The jewels of Powai

An ideal day in one of Mumbai’s greenest and best-loved alcoves – Powai – would begin with a picnic to Aarey Milk Colony (located in nearby Goregaon) during the day, a visit to the cosy garden next to Powai Lake before the sun dips and gazing at the glittering city lights across Powai Lake by night.

Aarey Milk Colony

I had been to Aarey Colony’s famous milk factory with my dad when I was a child. That visit ended with some scrumptious badam milk and a leisurely drive back home. On this particular weekend, I was keen to revisit this picnic spot and see if it was still as green as I remembered. I was pleasantly surprised.

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I haven’t even added any filter to these images. That’s exactly how the idyllic lanes of Aarey Milk Colony look, in the aftermath of the rains. It’s hard to believe that such a place still exists in Mumbai and I don’t know if it’ll still be like this, a decade down the line. So see it while you can. There is a boating lake, a garden, a nursery and an observational pavilion at Aarey. We chose a paddle boat to float around in the lake and had a lovely time watching little swan-shaped boats and the neighbouring hills and foliage.

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Powai Lake and garden

We also spent a quiet time at the large garden with its many nooks and crannies. Walking along the narrow lanes of Aarey Colony can be a little dangerous, with the trucks and cars flashing by, but it’s the best way to take in the quiet charm of the cows grazing by and the little green by-lanes that sometimes lead nowhere. After a pleasant afternoon at Aarey (which we reached via a bus), we took a bus back to Powai (a 30 to 45 min ride) and began exploring the garden next to Powai lake. The sky was overcast with clouds and lent a darker hue to the cool, green garden.

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And when night fell, the fountains came alive with their mutating colours. The city across the lake looked ethereal; like a handful of stars strewn in perfect symmetry on an urban canvas.

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We left, mesmerised by the sights that had met us both by day and by night; by the stunning beauty of nature as well as civilisation; and we were struck by the fact that this world is but a glittering jewel in the vast sea of the universe.