Hundreds flock to Indian beach to taste sweet seawater Sat Aug 19, 6:03 PM ET
MUMBAI (AFP) - Hundreds of people thronged to a midtown city beach in India's financial capital after word spread that seawater there had turned sweet, with many seeing the development as a divine sign.
People, largely Muslims, started gathering late Friday to collect the water off Mahim beach on the shores of the Arabian Sea.
"This water is definitely sweet. We see it as a blessing from Baba (Holy Saint)," said Rafique, who uses a single name, as he gulped the water down.
"I will carry this back for my two sons and my parents," he added.
Many others were seen drinking the muddy water or collecting it in plastic bottles and jars. Some bathed in it.
Some saw the water as a blessing from Makhdoom Ali Mahimi, a 13th century Sufi saint honoured by a shrine in Mahim.
Mahimi is revered by both Muslims and Hindus.
Police evicted people from the beach after traffic was badly disrupted late Friday and issued a warning to stay away due to high tides.
The city's administrative body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, warned against drinking the water over health fears.
Health officials collected water samples for tests.