Mumbai, the home of Bollywood is one of the four metropolitan cities of India. Besides being the commercial hub of India and behind its celluloid identity, the city is rich in its historical background, religious sites and archaeological places of interest. A visit to Mumbai has always been a fascinating experience for visitors.
The capital of Maharashtra, Mumbai is situated on the western coast of India and on the shore of the Arabian Sea. The Mumbai city came into being with the amalgamation of 7 islands naming, Mazagaon, Coaba, Parel, Worli, old Womanâ€™s Island, Isle of Bombay and Salsette Island. Mumbai lies at an altitude of 10 to 15 meters which is just above the sea level. Mumbai comprises of two separate regions the city and the suburbs. The northern part of the city is mostly mountainous and the highest point rises to 450 meters. The eastern coast of the Salsette Island is covered with large mangroves and the western coast is usually sandy and rocky. The Bollywood city spreads over an area of 603 sq km.
Numerous tourist spots are located in and around this capital of Maharashtra. The virgin seashores, pilgrim places, caves and historical monuments are enough to keep a tourist engaged throughout his journey. Some of the popular destinations of Mumbai are as followed:
Gateway of India: When we think about Mumbai the first thing that comes to our mind is the Gateway of India. Gateway of India is the landmark of Mumbai. It was built in 1911 in the honor the coming of King George V and Queen Mary. The Gateway of India is situated right after the Council Hall on the way to the sea. Thousands of visitors visit this celebrated monument everyday and therefore, it is a must visit spot of Mumbai.
Prince of Wales Museum: The Prince of Wales Museum was constructed in the Indo-Saracen pattern of architecture. The architectural style of the building reflects the 15th and 16th century architectural pattern. The museum showcases some significant collections on archeology, art and ancient Indian history.
Jahangir Art Gallery: This art gallery is situated at the adjoining point of Mahatma Gandhi road and Rampart Row. Jahangir Art Gallery is a place for artists and photographers delight. Many photography exhibitions are being held here where visitors can also go and enjoy the modern style of art and painting.
Marine Drive: One of the most attractive spots of Mumbai city is Marine Drive. This wonderful beach looks like a queenâ€™s necklace when the lights at night twinkle around.
Juhu Beach: Juhu Beach is placed in the northern part of Mumbai and is a popular place for outing. The most interesting thing is that there is no season to visit this sea shore and therefore experiences high traffic throughout the year.
Chowpati Beach: Chowpati Beach is located a few kms away from the Marine Drive on the way to the Malabar Hill. This place has a historical importance as it was the centre for many political meetings during the pre independence movements.
Haji Ali Mosque: This Islamic mosque has been a popular tourist spot of Mumbai since long. The myth regarding Haji Ali Mosque is that wishes get fulfilled if somebody can worship with a sacred heart there. This is why people from every religion gather there to offer their prayers and accomplish dreams.
Chor Bazar: The literal meaning of Chor Bazar is Thieveâ€™s Market which is located near Bhendi Bazar of Mumbai. This market is famous for its antique collections. Tourists, mainly foreigners love to purchase some mementoes and antique pieces while visiting Mumbai.
Other attractive destinations of Mumbai are Flora Fountain, Nehru Science Center, Iskcon Temple, Madh Island, Nehru Planetarium etc.
Other Interesting Destinations in and around Mumbai
Jogeshwari Caves: A 45 minutes train journey from the Church Gate will take you to the 1500 year old temple cave. This shrine is dedicated to Jogeswari Devi and houses some small chambers which are adorned by lord Ganesha, Devi Mata and Hanuman.
Essel World: Essel World, the largest amusement park of India is situated adjacent to the Gorai Beach in Mumbai. The amusement park houses all modern equipments and offers a number of entertainment options to its visitors. Apart from the dry park the Water World Section of the park considered to be is the largest man made theme water park in Asia. Enjoy rides at Water Kingdom and get wet in the Worldâ€™s largest wave pool.
