India // Mumbai //

Central Mumbai: Mahalakshmi to Byculla

The centre of Mumbai, beyond Malabar Hill, is mostly made up of working-class neighbourhoods: a huge mosaic of dilapidated tenements, markets and industrial eyesores left over from the Victorian cotton boom. For relief from the urban cauldron, residents travel west to the seashore to worship at the Mahalakshmi Temple (if they’re Hindus) or the island tomb of Haji Ali (if they’re Muslims). Both make great excursions from south Mumbai, and can be combined with a foray across town to the recently revamped Dr Bhau Dadji Lad Museum in Byculla, calling en route at the Mahalakshmi dhobi ghats – one of the city’s more offbeat sights.