Things To Do In Mumbai
In Mumbai, you can snack on a bhelpuri while admiring the surf and sand of the Chowpatty Beach. Visit the Mani Bhavan where the great Mahatma Gandhi once stayed and was eventually captured. India’s enormous film industry has gained a worldwide reputation -- so many films are produced in Mumbai that it has been given the nickname “Bollywood.” Films are a favorite form of entertainment throughout the country, and popular subjects include love stories and dramas. Grab the chance to tour Dharavi which was made hugely popular by the visually entertaining movie “Slumdog Millionaire” -- it will give you an idea of how simple and basic Mumbai life is for many people.
When To Go:
The ideal season to visit the city of Mumbai is during the months between September and April. Around this time the rains and typhoons have stopped unleashing their power and the humidity levels are at their lowest. Actually guests can visit at any time of the year, however the summer months have a tendency to be too humid and hot. This can make a trip a lot less pleasant, but if you are arranging a business trip and will stay indoors and in a cooled area, then the climate won't matter so much.
Here are the top things to do when in the city of Mumbai:
Gateway of India
The Gateway of India is a principal place of pilgrimage for tourists. The place is very popular, but if you want a relatively empty photograph without the crowds there, then come early in the morning. It is a monumental building that was built in the early 20th century and it is the most crowded place in the city. From here you can (and should) go on a boat trip to the nearby Elephant Island or other parts of the city. On the way to the door, everyone must undergo strict screening: objects can get confiscated but can also be retrieved from the guards at the exit. The Gateway of India is not just an ordinary archway or a work of art; it is a symbol of India's independence because of what they suffered under the last British military rule.
This triumphal arch was constructed to welcome George V, and is placed on a large esplanade that is always frequented by a cosmopolitan crowd. The monument itself is interesting to observe: on the seafront, it is popular with many amateur and professional photographers who can instantly print a souvenir photo in front of the Gate. Right in front you can see the two most prestigious hotels in Mumbai, the Taj Mahal and Oberoi. Behind the Gateway of India, there are many boats waiting for tourists to travel to the carved caves and ruins of the Kanheri. The arch is an important symbol and reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in France. What distinctively sets this place apart among all the other tourist attractions in Mumbai, are the people: tourists and locals alike all seem to want their pictures taken here.
The Shree Siddhivinayak is a very famous and much-visited temple located in Mumbai. Dedicated to the Lord Ganesh, it is visited every day by a constant crowd. The temple, which was built about 200 years ago, has a beautiful façade and is very different from almost all other temples you will see in India. It is a temple of local importance and when you enter this sacred place, you can see how the pilgrims devote their time to manifest their faith. It is a special experience for anyone who has not been to the temples.
Many travelers take the time to do some temple-watching in order to observe the life of reverence and devotion of the Mumbai natives. They sit next to these devotees and watch their rituals for offerings. To enter you need to pay an entrance fee and leave your cameras and camcorders on the outside. You should take your shoes off and put them in a bag, probably it is not a good idea to use the shoe rack here (some vendors will tell you this.) The local bus stops outside, or you can try the ride with an auto rickshaw for a more fun way to move around and explore the city.
ISKCON Temple - Mumbai
It is very interesting to discover the origins of the Hare Krishna movement here at the ISKCON Temple in Mumbai. To fully understand their mission, visit and be accompanied by one of their followers/monks -- they are very nice people who will explain the good intentions of their group and the history of this interesting and very popular temple. It is interesting to delve into the traditions and understand the Indian philosophy in an atmosphere that surrounds you with the colors, rites, and sounds of the temple.
It is a place where you can recharge your batteries, rest and escape the hustle and bustle of Mumbai and (if you want) you can experience spirituality first hand. Every day from 12:00 to 1:00 you can see the monks and the congregation chanting their incantations. Then you are cordially invited to have lunch together. To be in this very special atmosphere, and eating lunch together with the monks is a very exceptional, unique experience. All this is available "for free" -- of course, donations are welcome but no one actually asks for it! Do not miss this cultural and deeply moving experience when in Mumbai.
Bandra Worli Sea Link
To avoid traffic congestion, anyone traveling in Mumbai is advised to pass over this bridge. The Bandra Worli Sea Link is a toll bridge, which helps drivers to circumvent bottlenecks and have a great view of the entire bay. This ocean connection is one of the wonders of modern engineering. It shortens the travel time if you are coming from South Mumbai to Bandra by about two-thirds. The drive is exceptional and the perspective is extraordinary. The backseat passengers can have a glorious overview of the city while cruising along this long and functional bridge. It was funded and assembled by the HCC -- Hindustan Construction Company. It took 10 years after construction began in 1999 to make it open for public road use in 2009.
Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum
The Mahatma Gandhi Mani Bhavan Museum in Mumbai is a revered museum in Shusha that holds lots of reproductions of old books, paintings and other historical objects. Almost all visitors from other countries make it obligatory to visit this house dedicated to the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi. Inside the museum you will be impressed by the whole collection of miniature sculptures that colorfully illustrates the history of the revolutionary path of Gandhi and India during earlier times.
If you are interested in the life and activity of Gandhi, this is the place where you can find full and exhaustive information. The staff will always tell you more if you have questions about any items displayed here. Everything in this collection is an excellent choice and well preserved. The museum is located in a fairly quiet street compared to the rest of Mumbai, so it's an oasis from the noise and chaotic ambience of the city.
Quay Marine Drive (Mumbai)
The Quay Marine Drive is a favorite playground for residents of Mumbai, and is filled with people around the clock. They walk, talk, sell something, eat, pray, and sleep. It is the perfect place to enjoy the atmosphere of the city. Every afternoon you can see a lot of locals enjoying the promenade area. Even at night it offers a lot of fun.
People are very friendly, even the traders and beggars are not particularly annoying. In several places along the waterfront you can see police stations, making that evening walk quite safe. If you have plans to visit Mumbai, you should make the Marine Drive a must-see on the list of your excursions and things to do. The ride is pleasantly cool, especially at sunset. You will meet many young couples, joggers, strollers, and friendly locals that will be happy to make friends with you. Once the sun sets, the place becomes a beautiful ballad to end a lovely afternoon in Mumbai.
Mount Mary Church
This exceptionally old church is an extraordinary vacation destination in Mumbai. It is located in Bandra along the western part of the city. A great number of devoted individuals come here to show their admiration for the Church. This is a remarkably serene spot. The Church building was established to pay tribute to Saint Mary, and it is also considered a mandatory stop for every traveler. For over a hundred years it has reigned over a hill close to Lands End and Bandra West. It overlooks the beauty of the great Arabian Sea.
The sacred Mount Mary's Basilica is an amazing stone building that radiates its glory as a house of serenity, peace, consolation, solemnity, and faith. The nearness to the ocean amplifies its significance as a symbol of devotion. It is inspiring to see individuals of all religions coming all the way here to gather and pray, particularly in the month of September when the feast of Mother Mary is usually celebrated.
The Colaba Causeway is the correct name of the shopping street near Colaba. Here nothing has changed for decades (and maybe even centuries). Traffic and the busy atmosphere are still the same as 25 years ago. Even the trading goods are the same. But in some places there are now branded stores with imported goods and decent quality.
However, it is an exciting and interesting experience to see this "other India” that is filled with wide avenues and colonial architecture. You can plunge into a melting pot or convergence of Indians and travelers from all over the world, because Colaba is also the area where all the foreigners in Mumbai usually stay. This means that it has shops for every taste and color, cafes, souvenir stores and most importantly a sense of anticipation and free-flowing adventure right in the heart of the city.
Tourist information about the Caves of Elephanta or the Kanheri Caves is somewhat scarce, but they are not to be missed if you want to see the hidden gem of India. The crowds here are enormous, but you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of Mumbai. The Caves are located at the northern part of the airport, in the opposite direction from Colaba, so you should go here first and then explore the rest of Mumbai. This archaeological site is one of the most ancient rock art or Buddhist-inspired centers; it was started in the 1st century BC and it is open to the public.
You will be in awe of its simple message and the environment will definitely leave a mark on your memory. Once you get inside this magical place, you experience an out-of-this-world feeling and you cannot help but fall in love with the grandeur of the place.
From the entrance to the national park it would be a one-hour walk, but to the right of the entry there is a bike rental (with a security deposit as well as a fee.) You should start in the morning; there will be large crowds by around noon because it has more Indian tourists. The statues and reliefs unfortunately crumble with time but can still be appreciated. From the top you have a beautiful view of the skyscrapers of Mumbai.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is a beautiful museum that is strategically located in the city of Mumbai. It is just too bad that taking photos inside is strictly prohibited. This is the former Prince of Wales Museum; the garden is charming and the outdoor galleries contain impressive statues, as does the interior. There are many things to learn about ancient Indian culture in the paintings, miniature sculptures, and objects of daily life -- many of these items created from jade and bronze.
Some porcelain items of Chinese and European origin are given a special room where they are carefully laid out and presented. Children can also truly appreciate the wonders and learn much from the educational exhibits of this comprehensive museum. The exhibition halls which were recently renovated are very well organized and have beautiful Indian art collections. A visit to this special place is essential when staying in Mumbai.
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