Mumbai, earlier known as Bombay, is not only the capital of Maharashtra but also the largest city of India. Mumbai initially was the accretion of seven islands on the Konkan coastline, which with the passage of time joined to form island city of Bombay. It further joined Salsette islands in the neighbourhood to form Greater Bombay. Mumbai is in all ways a mega-city driven by power, wealth, glamour and fame which attracts people to give shape to their dreams and aspirations. At the same time it is also a city with strong historical links, wonderful British architecture, museums, beaches, places of worship, and above all, a true galaxy of stars where Bollywood reigns supreme. It is said that every train that comes to Mumbai brings on it hundreds of people from across India who are not only drawn to ‘experience’ the city’s mesmerising attractions but would also like to make it their home. A city of assorted cultures and a melting pot of commerce, industry, entertainment, enterprise, and politics, Mumbai’s trysts with wealth and fame have, however, been recent. It wasn’t a cosmopolitan finance centre to begin with. Its history has witnessed several shifts in power, and the seven islands changed hands frequently.
STD Code: 022
Climate: The Climate of Mumbai is a tropical wet and dry climate. Its coastal nature and tropical location ensures temperatures won't fluctuate much throughout the year. The mean average is 27.2°C and average precipitation is 242.2 cm (95.35 inches).
Getting There & Away: How to reach Mumbai
Road: Mumbai is perfectly connected by a road network to the rest of India. The city's public bus system BEST is one of the most efficient bus systems. Interstate roadways and private operators run luxury coaches as well as rickety buses. It has a vast fleet of black-and-yellow taxis too. The fine roads of this city connect you to all big and small towns and tourist centres in the state of Maharashtra-Pune (163 km), Aurangabad (392 km), Nashik (184 km), Mahabaleshwar (239 km) and to the towns and cities of the neighbouring states; Goa-Panaji (597 km), Gujarat-Ahmadabad (545 km) and Vadodara (432 km) and Andhra Pradesh.
Rail: The headquarters of both Western and Central Railways lie in Mumbai. This city is connected massively via railways. Railways are said to be the lifeline of Mumbai. Super-fast trains and passenger trains connects the city with all prominent towns of India like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The two railway stations in Mumbai are Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Bombay Central Station. Central railways serve eastern and southern parts, whereas western railways operate towards to the north from Church gate and central stations. Other local railway stations are Dadar, Church gate and Kurla.
Air: Mumbai’s International Airport, named as Chatrapati Sivaji International Airport is having two terminals. Terminal 1 or Domestic Terminal and Terminal 2 or International Terminal. These 2 terminals are in fact two separate airports, located at a distance of 5 km from one another. Airports are well connected with the rest of country as well as world.
Tourist Attractions in Mumbai
Marine Drive: Marine Drive, officially known as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Marg, is a 3 kilometre long concourse which stretches from Nariman Point to Malabar Hills, running along the coast of the Arabian Sea. Famed for a large number of Art Deco buildings that were built by wealthy Parsis during the early 20th century, this necklace-shaped stretch is worth exploring. Listed among the most posh areas of the city, Marine Drive features many high-end hotels and restaurants. Walkeshwar, the house of Maharashtra's Governor, is also located in this area. Towards the north of Marine Drive is the popular Chowpatty Beach. At night, with the street lights are on, the entire road appears like a dazzling diamond neck piece, hence it is also referred as 'Queen's Necklace'. Considered as one of world's largest viewing gallery, Marine Drive attracts millions of tourists every year.
Gateway of India: The Gateway of India that was built in the 20th century is one of the biggest tourist attractions of Mumbai. The building stands beautifully overlooking the Arabian Sea and the location of this building is what makes it so attractive. It is 85 feet tall and it is one of Mumbai’s most significant landmarks.
Taj Mahal Hotel: Right opposite to Gateway of India stands another beautiful and historical building- the Taj Mahal Hotel. This hotel has existed even before the Gateway of India was erected, 21 years before to be precise. Opposite to this beautiful landmark of Mumbai also stands a statue of Shivaji that has a historical significance.
Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, which was previously known as Victoria Terminus, is among the busiest railway stations in the country. An outstanding example of Victorian-Gothic architectural style, the railway station is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This splendid edifice, designed by F. W. Stevens, was built in the year 1887 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The terminus was officially renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in 1996. Frequented by commuters and history buffs, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is among the most popular places of tourist interest in the city.
Town Hall/The Asiatic Society: The Asiatic Society of Mumbai is one historical building that has been a photographer’s delight for all kinds of shoot since many years. The Asiatic society is about Asian studies that were started with an intention of promoting any kind of useful knowledge. The society has a library that houses at least hundred books and 15,000 books out of them have been classified as valuable and rare. Apart from the many books it also has many artefacts and manuscripts in Persian, Prakrit and also Sanskrit that are all ancient. For art lovers, this place is nothing less than paradise.
Haji Ali: Haji Ali Dargah is a celebrated Islamic shrine, which earns immense recognition across the globe. This white edifice is nestled on a small islet that lies away from the city's shoreline, almost in the middle of the Arabian Sea. The reason behind the popularity and prominence of this religious complex is that it houses the tombstone of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.) – a revered Muslim saint. In addition to the sacred tomb, a mosque also forms a part of the holy compound. This shrine witnesses a huge footfall of devotees who come here and offer homage to the saint, irrespective of their religion, caste, creed and social status.
