Tourist Interest

MUMBAI / BOMBAY,  Capital of Maharashtra
, is the fastest moving city of India. Mumbai, being the commercial capital of the country, it is a land for finance, trade and entertainment of the country. This city is full of excitement energy and enthusiasm. The city displays a cosmopolitan character which reflects in its cuisine, culture, inhabitants and language.

The bustling city, is the most busy ports of India and handles about 40 percent of India's Martine trade. The city which is a part of India's splendid coast, has a natural harbour developed by the British.

The city which was earlier the land of Kolis, came under the Portuguese rule in 1534. Mumbai derives its name from Mumba Devi whose temple still exists here. The portuguese however named it 'Bom Baim" meaning good bay. Mumbai earlier was made of seven islands which are today called Colaba, Mahim, Mazgaon, Parel, Worli, Girgaum and Dongri. The profit hungry Britishers transformed it into an excellent port and the large expanses of the open sea were filled in to further the land area. Nariman Point and Churchgate.

This fascinating city which houses people of all cultures and creeds, is throbbing with life and absorbing the ever increasing needs of the people there.

Places to visit

Gateway of India
Gateway of India.
Built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of George V to India, this is a principal landmark of Mumbai, situated at Colaba. This was officially inaugurated in 1924 to welcome the visitors who came to by ship. This distinctive monument was India's principal port. The monument's architecture reflects similarity with the conventional arch of Triumph. Colaba Causeway extending to one end of Colaba promontory, southern end of Mumbai Island is situated near Gateway of India. One more interesting place here is the Sassoon dock, especially when the fishing boats come in and unload their catch. The gorgeous Hotel Taj Mahal also lies in Colaba.

Flora Fountain
Flora Fountain.
The Flora Fountain erected in 1869 in honour of Sir Bartle Frere (Governor of Mumbai in 1862-67), now bustles with busy life and is the many business centre housing many major banks and offices. Gerald Aungier began the Cathedral of St. Thomas  in 1672, which was formally opened in 1718 to the fountain.

Running along the shoreline of Backbay, extending from Nariman Point around by Chowpatty beach upto Malabar Hills, is the most popular strolling pavement of Mumbai, built on land reclaimed during 1920. One of the most popular spots for evening outs is Chowpatty beach which also is famous for its junk food. The lively atmosphere during Ganesh Chaturthi Festival is worth a visit. One of the most fascinating landmark of Mumbai is the VT or Victoria Terminus designed by F.W. Stevens in Italian Gothic. In 1853 the first train ran from here to Thane.



Marine Drive
Marine Drive - Queen's Necklace.
On Marine Drive also lies the Taraporewala Aquarium which houses fresh water as well as saltwater fishes. A fantastic view of Mumbai can be seen from the Hanging Gardens and Kamala Nehru Park, set on the top of Malabar. The famous Mahalaxmi Temple,  is the oldest temple in Mumbai, dedicated to the Goddess of Wealth which lies some distance away from Malabar Hills. A little further away is a long causeway which leads to Haji Ali tomb and mosque, accessible during low tide. In Prabhadevi comes the exquisite temple of Siddhivinayak dedicated to Lord Ganesha always bustling with devotees. Juhu Beach, Nehru Planetarium and Nehru Science Centre are other tourist attractions.

Chowpatty Beach
Chowpatty Beach.Mumbai's famous beach is no place for a sun bathe or a dip. In fact, there's not much going on at Chowpatty at all during the day, but in the evening it develops a magical fairground atmosphere as locals come to stroll among the contortionists, masseurs, transvestites, balloon sellers, gamblers, fortune tellers, magicians, drug dealers, nut vendors, ferris wheels and shooting galleries. In the middle of all this mayhem is a small Koli fishing community, where the original inhabitants of the island mend their nets and dry their fish oblivious to the shenanigans going on around them. Eating at the collection of stalls on the edge of the beach is an essential part of the Mumbai experience. Chowpatty is a great place to witness the annual Ganesh Chaturthi Festival in August / September when large images of the elephant-headed god are immersed in the murky sea.


