Sunday January 21th 2024 I ran the TATA Mumbai Marathon in India. Find below my full race coverage from this marathon and some tourist impressions from Mumbai.
Friday, the Gateway of India provided a Majestic Welcome and the sight of the Gateway of India took my breath away. This colossal archway, a symbol of Mumbai, speaks volumes about India’s colonial past and its eventual freedom. As I walked closer, the intricate designs and the grandeur of the structure left me in awe. The bustling crowd, the sound of the waves, and the street vendors added to the lively atmosphere. It was more than just a monument; it was a lively, historical hub. From there, a ferry ride took me to the mystical Elephanta Caves on Elephanta Island; indeed a Journey into History The rock-cut caves, dedicated to Lord Shiva, were a sight to behold. The sculptures and carvings, dating back to the 5th century, told stories of a time long gone. Exploring these caves, I felt a deep connection to history and spirituality, a unique blend that only India can offer.
Saturday, I explored various landmarks including the Gandhi House, probably the most touching and deepfelt impressions from the whole trip: to have been “close” to the great Mahatma Gandhi, whose wisdom is needed in the World more than ever. I also ventured to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Architectural Marvel. The fusion of Victorian Gothic and traditional Indian architecture made this more than just a railway station; it was a piece of art. Watching trains arrive and depart, I felt the pulse of the city. The hustle and bustle were hypnotic, a testament to Mumbai’s never-sleeping nature.
Sunday after the TATA Mumbai Marathon, I found myself at the Marine Drive, Mumbai’s iconic sea-facing promenade As the sun began to set. The skyline, with the setting sun and the sea, was picturesque. Walking along the promenade, feeling the sea breeze, and watching the city lights come alive was magical. Marine Drive, also known as the Queen’s Necklace, truly lived up to its name.
Monday, my spiritual journey in Mumbai led me to the serene ISKCON Chowpatty (Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir) Temple, truly a Spiritual Oasis. The temple, with its tranquil ambiance and beautiful architecture, provided a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. As I walked through the temple, the chants and the aroma of incense filled the air, creating a meditative atmosphere. It was a place where spirituality and serenity intertwined, offering a unique perspective on the diverse religious tapestry of Mumbai. In the Temple, I met a Hare Krishna Monk, , who took me to several other temples, including the Shree Babulnath Mandir Charities where the inaguration of the new Lord Ram Mandir Temple in Ayodhya was celebrated. These few hours with this monk Pravin will remain my most special memory from Mumbai and India; for a long time.
TATA Mumbai Marathon 2023
The event carried both the full marathon, a half marathon, a 10 K race and a “dream run” (5.9 K), thus quite a large deal and indeed a IAAF Gold Race. The marathon took of at 05.00 AM nearby the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and showcased some of the landmarks and sights also seen in the race report from the tourist impressions. It became quite warm (approx, 29 C) at about 9.30-10.00 AM, so I stopped running once I learned the the time limit was 7 hours (not 6). The next day, the news stated two people had died during the race, thus justifying my decision somewhat. Overall, I will recommed this event which I enjoyed and found to be very well organized. This top nice thing about the marathon: running and walking the streets of Mumbai with NO CARS around!