A city of sharp contrasts and overwhelming qualities, Mumbai is the second most populous city on earth and home to the world’s most prolific film industry. From its mass slums housing thousands, bustling train stations, namely the beautifully designed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), to the world’s largest outdoor laundary, the Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai is a city of sorts that will be certain to enthrall and shock in equal measure.
The main city region is known as the Island City. as Mumbai is divided into distinct areas. Surrounded by the Arabian Sea and enjoying a swath of beachy inlays and creeks, Mumbai lies at the mouth of the Ulhas River on the western coast of India.
Owing to it’s enormous population you are never far from crowds of people and hives of activity, much of which vibrates around popular eateries and social meeting places such as Colaba and Marine Drive. Enjoying an evening stroll along Chowpatty Beach will bring you into contact with scores of hospitable India families keen to introduce themselves and have their picture taken with you.
Along Colaba’s waters edge you can enjoy looking at some of the country’s finest examples of it’s European style architecture. Here you will find the art deco style Regal Theartre and the lavish Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel, the perfect location to enjoy Indian style Chai tea with views over Thane Creek.
Standing under the imposing Gateway to India offers a glimpse into Mumbai’s complicated colonial past, a remnant of foreign occupation turned national emblem as the final leaving point for the last of the British troops in 1948.
Mumbai’s history as a major trading point has lead to a diverse range of cultures, religions and cuisines existing in the city. Finding places to eat is not a problem as restaurants and cafes line just about every street, with the Fort, Colaba, Bandra and Juhu areas being particularly popular with tourists and locals alike.
For a more authentic experience you can indulge in Mumbai’s thriving street food scene, Chowpatty Beach and Elco Market are great spots to tickle the senses with freshly prepared bhelpuris, vadapaavs, pani puris, dosas and rangda patties.
For Mumbai’s other popular sights head to the Fort area where you’ll find the beautifully designed Prince Charles Museum, the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Bombay Stock Exchange. The University of Mumbai, the High Court and the Oval Maiden public park are also within easy walking distance.
Lying just away from the heart of the city is the Borivali National Park, a pristine area of jungle covering more than a hundred square kilometres in the north of Mumbai. A forty minute ferry ride from the Gateway to India will take you to Elephant Island, famous for its ornately carved temples dating back to the 6th century.
In the very heart of Mumbai the Bollywood film industry and some of Asia’s largest slums lay almost side by side exposing polarities that couldn’t be clearer. Yet a growing middle ground only goes to illuminate the diversity that exists within the city, while a potpourri of festivals, music, food film and theatre all contribute to Mumbai’s growing reputation as one of the world’s most exciting cities.
Juhu Tara Road
Dr. V.B. Gandhi Marg
Juhu Tara Road
JW Marriott Hotel
Vihar Lake Road
2 & 3B, Near Chinmayanand Ashram, Renaissance Mumbai Hotel & Convention Centre