Elephanta Caves
Elephanta Caves.
Mumbai's major tourist attractions are the rock-cut temples on peaceful Elephanta Island, 10km ( 6miles ) north-east of the Gateway of India. Thought to have been carved between 450 and 750 AD, the temples survived Portuguese vandalism (one cave was reputedly used by a Portuguese battalion as a shooting gallery) and remain equal in size, beauty and power to the caves at Ajanta and Ellora. The main cave contains large sculpted panels relating to Siva, including the astonishing 6mt ( 20 feet ) high triple-headed Trimurti - in which Siva embodies the roles of creator, preserver and destroyer. Boats run daily from Mumbai's Apollo Bunder every hour until early afternoon, although it's best to make the trip during the week.

Haji Ali Mosque
Haji Ali Mosque.
Situated at the end of a long causeway poking into the Arabian Sea, is a whitewashed fairytale mosque containing the tomb of the Muslim Saint Haji Ali. The saint is believed to have been a wealthy local businessman who renounced the material world and meditated on a nearby headland following a pilgrimage to Mecca. The mosque and tomb were built by devotees in the early 19th century. Alternative versions say Haji Ali died while on a pilgrimage to Mecca and his casket amazingly floated back to Bombay and landed at this spot. The mosque can only be reached at low tide, when the causeway is lined with beggars suffering every imaginable affliction and deformity . There's nothing somber about the building's cool courtyard, which is generally full of chattering families and refreshment stalls. The rocks exposed at low tide behind the mosque are a favourite spot to catch sea breezes.


Chor Bazar
Chor Bazar.No visit to Mumbai is complete without a foray into the bazaars of Kalbadevi, north of Crawford Market. The narrow lanes of this predominantly Muslim area are hemmed in by laundry-draped chawls , and a seething mass of people bring Mumbai's traffic to a standstill. It's in complete contrast to the relative space, orderliness and modernity of South Mumbai. Entire streets are often devoted to a single product since caste traditions remain stronger than capitalist marketing theories; this can make browsing a strange experience as you suddenly encounter shop after shop selling bathroom fittings or copper pipes. Some people consider the bazaars a spectacle rather than a place to shop, but it's a lot more fun doing both. The main areas are Zaveri Bazaar (jewellery), Mangaldas Market (cloth), Dhabu Street (leather goods) and Chor Bazaar (Mumbai's `thieves' market'). You can pick up anything at Chor Bazaar from car parts to Victorian porcelain - the traditional joke is that it was probably stolen from you in the first place. Mutton St in Chor Bazaar specialises in antiques, ingenious reproductions and miscellaneous junk. Don't place too much faith in authenticity or the lifespan of objects with mechanical parts.

Film City
Mockingly called Bollywood by locals and cynics, Film City clings to the outskirts of the National Park, and is practically overrun by assorted stars and starlets -- the demi gods and goddesses of Modern India. Don't snigger. Bollywood churns out over 900 films every year, all packed with those mandatory elements of song, dance, melodrama, violence and erotica that Indian audiences love. Which is probably why Film City sets are heavily booked around the year. They are closed to visitors, but special permissions can always be "obtained" to check out the action.


Nehru Planetarium
courtesy - www.mumbaiphotos.comRight next to Mahalaxmi Race Course, the Nehru Planetarium is a large domed building, popular with the city's amateur astronomers. Inside, various cubicles estimate your weight on each of the nine planets of the Solar System while in the domed interior, daily shows uncover the timeless mysteries of the cosmos. The place is usually packed with school children so make sure you buy your ticket in advance. Adjacent to the planetarium is the Nehru Centre, venue of numerous international trade fairs and local exhibitions. In the basement, the Nehru Auditorium usually boasts classical music and dance recitals, concerts and plays.




Crawford Market.
Crawford Market

Raja Bhai Clock Tower.
Raja Bhai Clock Tower

Priyadarshini Park.
Priyadarshini Park

Prince of Wales Museum.
Prince of Wales Museum

It is never too hot or too cold in Mumbai and since it is a coastal city there is not much change in the temperature throughout the year. Due to its proximity to the sea the weather is humid throughout the year.

