MUMBAI

Marine drive, Mumbai Overview

Marine Drive is the most easily identifiable landmark associated with Mumbai and is indicative of the glamor and glitter of the city. It is essentially 3.6 km long, arc-shaped boulevard along the South Mumbai coast that starts at the southern end of Nariman Point and ends at Girgaum Chowpatty, popularly known as Chowpatty Beach. The coast wraps the Arabian sea and is the best place in Mumbai to watch the sunset or even to just take a leisurely stroll by the sea any time of the day or night. At night, when the whole coastline lights up, it justifies its other moniker i.e. Queen’s Necklace.

The whole curve of the coastline, shielded with palm trees makes for a spectacular view at night – you can go to either end of Marine Drive after sunset and see the lights glowing in a perfect arc all along the coast. People come to walk here in the evening to experience the brilliant sunset. It is also one of the places people visit late at night, and you will find vendors selling chai and cigarettes at all hours. The sound of the waves, a view of the Mumbai skyline and the starry sky easily make Marine Drive one of the most romantic spots in the city.

Gateway of India, Mumbai Overview

The Gateway of India is, without doubt, one of the most popular tourist hotspots of Mumbai. Sitting proudly on the Apollo Bunder, it overlooks the Arabian Sea. It is one of the defining monuments of the city of Mumbai and was built in the year 1924. The construction was undertaken by the famous architect George Wittet, to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai. The imposing structure of the monument is a beautiful confluence of Indian, Arabic and Western architecture and has become a popular tourist hub in the city. It is also the starting point of a number of ferry services that ply to the historic Elephanta Caves.

Nicknamed ‘Mumbai’s Taj Mahal’, the foundation of this landmark was laid in 1911 and it was inaugurated 13 years later in 1924. The structure in itself is a made of yellow basalt and solid concrete and is embellished with numerous Muslim and Hindu motifs as well. The basalt arch of the Gateway served as the entry and exit access to India through waterways before independence and was the exit point from where the last British ship left India for England. There are statues of Swami Vivekananda and Chhatrapati Shivaji that have been installed near the Gateway as well. The view from the sea of the Gateway complex, especially at night is quite ethereal and beautiful. The Gateway of India is thus, not only a historic artefact but an example of marvellous architecture in itself!

Colaba Causeway, Mumbai Overview

One of the most exciting and eclectic places to visit in Mumbai is the Colaba Causeway, famous for being a shopper’s paradise. If someone ask to any Mumbaikar they will tell that the Causeway is pretty much the heart of Mumbai. Even after the terror attack, this shopping street stood up on its feet in no time. Apart from gorgeous clothes and accessories, especially earrings, you can also find great bargains on home decor stuff such as lampshades, curios and antiques. If designer stuff is your calling, there are a number of options for that as well. If you do feel like catching a bite and a beer, there are a number of restaurants that offer great food and booze at very affordable prices and Cafe Leopold and Cafe Mondegar are pretty much the best!

Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai Overview

The Siddhivinayak Temple in the Prabhadevi area is a revered shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is one of the most significant and frequented temples in Mumbai. This temple was built in the year 1801 by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil. The couple did not have any children of their own and decided to build the Siddhivinayak temple so as to fulfil the wishes of other infertile women. Interestingly, the statue of Lord Ganesha here is believed to be self-manifested and grants wishes.

The Temple has a small sanctum housing the idol of Shri Ganesha, which is about two and a half feet wide and made out of a single piece of black stone. The temple has attained a popular status not only because it is believed that the Ganesha in the temple is especially revered, but also because of its popularity with Film stars and the bigwigs of the industry. It is also the richest temple in Mumbai as it begets INR 100 Million in donations each year from devotees across the world.

Bandra Worli Sea Link, Mumbai Overview

Officially known as Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, this eight-lane cable-stayed bridge in Mumbai is the first project initiated by Maharashtra Government that commences West Island Freeway System. Bandra Worli Sea Link is one of the few bridges that is a cable-stayed with pre-stressed concrete-steel viaducts to hold it in place. Spanning across the arc of Mumbai’s coastline, this sea link is a civil engineering wonder that reflects the modern infrastructure of the city of Mumbai. The bridge is designed to cater around 37,500 vehicles per day while reducing the time travel between Bandra and Worli by a big margin. The beauty of the Bandra Worli Sea Link is in its engineering genius which compliments the sea that it is built over.