Lonavala and Khandala: These twin hill stations are situated 110 kms away from Mumbai on the Mumbai-Pune Highway. These hills are famous for their natural beauty and the caves which are scattered at different parts of the hills. Lonavala Lake, Valvm Dam, Rajmachi Point, Tigerâ€™s Leap these are some interesting places to see around Lonavala and Khandala Hills.
Mumbai, the commercial capital on India is easily accessible from different parts of the country and directly reachable from various international cities.
By Air: Mumbai has one domestic and one international airport. Santa Cruz domestic terminal is located 5km away from the city. Numerous flight are available here which connects this city with Southern and Western parts of India. The international terminal, Chatrapati Sivaji International Airport is one of the busiest airports of India 24 hour flight services are obtainable from this airport.
By Rail: The central and western railway headquarters are located in Mumbai. The Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus is the central railway station situated in the heart of the city Mumbai. Other than this, Kurla, Dadar and Church gate railway stations connect this city with some important states of India.
By Road: The roadway connectivity is very smooth in Mumbai and the Best Bus services link this city with major destinations of India. Black and yellow colored metered taxis are also an important mode of transportation in Mumbai.
Elephant Island: A 40 minutes boat ride and you will reach to the Elephant Island. The stone carvings of the cave and the monkey population of that area will enthrall your senses.
Enjoy Clubbing: The Bollywood city of Mumbai has a number of crazy clubs which provide you the best option for an evening hand out. As this city has a very elite culture therefore, clubbing is a very sophisticated activity here. The Mumbai nightlife is very vibrant and is probably the best place in India for the youngsters.
Visit National Park: Enthusiastic travelers as well as nature and wildlife lovers can enjoy a trip to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai. This park houses a number of wildlife varieties including approximately 150 species of butterflies and around 1500 types of different insects.
Walk along the Sea Shore: Enjoy a peaceful walk while viewing the Mumbai skyline beside the Marine Drive in the morning or at a dayâ€™s break.
Horse Riding: If you are afraid of riding a horse then donâ€™t worry. You can undergo a 10 days horse riding course while enjoying a vacation in Mumbai. The Amateur Riderâ€™s Club conducts such courses throughout the year.
As the city is situated on the coastline of the Arabian Sea therefore; Mumbai experiences hot and humid weather most of the time. The extreme temperature of the summer may not prove to be suitable time for many tourists. And heavy shower of monsoon may also ruin the charm of your trip to Mumbai. Hence, the best time to plan a trip of Mumbai can be anytime between October and February when the climate remains moderately cold. Clear sky, cool breeze and refreshing wind of winter assure you a great trip of Mumbai. End of August or beginning of September is the time if somebody wants to enjoy the most awaited Ganesha Chaturthi Festival of Mumbai.
The seven islands situated on the Konkan coastlines were mainly inhabited by the Koli Fisherman community. The Portuguese traveler Vasco da Gama first explored the sea-route of Bombay. Potuguese attacked and captured this city in 1534. In 1708 the East India Company decided to make Bombay their Headquarter. In 1947 Bombay became the capital itself for the same state. In 1960 this city became the capital of Maharashtra. In 1995 Bombay received its new name Mumbai after the name of Goddess Mumbadevi.
Mumbai generally experiences a humid weather throughout the year. The city enjoys a close proximity towards the sea and is located on a tropical zone, therefore; variation in the climatic condition of Mumbai doesnâ€™t vary. The city broadly enjoys three seasons; summer, monsoon and winter.
May is generally the hottest month of the year and the average recorded temperature remains between 32°C- 40°C. Summer appears in April and lasts till mid of June followed by rainy season which remains till the mid of September. Mumbai receives heavy downpour during monsoon and the approximate average rainfall is 200cm. November to February are the months of winter when the weather becomes very pleasant. As the climatic condition is very much influenced by the Arabian Sea therefore, the weather never gets too cold eve in winters. The weather generally remains moderate in winter and the temperature remains in and around 15°C.