Hanging Gardens: Hanging Gardens, also referred as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, are beautiful terraced gardens that are set atop the western side of Malabar Hill. Established in the 1880s, this garden was designed by Ulhas Ghapokar to protect a nearby water reservoir from getting polluted. This painstakingly manicured garden is spread in a vast area that has well-laid pathways. The colourful flower clock at the centre and numerous animal-shaped hedges are the unique features of this park.
Flora Fountain: Flora Fountain, also known as 'Hutatma Chowk' since 1960, is declared as one of India's Heritage structures. Built in 1864, this tourist spot houses India's prestigious fountain, located in the city of Mumbai. The name 'Flora' is derived from the name of the Roman Goddess of Flowers. The Flora Fountain was constructed by the Agri-Horticultural society of Western India. The square wall within which the monument is erected is called as Hutatma Chowk. This place is also a major hub for commercial activities. Many institutes, such as the famous Bombay University, Bombay Stock Exchange and Gateway of India.
Mahalakshmi Racecourse: Mahalakshmi Racecourse, owned by The Royal Western Turf Club-an elite sports club in Mumbai, is a renowned horse racing track in the country. It is considered to be one of the greatest circuits in Asia. The racecourse's Grandstand, is also included in the list of the 'heritage structures of India'. Every year, on the first Sunday of February, the renowned Indian Derby is held for the members of Mumbai's high society. This is the one place where people can bet on horses and gamble.
Mount Mary Church: Mount Mary Church, also referred to as Mount Mary’s Basilica, stands atop a hillock in Bandra. Overlooking the expansive Arabian Sea, this beautiful church is visited and re-visited by countless devotees and tourists from places near and far. The 100 years old church is popular for a week-long festival of Mother Mary in the month of September. It is an ideal place for peace-seekers and those who love to explore Colonial architectural.
RBI Monetary Museum: RBI Monetary Museum is a unique museum set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – the most important financial institution of the country. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam – the former President of India, inaugurated the museum in 2004. It aims at depicting the evolution of money in the Indian subcontinent, right from the ancient days of barter system to the present era of plastic money. There are various galleries in the museum where coins, paper money and other monetary artefacts are preserved.
Aksa Beach: About 27 kilometres from Mumbai city, Aksa Beach is a wonderful place to visit. The waterfront has the base of the Indian navy – INS Hamla on one end, and a small beach – Dana Paani on the other. The salubrious weather, gentle sea breeze and picturesque environs of this beach make it a perfect place for a memorable beachside vacation.
Shree Siddhivinayak Temple: This is another such shrine that attracts people from all over irrespective of the religion or caste. The Siddhivinayak temple was built in dedication to Ganesha who is one of the most revered Gods of Hindu religions. This temple is highly significant and thousands of devotees visit Siddhivinayak each day. It is said that offering your prayers at this temple will get all your wishes fulfilled and obstacles removed. The Siddhivinayak temple is said to be 200 years old and it was built in 1801. Initially the temple wasn’t as big as it stands today. One of the most distinctive features of this idol is that unlike other Ganesha Idols the trunk of the idol at Sidhivinayak faces the right side. Over so many years the temple earned more popularity and with growing popularity the structure of the temple also changed.
Nariman Point: Nariman Point is the fourth most expensive office location in the world. It is home to some of the biggest financial and business establishments such as Air India, Central Bank of India, Indian Express, State Bank of India, The Oberoi Hotel and so on. Situated on the extreme southern gradient of Marine Drive, It is one of the posh locations in Mumbai. The vivacious city of Mumbai proudly boasts of this place as a main tourist attraction.
Juhu Beach: Lying on Juhu Tara Road, Juhu Beach is counted amongst Mumbai's star attractions. Groves of palm trees and expansive sandy stretches render immense beauty to the beach. To attract tourists, many amusement parks and food stalls have been set up on the beach. This picturesque waterfront is frequented by maximum number of visitors during weekends and holidays. Cycling, jogging and horse and camel riding are some of the activities one can indulge in at the beach.
Mahalakshmi Temple: The Mahalakshmi Temple is also one of the most respected temples of the city along with Siddhivinayak temple. The temple was built in dedication to Shakti’s many other forms like Mahalakshmi, Saraswati and also Mahakali. This temple is situated very close the Haji Ali and most people make it a point to visit both the attractions whenever around this area. It is situated in Mahalakshmi and the name of the place is also owing to the temple.
Malabar Hills: A hillock in Southern Mumbai, Malabar Hill is one of the prominent residential areas in the city. Known for housing Walkeshwar temple and Banganga tank, this hillock is situated at a height of 50 meters, highest point in Southern Mumbai. One of the most expensive residential areas in the world, Malabar Hills is home to mansions of many celebrities as well as the official residences of the Governor of Maharashtra and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Malabar Hill is also famous for some of Mumbai's most prominent tourist destinations such as Banganga Tank, Walkeshwar temple, hanging gardens etc. and also lies in the vicinity of marine drive and Chowpatti Beach.