Formerly known as ‘Bombay’, Mumbai is the largest city and the capital of Maharashtra. It is also the most populated city in India and the 5th most populous city in the world. The city that we see today is a collection of 7 islands which were joined into a single metropolitan through land reclamation techniques in the 18th century under the rule of the British East India Company. The city is often nicknamed the Manhattan of India and is home to the famous Indian film industry or ‘Bollywood’. You might need more than a week to explore all the attractions in this city alone, with a huge number of historical monuments, beaches etc.
• Elephanta Caves
• Gateway of India
• Marine Drive
• Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
• Flora Fountain
• Nehru Planetarium
• Haji Ali Shrine
• Bandra Talao
Elephanta caves are located in Elephanta Island, which is roughly around 40 minute ferry ride from Gateway of India. UNESCO has declared Elephanta Caves, belonging to 600 AD, as World Heritage Site. The stone sculptures of the gods worshipped by Hindus were damaged when the Portuguese used them as targets for their practices. Regardless, the artwork in the sculptures speak of the artistic excellence of the bygone era and no wonder, Elephanta Caves is considered one of the seven wonders of India.
Gateway of India
The 85 feet tall structure was built to commemorate King George, the Fifth’s visit to Mumbai. Incidentally, the last of British soldiers that were to leave India after independence, departed through Gateway of India. The monument’s architecture is a prefect blend of three styles, namely Hindu, Islam and European Gothic styles. You could take ferry from here to visit Elephanta Caves.
Marine Drive is in the heart of Mumbai and hence you can have easy access to it from anywhere in Mumbai. It is 3km long and it borders Arabian Sea forming a bay. The stretch is ‘C’ shaped that links Nariman Point and Babulnath. The place offers spectacular view of sunset. Tourists are attracted to Marine Drive where they could stroll in the walkway and experience the cool breeze. Marine Drive is also called as ‘Queen’s necklace’.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
This was earlier known as Victoria Terminus. The construction was completed in the year 1897. UNESCO has declared the terminus as World Heritage Site in the year 2004. The building is a representation of architecture of various cultures including traditional Indian, Victorian and Gothic. Though it is a terminus to board and get off trains, you cannot help marveling at the stunning architecture of the building. Whether you intend to take a train or not, this is a must visit site in Mumbai.
Flora fountain was constructed in the year 1864 and named after Roman Goddess Flora. A beautiful statue of Flora, the Roman Goddess is seen at the top. The fountain is situated in a beautiful park. It is one of the Heritage structures of India. The other heritage constructions around Flora Fountain are Gateway of India, Central Telegraph Office, Bombay High Court and a lot more. If you were to visit Flora fountain do not miss visiting the place in the evening to see the beautifully lit fountain.
Nehru Planetarium was constructed in the year 1977. There is an art gallery inside the planetarium along with a library, cultural center and restaurant. Nehru Auditorium inside the planetarium has a seating capacity of nearly 1000 people. The auditorium is the venue for various concerts, dance performances and plays. The planetarium attracts astronomers and the future astronomers alike. Children love this place as they can engage themselves in various science related activities. Arrangements for viewing solar system, meteoroids showers and eclipses are made here. A place worth the visit if you are keen to know more about the world you live in.
Haji Ali Shrine
The Shrine was built in the year 1431. Located in the heart of Worli, Haji Ali Shrinereflects the Indian Muslim architecture. The 85 feet tall structure is located in 4500 meters area of land. The Shrine is constructed with marble that matches the marbles used in the construction of Taj Mahal. The pillars of the Shrine are artistic and the mirror work in the monument is stunning. The stupendous architecture of the Haji Ali Shrine attracts people of various religions and beliefs.
Also known as Bandra Lake, it is situated in Bandra, Built over 200 years ago, the lake is declared a Heritage area. You can find a small aquarium and musical fountains. Light shows are conducted here. You could go boating on the lake and relax here to view the birds and the wildlife.