The city that never sleeps! Pulsating, Alive, On the Move, Vibrant, Fun — this is Mumbai or as it is still frequently referred to — Bombay. The most modern city in India, it captures the spirit of the changing pace set by liberalization and modernisation. On the surface, it represents the ever-changing face of today’s India — the old coupled with the dynamic new, and yet at its very core, the heart of the city is steeped in Indian customs and values. This is the capital of Maharashtra state. This busy city is also the hub of a thriving cultural life, with a constant stream of performances in music, dance and drama. The seat of the Hindi film industry, known locally as Bollywood, it produces the largest number of films in the world. It is the Las Vegas of India.
Places to see in Mumbai: Mumbai is the mixed bag of sight seeing spots in India. These include:
Gateway of India
Built during the British rule, the monument is a specimen of Indo-Sarcenic school of architecture. It was built to commemorate the visit of the then British monarch King George V and Queen Mary. Designed by British architect George Wittet, this wonderful gateway was constructed at a cost of Rs 21 lakhs. The archway, 26 m high is joined by four turrets and complex lattice work carved on stone.Gateway of India occupies an important place in the history of India. It was built to welcome a British sovereign, ironically it served as the exit point of the British rule in India when the last of the British troops left the land through this gateway. Today, however, the place is famous as a tourist hot-spot. Here you can enjoy a number of recreational facilities like a short cruise around the city of Mumbai or a motor-boat ride. Tourists who go to Mumbai find the Gateway of India and irresistible attraction. Among some of the wonderful monuments in India the Gateway of India can be counted among the best.
Prince Of Wales Museum
The Prince of Wales Museum is one of the few monuments that stand testament to the British rule in India. The museum clearly displays a combination of Indian and English style of architecture. The dome of the museum was modeled on the Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur. The construction of the building was completed in the year 1914 and it was at this time that the World war I engulfed the world. The building was then used as a Military hospital. The style of architecture of this building is called Indo-Saracenic and the facade of the mansion is done up with yellow and blue stone. The design of the building was inspired by many Indian architectural styles. You can see a combination of Muslim jalis and Rajput jharokhas. Among some of the must see tourist places in Mumbai, Prince of Wales Museum is a great attraction.
Dedicated to the Goddess of wealth, this beautiful temple is located near the north of the Malabar Hills. The beauty of the temple, its mythological importance and its proximity to the sea shore all combine together to make the place a wonderful tourist attraction. The gateway to the temple is ornately designed. Inside the compound the place is all abuzz with vendors selling flowers, garlands and other mementoes symbolizing piety. Devotees come all the way from Mumbai to offer coconut, flowers and sweet to the goddess. Located at Breach Candy, this is one of the greatest attractions of Mumbai.
Among some of the fascinating beaches that you will find in India, Chowpatty beach is one of the most popular. During the time of Ganesh Chaturthi festival, the place becomes all abuzz with people. A walk along the beach is sure to fascinate you with the variety of people that you will meet and different shopping options that you will get. This wonderful beach acts as a base to other beautiful destinations like Malabar Hill, Girgaum and Gamdevi. If you want to go to a beach full of entertainment, Chowpatty beach is the perfect place to be. To the north end of the Marine Drive, you will find a beach all bedecked with festive spirit. Children will enjoy the visit to the beach simply because of the fact that it has plenty of enjoyment opportunities. Here you can ride ferry wheels or merry-go-round. You will also have the opportunity to ride camels and pony here. It is hard to resist the temptation of mouth watering delicacies. The evenings here are like carnival. There is so much activity in the beach that you will find time fleeting by if you only stand still and watch people go about their business. During Ganesh Chatturathi festival, the beach becomes one of the major attractions of Mumbai
Just 18 km north of the city you will find a beautiful beach where the waves from the Arabian Sea lashes on the sandy shore. Juhu beach is in that part of the city of Mumbai that is famous for its happening lifestyle and fashion. Some of the famous Indian film personalities live here. The beach is also one of the most sought after shooting destinations. The rolling waves, fine sand and picturesque surrounding combine together to make the beach an extremely popular tourist destination. Juhu beach is always crowded with chaotic children, romantic couples and relaxing elders. In the beach front you will get a perfect view of the sunrise and sunset. There are innumerable vendors selling everything under the sun. You can also find some peculiar entertainment like dancing monkeys, snake charmers, toy sellers and acrobats.It is difficult to resist the temptation of a bite at the Juhu beach. There are so many eating joints that you will simply be confused about what you should try out. “Bhel-puri” is the specialty of Mumbai and you should try that out. You can also have “kulfi”. This is sweet and cold. On a hot an sultry day you will surely love to have one surely.Juhu beach has some special attractions which you must explore. To the north of the Juhu beach you can visit the VersovaBeach. This place is the home to the largest fishing community of Mumbai, the Kholis. If you want some seclusion then you can find some time to visit some of the less busy beaches like Versova, Madh Island, Marve, Manori and Gorai. Some of these beaches are not safe for bathing and these are suitably marked.
