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Destinatons of India » Mumbai

About Mumbai

Mumbai, the biggest metropolis of India, is a city that virtually never sleeps. In this city of dreams, life never appears dull or boring, especially due to the presence of its interminable chaos and action. Generating the maximum share of country's revenue, Mumbai houses the country's largest production houses, stock exchanges, sea port and offices of some of the esteemed companies of the world. Not only is Mumbai the capital of Maharashtra, it is also called the Commercial Capital of India.

With a golden history of hundreds of years, Mumbai never fails to mesmerize its visitors amidst the heritage monuments. This brightest jewel of the country addresses over 15 million Mumbaikars, including the well-heeled industrialists, ravishing celebrities and eminent artists. Formerly called Bombay, the Island City is dotted with several beaches and natural harbor. On the tourism map of India, Mumbai has always entertained the maximum traffic from overseas.

Being the city of Bollywood, Mumbai allures thousands of aspirant actors and artists from all over the country. Experience its dazzling nightlife in bars, lounges, pubs, discotheques and beaches. Uncover the spiritual side of the magnificent city in its places of worship. Parks, gardens, museums, shopping malls, amusement parks, beaches and lakes define the charisma of this economic hub. Thus, without any delay, travel to Mumbai and see the glimmer.


Climate of Mumbai is fluctuating one as it is a coastal area and the weather is highly influenced by the presence of Arabian Sea. Generally May is the hottest month of the year and the average temperature remains between 32C- 40C. January is the coldest month in Mumbai and the average temperature remains about 18OC. The proximal distance to the sea lends a humid effect to the weather in Mumbai throughout the year.

Summers season in Mumbai is from April to Mid June followed by monsoon from Mid June to Mid September. The rain in Mumbai is extremely heavy and the annual rainfall of Mumbai is around 200cm. Winter in Mumbai lasts from November to February and during this season the weather of Mumbai is really pleasant. During the winters the temperature varies in between 15-250 C and all these climatic features of Mumbai makes it different from other Indian cities.

The best time to visit Mumbai is in the winters as the city houses numerous tourist attraction along with the cultural highlights. Mumbai is the significant metropolitan city of India and has vibrant mix of colors and shades throughout the year.


Mumbai, the erstwhile Bombay, is the largest city and the financial hub of India. Since it a major metropolis, it has the best national and international connections. Getting to the Island City is easy because it is well-connected by means of air, road, rail as well as water. The most far-reaching network of roads and rails hook up this city with all the nook and corners of the country. Moreover, it is connected with almost all the major cities round the world. Though limited to some places, traveling to the Bollywood city by boat or cruise is another option. Read further to know how to reach Mumbai.

  • Air: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the major airdrome that receives both domestic and international traffic to the city. Almost all the airlines operate flights to and from Mumbai. It is the busiest airport of the country, that handles at least 45 landings and take-offs per hour. It has two domestic and two international terminals, which are connected by shuttle services.
  • Rail: Mumbai boasts of an extensive network of rail tracks, which connects the city with all parts of the nation. It houses the headquarters of Central Railways and Western Railways. Besides Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal - the major one, there are other railway stations at Bombay Central, Churchgate, Dadar and Kurla. One can board trains from here to any place across the country.
  • Road: The National Highways No. 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 17 pass through the city, making it accessible from all parts of the country. Besides these National Highways, the Mumbai-Pune expressway traverses through the city. Many long distance buses leave from the State Transport Terminal, which is located opposite Mumbai's Central Railway Station. Many deluxe buses connect Mumbai with all tourist destinations within and outside the state. One can always hire car to move around the city and its suburbs.
  • Boat: One amongst the best natural harbors in the world, Mumbai port handles 50% of the passenger traffic and most of the cargo of the country. Above all, it serves as an important base for the Navy. One can reach close-by islands and beaches by getting in ferries that start from Ferry Wharf. Many travel companies provide sea-cruises to Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, etc.

Attractions in Mumbai


Banganga, which once had been a gorge, is today present in the form of a water tank in the Malabar Hill area of Mumbai. To be found in the complex of Walkeshwar Temple, this tank has a mythological legend behind its emergence. In the 12th century, the temple is believed to have been built by the rulers of the Silhara dynasty. Banganga Tank was reconstructed in 1715 with the donation made by Rama Kamath. The tank is a rectangular pool bounded by steps on all four sides.

