly visited by humans around the world.

Haji Ali Dargah’, Mumbai or ‘Haji Ali’ as it is fondly known, is the tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.) and is one of the most prominent religious places in India. It has been a prestigious landmark of the Mumbai shoreline since inception. It is located 500 yards away from the coast in the middle of the Arabian sea off Lala Lajpatrai Marg.

The structure was constructed in the 19th century on an isle made of high rising rocks. The ‘Haji Ali Dargah Trust’ was formed in 1916 to look after the monument.

Along with the tomb of the great Muslim saint the Dargah also houses a Masjid (Place of worship for the Muslims). The architecture of the entire complex has been inspired by Mughal designs.

haji ali shrine

Even today the structure stands tall like a sacred sentinel upon the seas of Mumbai. Through it’s a renowned site for Muslim devotees the Dargah’s doors are open for people of all casts and creeds. Many non-Muslim devotees have great faith in this sacred ossuary. This is the reason it attracts individuals from all over.

Around 15,000 visitors come to offer their prayers here each day. This number increases to about 30,000 during Fridays and Sundays. The human stream in the Dargah during the second day of Ramadhan Eid and Bakri Eid (Eid-ul-Uzha) is breath-taking. The pathway to the crypt looks like a river of men.

The trust holds special ceremonies / rituals and makes the necessary offering during the Death Anniversary of Pir Haji Ali. Niyaaz (Offerings of sweets and food) is distributed during this time to the devotees present.

The trust also organises the display of the ancient and sacred relics of Prophet Mohamed (S.A.W.S.) during his birth Anniversaries at which time prayers are conducted followed by the distribution of Niyaaz.