September 9, 2010

Victoria Albert Museum Mumbai

This year is bit sad for me, as I couldn’t travel much after a short trip to Pune. This year I couldn’t even visit any foreign country. But while surfing through internet; I found that there are many places in Mumbai which I have never visited. It was surprising that more than 20 places only in South Mumbai which I never visited and about 15 places I didn’t even know that exists. So, I decided to explore my very own city- Mumbai. (Exploration has already started with RBI Coin Museum about 2 weeks back)

It’s been 28 years I am in Mumbai and didn’t even know that there is an oldest museum at Bycullla neighborhood in south Mumbai. Its name is Victoria Albert Museum; now called as Bhau Daji Lad Museum.

It is the oldest museum in Mumbai showcasing the industrial arts and life in 19th Century. Grand Palladian museum building with High Victorian interiors was built in 1858. It was opened to the Public on 2nd May 1872 as the Victoria & Albert Museum. The museum was renamed as Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in 1975 in the honor of the man whose vision and dedication ensured its establishment.

Along with the several magnificent artifacts this museum has small Gallery showcasing the evolution of Mumbai from swampy group of islands known as Heptanesia into a gracious and elegant 19th Century city. The photos, maps, lithographs take you on a journey back in 19th Century when the city was built to demonstrate Mumbai’s importance as Urbs Prima in Indis.

Museum is definitely worth the visit to know more about the art in 19th Century in India.

* As the photography was not allowed inside the Museum; above 4 photos I have copied from the museum's website for the readers to get an idea how beautiful the museum is.

August 26, 2010

RBI Monetary Museum

Just yesterday visited this small but wonderful museum of RBI. I did not even know about it till Amit told me when he visited there just to kill some time while in Fort Area. Truly amazing collection of coins, paper currency, financial instruments and monetary curiosities over 10000 exhibits. Museum reveals India’s rich monetary heritage. This is definitely one of the must see places in Mumbai.

Following are the scanned images of Information Broacher of RBI Museum.

April 13, 2010

Something That Touched My Heart

I love visiting zoos in any new city I go. I feel capturing as many animals as possible in my camera. May be in very near future we will be able to see them only in photos. Many animals have already been extinct and many on the verge of extinction.
This time when I visited Katraj Snake Park and zoo; I found very unusual place in that. There were three graves. Many zoos have graves of their beloved animals who died in their zoo. But these graves were totally different. They were of Dodo (Extinct since 1681) and Indian Cheetah (Extinct from 1952); these animals are already extinct from Indian forest. The Third grave caught attention. It was only dug and kept open… for Tigers who are on the verge of extinction. For couple of seconds my mind stopped working. I felt very sad, guilty and helpless. Is it too late to save them? Maybe… may not be…

My contribution is very small but I really want that third grave to be open and gradually removed…

Save the tigers…

April 12, 2010

Pune – Must try eat outs

During this trip we discovered some good places to eat variety of food.

Tony Da Dhaba – If you are adventurous enough for trying different food then definitely visit this place. Tony Da Dhaba is about 35 kms from Wakad (Pune) on old Pune – Mumbai Highway. I wont mention what we tried (not I exactly; the other two people with me). Better ask for the special cousins which are not listed in regular menu card.

Sinhagad – Any small restaurant on the Sinhagad fort for Zhunka, Bhakari, Kanda Bhaji and Curd.

11 East Street Restaurant – This is a gem we found in Pune Cantonment area. One of the most happening areas in Pune. 11 East Street Restaurant is a London themed restaurant with sports bar and Double Decker bus with Cake and Pastry shop in it.

Kayani Bakery – Very famous in Pune for its delicious freshly baked cakes. Try the regular and fruit / chocolate cake here.

ABC Farms – This is another great place to hang out on weekend nights. This time we went to Curve restaurant to try Wood fire Pizza.

