Mumbai to Bhopal

Flying into Mumbai we were given our first view of the slums that covered what seemed to be most of the city. When we finally arrived at our hotel we were lead to a room with a view of the adjacent buildings wall. Thankfully the place lived up to its reviews when it came to customer service and our hosts were always very helpful. Leaving the hotel we walked up the road heading for the Gateway to India. We never actually arrived, having underestimated the distance plus we were overwhelmed with the crowds and squalor.


The rickshaw ride from the train station was harrowing, with the driver more focused on us instead of the road, for most of the journey, while he tried to sell us a tour with him on the following day. Halfway to the hotel we unexpectedly stopped outside his home, with his wife and kids waiting on the side of the street. He then proceeded to invite us in so we could see how he lived and how badly he needed our business.

Sivananda Ashram

The journey from the train station took us through one small town after another, all merging together into one long main road. Finally, we turned off, heading up a steep hill to be delivered to the gates of the ashram on the banks of the Neyyer Dam. Being a Friday, which was the free day, the place was quiet except for the staff that greeted us and showed us to our room. Our new home was basic but provided all we needed; bedding, study desk and some shelving. The first real shock that we encountered was when we went up for dinner.