Get set to unlock these secrets of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport’s Terminal 2 the next time you’re transiting through.
Be it for international flights or a few domestic ones, if you’re a frequent flyer, you would definitely have transited through Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport’s Terminal 2 since it opened in 2014. But even if you’re one of rare few among the 40 million plus passengers that pass through the airport annually, who have mastered the floor plan and figured out your favourite dining spots and browsing options, there are a few secrets that T2 keeps in plain sight that you might want to unlock the next time you’re flying.
There’s pride in the design, almost literally
Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the firm behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and the One World Trade Centre in New York, the terminal has a unique X-shaped structure that spans 400,000 square meters and four levels. Everyone clicks selfies under the spectacular cream columns and roof of the entrance and inside. But did you know that the contours and details are inspired by the intricate beauty of a peacock’s tail feathers? Once this realisation hits, you’ll see prides of peacocks everywhere.
Right down to the friendly mascot Titu, whose chirpy personality appears around the airport as well as on their indoor navigation app for passengers passing through T2. If you’re taking a daytime flight, don’t miss how the sunlight streaming through openings in the sky roof cleverly projects peacock motifs on the floor. The best kept secret, though, is this magnificent white peacock that flies mechanically yet surreally up and down a few floors!
Art to your heart’s content
You’ve probably seen and been impressed by a few of the stunning contemporary art works on display as you go through security and immigration and wait at the gates, or the tribal Gond art at arrivals after you land. But the next time you pass through to take an international flight, allocate some extra time to explore the three kms of art and installations put together by curator Rajeev Sethi in the most amazing Jaya He art museum, which has close to 7,000 art artefacts, many of them antique, some of them by the country’s leading contemporary artists, and all of them visually enriching. Little kiosks along the route will give you maps and all the information you need and even curate a 15-minute Art Museum Safari across four levels of the airport for you, on request. Said to be one of the world’s largest public-art collections outside a museum, it makes for a wonderful tour of India’s wealth of artistic talent and creativity while you wait to board a flight. There’s even a Jaya He Museum store for you to buy souvenirs if you want to take away something more tangible than the though-provoking displays.
Pawsome buddies to pamper you
Anxious first-time flyer or stressed-out frequent flyer at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), you can find solace by watching the antics of or petting the adorable therapy dogs trained by the Animal Angels Therapy Centre in Pune for the airport. They’re well cared for and very sociable, and welcome adults and kids alike with open paws.
A spa-licious stay
There are many wonderful airport hotels surrounding T2 and literally walking distance from it. But you’ll be surprised to know that there’s an excellent Niranta Airport Transit Hotel & Lounge at the Level 2 of international transfers, that you can check in to for a wash and change of clothes, a few hours or more. Not only does it have comfortable rooms and dedicated restaurants, but there’s a tranquil spa with private therapy rooms, steam and reflexology rooms, and even aqua pods, where you can luxuriate in a relaxing bubble bath.
How green is my airport!
CSMIA is at Level 3+ Carbon Neutrality, certified by the Airports Council International (ACI), the global authority of international airports, since May 2017, and even publishes a regular sustainability report. Boasting a solar power plant with 3,205 kWp capacity, it has upped its total renewable energy quotient manifold. Built to modern norms, with green solutions for emissions, water, air, noise and waste, it has a low carbon footprint and rated Platinum’ rating by IGBC, the green building rating system in India. So when you fly through this one, you’ll have less of a guilt trip and more of an enjoyable one!