its just been a couple of months since we got back from mumbai – i would definitely recommend it as a 5 day trip – despite the poverty. remember its a sprawling city, overcrowded, bad traffic, but if you love excitement, colour and city life, then its a perfect place to discover. we actually had a friend recommend to us a few sites to see – most are on the usual ‘things to do’ list, but some were not. its definitely recommended to take a driver for a guided tour otherwise you would get lost or hassled by people wanting to take you places. we took a driver to first take us around specific shops – we knew that we wanted to buy a few gifts, some fabric and for me one of the beautiful hand embroidered dresses. Kala Khoda is an old-meets-new heritage neighbourhood and had small independent artsy shops – its mumbai’s equivalent to shoreditch. we found a lovely photographic book in Filter, a bookshop/graphics/self publishing. this is also the area where the restaurant Trishna is, see earlier post for restaurants in mumbai. for stylish clothes and homesware, try Good Earth; Kala Niketan , queens road, for silk fabric and saris – use for window panels or bedspreads; Neemrana Chikankari, new queens road, for traditional embroidered dresses – usually on silk , quite exquisite, there is a great selection and i ended up with a couple from there. i didnt manage to get to all my recommendations, but here they are, Amrapali for jewellery, Ahilaya for the best kurtas, the loose collarless tunics; Sabyasachi for the unusual and vintage; ensemble is where you go for designer clothes; bungalow 8 is a lifestyle store and apparently very good, but it wasn’t open during my visit. i did get a vintage dress copied, but it wasn’t great – but what do you expect in a few days – still its a good souvenir. .
here are the embroidered dresses that i bought….