India in pictures

High end living

7:00 AM

When you think of India as a tourist, you picture traditional colonial houses, slums, dirt, riots of colours, fruit markets, ladies wearing sarees and salwaar suits, monuments...You are right they exist, but that is not ALL what India is about. It could come as a surprise to many, and as a disappointment to some, but there are some Indians that live in areas like this one :
This is Powai, or rather Hiranandani Gardens in Powai. A highly planned township for the affluents. These are among the poshest building in the area, overlooking a public garden called Heritage Garden (wheee I took the picture from). While not all of Powai is unaffordable to Middle class Indians, it is undeniable that the standard of living here is higher. Powai is apparently home to about 6-7 Lakhs (hundred thousands) people. And this is not the only high end area in Mumbai, apartments in areas like Lower Parel command higher prices, Bandra is home to several Bollywood stars and has many Bungallows. The coast has high end real estate from South Mumbai to the suburbs. So much for the idea that everybody in India lives in traditional houses or slums huh?

But back to Hiranandani, this is one area that as a tourist you might want to visit, not for the historical factor, or the heritage. Nope mind you, you should visit it if you want to get a wider idea of what "real India" is like. Plus the area is green, has 3 big public parks, a lake, many eateries, including hygienic chaat shops you can safely try and still get your "true Indian experience". The area is home to a very cosmopolitan crowd of both Indians and expats. The IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) and it's huge green campus is nearby and worth a visit too.

This is one of these Pictures of India that goes to prove how diverse this country can of many to come...


  1. I think you should include pics of delhi metro and the recently launched mumbai metro and the low floor buses of delhi. Unlike buildings, metro needs constant maintenance and certain degree of civic sense from the citizens which Indians are not well known for. The fact that Delhi metro has come up and running successfully in a country full of power and infrastructual problems and less than prounced civic sense, is no mean feat. The way it was build in record time overllooking bureaucractic hurdles is also something unique in the histroy of India. It has also brought a sea change in the attitudes of the people regarding cleaniness and how modern transport should be run in this country. It means that India can have world class infrastructure run by Indians. Now, our Prime Minister is talking about bullet trains from Delhi to Mumbai. Who knows, sky is the limit.

  2. The Delhi Metro is awesome, I don't have any pictures of it though. But yes, these projects such as the metro shows that it is possible to get great infrastructure in India. and here I hope if keep up going, I always told DH that this country has a great potential, and I truly believe in an India that is developed and one day corruption free.

  3. I remember when I traveled in Kokata Metro in 1987. It seemed magical. The announcement in three languages, cleam platforms, dark tunnels. It was like a fairy tale. I was petrified of the esclator. I just couldn't place my foot on it. I thought "Oh well, not possible anywhere else in India". Kolkata Metro remained restricted to a particular stretch don't know why,maybe due to the soil quality in the city which made digging dangerous.
    Metro seemed like a distant dream, not possible in India. Years ago when a particular strech was started in Delhi, we thought it would be difficult to spread it across delhi. Then they digging below heritage buildings in old delhi and there is one station which is the deepest. How they dug under sewers, electric lines was amazing, without disturbing the traffic above. There overhead work of putting pillars and building tracks in the dead of night was even more amazing.
    The biggest problem metro faced was acquiring land from various authorities army, MCD, DDA. Land in delhi belongs to different authorities. However, the MD of Delhi Metro bulldozed over all the bureacractic hurdles and acquired land. he was ofcoursed backed by the political leadership. In India political will is very important to get things done. Metro pioneered a different work culture and modern construction techniques which is still something foreing to India. This has been its major contribution.

  4. I think you can add two more highlights of India though they are not in tune with your post. One is the Kumbha Mela at Allahabad which is the largest congregation in human history. Crores of people come to take a dip at Sangam. An entire temporary city is build on the banks to accommodate population of the size of Paris and London for one whole month. Quiet a feat, catering to such a large population. Everything is very smooth and disciplined. Talk of spiritual energy. It is world's largest incident of management.

    The second is the recently concluded Elections in India. The registered voters in India are about 840 million which is more than the population of Europe. There were one lakh polling booths established all over the country. The number of security personnel and polling staff involved is also mind boggling. Electronic voting machines were send on elephants into deep jungles and by helicopters to remote areas. The fact that a country like India, which has a poor and illiterate population shows such enthusiasm for elections, is amazing. The logistic difficulty of such a work is beyond belief. Yes, Government Servants do work hard to make the elections a success, contrary to popular belief. The fact that India has been able to conduct elections regularly and elect government for the past sixty odd years, is commendable because most third world countries are struggling to establish democracy. Look at neighborhood where military rushes in toppling the democratic government every now and then. India is not perfect democracy but atleast it is a functional democracy. God bless the souls of those great people who used their infinite wisdom to draft our constitution.

    The fact of the matter is that when we can accomplish such gigantic task of man management, then why do we fail to accomplish simple tasks.

  5. I read some of the stories about reaching remote areas so people could vote, amazing and indeed proof that some people are working hard. This election was also amazing when it came to turnout, a lot of people felt compelled to vote and that gave me hope that the sense of democracy is really sinking in. I can't vote sadly, but I found myself wanting to, but until India allows dual citizenship, or Europe stops seeing Indians as invaders that should be subjected to crazy visa application I won't seek Indian citizenship, I still have family back home I need to be able to visit quickly should an emergency arise, being Indian would sadly prevent that, but I feel less and less compelled to care or vote on Swiss matters these days.

  6. Alexandra Madhavan1:59 AM

    Over the past 8 years (with Hyderabad being our city) we have seen it turn from a mid-size city into a HUGE one. On my hubby's latest trip, he was amazed at how expensive everything got and really high end.

  7. 10 years ago I was living very close to these building in the picture, in older tiny buildings, but the building above were not built yet, there were some that were starting to be built, not all, Hiranandani had about half of what is has today, amazing how fast the area built up and how planned and pretty it became.


Blog Archive