And after two nights in Hyderabad, it was back to Mumbai for one last evening at the Taj Lands End Hotel. This is the only hotel we stayed in that wasn’t a previous Palace, but lovely nonetheless. It just had more of a commercial feel to it, being more for those looking for great restaurants and a comfortable nights sleep. It was still up market and well designed, just not with the opulence and beauty of Taj Palace Mumbai. The Taj Palace was more of a luxury destination, whereas this final hotel was relaxing and comfortable. If you’re visiting Mumbai, I’d recommend either one – but if you’re looking for a little more experience and luxury, the Taj Palace would most definitely be my choice.
But it was during this final day that we had the chance to experience one of the greatest moments of the trip. Another guided tour led us to the largest public laundry in the world, Dhobi Ghat. An outdoor laundry, inhabited by a number of its workers and washing up to 100,000 pieces of clothing and cloth per day. It was eye opening and astounding to see; but within this place of obvious poverty, there were smiles and happy faces. Children playing together, mothers waving with their gorgeous babies in hand and men welcoming us to show us what they were working on. It was a moment I won’t forget. And from there, we visited a local area, described by the government as a slum, Wurli Village. Again, from everything I had heard, I expected to feel unsafe, unsure and devastated by what I saw. But in fact, whilst the inhabitants were in some cases very poor, the people were happy, playing, laughing and living. Some lived there because they always have and they’re happy to live a life of less. Other’s lived there because they couldn’t afford more – but it was clear that there was a community here amongst the people.