India: Bombay at 65.
Taj Palace, Victoria Terminus, Elephanta Island, Gateway of India: Spending my 65th birthday in a heritage hotel in Bombay may sound eccentric. Especially when alert desk clerks note the DOB on my passport and deliver pink roses and a cake. The largest city in India is an intimidating place. Mark Twain arrived in Bombay from Ceylon on my birthday 116 years ago, on January 18, 1896. I focused on the Colaba District in south Bombay near the Taj Palace Hotel, where P & O ships arrived with 19th Century tourists on their way to Victoria Terminus and the trains of India. It's full of the romantic, crumbling colonial buildings of the British Raj, with Gothic, Victorian, Saracenic and Mughal facades. This is the first of four galleries from the January 2012 trip, which will include a south India hill station, Buddhist and Hindu caves on the Deccan Plateau, and the Kerala Coast, where Vasco da Gama arrived in 1498.Read More