My wife and started a 3 week trip to India in Mumbai. We spent 5 days in Mumbai but only 2 were dedicated to really touring the city.
We booked our tour with Hemali prior to leaving for our trip. She was very responsive over email and we were able to develop a 2 day itinerary that reflected our interests.
Our hotel was in the northern part of Mumbai (Goregaon East) which was, unfortunately for us, about an hour away from most of the attractions that we had scheduled to see (in the south). On both days Hemali arranged for an AC taxi to pick us up at our hotel and then we drove to pick her up.
Our first day we visited Baan Ganga (sacred water tank), a Jain temple, a Hare Krishna temple,
Hanging Garden, Kamla Nehru park, the Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Hotel, and many more attractions. For lunch, Hemali recommended a vegetarian restaurant next to the Hare Krishna temple, which was great.
The second day we spent mainly touring Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia. Using Dharavi as a backdrop, Hemali has able to use it to describe not just the the problems and challenges India is facing but also how the chaos can be organized. We saw a lot of industry in the slums, such as the many different types of recycling, the sewing and light manufacturing, the pottery businesses, and the Dhobi Ghat (open laundry). At first the idea of going to a slum might seem a turn-off; however, I highly recommend the experience. If it doesn't make you want to do something for others it will at least make you appreciate what you have. Later in the day Hemali invited us over to her place for some snacks and showed us both the food and textile markets nearby.
Hemali really made us feel comfortable in an otherwise foreign and hectic environment. She is a local who showed us local sites and activities. She really helped us make sense of the people, the city, the culture, and much of the richness Mumbai has to offer - something that could easily be missed at first glance. We highly recommend using Bravo Bombay's services to anyone looking for those positive and comfortable, yet eye opening, experience.
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