Every year in the month of February, the tank is cleaned up for the Banganga Music Festival of Maharashtra. According to the legend, Lord Rama - the exiled hero of the Ramayana, took halt at the point while looking for his wife - Sita, about five thousand years ago. As he felt thirsty, he asked Lakshman (Rama's brother) to get him some water. At once, Lakshman shot an arrow in the ground and fresh water gushed out.

It is believed that Banganga is the tributary of the pious river, Ganga, which flows at a distance of over thousand miles. The place was called Banganga because Ban suggests an arrow and Ganga refers to the Ganges. Whatever is the story or legend, the reverence for the holy waters of Banganga is never questioned. It is worshipped by people with great respect. At religious events, people in large numbers come to take a holy dip in the mossy waters and make offerings.


Churchgate is a downtown business district in South Mumbai. Imbibing its name from Churchgate Railway Station, the city center is crammed with several offices and banks. However, the railway station is a big hit in the transportation market of Mumbai, being the terminus of Western Railway line of Suburban Railway. Seeing that it is the preliminary point of many trains, it is always thrived with people going to their offices.

If truth is to be told, the term Churchgate has been derived from St Thomas Church that is sited about half a kilometer from the railway station and a primeval gate, now taken over by the Flora Fountain. Dotted with number of banks and offices, Churchgate also makes the site for the Income Tax Office. Nariman Point, the class business center of Mumbai, is just about a kilometer from Church Gate. To its west lies the Marine Drive, this is a beautifully designed avenue in Mumbai (or erstwhile Bombay).

This area is also a focal point of educational institutions like University of Mumbai, Government Law College, Jain Hind College, K.C. College and Indo-German Training Center. Wankhede Cricket Stadium, Mahindra Hockey Stadium, Brabourne Stadium and Oval Maidan are some of the prestigious sport complexes in the region. In precise terms, Churchgate is a nice place to take a stroll and have a quick look of the distinguished buildings of Mumbai.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), a railway station, is a brilliant specimen of the Victorian Gothic style of architecture in India. Once called Victoria Terminus, the station is positioned on the suburban railway tracks of Mumbai. CST also serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways of India. Attributable to its wonderful structural design, CST was acknowledged as a 'World Heritage Site' by UNESCO in 2004.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one of the busiest railway stations in the country. The edifice, designed by F.W. Stevens, turned out to be the icon of Bombay as the 'Gothic City'. It also became the major mercantile port of India. It took around ten years to construct the terminus as per the classic structures of the late 19th century. The westernmost terminus of the Central Railway, CST is a railway architectural marvel because of its sophisticated structural and technical solutions.

Built in 1888, Victoria Terminus boasts of spectacular stone dome, turrets, pointed arches and unusual ground plan, unlike the traditional Indian architecture. Its fine interiors, like wood carving, tiles, ornamental iron, brass railings, etc, reflect the efforts of students at the Bombay School of Art. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus represents an excellent fusion of two cultures. During its construction, British architects worked with the Indian craftsmen, exchanging notes to give a new look and style to Bombay.

Film City

Mumbai is synonymous to the Film City of India. Perhaps this silver screen allures thousands of aspirants, who come to test their fortune in the flicker industry of movies. Bollywood, the Hindi Film Industry, is generally taken for the entire film industry of India, but there are many others pertaining to other languages. Indian Film Industry is the largest in the world, with production of thousands of films every year. Even in terms of technicalities, Bollywood is only next to Hollywood - the Film Industry based in US.

Since 1911, when the Filmcity directed its first silent movie, there has been no looking back. Located next to the precincts of Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Goregaon (East), it is the hot-spot to find the superstars of the Bollywood. Film City was the dream endeavor of Dada Saheb Phalke, the renowned cine-figure of India. It has given new grounds the notion of Hindi film making in the country. Today, the Filmcity boasts of all modern technology that can produce movies of great visuals and quality.

It is a dream world, where you cannot differentiate fake from real, as things are so perfect. Dotted with fountains, gardens, lakes, lakes, helipads and real-looking buildings, the Film City is sprawled over a large area. The well-appointed indoor and outdoor shooting facilities, editing and recording rooms, rank this studio amongst the best ones in India. A prior permission from relevant authorities and adequate contacts is required to access the place. So, come to the Filmcity and sport your favorite actors in the making of movies.

Gateway of India

Gateway of India is the landmark of Mumbai city and most of the tourists commence their trip by visiting this monument. It is situated on the waterfront in the southern part of the city. The gateway is an arch with a height of 26 meters and is made up of yellow basalt and reinforced concrete. Gateway of India is an architectural marvel and belongs to Indo-Saracenic architectural style, with some elements derived from the Muslim architectural styles of the 16th century Gujarat.