Overlooking the magnificent blue waters of Mahim Bay, this splendid architecture is a mighty sight to behold. Undeniably, the Bandra Worli Sea Link is an amalgamation of natural beauty and man-made marvel. Roll your windows down as you whizz past the bridge and let the salty sea breeze run through your hair. The spectacle of Mumbai is especially appealing from the elevation of the bridge and makes it the perfect destination to capture a few candid shots of the city in all its glory. Bandra Worli Sea Link also overlooks the Worli Bridge and has a small park located nearby. The beauty of this attraction is enhanced during the night when twinkling lights adorn the bridge.

Film City, Mumbai Overview

Spread across a vast area of 520 acres, the Film City is comprised of about twenty indoor studios and is located in Aarey Colony, Mumbai, Film City is often regarded as a home of Bollywood. The place is so vast that about 1000 film sets can be erected here simultaneously. Over the years, it has been the locations for a number of Bollywood films. Almost over 900 movies and many more television shows have also been shot here. Today, Film City has grown to be one of the best film studios, well-equipped with all the essential amenities and world-class facilities. Not only is it a great place for film shoots, but it is also filled with verdant greenery and refreshing expanses.

Built on the lines of the Film City of California, today it is considered as synonymous to Bollywood. There is no denying the enigma that film-making holds on every one of us, and Film City gives a chance to live out our dream with its various tours. Some excursions are organised in the premises of the Film City which are aimed at the different aspects of movie – making, which are open to all who wish to experience it. You can visit sets that depict foreign locations right here in Mumbai, or learn the nuances of acting at the live movie shoot tours. A land where it is difficult to differentiate between reality and dreams, Film City is a must visit for all movie buffs.

Lokhandwala Market, Mumbai Overview

A visit to Mumbai is, of course, incomplete without shopping for some nice clothes and accessories, and this is when the Lokhandwala Market comes to the rescue! This local market has gained much popularity over the past few years and is now the one-stop shop to ticking off all items from your shopping list on your next visit to Mumbai. Located in western Mumbai, near Andheri, the Lokhandwala Market is one of the most popular suburbs. The area is one of the poshest in Mumbai and also houses a large commercial and residential complex, but it is the long stretch of roadside stalls and shops that characterise the much loved Lokhandwala Market.

The market is located just 5 kilometres away from the Andheri Station and is famous not only for its convenient location and accessibility but also because it offers a variety of items at really affordable prices. One can find everything ranging from footwear to fruits, and from jewellery to electronic items in this single market, and the shopkeepers are willing to bargain too! This is perhaps why Lokhandwala is mainly famous amongst college goers, who can buy the latest fashion at affordable prices. From roadside Bhel and Panipuri to international chains such as McDonald’s and Dominoes, there are more than enough options to tantalise your tastebuds.

Jama Masjid, Mumbai Overview

Just a kilometre and a half away from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Jama Masjid, popularly known as Friday Mosque, is the oldest mosque in the city of dreams – Mumbai. A popular place of pilgrimage, this mosque stands majestically on the renowned Sheikh Menon Street, near Crawford Market, in the southern part of Mumbai. The mosque boasts of beautiful and intricate carvings, breathtaking artworks and the fascinating marble stonework and has a fascinating history attached to it. A day trip to this mosque in blissful solitude will make you feel relaxed and peaceful to the core as tranquillity and peace will overpower your senses.

The original monument was originally located near Dongri but was destroyed at the commands of a Governor. After much delay, and after facing some hurdles and obstacles, the construction of the site was finally completed in 1802. Today, the place stands as a symbol of the rich culture and architecture that existed in those times and is an equally important place of religious importance as well. The place is exceptionally crowded on Fridays, which is the holy day of Namaz for the Islamic community.