Mumbai is well connected to the world. The International Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus 30 kms. from the downtown area of Mumbai, and has transformed into a world-class facility.Book with us
Already a member? Login
Don't have an account? Sign up
The origin of the name is obscure, but it is said to come from the Portuguese phrase bom bahia meaning “good bay”. When Catherine of Braganza married England’s Charles the Second in 1661, the dowry fixed for this matrimony was set for 7 Portuguese islands lying off the West coast of India. After acquiring them, Charles II rented the islands to the East India Company in 1668 for 10 pounds of gold annually. These 7 islands were called Colaba, Isle of Bombay, Old Woman’s Island, Mazgaon, Mahim, Parel and Worli. By 1845, the islands had been merged into one through multiple reclamation projects to form the Southern part of the city that came to be known as Bombay. Later still, it was merged with its north-lying islands of Salcette and Trombay to make the megapolis that forms modern day Mumbai.
Such was the twist of fate that made Bombay the jewel of the British Empire, and not a Portuguese town like Goa to its South, or Daman and Diu to its North. The British returned the favour, building it into the finest city of the Empire, and a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. The migration of the wealthy Parsi and Bohra communities into India coincided with the rise of Mumbai, making them key stakeholders with the British in the rise and development of the city.
Later, other strong Indian trading communities such as Gujaratis and Marwaris also migrated to the city. They set up trading companies, mills and factories, attracting migrant labour from across the country. This transformed it into an industrial hub, making it a magnet for employment and opportunity for the rest of India, a status it enjoys till date.
Mumbai, the city of extremes. Mumbai, the city of dreams. Mumbai, the city that never sleeps. Mumbai, where the traffic never moves. Skyscraper city. Slumbai. It is hard to make a non-hyperbolic statement about Mumbai. Ravishingly beautiful sunsets break out on its majestic sea-face, but few hundred metres inland could find one in an urban hell-hole, gritty enough to make one choke and want to run away somewhere, anywhere. The constant frenzy, the sea of humanity, the endless traffic, the blaring honking, the stream of festivals- the levels of dys functionality here can test the most resilient. Yet on the same point, the levels of functionality here can equally stound. The clockwork precision of the suburban rail network, the efficiency of every worker, the reliability of all the services, the dabbawalas, the rickshawallas, the housemaids. Mumbai can be just as rewarding once you have decoded its dos and don’t’s.
From a touristic perspective, insist on staying in South Bombay on your first visit. Living in the suburbs will deliver a skewed view of the city for the first time visitor. The first aha moment into the city would likely occur whilst crossing the Bandra Worli Sea Link. This cable-stayed bridge across the Mahim Bay has shortened the time between the Western suburbs and the old city (locally called Town) by a good 30 minutes, and has really changed the dynamic between Town and Bandra. Once in South Bombay, the best place to drop anchor would be Churchgate or Colaba areas. The entire Southern part of the city narrows down and eventually converges into apoint, so distances across places in South Bombay (often shortened as SoBo) tend to be short.
The first few days in Bombay will blow your mind. Marine Drive, shaped like a Queen’s necklace, has the Chowpatty beach at one end, and the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) at the other. Drive up towards Walkeshwar to reach Malabar Hill, home to the old-world elite of the city, and the beautiful Hanging Gardens (avoid weekends). Next, discover the Kala Ghoda precinct, brimming with history, heritage, museums and art galleries. If you have a limited amount of time and need to pick, do not miss the Prince of Wales and Bhau Daaji Laad Museums. If you have more time, do the more leisurely Kala Ghoda precinct museum and art walk.