The central dome of the structure measures 15 m in diameter, while its peak is at an altitude of 26 m from the ground. It was constructed with an estimated cost of 21 lakh, funded mostly by the Government of India. Peeping into the history, we can say that the monument was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay in December 1911. The foundation of Gateway of India was laid down in 1911 by the then Governor of Bombay, Sir George Sydenham Clarke.

The final structure was at last opened to the public on December 4, 1924, by the Viceroy, the Earl of Reading. After India got independent, the last British troops passed across the gateway in 1948 to board their ship heading for England. This amazing architectural monument was very much alive in the colonized nation and still doesn't fail to capture the attention of every onlooker. Inscription imprinted on the gateway reminds the historical event of the King's arrival.

This majestic gateway has always been the centre of attraction for one and all. Moreover, the large expanse of the Arabian Sea visible from the monument makes the entire view simply overwhelming. This makes Gateway of India, the most visited spot in Mumbai. At the back of the Gateway, there are steps leading into the sea, where motor boats rest to take the visitors on a ride to Elephanta Islands. Moreover, a short cruise through the natural harbor of Mumbai is absolutely refreshing.

Mumbai University

The University of Mumbai, previously called University of Bombay, is amongst the top and oldest universities of India. Honored with a five-star rank by National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC), Mumbai University (MU) has its campus in the largest metropolitan city of India. The university is known, not only for its high standards of teaching, but for the Gothic architecture of the campus buildings. It has been typified as a public university, which is spreading knowledge and contributing to the development of the nation.

Established in 1857, Mumbai University initially used the building of Elphinstone College as its center of operations. The majority of colleges in Mumbai and the neighboring districts, such as Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, are affiliated to the Mumbai University. This five-star university offers Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees to the aspirers. Many distinguished institutes in the world, like Institute of Chemical Technology (earlier UDCT) and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) are associated with MU.

The THES - QS world universities ranking, has graded the University of Mumbai in the top 500 universities in the world. MU is based on the lines of the universities of England that largely impart education through its affiliated colleges. Affiliated with MU in 1868, St. Xavier's College is the first and the most esteemed of all its colleges. At present, the university campuses make the administrative centers and the centers for some higher education and library services.

Throughout the city, there are affiliated colleges which are providing education par excellence. The major campuses of the university are Fort Campus and Kalina Campus. In 1857, the University of Mumbai was established at the Fort Campus, thus it is the first campus. Built in Gothic style of architecture, this campus now holds the administrative division of the university. Kalina Campus is another large campus located in Santacruz area of Mumbai. It has various departments that offer Masters and Doctoral programs in different courses.

Nariman Point

Nariman Point is the leading business center in Mumbai, previously called Bombay. Located on the southern end of Marine Drive in South Mumbai, Nariman Point owes its name to Khusheed Framji Nariman - a futurist Parsi, who wished to retrieve the land from the sea in 1940. The area was developed by filling the shallows of the Arabian Sea by imported steel architectural frames along with debris and cement, which eventually gave rise to a solid platform.

What Nariman Point is today, is the outcome of the efforts and more essentially the vision that Khusheed had. This lively commercial hub has offices and headquarters of most of the premier business and industrial houses in the country. Dotted with many skyscrapers, Nariman Point reproduces the astonishing appearance of Manhattan and probably that's why it is also called as 'Manhattan' of Mumbai.

In 1995, Nariman Point had the highest commercial real estate rental space in the world. Bragging of an impressive skyline and high-priced residential condos, Nariman Point has the head offices of both national and international companies. Here, one can see the majority of the consulates, airline offices and high commission of foreign countries. Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and Vidhan Bhavan - the political headquarters of Maharashtra, are also located here.

Navi Mumbai

The city is located on the mainland of the eastern coastline of the Thane Creek and is connected with Mumbai, through bridges like Vashi and Airoli. Navi Mumbai has really good physical and social infrastructure to boast of. Nerul, Vashi, Airoli, Kalamboli and Taloja are major areas of the city. While visiting the parallel city, check out the Sagar Vihar Garden that presents a beautiful sight to behold, leaving you completely mesmerized by its beauty.

Rain Tree Marg at Belapur offers a panoramic view of Navi Mumbai amidst natural splendor. If you are touring during monsoons, pay a visit to Pandavpada Waterfalls in Kharghar and enjoy cascading waters. Kharghar Hills is another place from where you can glimpse the entire city. You can also go for trekking from Panvel to Karnala Fort (13 kms). To put succinctly, Navi Mumbai is a landscaped modern city that has all contemporary charms.