Pune – A day with Adventure

Woke up bit early in the morning and drove down to Hadapsar. There is a Gliding center at Hadapsar where you can learn Gliding and also become licensed Glider Pilot. If you don’t have time for learning then drop down to this place on any Sunday to take a ride.
As this place is an undertaking of Civil Aviation Department, Government of India; Joy rides on Sunday are at subsidized rate of Rs. 187 only. All gliders are in very good conditions and all the glider pilots are very experienced; my pilot had an experience of 51 years.
It was indeed great experience to fly in a two seat glider; a small aircraft without engine. For no doubt Gliding center becomes the must visit place in Pune and a must visit place again for me.

Pune – A Day with History

Saturday morning; we headed to Sinhagad “Lion’s Fort” (Formerly known as Kondhana) about 25 Km from Pune.
This place had great importance in history. Battle of Sinhagad was fought by Tanaji Malusare the General of Shivaji in 1670. Climbed the steep cliff with the help of Monitor Lizard (Ghorpad in Marathi). Tanaji fought the fierce battle like a lion and lost his life. His brother then took over and captured the Kodhana fort. Later renamed as Sinhagad in the honor of Tanaji’s death. Now this place is only remain in the form of ruins.

This is a must visit place in Pune to get the great view from top and try some delicious Maharashtrian food like Zhunka Bhakari, Curd in earthen pots, buttermilk, onion bhaji, also don’t forget to try “Tutu” the local fruit looks like Blueberries/blackberries.

In the evening we went to see the Sound and Light Show at Shaniwarwada. This place also has great History. Shaniwarwada was built by Peshwa Baji Rao I in 1736. It was the throne of Peshwa rulers from 1736 ~ 1818. Later surrendered to British. In 1928; it was destroyed by fire.
Light and sound show reveals the History since the time of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to the Peshwa Baji Rao II.

Pune – A Day with Nature

Nearest city from Mumbai; now an IT hub. We had been to Pune many times but this time I wanted to explore it in my way…

We reached Pune late afternoon; headed to Katraj Snake Park and Zoo. This zoo was really well maintained as compared to the other zoos I have seen in India. Animals are kept in much better conditions here. We got to see crocs, ghariyal, white tiger, tiger, leopard, spotted deers, and porcupine. Also got a chance to see many non-venomous snakes in open, giant King Kobra and several other snakes.

Katraj Snake Park and zoo Snaps

March 26, 2010

Caves Expedition – Ellora

About 30 km from Aurangabad city.

Ellora has Buddhist, Hindu and Jain Caves. This is also a world Heritage Site but little neglected. These caves are built from 5th Century to 10th Century. Most important cave is no. 16 Kailasa; designed to recall Mt. Kailas. It is carved out of single rock and one of the most magnificent structures.
Buddhist caves are mainly consisting of monasteries, viharas, multi storeyed buildings with living quarters, sleeping quarters, etc.
5 caves are Jain Caves which are belong to Digambara. They all show Jain Philosophy and tradition.

**Special notes before visiting these caves; you will need to carry a torch to both the caves, at Ajanta you need to remove the foot wares outside all caves, at Ellora be aware of bats at the dark areas and avoid going to near to them.

Bhuddhist Caves

View From My hotel

Hindu Caves

Jain Caves

March 22, 2010

Vintage Car and bike Rally

Yesterday (Sunday 21st March 2010), I got chance to be a part of Vintage car and bike rally. This was organized by Heritage Vehicle Owner’s Club of Thane ( I do not own any vintage car or bike but may be as a special spectator I got pretty long drive in one of the vintage car. That car was exceptionally well maintained Standard Herald Mark III. For me it was dream come true to get a ride in vintage car. Earlier I was under an impression that only the Parsis or the Kings/ Prince of some states own such cars. But when I saw the rally I was delighted to see that many other people actually own these vehicles.

I also got opportunity to see Morris Minor 1950, Fiat Millicento 1956, Standard Herald 2 door and the most adorable Austin 1929.

I am not fond of bikes / two wheelers but I think after seeing some of these beautiful and magnificent two wheelers in the rally; I am going to be the fan of those. Yesterday I think for the first time I saw; Lambretta, Vespa, Rajdoot GTS (Bobby), Lamby Polo, Honda 250N Super Dream, Java and Yezdi.

I wish to visit more of such rallies in future with very selfish motive that I can get ride in another vintage car. ;)