Sooner or later, you will discover Colaba. The Gateway of India is awe-inspiring, although for best experiences in Mumbai, try and avoid visiting tourist sites on weekends. The lanes and bylanes around the Taj are incredibly interesting, with shops, restaurants, bars and cafes that will suit every budget. The Colaba Causeway is fun, with its street-shopping vibe and bodacious salesmen. Visit a few of the iconic watering holes such as Mondegar (Mondy’s locally) and Leopold (so you can have your Shantaram bragging rights), but the curious will find a ton of other places. Colaba is turning gastrnomically hip every day, so if you’re not averse to spending a few rupees on a quality meal, you’ll find some incredible restaurants around. To name just a few, try Table, Elipsiss, Indigo Deli and Moshes. There are also several hertiage walking and cycling tours available these days, with knowledgable local guides who speak good English, so these are highly recommended. Visit the Afghan Church, and the Wesley Church. And if you enjoy solitude, look out for the Bombay Port Trust Botanical Gardens. Meat lovers will enjoy the German restaurant Imbiss near the Sassoon Dock.
The next part of Bombay you’ll want to explore is Fort. In the old days, the Fort was where the sahibs lived. The walls of the fort bounded the colony. These days, Fort is a buzzing financial district, housing some of the major corporations of India such as the Tata group, Reserve Bank of India and Bombay Stock Exchange. Start at the Flora Fountain, a fountain and promenade built as a tribute to the Roman Goddess Flora in 1864. The area has many shops, but of particular interest would be a bookshop called Kitaab Khana and clothes and furnishing store Fabindia. One lane behind, walk across the Horniman Circle gardens towards the Asiatic Society and the pier area, known as Ballard Estate. Walk all the way up again to reach back at Colaba.
Your SoBo circuit is now complete. The logical next step would be to discover Bandra, for which we recommend an early evening visit to the Bandra Bandstand, a seafront promenade of wild beauty. Walk up to the Bandra Fort, and if time permits, have a cuppa at the Taj Lands End hotel. You can go up the Mount Mary Steps to the pretty Mount Mary Church. Hop on to a rickshaw, for you are now in rickshaw land (they are are not permitted beyond Bandra). Head to Carter Road, where you will find a ton of people enjoying the ealy evening breeze. Go up any of the lanes towards Pali Hill to see how Bandra people live. An excellent coffee shop to stop over would be The Bagel Shop. Later, head to any number of pubs or restaurants in Bandra to bring in the night. You can always uber or taxi back later to SoBo, Mumbai is safe like that.
It would be clear that the city of Mumbai is constantly expanding Northwards, but to understandthe future direction of the city, one has to understand its Eastern seafront. In recent years, a 16.8 km expressway has come up, connecting South Bombay to the Eastern suburbs in a matter of minutes. Slightly further along the Eastern seafront lies the planned future of the city- New Bombay or Navi Mumbai, a township started in 1971 by the Government of Maharashtra, and today a thriving, planned city of close to 1.5 million inhabitants. The infrastructure, facilities and connectivity in Navi Mumbai is of very high standard compared to the old city, and given the fact that the new international airport is coming up in Panvel in Navi Mumbai by 2020, there are a slew of ongoing infrastructure projects being readied to make the transition as seamless as possible. Although largely industrial till recently, Navi Mumbai is getting smart with each passing season, as more and more people are making the transition to start living in this greener, cleaner, better governed township. Mumbai has largely lived in denial of Navi Mumbai for close to 50 years now, all that should change once the new airport is up.
After you’ve been in Mumbai for a few days and adjusted to the smells, sights, and sounds, you will begin to feel its energy coursing through your veins. You might want to leave soon, for in case you do not, the city will get you. Like 20 million of the rest of its prey.
