THE C ITY OF DREAMS AND GLAMOUR FOR MILLIONS, MUMBAI
Mumbai, dreams of millions or may be billions? It is one of the most populous and biggest cities of Maharashtra. Also the biggest metropolis of this state, Mumbai is also popular as the entertainment, glamour, food, fashion and what not! This lace has all sorts of categories, From struggling actors, labourers, Bollywood stars to gangsters, from dreamers to startup lovers. Mumbai has a lot that can be talked about. And not just the city of glamour and dreams, but Mumbai is also home to one of the biggest slum area as well as home to the richest and thus it is only fair to describe Mumbai as a city for all. The majorly spoken language is definitely Hindi , but this city has welcomed people from all faiths and religion warmly. If you want to know and experience diversity, then you must plan a trip to Mumbai. This city is one of the most warm city with welcoming hearts. Mumbai is one of the most fast paced city, in India. The city that never sleeps. The heart of Mumbai has some of the best and beautiful colonial architecture and if you venture out to the lesser known lanes, you will also come across several distinct bazaars, temples, fancy restaurants and a nightlife that is one of its kinds. The city is located on the western coast of India and is also called as the financial capital of India. This place is very addictive, so whether you go there for a small trip or if you are living there, you would be able to witness a little bit of Mumbaikar vibe in yourself. There are numerous attractions in Mumbai that will leave you awestruck. A walk around the streets of Colaba or near Churchgate is enough for you to get a glimpse of the colonial era buildings. Some of the many monuments that give Mumbai a British look and feel are Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Flora Fountain, High Court, Taj Hotel, Gateway of India and also the Asiatic Society. These are just some of the many attractions that this city of dreams has.
You can plan a trip to this city anytime of the year, if you are well suited with hot and humid weather. We are very sure that, Not many people know about its vast coastline. Right from Marine Drive to Aksa Beach, Mumbai has a huge coastline. Marine Drive is beautifully embellished with the ‘queen’s necklace’. Mumbai is place which has endured a lot of pain through terror attacks and natural calamities. Want to shoot flamingoes? Between the months of October to March, a lot of birding enthusiasts and photographers march to these marshlands with their props. Its a great opportunity for you to create the amazing content too. From the cosmopolitan culture to beautiful promenades, from eye eating sunsets to hidden spots of Mumbai. This city will keep your spirit high. Mumbai is booming with options for adventure enthusiasts, peace seekers, pilgrims, history geeks, beach bums, foodies, and architecture lovers. this place has the capacity to accommodate all your desires. The city is rich in heritage and architecture, with some of the most awe inspiring buildings dotting the quaint lanes.
Best time to experience and explore Mumbai:
October to February, the winter season is considered as the best time to visit Mumbai. As the temperatures are relatively low and have an adaptable atmosphere. The weather gets moderately cool, and the temperature does not get below 10 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature during winters is 35 degrees Celsius. If you are visiting Mumbai in winters don’t forget to visit its Chowpatty beach, Gateway of India, Elephanta Caves, Hanging Garden, Haji Ali Dargah, Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple, and other stunning attractions of this glimmering city. And you can plan your trip in a way, so that you can get an opportunity to attend the. Mumbai International Film Festival, Kala Ghoda Festival, Mumbai Film Festival, India Art Festival, Elephanta Festival. It would be a great opportunity for you all to explore the vibrant culture.
March-May, the summer season in Mumbai. We will never recommend you to explore the city during the time. The temperature during this season rises up to 38 degrees Celsius and does not dip below 25 degrees Celsius. But actually, the problems not the temperatures. But being a coastal region, this place turns out to be very humid and sweaty. It is advisable to wear light cotton clothes. Carry a water bottle, umbrella, sunglasses, and sunscreen during your visit to Mumbai. Mumbai during summer is muggy and sticky. It’s best to avoid the city during these three months. But just in case even though you still want to explore the city make sure to stay hydrated.
June-September, the iconic monsoon season. The city gets refreshed, undoubtedly, but when it is being lashed by heavy rain, it could get impossible to head out for sightseeing. If you like trekking, this could be a good time to visit. The gushing waterfalls and green hills make for a beautiful break from urban cityscapes. You can go for long rides to western Ghats too. The temperature during monsoon here stays around 20 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius. Also during this time, the showers are pretty much unpredictable. So it's highly advisable to carry either a raincoat or an umbrella even if you are heading out somewhere nearby . Humidity level rises a lot after the downpour. And during this time you can get to explore colourful world famous festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Dahi Handi Competition, Janmashtami.
