The moment I enter St. Thomas’ Cathedral in the Fort area of Mumbai, I am transported to England. Everything about the Cathedral from the cool white-washed interiors to the simple wooden pews to its polished brass memorials and wall plaques, and its many stained glass windows reminds me of the Anglican churches of England.
St. Thomas’ Cathedral is the first Anglican church in Mumbai and is also believed to to the oldest British building in this city. Though construction of the Cathedral of St. Thomas began in 1676, it was abandoned and remained neglected for nearly 40 years, when it was “adopted by an East India Company Chaplain in 1710. It was opened for worship as a church on Christmas Day in 1718″ (for details click here). St. Thomas’ was consecrated as a cathedral in 1837 and was selected for the UNESCO Asia-Pacific heritage conservation award 2004.
I love stained glass windows and spend quite a while admiring the many windows in the Cathedral. But the one window that completely captivates me is one that I almost missed. It is to one side and in a niche: a stained glass window of St. Thomas, flanked by two archangelsSt. Michael and St. Gabriel in a single frame.
The Guest Post Serieson “My Favourite Things” has contributions by those sharing my interests in travel, books, music, and on issues that I am passionate about. Though the guest posts are not always by fellow bloggers, the guest authors are always those who have interesting experiences to share.
Today’s guest post is by a fellow blogger, Puru ofShadows Galore,who writes about his travels, photographs, memories and more. I eagerly wait for Puru’s travel posts as he is always visiting and writing about places that I have wanted to visit. My favourites are his posts on Sri Lanka and Angkor Wat. His series onLearning Photography is simple, easy and with instructions that actually work. In this post, Puru presents a photo essay on a morning spent at the Marina Beach in Chennai.
My last few days in Chennai saw me exploring the city and going to places where I had always thought of going but never actually did. So today I went to Marina Beach, the third longest beach in the world and the largest in Asia. Of all the beaches in Chennai, it happens to be the most dynamic and hence the most well known.
So early at 4:30 AM, I woke up and started for the beach with my camera. It was quite dark yet and the horizon had just started turning a few shades lighter. As the sun rose, I took a lot of photographs and I am sharing some of them here for you:
“Lets go for a walk. You can see a different side of Mumbai that way,” I said to a friend who was visiting Mumbai from Delhi on work and wanted to experience the city in a zara hatke way.
“A walk? In Mumbai?,” she asked incredulously.
“Of course,” I replied.
She laughed herself silly over my suggestion and then asked, “But where is the space to walk in this city? And what about the weather, the crowds, the traffic, the pollution, etc.?”
“The weather is not too bad in Mumbai now. Besides, if we go for a walk on a Sunday, the crowds, the traffic and the pollution will be manageable,” I responded.
“Er… what is there to see in Mumbai, apart from the not-so-clean beaches, the Marine Drive, the Siddhi Vinayak Temple, the Haji Ali Dargah, and houses of film stars?” she asked a little too politely.
Since this was the first time that my friend was visiting Mumbai, and was only repeating what she had heard from others, I guess she could be forgiven. But still, it was a matter of pride for me to present my city to a visitor in a way that only an insider can. “You and I are going for a walk this Sunday. No ifs and buts or whats and wheres. No arguments. Meet me outside Platform 1 at CST station at 8.00 am. And try not to be late, will you?”