Mumbai is well connected to the world. The International Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus 30 kms. from the downtown area of Mumbai, and has transformed into a world-class facility.Book with us
Mumbai is well connected to all Indian metros including Goa, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and the scenic Konkan coast through highways and expressways.Book with us
The CST Station connects to every major Indian city and town. There are also major terminals at Dadar, Mumbai Central, Kurla Terminus and Bandra Terminus.Book with us
All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Mission or Post abroad. All Individual visa seekers are requested to apply for the Indian Visa through online application link , in order to make an application for getting the Indian visa. The duly signed physical copy of the application form completed in all respect and submitted successfully, is to be submitted at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian Mission/ Post, on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents. The status of Visa Application can be seen on the link for Visa Enquiry.Enquiry
Situated in the heart of Mumbai’s Byculla district next to the Botanical gardens and zoo, this stupendous structure built in the Renaissance revival style was conceived by George Birdwood, the museum’s first curator, in 1872. Built with the patronage of wealthy Indians such as Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy and Jagannath Shankar Sheth, the museum soon became a storehouse of information on Bombay’s industrial arts and communities. Today, it contains more than 3500 objects focused around Bombay’s history. The various galleries such as the Industrial Arts Gallery and Bombay School Paintings, and the Origins of Mumbai Gallery are useful reminders of the city’s rich cultural and industrial past. Equally enthralling are its maps, watercolors, lithographs and photographs from the rare glass negative collection The building was renovated in 2008, and features a performance area, cafe, and studio spaces, and has become a cultural hotspot for the city, where rich talks, Q&A, exhibitions, readings and performances take place daily.
Although the various film studios in Mumbai are geographically spread apart, the main complex where a large number of shoots happen daily is Film City. Located in North Mumbai, close to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park., it was built in 1977 to provide facilities and land to the film industry, to create sets and shoot on location without disturbance. Over the years, Film City has become Bollywood’s spiritual homeland where many a classic film has, in part, been filmed,. Recently, the complex has been thrown open to the public. Since 2014, it’s been possible to go on tours of the vast complex, which produces more than 100 films a year across 42 outdoor shooting locations and 16 studios. Guided tours venture to some of these locations, including a helipad, a temple a church and when possible, stop by a set while a live shoot is in action. An extended tour also includes a Bollywood flick screened at a Mumbai theatre followed by dinner, to round out a classic Bollywood adventure.
The city’s main railway terminus and an iconic Victorian landmark, the Victoria Terminus (VT) was designed by British architect F.W. Stevens. Commenced in 1877 and completed in 1887, when it finally opened for public use, it immediately became a symbol of Bombay. With turrets, pointed arches and an eccentric ground plan, it was a major architectural achievement for its time. The entrance is flanked by figures of a lion and a tiger representing the two countries- Britain and India. The main structure is made of sandstone and limestone, while the interiors are lined with high-quality Italian marble. Crowned by a high dome, the focal point of the building, the structure borrows equally from Mughal arches, rows and windows, closely resembling Indian palaces. In every sense, it is the perfectamalgam of British and Indian designs. VT station got renamed as Chatrapati Shivaji Teminus few years ago, and today is known as CST. The guided tour offers an english speaking guide, who takes the party on a tour of the building and museum-the dining hall, the library and the porch on the first floor, with its spectacular view, the Railway Museum with its collection of old time crockery, brass cutlery and utilities used by railway officers since 1888, drawings and artworks of old Mumbai’s Indian Peninsular Railway and CST building, ending with tea & biscuits at the Heritage Lounge. All this, with 18 platforms underneath, 7 of them dispensing commuters across 3 local lines and the remaining 11, sending travellers to and fro across the entire country. CST sums up the pulsating energy of Mumbai. Unstoppable, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
South of the Gateway of India lies Colaba Causeway, a brilliantly bawdy bazaar and the epicentre of Mumbai's tourist scene. Here, you can buy everything from high-end couture to cheaply made kurtas and knock-off leather wallets. This part of Colaba feel like a carnival of colours and people from the world. Interspersed within the stalls are pubs, lanes andbylanes with curio and carpet shops, high-end restaurants, boutique hotels, bespoke gift shops, and any number of furtive hash sellers. The Afghan Memorial Church of St John the Baptist lies at the northern end of Colaba Causeway, and was built to commemorate the soldiers who died in the First Afghan War. The Good Earth store is a wonderful home aaccessories store, while the lanes behind the Taj have curio shops of every vintage, selling perfume, carpets, lithographs, and even large scultures and statues that could be shipped back to your hometown. Essential watering stops would be Café Modegar with its juke box retro environment, and Café Leopold where the author Shantaram spent most of his time. Stop by at local bakery Theobroma for a cuppa. As one walks deeper along the Cuseway, one arrives at the Sasoon Dock area. Fishermen still unload their catch early in the morning at Sassoon Dock, the first wet dock in India. For the curious, a walk further into Colaba opens up a beautiful botanical garden maintained by the Bombay Port Trust. Beyond the Colaba Post Office lies Navy Nagar, the Naval Colony, where permissions are required for entry. It may be worth exploring though, as it houses an Observatory and the Old European cemetery. Navy Nagar is also famous for the United Services Club, which has a terrific 9 hole golf course with a panoramic sea-view.
