Shantaram Fullday Tour

Shantaram Fullday Tour

Shantaram is the 2003 novel written by Gregory David Roberts, a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict who escaped from Pentridge Prison and fled to India where he lived for 10 years. This tour shall take you across all the places mentioned in the novel.

This is a different offbeat tour where you have to visit narrow lanes and crowded bazaar but its all worth as it gives you the insight of the places mentioned in the novel.

Visit to A Sasoon Dock

We start with the visit to Mumbai`s Sasoon Dock . It is one of the oldest certainly not the biggest (the Indira docks-formerly known as the Alexandria docks is the biggest) dock in Mumbai and one of the few docks in the city open to the public.

It is situated just off Cuffe Parade in South Mumbai, and is today one of largest fish markets in the city. Its neighboring features are Mumbai Port Trust Garden and Offices of Fisheries Department, and overlooks Oyster Rock, an island in the Mumbai harbour, at a distance.

Visit to a Bazar Gate

From Sasoon Dock , we now visit to Bazar Gate.
Originally, Mumbai was composed of seven islands separated by a marshy swamp. Its deep natural harbour led the Portuguese settlers of the 16th Century to call it Bom Bahia (the Good Bay). The British Crown acquired the islands in 1661when Catherine of Braganza married Charles II, as part of her marriage dowry. It was then presented to the East India Company in 1668. The second governor, Gerald Aungier, developed Bombay into a trading port and centre for commerce and inducements were offered to skilled workers and traders to move here. European merchants and shipbuilders from western India were encouraged to settle here and Mumbai soon became a bustling cosmopolitan town.

Visit to Pydhonie

After completing the Bazar Gate , we now visit to a pydhonie which lies in the Mumbai City area . Pydhone is a neighbourhood in South Mumbai .The name is derived from the Marathi word Py which means feet, and dhoné which means "to wash". Thus the name means "A place where feet are washed."

The name Pydhonie or "foot-wash", and probably refers to a small creek that formed at high tide between the Great Breach (separating the islands of Bombay and Worli) and Umarkhadi, the creek between the islands of Mazagaon and Mumbai (Bombay). This was probably the first land permanently reclaimed from the sea in Mumbai. Pydhonie separates the predominantly Muslim population of the eastern part of the inner city from the mainly Hindu part to the west. The main landmark is the Mumbadevi Temple, moved here from the Fort area in 1737 or 1766. The present structure was financed by a Prabhu goldsmith called Pandurang Shivaji.

Visit to Bhendi Bazar

We then move further to Bhendi Bazaar Bhendi Bazaar which is located in South Mumbai. The origin of the name is that the British residing to the south of Crawford Market in the fort area referred to this area to the north of Crawford Market as "Behind the Bazaar" the natives picked this as "Bhendi Bazaar".[1]

Bhendi Bazaar is an area between Mohammed Ali Road and Khetwadi. The closest Central/ Harbour railway station is Sandhurst Road and the closest Western railway station are Charni Road and Grant Road. The bazaar is popular for shopping viz antique items, hardware items.

There are other markets surrounding Bhendi Bazaar such as Crawford Market (Phule Market), Chor Bazaar, Nul Bazar, and other small markets. Bhendi Bazaar is primarily a Muslim-populated area (particularly Dawoodi Bohras), but the shop-owners and hawkers in this market belong to different religious groups.

Visit to Bhaji Galli

We now further proceed to Bhaji Galli. Bhaji Galli takes its name from ‘Nana’ Jagannath Shankersheth’ who owned large areas of land in this neighbourhood of Grant Road (W). It is named Shanker Sheth Lane and Jagannath Lane but, of course, nobody would remember these. They would simply know it as Bhaji Galli. You would be able to buy all types of fruits and vegetables here. Bhaji Galli has three hundred plus licensed vegetable and fruit vendors. Some of them will keep only specific kinds of vegetables.

Ten vendors sell only tomatoes, four vendors sell tuberous roots and tubers , more than twenty vendors sell fruits , three vendors sell sprouted pulses , around ten vendors sell ‘kanda batata’ and the rest sell a mélange of vegetables.

So how did this little lane become a vegetable market, popularly known as Bhaji Galli? Well, the genesis lies within the confines of a very big chawl towards the Grant Road station end called Bhalchandra building. In the 1930s, the white Gandhi topi wearing vegetable vendors from Vasai, popularly called ‘Vasaiwale’ used to sell vegetables in the chawl’s courtyard. They used to procure home grown vegetables from the weekly markets of Virar,

Visit to Khau Galli

After completing the tour of Bhaji Galli we know visit to Khau Gali. Mumbai is the city that doesn’t stop eating either. While jostling one another in the overcrowded streets, Mumbaikers love to savour street food. From sinking their teeth into kheema ghotala to savouring hot fafda jalebi to enjoying the usual bun maska with chai – they relish every cuisine available in the nooks and corners of the bustling city.

Visit to Arthur Road Jail

The Tour ends with the last visit to Arthur Road Jail . Arthur Road Jail was built in 1926[1], is Mumbai's largest and oldest prison. It houses most of the city's prisoners. It is located near Sat Rasta (Seven Roads), between Mahalaxmi and Chinchpokli railway stations in the southern part the city. It was upgraded in 1994 to become a Central Prison and its official name is Bombay Central Prison. But, for the people of Mumbai, the heavily-guarded prison has always been known as Arthur Road jail.

A few decades ago, this prison was one of the most feared in India, because of the treatment prisoners received from the inmate overseers. The cells were overcrowded and the prisoners had to sleep on blankets infested with lice. They were allowed to wash each day, but the ration of water was very little. If they stood up against the overseers they were punished in terrible ways.

Later drop back to the hotel which shall be approx 45 minutes ( Colaba hotel ).