“Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.” Nestled on top of Malabar Hill and surrounded by sea, Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the Governor of Maharashtra, is a silent retreat.
The heritage walk at Raj Bhavan started at 6:15 am and a guide from Governor’s PR Office accompanied us. On entering Raj Bhavan, the guide welcomed us while the moonlight fell on Arabian Sea which made the Moon look like a pearl shining on the sea. The guide introduced us to the colonial-era Bungalows in this 46 acre property. Three-fourth of this beautiful property is covered by 6,000 varied species of trees. The journey started from the Durbar Hall where ceremonies and meetings with Diplomats take place. Durbar Hall was lit with Chandelier lighting and so was the Dining Room.
We then headed towards the Governor’s private beach which was under construction to be his vacation spot. The property claims to host 25 peacocks and if you are fortunate then you may spot few.
Finally, we walked towards the sunrise point and waited for the sunrise. Just before the sunrise, the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) point was lit – The straightened hands pouring water towards Sun signifies the importance of Surya Namaskar.
The sun rose in its full glory like an orange ball, making the sky look like an artist’s palette of colours. There are yoga mats at the sunrise deck for those who wish to stretch or meditate. The stairs from the sunrise deck leads to Devi Mandir (temple) which is dedicated to a nameless Goddess, commonly referred as ‘Sagar Mata’ (Mother Sea).
After the sunrise, we walked towards the flag pole which hoists our National Flag at 150 feet above the ground. We were offered tea and biscuits while the PRO briefed us about the history of Mumbai pre-independence and its importance from socio-economic perspective. He also shared that Raj Bhavan has a post office and a separate PIN code of its own.
Overall, it was an amazing experience which made me feel like I was seeing Mumbai for the first time.
Timings: Tuesday to Sunday, 6:15 am to 8:00 am
Registration: Prior registration to be done online and Aadhar Number to be provided (subject to confirmation) http://rajbhavan-maharashtra.gov.in/rbmumbai/rbvisit.aspx
Cost: INR 25 per person