Founded in 1871, Crawford market was named after the city's then Municipal Commissioner, Arthur Crawford. Spread over a vast area of 72,000 sq.yards, it became the main wholesale market of Bombay. A blend of Norman and Flemish styles, this building was designed in the 1860s by John Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard, who was born in this very neighborhood. Inside the market, each lane sells a specific item- fruits, vegetables, meats, spices, toiletries, chocolates, dry fruits, pets, gift packaging material, hookahs, party essentials and a whole lot more. Come here early in the morning for a colorful walk through Mumbai's freshest produce . The adjacent streets have also grown to expand the market, each street a specialist wholesale marketplace for its category. Lohar Chawl is an entire street dedicated only to lights of whatever shape, size, color combinations and patterns their might be. In Mangaldas Market you can find good quality fabric, sarees, dress materials and drapes while Zaveri Bazaar is a jewellery marketplace. About a km North of Zaveri Bazaar lies the bizarre and wonderful Chor Bazaar, a motley assemblage of antiques, time-pieces, kitsch art, old cameras, vinyl records vintage light fixtures, old-world furniture and other objet d’art. Literally translated, Chori means stealing. Although the shopkeepers are increasingly aware of the value of the objects, they still can be picked at a fraction of their cost elsewhere in the world, making Chor Bazaar a wonderful excursion for eagle-eyed collectors, movie art directors, and relic hunters. Walk down Mutton Street, and bargain wildly to gain the respect of the local shopkeeper, and close the sale.
The Elephanta island is located 10 km away from the Gateway of India. This verdant island is roughly 10 sq.km at high tide and 16 sq.km at low tide, and 2.4 km long. A deep ravine goes from the north to south through the island with basaltic trap hills on both sides. Three small, densely built up villages are located closer to the shores, but for the most part, the island is verdant. The forests and cliffs of Elephanta Island hide a magnificent secret- giant chambers cut into cliffs that contain some of the most magnificent stone carvings made by ancient man. There are 7 caves in total, dating back to the 5th century, featuring religious motifs depicting the various forms of Lord Shiva. Nobody knows for sure when and by whom these amazing monuments have been created. They were named by the Portuguese, after the statue of an elephant near the landing area of the island. The entire temple is akin to a huge sculpture, through whose corridors and chambers one can walk. The most famous sculpture is the statue of the Trimurti Sadasiva form of Lord Shiva. Rising up to a height of 20 feet, it depicts Shiva in his three-headed form, connoting his 3 avatars- Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara (creator, destroyer, preserver). The island has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Launches run from the Gateway of India every half-hour from 9am to 3.30pm. The voyage takes about an hour. Best to avoid guides.
