Mumbai earlier called Bombay is one of the major metropolitan cities of our country. Being the capital of Maharashtra it is proudly called the “Financial Capital” of India. It is a hub of major business activities. Located on the Salsette Island, its name is derived from the goddess of the Koli fisher folk called Mumbadevi. It houses magnificent and lofty structures and also has a pretty natural harbour. This ultra-modern city remains active 24/7 with its big shopping malls, discotheques, restaurants, night parties etc. It is the proud owner of the popular Hindi Film Industry called the “BollyWood”. The lip-smacking chats like Vada pao, Pani and Bhel Puri sold on the streets are the prime attractions of Mumbai.
Mumbai being one of the highly populated cities, provides shelter to people belonging to all religions and castes without any discrimination. The city’s cultural diversity is reflected through its museums, theatres and art galleries.
The never-ending Arabian sea with its vast stretch of seashore evokes a rejuvenating feeling. Marine Drive is one of the major activity here. The marvellous “Gateway of India”, one of the top tourist attractions, is located in the Apollo Bunder area and oversees the Arabian with pride.
It is a most appealing city where tourists can enjoy variety of celebrations, sense of tradition and scurry urban life. It is the finest place in India which lures travellers and visitors from far and wide.
PLACES TO SEE
Gateway of India : This grand structure located in the Apollo Bunder area of South Mumbai was built in 1911 to celebrate the visit of Queen Mary and King George V to India. Its 26 mts high stone pathway leaves the visitor speechless. It was built in Indo-Saracen style of architecture. This elegant structure proudly oversees the Arabian sea on one side and stunning Taj Hotel on the other.
Elephanta Islands : This prestigious place located about 11 kms from Mumbai is declared as the World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. This island is popular for its beautiful rock carvings and sculptures. There is a temple inside dedicated to Lord Ardhanarishwar (Shiva). The cave is supported by huge pillars. Sculptures of Lord Shiva in different postures is depicted in a large hall. Boat facilities are available every 30 minutes between 9.00 a.m-12.00 p.m. from Apollo Bunder to Elephanta and between 13.00 p.m.-17.00 p.m. from Elephanta back to Apollo Bunder.
Marine Drive : Marine drive is the beautiful stretch of 6 lane road along the Arabian Sea. Marine Drive’s beauty is best enjoyed in the evening. It is a beautiful place to enjoy a long walk alone or with the family and relax the mind and body.
Ferozsha Mehta Gardens : It is famously called the Hanging Gardens. This garden was developed in 1881 and it lies opposite to the beautiful Kamala Nehru park. Different shapes of animals formed from the hedges are the prime attraction. At dawn morning walk and yoga can be enjoyed, while in the evening stunning view of the sunset and harbour can be relished.
Haji Ali Mosque : This tomb is built in the memory of Haji Ali a Sufi saint. This stunning mosque is located on a small rocky bed in the Arabian Sea. There is only a small road which connects it to the main land. This place can be visited only during low tide.
Mahalaksmi Temple : It is an important temple near Worli, dedicated to goddess Lakshmi. Temple will be crowded on Fridays and during Navarathri.
Mani Bhavan : Earlier dwelled by Mahatma Gandhi, Mani Bhavan is converted into a gallery which depicts the life of Mahatma Gandhi.
Chowpatty Beach : It is an important beach located at the end of Marine Drive. Here Coconut Day and Ganesh Chaturthi immersions are celebrated with pomp and glory. There are statues of famous freedom fighters, VittalBhai Patel and Lokamanya Tilak. This beach is made busy by the shooting galleries, contortionists, snake charmers, monkey-trainers, balloon sellers, flower-girls, chat stalls etc.
Kamala Nehru Park : It is a fantastic park located close to the Malabar hills. This park offers fantastic view of the city and children enjoy the most here. This park named after Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru’s wife is a perfect place to escape from the fast city life.
Juhu Beach : This calm beach is a perfect family entertainer with a big playground, amusement park and open-air restaurant. Camel ride is also another major attraction.
Essel World : This largest amusement park is best suited for a one-day outing with family and friends. The attractive water games help to beat the heat. Ferry services are available from the Gorai Beach.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park : This beautiful park located within the city attracts the tourists with its wide collection of fauna. Sambar Deer, Rhesus Macaque, Chital, Indian Hare, Gray Lungur, mammals, reptiles, butterflies are the main attractions. Mumbai gets major water supply from the two lakes which are located in this National park.
Kanheri Caves : This ancient cave is located in the middle of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. It is believed that these caves were built by the Hinayana Buddhist monks between 2 and 9th century. This cave consists of two big statues of Lord Buddha and also has writing about Buddha’s life and teachings.
Other famous attractions are
HOW TO REACH
By Air : Being a metropolitan city itself it is well connected to the major cities of India and also rest of the world. It has two airports. International flights take off from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport whereas domestic flights fly from Chhatrapati Shivaji Domestic Airport. These two airports which are located in the Nariman point are about 30 and 26kms away from the centre of Mumbai.
By Train : Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Mumbai Central are the major railway stations which connect Mumbai to the other major cities and metros.
By Bus : Government and private buses connects Mumbai with other major towns and cities. MTDC run buses to the prime tourist places except in monsoon.