Places to see in Mumbai:
Gateway of India, it is one of the most recognized monuments constructed in 1924 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city. Did you know that it had history behind it? It is known for marking the end of British rule when India gained Independence in 1947. The looming Gateway is designed to be the first thing that visitors see when approaching Mumbai by boat. It's a popular place to start exploring Mumbai. The structure is Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. The total construction cost of this monument was approximately 21 lakhs and the whole expense was borne by the Indian government. A favourite spot for tourists, nowadays, this monument attracts vendors, food stalls and photographers. People can visit the monument at any time of the day. The best time to visit the Gateway of India is during the period of November to March, as the post-monsoon climate is very pleasant and there are very less chances for downpours at this time.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), comes under heritage assets of the nation. It’s the perfect example of intricate colonial architecture. outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India, blended with themes deriving from Indian traditional architecture. The structure represents the heart of the mercantile facet of the city and also symbolizes the British Commonwealth. This place is really famous among the photographers. CST is the most cherished landmarks of Mumbai and an epitome of heritage for the city. It won’t take more than hour to explore this historic place. So you can also grab couple of vada pav’s while walking down here.
Kala Ghoda, it is a famous area located near Jehangir Art Gallery and Sassoon Library. In the 18th century philanthropist Albert Abdullah David Sassoon and Jewish businessman built a statue of King Edward VII (as the then Prince of Wales) sitting on a horse. The statue was made from black stone. home to Mumbai's best art galleries and museums. It's also filled with cultural spaces, including some wonderful pavement galleries. Stroll around at leisure, but be sure to visit the acclaimed Jehangir Art Gallery. Every year in February, the Kala Ghoda Association hosts a nine day Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, which you must attend to explore the culture.
Haji Ali Dargah, it is a tomb and a mosque that houses the mortal remains of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, a 15th-century Sufi saint. Located against the backdrop of the magnificent Arabian Sea, the dargah seems like a mirage floating on water. This place is Known for its religious significance, architectural beauty, and spellbinding location, the dargah deserves to be included in your Mumbai itinerary. The timings are 5:30 am to 10:00 pm; every day. And it’s free. One of the major highlights of the dargah is the Qawalli or devotional songs sung here in honor of the Almighty. The place turns into a heaven of tranquility and spirituality during the Qawalli sessions that usually take place on Friday nights. Attending the Qawwali at Haji Ali Dargah is an experience in itself.
Siddhivinayak temple, this temple was built in the year 1801 and is one of the most honoured and old symbol of ancient architecture and belief. Each and every day, more than a thousand devotees swarm to the temple to offer their devotions to Lord Vinayaka and get his divine blessings. The intricate carvings on the wooden doors of this temple have splendid Ashtavinayaka which are the eight manifestations of Lord Ganesha. The innermost roof of the temple is gold plated. Many Bollywood celebrities too visit this temple to seek the blessings of Lord Vinayaka.
Mount Mary Church, The church which is also called as The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount is a Roman Catholic Church located in Bandra. The church stands on a hillock which is 262 feet above sea level. This basilica is about 100 years’ old. You can feel the cool breeze from the ocean when you enter the church which by itself gives you peace of mind. Not just Sunday there are devotees who comes to offer up prayers in the hope of getting fulfilled and receiving the blessings.
Marine Drive, one of the most popular places since the time immemorial. It’s a very long stretch of boulevard curves around the coast, ending at Girgaum Chowpatty (beach) in the north. Fitness fanatics flock to its seashore in the early morning and evening to jog with a golden view as the waves hit the ground. Many people are surprised to discover that Marine Drive has the second largest collection of Art Deco buildings in the world, after Miami, and it has received UNESCO World Heritage status. Marine Drive is also referred to as the Queen's Necklace because of its string of sparkling lights, reflective of a row of jewels. And because of that it is one of the hotspots for world photographers to shoot from different perspectives. You can take a slow stroll with your loved ones.
Worli Seaface, another of Mumbai's renowned promenades where people like to go for walks and sit in the evenings. It's one of the top places to experience the monsoon in Mumbai, as huge waves thrillingly rise up and onto the roadside during high tide. You can grab a cup of coffee and chat with you best friend for hours, sharing your daily life story, struggles and fun. And we got a better option too! Why don’t you just grab some corm or vada pavings with chai and have the best evening possible.
Bandra Bandstand, also famous as the lovers point where young couples like to sneak out onto the rocks below to spend some time alone. Apart from that you can visit some historic lancers with religious significance such as, St. Andrews Church near Bandstand is a perfect place to soothe the mind. Being one of the oldest churches in Mumbai, the church's Gothic style architecture is worth exploring. You can even enjoy some local food at nearby stalls or sit by nearby cute cafes too. Also a pro tip, which would Make your trip authentic. While you're exploring Bandstand, don't miss out on slurping up some golas from the local carts.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali. The park covers about 20% of Mumbai’s geographical area and invites nature lovers to experience greenery, wildlife, rocky cliffs, caves and a number of tourist attractions located inside the park. So if you are an adventure or wildlife enthusiast this place is for you. Sanjay Gandhi National Park is one of the largest parks situated within the city limits and is also believed to be one of Asia’s most visited parks. The national park is home to a surprising number of two hundred and fifty-four species of birds, forty species of mammals, seventy-eight species of reptiles and amphibians, about one fifty species of butterflies and over a staggering 1,300 species of plants.that’s huge! No wonder lakhs of tourists throng to this part every year.
