Tikjij-ni-wadi was easily the strangest park I’ve ever been to. It was less like an amusement park, really, and more like an extensive low-hanging fruit grove. If you were lucky, you occasionally stumbled across a ride or two, or maybe even a path. But you rarely saw any other people…
The park was incredibly out of the way, tucked away in a corner of north Mumbai that didn’t look like it saw too many people.
To get there from Esselworld I had to take the ferry back to the mainland, grab another rickshaw to West Borivali bus station ST, hope I was in the right place, ask a bunch of people which bus I wanted (most people didn’t speak English, and the ones that did weren’t from the area and didn’t know), try and convey to the conductor that I wanted to go to Tikuji-ni-wadi, get on board with no certainty that you were going to the right place, ride the 40 minutes to Mapada (?) bus stop, and then walk about a mile up a dirt road that frankly, looked like the last place you would find a theme park. But find it I did, and by mid afternoon, I had paid the Rs. 370 entry fee, and was ready to go.
As soon as you enter, there’s a main path that cuts down the park for a ways, disappearing in the overhanging branches of the mango groves. On either side were entrances to different square groves, all without paths and no way to see through to what was on the other side. I literally had to crouch to move around. Occassionally I would find myself in various places like, you know, the center of the road of the go kart track, or in a 300 foot covered walkway lined with beds.
But finally I was able to spot a sign for the kiddie section, and a couple minutes later, had made my way up to the wacky worm ride. I pretty much just sat down and was sent on my way for a double circuit. It was cool how much jungle had built up around this ride. You couldn’t see any of the rest of the park.
The park’s other coaster, the spinning coaster, was just as out of the way, way out in one of the far corners of the jungl-… I mean theme park. Once again, there was not another guest in sight. The two workers were just chilling out in front of the ride, and when I asked if I could ride, they told me I had to ride with three other people to balance out the train. Well perfect.
So I waited, a little, and then a little more, and finally three women came by, but when I asked if they wanted to ride, they just laughed and said they worked here too. But after a little persuasion, I convinced them to ride with me anyway, and so I got my credit with the help of three of the workers who took the lap with me.
It was pretty nice, really, sitting facing the outside was new for me on these mouses, and it was definitely different. But unfortunately, with the train balanced, we hardly spun at all. Still a nice find though, considering I felt like I was lost in the jungle.
The rest of the park was just kind of strange and not much going on. I took a nice long out of the way walk… in order to find where the hell I was again, and did a little bit looking, but there wasn’t too much I really felt was worth the ride at that point.
From there, it was back to the bus stop, try and hop on the right bus by guessing (my advice is, friend locals while you’re here, or at least someone who can speak Hindi or Mararti or whatever dialect needs speaking – these friendly people will make your life so much easier), ride the bus for 20 minutes, bypass the overturned tanker truck in the ditch off to the side being hoisted out by cranes, switch buses when yours breaks down in another ten minutes, and then finally get to where you hope you’re stopping, and then wander around asking as many people you can for the incredibly illusive Volvo bus stop that will take you back on the 14 hour ride home to Goa that evening.
If I had tried a little harder, I definitely could have worked something out with some people in Bombay and stayed the night, or seen a little more of the city, which I’m sure is amazing, but I was constricted on time with class requirements.
So that’s Tikuji-ni-wadi, and my whole Bombay experience, but I’ll definitely post more pictures as they come in – we’re going to Agra tomorrow for the Taj Mahal and all the other Islamic mosques and tombs and stuff, so I’m sure there will be no shortage of pictures. And then expect another park in a couple weeks hopefully.
Again, thanks so much for reading, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.
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