Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) had a reconnaissance (recce) yesterday for their Mumbai darshan tours in the city, set to launch in the first week of May. There are several tweaks to the old route. This time, the tourism body has included Mukesh Ambani's house Antilla, Shah Rukh Khan’s bungalow Mannat and Salman Khan’s house Galaxy Apartments amongst the new sights.
Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan
The new darshan will be in BEST’s purple air-conditioned buses. Yesterday, during the recce, which started from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), guide Maria Lobo Dumasia sparked an interesting commentary which spoke about "Dhobi Ghat as the largest public laundry." She added, "Mahalakshmi race course was earlier a garbage dumping ground. The idols from Mahalakshmi temple were buried during a raid and later found and reinstated."
Mukesh Ambani’s house Antilla and Bandra-Worli Sealink are on the new Mumbai darshan list. Pics/Ajinkya Sawant
As the bus passed Peddar Road, Antilla, located on Millionaire's Row (as Altamount Road is called), came into view. The guide said, "This is the house of India’s richest man and is one of the most expensive houses ever built. There are 600 servants to take care of the building, and they have 27 storeys for a family of five."
The bus had several stops on the way, and then there was a drive through Bandra, where Mannat, SRK's home came into view. One could clearly see fans hanging outside. Then came Galaxy Apartments, Salman's building, and one could hear a few murmurs, "Where is Malaika? Nahi hai?" referring to Arbaaz's wife. They may have read reports about the trial separation.
The MTDC claimed they included new features to keep up with other private tours which already include these buildings.
Dumasia added, "There are many fake guides who dupe people in some private tours. Wrong information is given." Jagdish Patil, general manager, BEST stated, "We are looking to have at least 15 buses with a 40-seater capacity for Mumbai darshans in both North and South areas of the city. We will charge competitive rates, and they will be the same for Indians and foreigners. But in monuments, where the entrance fees for foreign tourists is already higher, will apply."
"We want to start the South and North Mumbai tours in May for the summer vacation. The South tour will be from CST to Bandra and back to CST passing by Bandra-Worli Sealink, Mahalaxmi race course, Nehru Planetarium and Science Centre. The North tour will start from Prabhadevi and include Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Film City, the airports and end at Prabhadevi," said Parag Jain Nainuttia, Managing Director of MTDC.