Summers: The summer season in Bombay is from April to mid June. The weather is hot and humid. The maximum and minimum temperatures are around 35C and 25C respectively.

Monsoon: Monsoon season starts from mid June and extends up to mid September. It rains very heavily in Mumbai. Annual rainfall in Mumbai is around 200 cm. The day temperature and the night temperature is around 30C and 20C respectively.

Winters: Winter season is from November to February. The weather is pleasant and the temperature is in the range of 15-25C.

Mumbai is known as the commercial and financial capital of India. The Indian textile industry was originated in Mumbai and since then it has not looked back. Bombay is the biggest contributor to the Indian exchequer. Mumbai contributes 10% of factory employment, 33% of income tax collections, 60% of customs duty collections, 20% of central excise tax collections, 40% of India's foreign trade and Rupees 40,000 crore in corporate taxes. Headquarters of a number of Indian financial institutions such as the Bombay Stock Exchange, Reserve Bank of India, National Stock Exchange, as well as numerous Indian corporate houses such as the Tatas, L&T, Godrej and Reliance are located in Mumbai. Indian equivalent of the'' Wall Street'', Dalal Street-where all the share trading takes place-is located in downtown Mumbai.

Mumbai is also the epicenter of entertainment industry. The Hindi film industry, popularly known as Bollywood is located here. Most of India's television and satellite networks are also located in Mumbai. Mumbai has a strong entrepreneurial culture and it salutes the entrepreneurial spirit of the people.

Mumbai is famous for its Bindaas (carefree) attitude. It is the most cosmopolitan city of India. Bombay is a melting pot of various cultures and is in fact a microcosm of India. Average resident of Mumbai, known as Mumbaikar or Bombayite, leads a fast-paced life and has very little time for other activities owing to a significant amount of time spent on daily commuting. Local railway network-established by the Britishers-is the lifeline of Mumbai and the preferred mode of transportation of most of the Mumbaikars. Local bus service run by BEST is also very popular. Taxis and autos are also quite efficient and run at reasonable rates.

Food: Mumbai is famous for its fast food consisting of vada pavs, batata vadas and bhel puri. Apart from its famous fast food, Mumbai offers lot of culinary variety such as South Indian, Chinese, Punjabi, Mughlai, Thai, Mexican and Lebanese. Amongst drinks the ubiquitously available coconut water is the most popular. Tea and coffee are the other popular beverages.

Festival: Since Mumbai is a cosmopolitan metropolis all religious festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Christmas, Id, Moharram, and Ganesha Chaturthi are celebrated with great fanfare. But amongst these festivals Ganesha Chaturthi is most popular. It is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha (elephant-headed god). The festival lasts for the 10 days and culminates with the immersion of idols of Lord Ganesha in the sea.

Architecture: Mumbai is a mix of various architectural styles. During the British era, The Indo-Saracenic architecture was the official architecture of the city. Many Indo-Gothic monuments also line South Mumbai. Victoria Terminus; BMC building, Gateway of India are some examples of this style. In 2004 Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) was nominated a World Heritage Site by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO. The Marine Drive,is home to some of the finest buildings of the art deco style, which flourished in the 1920s and 1930s.

Cinema: Mumbai is the birthplace of Indian film industry. Popularly known as Bollywood, it is the biggest film industry in the world. A large number of theatres, including an IMAX dome theatre, catering to mainstream Bollywood and Hollywood films dot the city. Besides cinemas, the city also hosts various plays and cultural performances. Prithvi Theatres is a well-known theatre company, which produces plays. There are also two art galleries, The Jehangir Art Gallery and The National Gallery of Modern Art and a museum, The Prince of Wales Museum in South Mumbai. The Asiatic Society of Bombay is the oldest public library in the city built in 1833.

Mumbai is a city that never sleeps. No matter what time of night you venture out you will find substantial number of people on streets and roads. The city is famous for its vibrant night life. There are plenty of bars and clubs to suit every taste.


Near Super Cinema, Dr. Hakim Road, Off Grant Road, Mumbai - 400 007. (INDIA)
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