India Today - - LEISURE - —Moeena Halim

Mum­bai may not have the his­toric charm of

Mughal Delhi, but it does of­fer an in­ter­est­ing mix of art, cul­ture and food—and, of course, it’s home to Bol­ly­wood. His­tory comes in the form of Bri­tish-era build­ings, rows of art deco con­struc­tions as well as the ur­ban vil­lages where time seems to have stood still.

No Foot­prints, a city-based tour com­pany founded by Harsh­vard­han Tan­war and Ee­sha Singh, has de­vised an eight-hour tour called Five Senses, which of­fers vis­i­tors a size­able serv­ing of the city’s melt­ing pot of ex­pe­ri­ences. The tour be­gins at the Gate­way of In­dia, fol­lowed by a walk around the Fort area, cov­er­ing the ma­jor land­marks of colo­nial Mum­bai. Aimed at for­eign tourists who treat Mum­bai as a tran­sit stop en route to Ker­ala, Goa or Ra­jasthan, the tour was con­cep­tu­alised by Singh and is led by Tan­war. “While lis­ten­ing to sto­ries about Mum­bai’s his­tory, vis­i­tors will also have a chance to watch the dab­bawalas mak­ing their way through the Ch­ha­tra­p­ati Shivaji Ter­mi­nus. We call this sec­tion of the tour ‘Sharada’s Mum­bai’, af­ter city his­to­rian Sharada Dwivedi, as she un­earthed sto­ries of these won­der­ful build­ings and doc­u­mented them in her book Fort Walks,” says Tan­war.

And while vis­it­ing land­mark sites is worth­while, a dose of con­tem­po­rary cul­ture is just as im­por­tant. So next up is a dose of Mum­bai’s sounds, ex­em­pli­fied by a ses­sion of Bol­ly­wood mu­sic and dance. Then, a Konkani thali takes care of taste, while a walk down Lal­baug’s Spice Mar­ket is a treat for the sense of smell. “Here, not only can you buy the spices, but also get them dry roasted and ground into the masala mix of your choice. It’s not un­com­mon to see ladies pa­tiently wait­ing with bags full of spices and a recipe that has been handed down over gen­er­a­tions,” re­veals Tan­war. The tour, which be­gins at 8.30 in the morn­ing, ends at 4.30 in the evening with a visit to a lo­cal NGO. “A per­fect end to this colour­ful col­lage of ex­pe­ri­ences is to be able to touch peo­ple’s lives,” adds Tan­war.

A Slice of Mum­bai (Clock­wise from top left) the Lal­baug spice mar­ket; a Bol­ly­wood dance class; chil­dren at a lo­cal NGO

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