Marine Drive is located in the south of Mumbai. This wonderful beachfront is nestled between two extremes. On one side of the marine drive is the bustling jungle of concrete and wood, Nariman Point, while on the other side is the green and beautiful Malabar Hill. Marine drive is swept by wind and this beautiful beach has become a wonderful attraction of the city of Mumbai. Stretching for over three kilometers, this beautiful beach is just the perfect place for boisterous children and love struck couples. While the vehicles flow in unending streams, you can enjoy your time at the beach without a worry in the world.
Kamala Nehru Park
Kamala Nehru Park in Mumbai is the perfect spot for nature lovers, who want to spend their evenings or mornings in the lap of nature. It was established in 1952 and spread over an area of 4,000 sq. yards. The park derived its name after the wife of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. Kamala Nehru Park is located on the top of Malabar hills, from where you can enjoy the wonderful view of Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach. Both kids and adults love to visit the park because of its peace, greenery and beauty. Kamala Nehru Park gives an amazing view of the Mumbai city and the sunset over the Arabian sea. The lush green garden, has “Old Woman’s Shoe”, beautifully trimmed hazes and walkaways. KamalaNehruPark is very well maintained with many varieties of plants and trees. Its an ideal place for family outing close to nature.
Hanging Garden in Mumbai is located opposite to the Kamala Nehru Park and is also known as Ferozeshah Mehta Garden, after the famous barrister. The garden provides a stunning view of the sunset over the Arabian Sea. It is believed that the terraced gardens were built over the three main reservoirs of Mumbai, to protect the reservoir’s water from contamination of the nearby Towers of Silence. The three reservoirs has the capacity of storing 30 million gallons of water. The Towers of Silence are used by the Parsi community to dispose off the dead bodies. The garden provides a panoramic view of Mumbai city. The lush green Hanging garden is a nice break from the hum drum of city life. The hedges in the garden are cut in the shape of animals giving it a unique look. The flower clock of the garden is one of its main attractions.
Elephanta caves are a UNESCO World Heritage site with beautiful carvings and sculptures. In the vicinity of the financial capital of India, Mumbai, these caves offer you the much-needed peace from the chaos of the metropolitan. It is a good place to look into the past culture and art. Here you will find two categories of caves; one is the Hindu rock art and the other is the Buddhist rock art. The place is still worshipped by the locals, and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. One can spot some resemblance to the Ajanta and Ellora caves, which are around 300 km from Elephanta.
The Siddhivinayak Temple is a very famous temple in Mumbai. It is also known as Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple. This temple is situated at Prabhadevi in Mumbai. It is a two hundred years old Temple. People believe that Lord Ganesh of Siddhivinayak Temple fulfils the desire of His worshippers.
Haji Ali Dargah
Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque in Mumbai built in the middle of the sea with a constricted path leading to the dargah. It is the tomb of Saint Haji Ali. The white mosque is located 500 yards into the sea and can be accessed only during the low tide. Two legends are popular regarding Haji Ali Dargah. According to the first legend Haji Ali, was a rich businessman who renounced the worldly pleasures after his visit to Mecca and was then engrossed in meditation. While the other suggest that Haji Ali went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and died there but his casket miraculously drifted back to the shores of Mumbai. In accordance with the Muslim tradition, Haji Ali Dargah has different praying rooms for ladies and gents. Since one cannot visit the mausoleum during the low tide, so there’s an offshore location, which is situated on the opposite side of Mahalakshmi racecourse. After passing through the carved entrance of Haji Ali Dargah, you enter the marble courtyard containing the main shrine. Hundreds of devotees come to the mosque to get the blessings of the saint. The tomb is covered with red and green coloured chaddar, enclosed in a wonderful silver frame. The tomb is ornamented with beautiful mirror work of different colors and the ninety-nine names of Allah are inscribed on it in Arabic. The courtyard is huge with a number of refreshment stalls.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a beautiful park in Mumbai. It is situated on the northern part of the suburbs of Mumbai and spread over a total area of 104 sq. km. A huge number of people visit the park, it is roughly estimated that 2 million visitors come here annually. The park is decorated with a wide variety of flora and fauna. Sanjay Gandhi National Park was called Krishnagiri National Park before independence. But after independence it was called Borivli National Park as it is close to the residential area of Borivali. In the year 1981 the park was renamed as Sanjay Gandhi National Park, in memory of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s son, who died in an air crash. The 2,400 years old, Kanheri Caves are located inside the park. There are 109 caves in the center of the park which were used as viharas (monasteries) and chaityas (temples) by the Buddhist monks of the 2nd and 9th centuries. The region of Sanjay Gandhi National Park is hilly and densely covered with trees and inhabits many animals. It is located at a height of 400m. The two lakes of the park are the Vihar Lake and the Tulsi Lake. These lakes cater to the water requirements of Mumbai. Nearly 800 varieties of flowering plants, 284 types of birds, 5,000 types of insects, 36 species of mammals, 50 kinds of reptiles and 150 species of butterfly are found here.
