Parents, fret not. School may be over but that's no reason for your little one to stop learning. Just book a seat on this special tour that takes kids around Mumbai to visit the city's many monumental hotspots like the Gateway of India, CST Station and cultural delights like the Jehangir Art Gallery, among other museums and science centres. They also trace the history behind the city's formation from seven islands during the British Raj, to the throbbing cosmopolitan city that it is today.
“The focus is not only on history, but on all round development of kids. These tours help children get acquainted with their home city and get to know it better,” says Anil Garg, managing director of Tour India Travels, a company that organises educational tours around the country. The Mumbai tour for kids was initiated in September 2010.
The tour commences from Andheri at 9 am and takes the kids all the way to Gateway of India. Along the way, they are shown all heritage and cultural monuments and explained their significance to Mumbai's history. “We also give them literature of all those monuments to ensure that they don't need to rote learn and can refer to them when they want to know more,” says Garg.
English-speaking guides who make use of the infor-mation provided by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Internet search engines accompany the kids. They also ensure that their history is not muddled and is authentic.
What's more, recent additions to the city’s ‘must see’ list like the renovated Taj Mahal Hotel and Palace (post 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks), Wankhede Stadium (post India’s World Cup win) and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (first sea bridge in India) too are featured in the sight-seeing to ensure that kids learn about contemporary Mumbai. Environmental and developmental issues connected with the city are discussed as well. There are also Q&A sessions at every stop and children are encouraged to ask the guides for more information. “Though there is no age restriction, it is better to have kids who are not too young and can grasp what is being told,” says Garg.
Cost: Rs 450, which includes transportation, lunch, guide's fees and entry. Minimum of 35 kids are needed to conduct the tour and parents need not accompany them.
Call: 2633 5253
Elephanta Caves The island got its name in honour of a huge rock-cut black stone statue of an elephant that was installed on a mound, a short distance east of Gharapuri village. The elephant now sits in the Jijamata Udyaan in Mumbai.
Gateway of India The last British troops to leave India, the First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry, passed through the Gateway of India in a ceremony on February 28, 1948.
Bandra-Worli Sea Link The bridge reduces travel time between Bandra and Worli from 45 – 60 minutes to 7 minutes and has an average daily traffic of around 37,500 vehicles per day.
Jehangir Art Gallery
Sir Cowasji Jehangir founded it in 1952 at the behest of KK Hebbar and Homi Bhabha.