South Bombay is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines and people, and its food history reflects this diversity. Depending on your food preferences, various foodtrails are possible. Broadly, these can be classified under a few ‘types’ of food. Let’s start with Chaats, essential street food popular in Mumbai. Swati Snacks in Tardeo and Soam near Babulnath Temple are the go-to places to sample authentic Paani-Poori, Sev-Poori, Bhel Poori, Dahi Wada and other delectables such as Panki (rice pancakes) and Chilha (gram flour pancakes). Of course, the stalls on the Chowpatty beach on Marine Drive servegreat street food the way it was meant to be had- actually on the street. Next would be the Thaali, literally meaning plate, where the patron is served a plated full vegetarian meal, inclusive of beverage and dessert. Golden Star Thali in Charni Road is the best one, followed closely by Chetna in Kala Ghoda, Thakkers in Marine Drive and Friends Union Joshi Club in Kalbadevi. Then there are the Irani Cafés, charming open air restuarants which also double up as stores and even beer bars, serving Irani snacks such as Bun Maska (Buttered Bun) and Keema Pao (minced meat with bread) washed down with Suleimani Chai (spiced tea), while the fancier ones have morphed into multi-cuisine pubs serving Steaks, Indian Chinese and continental fare. Mocambo, Café Modegar, Leopold, Café Universal & Kayani & Co. are a few Irani cafes worthy of a food trail all their own. Close cousins, but quite different are the Parsi Restaurants serving traditional Parsi Bhonu. The absolute must-do is Britannia, but across South Bombay, many gems still abound- Jimmy Boy, Ideal Corner, Paradise all serve authentic Parsi food, a wonderfully rich and textured cuisine worth discovering. Standout dishes would be Dhansak (mutton-lentil curry), Patra Ni Macchi (banana leaf fish) and lagaan nu custard (Caramel Custard). Next, there is Coastal Cuisine, within which there are 3 regional cuisines- Mangalorean, Goan and Malwani. For Mangalorean, try Crab Butter Pepper Fry and Prawn Koliwada at Trishna at Kala Ghoda, Mahesh Lunch Home or Excellensea at Ballard Estate, while for Goan, New Martins in Colaba is a working class hole-in-the-wall where one can sample Prawn Pulao and Pork Vindalho of vintage quality. For Malwani food, Police Canteen opposite JJ School of Art is the ultimate place in South Bombay, where Fried Bombay Duck, Teesrya (clams) and fried fish such as Surmai, Rawas and Pomfret are fresh off the ocean. And then comes the Mughlai cuisine of old Bombay. Shalimar in Mohammad Ali Road, Olympia in Colaba, Jaffer Bhai Delhi Durbar at Grant Road, and the midnight stall of Bademiya in Colaba serving kebabs and platters till the wee hours. Special Mughlai dishes worth mentioning would be Bheja Fry (brain curry), Kaleji (liver), Baida Roti (egg-lined naan bread) and Boti Kebab (skewered beef). Finally, there is Indian Chinese, a derivative form of Chinese that borrows form the original, but has adapted it to a degree where it is regarded an original of its own. Lings Pavilion in Colaba, KamLing in Churchgate and Flora in Worli are all run by Chinese Indian families. These originals apart, Mumbai is fast growing into a hotbed of global tastes and food cultures, and this is reflected in any number of authentic gastronomic outlets. To choose world food familiar to you simply log into food apps such as Swiggy and Zomato, and you will find Mediterranean, Authentic Chinese, Lebanese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, American, French as well as unique cuisines from other Indian regions such as Bengal, Kerala, Punjab and South.
One of India’s most recognized monuments, the Gateway of India commenced in 1911 in order to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, who set foot upon India through this gate. It was designed by British architect George Wittet in the Indo-Saracenic style, and eventually completed in 1924. Following His Majesty’s example, legions of British governors and subsequent viceroys entered India through this monument. Located on the Arabian Sea across the Gateway stands another icon of Old Bombay- the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, perhaps India’s best known luxury hotel. Interestingly, the construction of the Taj precedes the Gateway by a good 21 years. The original red-domed Taj Mahal Hotel was almost gutted by fire in the 2008 terror attacks known as 26/11. During these attacks, guests and staff of the hotel were taken hostage and several were killed. But the Taj has quickly been restored, perhaps even enhanced since. It’s always a good idea to pop into the hotel and appreciate its finery, not to mention the extensive shopping arcade on its ground level which although overpriced, is old-world and charming. The Khazana gift shop is an informed place to shop for Indian curios and artifacts, while the Nalanda book shop features curated titles aimed at India visitors. The adjacent Taj Mahal Intercontinental is a modern skyscraper built more recently. Nowadays, Apollo Bunder has become a full-fledged marina, where the city’s jetset park their boats and yachts, while 5 jetties ferry tourists across to Elephanta Caves, evening cruises and other nearby sites on the India mainland such as Alibag and Mandwa. The Gateway also hosts open-air concerts from time to time. Fittingly, it was this point from which the last British regiment left India on 28 February 1948, signalling the end of Empire.
