22 May 2010

MTDC Open Deck Bus Tour Experience

In the month of March when my Mother was in Mumbai for two weeks, I had a plan to show her a few signature places of South Mumbai. She was also very enthusiastic as some of the places were recently in news due to 26/11 attacks. Considering her endurance levels it was not a good idea to cover the places on foot and the alternative way of covering places in a rickety fiat taxis was not desirable.

Therefore, we opted for a conducted tour by MTDC Open-Deck-Bus Nilambari. The bus tour is scheduled twice in evenings, only on weekends. As suggested by the person at MTDC phone enquiry, we didn’t do any advance bookings, and got the tickets easily at the booking counter near Gateway-of-India just an hour before the start of first trip(at 7 pm).
The total duration of the trip was one hour guided by a lady narrating about the history and significance about the location which passes by.

The landmarks covered in the tour were (in chronological order):
  • Gateway-of-India
  • Taj Mahal Palace
  • Leopold Cafe: The first site attacked during 26/11 attacks
  • Regal Cinema
  • Mumbai Police HQ
  • Study Center: An ideal place for students to do group-study who are devoid of congenial environment in their apartments.
  • Mantralay and MLA quarters
  • Nariman Point
  • Oberoi Hotel
  • Marine Drive
  • Brabourne Stadium
  • Revolving Restaurant
  • Churchgate
  • Eros Theatre
  • Mumbai University,  Rajabai Clock Tower : The tower constructed on the lines of Big-Ben London.
  • Fashion Street : Series road-side shops selling latest trendy clothes.
  • Metro Cinema: one of largest single screen theatre now converted into a multiplex.
  • St Xaviers College: the places many who’s who of Mumbai earned their degree.
  • Madam Cama Hospital
  • BMC Office
  • Chatrapati Sivaji Terminus(CST)
  • Hutatma Chowk, Flora Fountain: The fountain was built to represent the Roman goddess of flowers – Flora, and is surrounded by a host of small fountains and mythological figurines.
  • Horniman Circle: A place with uniform striking architecture. It was first time such an urban unified design approach was adopted in India. Has several important offices including HQ of India’s largest bank SBI..
  • Asiatic Society : The historic town hall of the now houses the library
  • Dock Yard
Some key observations
  • The guided tour was pretty informative, got to know many things which we usually find it boring to read in  Wikipedia.
  • The open deck is different experience, even if you have seen the places it’s highly recommended to see it from difference perspective through a different mode.
  • For me, the never seen before place was Horniman Circle. The place with homogeneous landscape, housing Head-Quarters several Indian banks is quite outstanding.
  • I never really gave a thought before that why the houses next to Eros theater were constructed with simple architecture. As per reason stated by the guide, the buildings were constructed during world-war-2, then simplicity was the motto to save cost.
  • One of the major statement made by the guide was – “You can find everything in Mumbai, except snowfall !“
  • It unfortunate to see that some people due to lack of patience and got down in between without completing the tour and missed signature places which were last part of the tour.


  1. Have to add this to agenda for next visit...

  2. Thanx for posting

  3. Anonymous11:16 PM

    thanks fr postin... bein in mumbai since birth havnt tried it.. bt wil do so...