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Mumbai

After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Lalbagh market (Closed on Mondays). The first thing that strikes you about Lalbagh market is its rural colour, a quality absent in other city markets; here one finds shops selling an array of spices, chillies, rustic lanterns, metal trunks and colourful cow bells of various sizes as gifts – articles which the migrant worker might take home on his periodic visits to the village. As the city evolved into a factory town and became the largest centre of India’s most important cotton industry, it became the heart of Mumbai’s textile mill villages, popular as a social meeting place for workers and their families. On your return, visit the Crawford Market, named after Bombay's first municipal commissioner, Arthur Crawford. Poised between what was once the British Fort and the local town, the Crawford Market has elements of both. The markets façade features a blend of Flemish and Norman architecture, with a bas-relief above its main entrance depicting Indian peasants in wheat fields. Lockyard Kipling, father of the famous author Rudyard Kipling, designed the frieze; the Kipling’s' cottage still stands in the market to this day. The Crawford Market resembles a scene from Victorian London, with its sweet smell of hay and 50-foot-high sky-lit awning that bathes the entire venue in natural sunlight. As Mumbai's main wholesale market for fruit, since March 1996, you will find mountains of fresh fruits and vegetables amongst a wide variety of items for sale here. Next on your agenda is a place where tide of human life rolls down the centre of the street, unruffled by vehicles from all quarters ploughing their way through it. No visit to Mumbai is complete without a foray into the bazaars of Bhuleshwar. The city’s densest concentration of lifestyle and retail jeweler’s stores is a crush of shop fronts, street stalls, hawkers and handicrafts and a seething mass of people. It may look like absolute chaos but the areas are closely knit, and cohesively built around the traditional residential complex, temples, flower markets, community halls, cow shelter and bazaars. Within a few square kilometres there are a dozen bazaars and more commodities for sale than you will see probably anywhere else in a lifetime. Later visit Colaba Causeway Market, a narrow, busy street filled with shops and Indian designer boutiques. Souvenirs, trinkets and handicrafts are a highlight of this particular area and it is often referred to as a delightful visual introduction to the sights and sounds of ‘Maximum-City Mumbai’. After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Lalbagh market (Closed on Mondays). The first thing that strikes you about Lalbagh market is its rural colour, a quality absent in other city markets; here one finds shops selling an array of spices, chillies, rustic lanterns, metal trunks and colourful cow bells of various sizes as gifts – articles which the migrant worker might take home on his periodic visits to the village. As the city evolved into a factory town and became the largest centre of India’s most important cotton industry, it became the heart of Mumbai’s textile mill villages, popular as a social meeting place for workers and their families. Meeting/pick-up point: Pick-up at the hotel at 10am.

Duration: Five to six hours.

Start/opening time: At 10.30am.

Languages: English.

Others: Lalbagh Market remains closed on Mondays. Crawford Market, Bhuleshwar & Colaba Causeway Market remains closed on Mondays and national holidays.