Mumbai's renowned Kala Ghoda Art Precinct stretches from Colaba’s Regal Circle to Mumbai University on the same road. Its curious name, meaning Black Horse, can be traced back to a bronze equestrian statue of King Edward VII which existed there during the colonial era. The area has become a compelling cultural hub offering art, history, education, museums and some of the city's most popular restaurants, and is worth exploring on foot. Start at the NGMA (National Gallery of Modern Art), a bright and modern space, with semicircular galleries at different levels. Changing exhibitions by both Indian and international artists are showcased. Across the road, you’ll find the Prince of Wales Museum, recently renamed as Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, one of the best examples of an Indo-Saracenic building, and among India’s best museums. Across the road, you’ll find Jehangir Art Gallery, one of the most famous art galleries in the city and a venue where upcoming Indian artists showcase their work. Outside, there is a small Pavement Gallery, where aspiring artists show their work, and paint studied portraits of paying tourists. Further along is the Museum Gallery, followed by Rampart Row, a restored heritage building with art galleries, restaurants and specialty stores. Sadly, two of Kala Ghoda’s original legends have recently downed shutters, reflecting changing times- Rhythm House, Mumbai’s own HMV Store equivalent, and Samovar Café, a wonderful bohemian restaurant inside Jehangir. The serpentine lanes and bylanes offer several eclectic galleries and designer stores. Don’t miss the Sabyasachi Store, showcasing the work of one of India’s most inventive fashion designers. There is also a Jewish Synagogue, iconic restaurants such as Kyber (North West Frontier) and Trishna (coastal/seafood), Chetna (Gujarati Thali), Silk Route (Chinese). Modern watering holes such as Irish House and Wayside Inn round out the Kala Ghoda experience for the thirsty traveller.
Owned by the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), an elite sports club in Mumbai, the Mahalaxmi Racecourse is a renowned horse racing track located in mid-town Mumbai. It is considered to be one of the best in Asia. Every year, on the first Sunday of February, the Indian Derby is held for the members of Mumbai's high society. Built in 1883, this huge open land tract of land facing the Arabian sea, is a mirror image of the Melbourne Caulfield Racecourse. Within its expansive campus, there is a colonial restaurant called 'Gallops', where one can dine while watching the beautiful green expanse of the racecourse. Early mornings are really good here, with people walking, exercising, practicing Yoga and Tai-chi in the gardens within the race-tracks. It is also possible to learn horse-riding here. Recently, Neel and Tote on the Turf are a few international standard restaurants that have sprung up within the premises.
Mumbai is the cricket capital of India. Everyone is involved in the game, whether it’s the local Gully Cricket in the alleys, or in coaching centers at the maidans, the large grounds. Shivaji Park in the midtown area of Mumbai is by the far the maidan that has seen the most talent come through. Ramakant Achrekar, the 78-year-old Mumbai cricket coach with his academy in the area, is the man this ground is most synonomous with. His most famous pupil? Sachin Tendulkar. Visit Shivaji Park to get a sense of the cricket culture in the city. At the other end of town, are the 2 huge maidans where cricket is practiced- Azad Maidan across from VT Station, and slightly further south across from Churchgate station, the beautiful Oval Maidan. Oval Maidan is a focal point for the city’s rising cricketing talent. Then, there are the Gymkhanas. Along Marine drive, every Gymkhana has its own maidan, and sure enough, there’s always a game on. Islam Gymkhana, Parsi Gymkhana, Hindu Gymkhana and Catholic Gymkhana, they are adjacent to one another, and sport amazing cricket maidans, flanked between two world-class cricket stadiums- Wankhede and Brabourne. Indeed, Brabourne is the home ground of Cricket Club of India (CCI). It is not surprising that Mumbai lives and breathes cricket.
