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United flavours of south India

mumbai Updated: Jan 20, 2011 15:46 IST
Reetika Subramanian
Reetika Subramanian
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

In Matunga you will find a dhoti-clad mama speaking chaste Gujarati and Mr Patel gorging on some steaming idlis. The suburb is Mumbai’s own version of south India where you find piping hot medhu wadas, tumblers of strong filter kaapi and beautiful kanjeevaram pattu saris.

Being the city’s idli-dosa district, the best place to begin would be Ayyappan Idli Stall. Located right opposite the beautiful Shankara Mattam temple, this stall is a crowd puller. With a menu comprising palak paneer cheese dosa, sandwich utthapa and schezwan idli, city’s foodies don’t mind waiting on the street for it. “We serve as many as 200 customers daily,” said M. Panju Swamy the owner of the stall. “And on certain days, we have even been working till 1am to serve our patrons.”

And if you want more, a 10 minute walk away is Matunga’s oldest udipi joint, Rama Nayak. “The upma-sheera combination served here is out of this world,” said Sonu Gajria, resident of Matunga.

Top off the meal with some traditional south Indian filter kaapi. Mysore Concerns on Telang Road should be your next stop. “We get the fragrance of freshly brewed coffee beans miles away from the shop,” said Parvathy Shankar, a Sion resident. At the end of Telang Road, opposite Maheshwari Udyan (Kings Circle), is Ananda Bhavan. Stop here to get a goodie bag of crisp banana chips and savouries.

Also on Telang Road is the flower market that adds to the south Indian flavour. “Maalas made with jasmines and mogras are stunning. The garlands are gigantic and intricately designed,” said resident Pratibha Jobanuputra.

Matunga is home to several vibrant cultural organsiations such as Shanmukhananda Hall, Tamil Sangham and the Gujarati Club where you get to meet people from all walks of life.

Believe it or not, Matunga has its own Fashion Street too. Located very close to the udyan, several boutiques such as Nalli’s Silk Sarees Centre, Miss Universe, Paisley Boutique, and Westview can worth a visit.

Shopping goes beyond clothes and bags. Spread across the pavement, facing the udyan, are vendors selling secondhand books of every genre. Old textbooks have the largest market because of the large student population. “After the year ends and you go back to return the book, you get 50% back,” said Maitreyee Karambelkar, a student of Ruia College in Matunga.

But Matunga wouldn’t be what it is without the sprawling Matunga Gymkhana near the station. The playground, popularly called the katha by collegians, is the spot for all college gossip. “During my teens, we would often see Tendulkar and Gavaskar practise on the ground, while we looked at them in awe,” said Ananya Gupte, 32, a former student of Poddar College.

Matuga, of course, has its sect of Rajnikanth devotees. Aurora Cinema has attained is almots a monument. Every time a Rajnikanth movie releases, fans from all over come to celebrate. His posters are bathed in milk and ghee. Neighbourhood gossip is that this cinema hall may shut down, so you might want to go there soon.

Hindustan times offers you...

On No TV day your favourite newspaper has lots lined up


Laser and Fireworks

A two-hour laser and fireworks show to dazzle the city. There will be several performances by renowned dance troupes. The grand finale will be fireworks in the sky. Time: 6 pm to 8 pm

Venue: Juhu Beach, Juhu Ramada parking lot


Wishing Tree

A large wishing tree will be put up for you. You can write a wish on a balloon and release it into the tree of wishes. The wishing tree will be part of a carnival where you will find tattoo artists, clowns, jugglers and caricature artists.

Venue: Inorbit Mall- Malad. Time: 12 pm to 8 pm


Painting competition

Students will have to paint pictures with the theme of ‘A day out with your family in Mumbai.’ Win prizes worth `16 lakh.


Heritage Crawls

Open-air buses will take people on guided tours around south Mumbai. From the historic Gateway of India to CST railway station and Asiatic Library, participants will learn interesting trivia about their city. The rides are all free and on a first-come-first-serve basis. The buses shall ply every 45 minutes

Venue: The pick-up points shall be outside Jehangir Art Gallery at Kala Ghoda and NCPA at Nariman Point. Time: 10 am – 8 pm


Come aboard

If you can’t go to the carnival, the carnival will come to you. Three floats with tattoo artists, stilt walkers, unicyclists, jugglers and various other activities will entertain you.

Date: January 27 to 29

Venue: The floats will find their way to your college in the mornings. Everyone will get a chance to part of the party from the western suburbs (Bandra to Borivili) Navi Mumbai and the central suburbs (Mulund, Thane and Ghatkopar) Time: 11.30 am - 8 pm


Get the society in

Housing societies that have a fun-filled No TV Day stand a chance to win Rs 1 lakh. To register SMS SOC <your area name> and send it to 54242. For example: SOC BANDRA to 54242. The response you get will have further details on how to register your society. If your society is short-listed we will get in touch with you. Ten best celebrations shall win R1 lakh each.


Come to the carnival

HT proudly presents a carnival of its own. Come get that tattoo you always wanted, while Flubber the clown entertains your children. We promise you a day of fun and entertainment with a little something for everyone. Win exciting prizes in our spot contests. The evenings only gets better with a 30 minute magic act by well known magicians from across the nation.

Venue: Inorbit Mall, Vashi (Opposite Vashi railway station) and High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel (near Raghuvanshi Mills) Time: 12 pm - 8 pm


Helicopter Rides

About 50 lucky people who have pledged their support to No TV Day through www.notvday.in stand a chance to win 30-minute helicopter rides. These rides offer panoramic views of the city in a Bell 206 5-seater Executive Helicopter.

Venue: Juhu Aerodrome Time: 11 am – 4 pm


Comedy Store

HT shall try to ensure that everyone has a great time on No TV Day. Lucky readers can win tickets to the Comedy Store at Phoenix Mills. We shall treat you to an act called One on One, that brings together nine of Mumbai’s finest actors. These are stories of modern India that amuse, annoy and concern us all. That is not all; also we shall treat you to the amazing stand-up comedy by Mandy Knight, Quincy & Dave Fulton from USA.

Venue: Comedy Store, Palladium Mall, High Street Phoenix Mall, Lower Parel Time: 6.00 pm, 8.30 pm and 10.30 pm


Things to do under Rs 100

We invite readers to post their ideas on the things they can do in Mumbai under Rs 100 on No TV Day. Readers post their ideas on www.facebook.com/htnotvday or www.twitter.com/htnotvday. Ideas can be as simple as a horse carriage ride. About 15 ideas will be shortlisted. You can win passes to Comedy Store in Phoenix Mills.