Powai Lake, it is a man made lake. The lake was built by the British regime in 1890, after constructing two dams about ten metres high across two hillocks, to augment the water supply to Bombay. The hillocks seen on the south end of the lake are the lowest slopes of the Western Ghats. Powai Lake is a tourist attraction especially during sunset. Make sure to visit Holy Trinity Church, The church was built in 1971 but the area has witnessed Christian life and activity for the last 400 years. Mass is conducted daily here and the feast is celebrated on the last Sunday of May every year. Visit Hakone in Hiranandani Gardens, you can get indulged in some fun activities like go-karting, paintball, bull-ride, bumping cars etc. and the days and fees are as such INR 140/220 (weekday/weekend) for 12 rides; INR 500 on Tuesdays for go-karting.
Elephanta caves, it's one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a collection of cave temples predominantly dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The ancient rock-cut caves on Elephanta Island. It has some impressive sculptures and artwork. Get there by taking a ferry from the Gateway of India. You can explore some of the intricate artwork and decorations across the caves and the history of Portuguese soldiers guilty of using the caves as a firing range and the statues for target practice. Today, the historical site is taken care of by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The Elephanta Caves visiting hours are between 09:30 am and 05:30 pm. The ferry service and the Elephanta Caves are shut on Mondays.
Local food to experience in Mumbai:
Akuri is one of the great Parsi dishes, every family has its own special way of making this breakfast meal. Though variations of the ingredients are vociferously debated, Akuri is usually made by scrambling eggs with onions, tomatoes , red chilli powder, green chillies and topped with fresh coriander. Others add milk, jeera (cumin) powder, curry leaves and even ginger and garlic paste.
Baida roti, Spiced meat or chicken or minced mutton as a puff. served with sliced onion rings and green chutney.
Batata vada, who doesn't know this? It is one of the most famous and favourite snacks of all time. Mumbaikars can't live without the batata vada bite. This well-liked fast food dumpling is made by mashing boiled potatoes with green chilies, ginger, garlic, lime juice, turmeric, and fresh coriander, which is then dipped in a besan (gram flour) batter and deep fried. It's served either with a green chutney or fried green chillies.
The Bombay sandwich, sandwich made up of white bread and thin slices of beetroot, boiled potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion rings, and mint chutney. Cut into four triangles so that you can handle all the layers without spilling them, you get the most refreshing tangy taste, after each bite.thin slices of beetroot, boiled potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion rings, and mint chutney. Every single bite is a taste to remember.
Zhunka bhakar, Traditionally, the zunka is made using chopped onions tempered with mustard seeds and kadi patta leaves mixed with chickpea flour and is dry. It is eaten with jowar (millet) bhakri or roti. You must try when in Mumbai.
Bombil fry, A fisherman's favourite, Bombils are flattened, then dipped in a spice-filled besan (gram flour) batter and fried. This crunchy-on-the-outside and mushy-soft-on-the-inside fish dish can be eaten on its own as a starter, or as a main course with chapattis.
Bun maska, it is a local bread that is unique to Mumbai, and it's crisp and hard and crumbly on the outside and soft inside. The bun is sliced and butter is applied lavishly. Some even sprinkle on quite a bit of sugar. It is usually accompanied by sweet Irani chai.
Ragda pattice, combination of ragda, soft, spicy, rugged-flavored chickpeas, and pattice, mashed potato shaped into fat patties and fried. The ideal way is to eat it is to crush the ragda with the pattice and pile on the accompaniments. finely chopped onions, tangy tamarind sauce and fiery green chutney. Mash it all up and dig in for the true flavor of Mumbai.
Falooda is vermicelli mixed with milk, almonds, pistachios, a bit of rose syrup and the key ingredient with sabja or basil seeds and topped up with two scoops of ice cream. This became famous since the Mughal time.
Puran poli, it is a festive dish made by Maharashtrians and Gujaratis especially during Holi (to celebrate the end of the winter season) and Dussehra (to celebrate the triumph of Lord Ram over the demon Ravana). It is made by simmering chana dal (yellow gram) with sugar or jaggery (molasses or gur) till it dries up.
Accessible routes to travel to mumbai:
Mumbai is the gateway to India for a large number of travellers and is extremely well connected by air with most major destinations around the world as well as in India. The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport lies about 30 kilometres north of the city. The Santa Cruz Domestic Airport is about 4.5 kilometres from the international airport and 26 kilometres north of the city.
Mumbai is very well connected to rest of India by trains. Trains travelling from Central, East and West India arrive at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, or VT as it used to be called. Trains from the North arrive at Mumbai Central Station.