Mumbai (formerly called Bombay) is a densely populated city on India’s west coast. On the Harbour waterfront stands the iconic Gateway of India stone arch, built by the British Raj in 1924. Offshore, nearby Elephanta Island holds ancient cave temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The city's also famous as the heart of the Bollywood film industry.
PLACES TO VISIT
The rock-cut temples on Gharapuri, (Elephanta Island), northeast of the Gateway of India Harbaur are a Unesco World Heritage Site. Created between AD 450 and 750, the labyrinth of cave temples represent some of India’s most impressive temple carving.
2.TAJ MAHAL PALACE
This hotel is Mumbai’s most famous landmark, a fairy-tale blend of Islamic and Renaissance styles, and India’s second-most photographed monument.
3.CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI TERMINUS
Mumbai’s monumental train station is the city’s most extravagant Gothic building of aphorism for colonial-era India. The terminus is built in a Victorian, Hindu and Islamic styled Daliesque structure with buttresses, domes, turrets, spires and stained glass.
4.CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAI VASTU SANGRAHALAYA
Mubai’s biggest and best museum displays a mix of Indian wide exhibits. The museum housed a impressive Hindu and Buddhist sculptures, terractta figurines from the Indus valley, Indian miniature painting and some particularly vicious looking weaponry.
5.DR BHAU DAJI LAD CITY MUSEUM
The museum was built in 1872 in Renaissance revival style. The museum contains 3500-plus objects centring on Mumbai’s history, photography, maps, textiles, books, manuscripts, Bidriware, lacquerware, weaponry and exquisite pottery.
The temple compound comes alive during prayer time as the faithful whip themselves into a devotional frenzy of joy, with dancing accompanied by crashing hand symbols and drumbeats. Murals around the compound detail the Hare Krishna narrative.
7.SANJAY GANDHI NATIONAL PARK
Bright flora, birds, butterflies and elusive wild leopards replace pollution and concrete, all surrounded by forested hills on the city’s northern edge. Urban development has muscled in on the fringes of the park, but the heart of the park is very peaceful.
This heritage village is nearly 180 years old. A Christian enclave of elegant two storey Portuguese style wooden houses. The winding lanes allow a wonderful glimpse into a quiet life away from noisier Mumbai.
9.GATEWAY OF INDIA
This bold basalt arch of colonial triumph faces out to Mumbai Harbour from the tip of Apollo Bunder. Incorporating the Islamic styles of 16th-century Gujarat. The gateway is a favourite gathering spot for locals with gaint balloon sellers, photographers and vendors making bhelpuri.
10.THE GLOBAL VIPASSANA PAGODA MUSEUM
The Global Pagoda is a golden 96m-high stupa modelled on Myanmar’s Shwedagon Pagoda. The museum is dedicated to Buddha and in its dome reclics of Buddha is housed. The Global Pagoda was built entirely without supports using an ancient technique of interlocking stones, and the meditation hall beneath it seats 8000.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
Mumbai has one of the best public transport systems in India. Primary means of transport include buses, trains, taxis and autorickshaws.The best time to visit Mumbai is the months between September and April as the rains have finished and the humidity levels are at their lowest.