Beyond Bandra and Santacruz, lies the city’s Northern beach stretch at Juhu, home to the artistic and film fraternity. The Prithvi Theatre is a hotspot for the theatre community of Mumbai, where year-long shows and festivals keep the theatre arts alive and well in Bombay. Built by Bollywood star Shashi Kapoor and his wife Jennifer Kendall in 1978, it is named after his grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor, one of India’s first movie stars, and the founding father of the legendary Kapoor film family. The venue is also made special by its adjacent Prithvi Café, an inclusive café which is a bohemian hotspot for the young and aspiring creative community of the film and theatre industry, and a great place for people-watching. Thebookshop at Prithvi is worth a mention, a well-curated collection of titles that cover Indian cinema, art and theatre, and worth visiting. The best idea would of course be to book a theatre show here. There are many English language shows, as well as film screenings and talks. Close by along the Silver Beach area of Juhu lies the ISSKON Temple, one of the most beautiful temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, and run by the Hare Krishna Mission, a global community of Krishna followers. The temple complex is a spiritual mecca, with joyous Kirtans being sung, and clean, tasteful meals being served at its Govinda restaurant.
Although the historic part of the city is South Bombay, the hippest people in the city today call Bandra home. A number of factors have led to this, not least of which is the fact that Bandra has a more liberal approach to life, food and song. To start out any Bandra pub crawl, we time travel to Toto’s Garage- an 80’s rock kind of loosener to get proceedings underway. A couple of beers later, you might want to hop one alley behind to Hawaiaan Shack, also a retro place, but with a tropical beachy flavour. Next in line would be The Big Nasty, more industrial and grunge. If you’re up for dancing, the Elbo Room is your next stop, with live acts and an inside-outside format. To round out your evening, head to the reggae-themed Raasta, for easy vibes. Oh, in case down-tempo is your thing, Bonobo should round out your night, nice and easy. Of course, this is just one of many possible routines. Bandra boasts of easily another dozen pubs worth its place on a crawl itenary.
This enormous national park is a breath of fresh air amidst the concrete jungle called Mumbai. Spread over more than 100 sq. km, home to nearly 1,100 species of plants, and the historic Kanheri caves within the park dating back nearly 2,400 years, SGNP is the largest national park of its kind within city limits. The most prominent species of plant here is Mauve, which has over 800 sub-species within the boundaries of the park. The park is also home to Karvi, a plant that flowers only once in seven years. The forest is home to over 40 species of mammals, 40 species of reptiles and nearly 300 species of birds. Popular species include the spotted deer, barking deer, sambar, striped hyena, leopards and crocodiles. The park is also a treat for bird-watchers as they can spot species like racket-tailed rongo, peacocks, bulbuls, hornbills and woodpeckers. There is also a crocodile park, where the Indian mugger can be viewed in its full glory. The Vanrani toy train cuts through the heart of the forest and gives an excellent view of the deer park. Boating facilities are another possibility, offering scenic views. Two of the city’s drinking water sources, Lake Vihar and Lake Tulsi lie within. Several walking and cycling trails make it a popular hub over weekends, but the park has something to offer to everybody. More than anything, pure air, verdant greenery, and a back-to- nature renaissance.
The famous Bhendi Bazaar of Mumbai was once referred to as Behind the Bazaar, but locals mistook the term ‘Behind’ as Bhendi and thus calling it Bhendi Bazaar.
Every year, tens of thousand of flamingos from Eurasia fly down to the mudflats in the Eastern seafront at Sewri between October and March. Flamingos were first spotted in Mumbai back in 2000, and large flocks have since been seen here every winter from 2003. At a time, about 7000 to 10000 flamingos can be seen together, an incredible sight especially at sunrise and sunset.
Mumbai is the birthplace of Rudyard Kipling who was famously known for his creations Jungle Book and Kim.
There is a beautiful 18th century hamlet called Khotachiwadi, located right in the heart in Girgaum- an East Indian hamlet known for its Portuguese-style, colorful houses. The village was founded in the 18th century when a local called Khot sold plots of land to East Indian families. There were around 65 houses then, but the number has since come down to only 28.