Sea and Land of Mumbadevi's Devotees
Going down very touristic Colaba Causeway further to the south, before getting to posh Cuffe Parade area and its Twin Towers --- Mumbai's World Trade Centre ---, on your right hand, you can see koliwada, a fishermen's colony, where koli (fishermen's cast) inhabitants live since long before arrival of their wealthy neighbours in modern residential towers.
In front of the colony, koli ladies sell their catch (of the day?) on the busy roadside.
I had an opportunity to get into this koliwada with a local guide.
Passing between shanties, soon I arrived on the beach which faced Back Bay.
In the evening, fisherfolks in the heart of this modern big city were sitting on their old small wooden fishing boats on the sand, enjoying cool sea breeze from Arabian Sea.
It was only a short distance from heavy traffic main road indeed.
Mumbai is an amazing place, a real magic box.
I do not know any other big modern city which shows such a scenery --- the most advanced modernity and old time life style cohabit.
If you happen to be there during Dasara, or any other festival period, you can see the decoration of festivals for locals.
To the further north in Worli, at the foot of Bandra-Worli Sea Link -- an impressive modern structure -- there is another koli colony.
Mumbadevi Temple which originally stood near Nagar Chowk (CST Station area), and today is located in Bhuleshwar markets area, is dedicated to patron goddess of koli, Mumbadevi.
She protects fishermen and sailors, like goddesses in other costal regions in the world --- Mazu in Chinese coast, Brizo of ancient Greece, Mama Cocha of Incas etc.
Original inhabitants of Mumbai's seven islands were fisherfolks.
They are always there, before Portuguese arrived in sixteenth century and named the land (or islands) Bombaim (Bombay), and before British reclaimed creeks between seven islands.
Now Mumbai is a melting pot after centuries long immigration, with various communities, religions, cultures constitute the indentity of the city.
In opposite Harbour side of Colaba, there is Sassoon Dock, a lively fish market.
You can see full activity in early morning of weekdays.
Ì had alrady visited Asia's biggest Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan many years ago.
Early morning in the fish markets is workers' territory, I think. Very impressive, an unique atmosphere, but I felt I bothered workers moving around quickly in crowded space.
I visited Sassoon Dock by noon. It was not lively, but lovely.
It was nearly end of the day for those who had started at 3am. The last boxes of catch of the day, the preparation of ships, etc....
Surmai (kingfish), pomfret (butter fish), bangda (mackerel), and finally bombil (Bombay duck) to fry with spices mixed besan (gram fleur).
Enjoy your meal !
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