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New spin on history

Cycle tour on May 22 to focus on chawls, markets and mills in Mumbai’s heartland.

entertainment Updated: May 02, 2011 13:39 IST
Sneha Mahale

There’s more to Mumbai than the sea, food, town and nightlife. And come May 22, all you need is a cycle to discover this new side. Odati Adventures, a company that organises cycle tours, has introduced a tour that will take people on a spin across the island city’s heartland. Showing the history of the city that has seen its golden years slip away, the tour will focus on chawls, markets, mills and heritage monuments in central Mumbai, before moving on to the south area.

“There is so much architecture on offer here, and let us not forget that the history of Mumbai starts here. Also, some of these places may not be around in the coming years and this is a good time to get acquainted with this heritage,” says Bianca, administrator at Odati Adventures. The ride that will take place on May 22 will be their first to begin in central Mumbai.

The tour kicks off at Dadar. And hopping on bicycles that are provided by Odati, you begin your journey passing through Dadar, Parel, Byculla and then move on to their surrounding areas. “The ride isn’t strenuous and can be undertaken by almost anybody,” says Bianca.

The group stops at various places of interest from famous sites like Dadar Parsee Colony, Hindmata and Ram Mandir (Wadala) to even lesser known places like Gloria Church and the theatre outside the Byculla vegetable market. It will also halt at important landmarks like KEM and JJ Hospital and Byculla vegetable market even as you pass and learn about the history of chawls at Byculla and the mills at Parel. “We talk about the area in general as well as the place/monument itself. The information is authentic as it comes from books and hours of online research. We even make a trip to these places ourselves initially to ensure that the route has no glitches,” says Bianca.

She also adds that the focus of these journeys is on lesser-known trivia, stuff that you wouldn’t have normally heard. “It will provide some very interesting information. For instance, not many know that the zero on the first step at Asiatic Library was actually put there to denote sea level,” she says. The group also has breakfast together at Kayani Bakery and winds up with lunch at Leopold Café.

Stop points:
* Dadar Parsee Colony
* Bombay Dyeing
* Ram Mandir – Wadala
* Hindmata
* KEM Hospital/Wadia General/ Haffkine
* Lalbaug
* Bhau Daji Llad Museum/Zoo
* Gloria Church
* Maneckjee Cursetjee Statue (Byculla Flyover)
* JJ Hospital
* Kalbadevi
* Crawford Market
* VT
* Horniman Circle
* Synagogue at Byculla
* Elphinstone School at Byculla
* Chawls at Lalbaug
* Byculla Vegetable Market
* The theatre outside vegetable market
* Byculla Station
* Mutton Street / Chor Bazaar
* Mosques on Md Ali Road

Total ride distance: 18-20Kms
Cost : Rs 1,600
Meeting Point: Pritam Da Dhaba, Dadar TT (e)
Time: 6 am to around 1-2pm