A popular beach and a vacation spot in Aksa village at Malad, the Aksa Beach is situated close to Malvani. This beach was one of the most silent and least visited beaches. It is very clean beach with a large variety of snails and shells. It is a popular weekend destination with youngsters and dotted with many private cottages and hotels, some of which are rented out to tourists and visitors
Nearby attractions of Mumbai: From here you can make short trips to the destinations like:
84km from the bustling crowd of Mumbai, the hilly region of Lonavala invites nature lovers and footloose travellers alike. The natural beauty here is splendid, and it is also a place where trekking enthusiasts gather. There are plenty of sightseeing options as well. From forts to water bodies and mountains covered with lush greenery, there are many things to explore in Lonavala like Bhaja Caves, Tungarli Lake, Ryewood Park, Iron Fort or Lohagad.
Situated in the Sahyadri range of western Maharashtra, Khandala is 100km away from Mumbai. It is a picturesque hill station with fabulous lakes, waterfalls and deep green valleys. This place is a very favorite weekend escapade for tourists who want to avoid the commotion of the busy cities. The most popular Tourist Spots of Khandala are- Khandala Lake, Bhushi Lake, Karla, The Bhaja Caves, Duke’s Nose, Shiva Temple, The Reversing Station Point and the Tiger’s Leap. Once visited it will never be forgotten. Khandala dazzles the visitors.
Alibag is a lovely gift of Nature. Eye soothing greenery with coconut trees standing in Queue near Quick sandy beaches really soothes the heart. Here the atmosphere is pleasant with Twitter of birds, Tasty food, and The festival of colours in the sky.
Things to do in Mumbai : Shopping in Mumbai is a memorable experience as one wanders through its bazaars with charming names like Chor Bazar, Mutton Street and Zaveri Bazar. Chor Bazaar is believed to have the original name Shor Bazaar or the Noisy Market, that aptly described the yelling and shouting of the local traders on Mutton Street while selling their second hand house hold goods. Today, it is a bustling market selling a range of new and old furniture, antiques, jewellery, wooden articles, leather wear and other curios. Mutton St in Chor Bazaar specializes in antiques, ingenious reproductions and miscellaneous junk. Crawford market is famous for flowers, fruits, meat and fish. Zaveri Bazaar is the main retail centers for gold and diamonds, and nearby Pydhoni for silver. Apart from shopping the multiple sight seeing spots is heart stealing. Enjoy the dazzling view of the city from Marine drive at night. Do not miss the Mumbai special street foods like Pav Bhaji, Bhel puri etc. The sunset view from Juhu beach and Chowpatty beach is also spectacular. On the whole Mumbai will entertain you throughout. Your holiday here will be fun filled and exciting.
Best time to visit Mumbai: Having a moderate climate, Mumbai can be visited throughout the year.
How to go ?
Mumbai can be reached through numerous flights. The international terminal Sahar, renamed as Chatrapati Sivaji International Airport operates round the clock. Hotel bookings and pre-paid taxis are available at the terminal. The domestic terminal Santa Cruz is about 5km apart and can easily be reached through regular shuttle buses between the two terminals. The domestic airport is well connected and can be used to visit most parts of Western and Southern India.
Mumbai is a prominent railway hub of the country. It is the headquarters to two railway zones, central and western. While Central Railways handles services to the east and south, Western Railways has services to the north from Churchgate and Central stations. The main railway station Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) formerly known, as Victoria terminus (VT) is located in the heart of the city. Local and outstation trains ply from here. Other railway stations are Dadar, Churchgate and Kurla. Bookings are to be made in advance to avoid the last minute rush, as trains are the most used mode of transport. The extensive system of suburban electric train network is the most sought after transport means in Mumbai for city travel.
Mumbai is well connected by a network of roads to the rest of India by and state highways. Mumbai has one of the best public bus systems of any major Indian city called BEST buses. Mumbai has a huge fleet of metered black-and-yellow taxis as well.
Where to stay ?
There are numerous hotels available in Mumbai suitable to all budgets. Some options are:
The Karl Residency: +91-022 4236 2121 Website: www.hotelkarl.com
Hotel Kohinoor Continental: 8287012302 Website: www.hotelkohinoorcontinental.com
The Taj Mahal Palace: +91-022- 6665 3366 Website: www.tajhotels.com
Sea Shore Hotel: +91-022 2287 4238
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.