Prithvi Theatre

Prithviraj Kapoor, a legend in himself, is the source of inspiration behind the establishment of Prithvi Theatre. A well-known theatre of Mumbai, Prithvi Theatre belongs to the Kapoors - the leading actor/director families in Bollywood. Shashi Kapoor, the youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, along with his wife Jennifer Kendal, worked enthusiastically towards realizing their father's dream of having a theater of performing arts. On 5th November 1978, Prithvi Theatre was inaugurated amidst grand cultural celebrations in Bombay.

Shashi and Jennifer both had a great passion and high opinion about Indian theatre. After the sad demise of Prithviraj Kapoor, Shashi bought a piece of land and decided to set up a Trust in the memory of great actor that would encourage performing arts in India. Moreover, the country lacked a theatre where aspiring actors could show their talent and meet the audience. Such a theater was the need of the society and emergence of Prithvi theatre was the perfect answer to the dilemma.

In the present day, Prithvi Theatre is active and even organizes an annual drama festival that features the best plays from India. Numerous theatre workshops are organized here to promote aspirants of theater while refining their nuts and bolts of acting. Outside the theatre, there is a garden café which serve delicious food on lamp lit tables. It is famous for its North Indian food and Irish coffee. A visit to Prithvi Theatre would give you a fantastic glimpse into the cultural and modern theater in India.

Mahalaxmi Racecourse

Mahalakshmi Racecourse is actually an elite horse racing ground in Mumbai. This oval shaped ground is to be found in the Mahalakshmi area of India's commercial capital. Leased by the Bombay Municipal Corporation, Mahalakshmi Race Course is run by the Turf Club. Here, you can see most of the upper crust enjoying the horse races in their exclusive attires. And you might even get the chance to sit besides the hottest celebrity or some industrialist with your lucky entry pass.

The season for horse racing starts in November and goes on till February. However, the Derby that is held annually on the first Sunday in February becomes the most awaited event in the presence of city's landed gentry. Amidst the glitterati, the ground develops into a condescending place where grandeur and extravaganza get the high point, along with hardcore punters making the entire occasion really exhilarating.

'Gallops' is a lavish restaurant in the precincts of the racecourse that is usually occupied by affluent people all through day and night. Its interiors have a bucolic charm about them; it also reminds one of the imperial palaces with light fixtures, curtained elegant carriages and bolts lining the wall and roof. This restaurant doles out Punjabi cuisine on top of Western Cuisine. Besides food and desserts, you can also indulge in the finest wine and beer.

Malabar Hill

Malabar Hill is a small hill in South Mumbai that is quarters to the famous Hanging Gardens, Walkeshwar Temple and Kamala Nehru Gardens of the Dream City of India. In fact, it is the highest point in the city center, with a height of 50 meters, presenting an eye-catching view of the county that sprawls at the foothills. The region nearby is known as Malabar Hill and it is counted amongst the elite residential areas of Bombay.

Not only many business tycoons and film celebrities, this area also addresses the official residences of the Governor and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Real Estate value here is amongst the priciest in the world. Possibly, unobstructed sight of Back Bay along with Chowpatti beach in the forefront and Nariman Point skyline in the backdrop make the grounds for the soaring prices in this area. Jain Temple and Parsi Tower of Silence are two other religious structures in the region.

In the early days of city's growth, Mumbai was inundated by pirates from the Malabar Coast (Kerala), apart from others. With the intention of defending the city, a sentinel was built on the hill that offered the best view of the sea approaches at that time. And consequently, the hill came to be known as Malabar Hill. Amidst such great tourist attractions and hard sell popularity, Malabar Hill is certainly a place to be visited in Mumbai.

Rajabai Tower

Rajabai Tower is essentially a majestic clock tower in South Mumbai. Located in the precincts of Mumbai University in Fort Campus, right next to the High Court, Rajabai Tower is a beautiful structure, ornamented with oriental figures. Its history reveals that it was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, who was an English architect. Rajabai Tower was built on the lines of Big Ben, the clock tower in London. Elevated to the height of 85 m (280 ft), the tower took around 9 years to get constructed (1869 -1878).

Premchand Roychand, a successful broker who founded the Bombay Stock Exchange, financed the entire cost of construction that was Rs 200,000 - a substantial amount in those days. The clock tower owes its name to Rajabai - mother of the generous broker who was blind and a staunch follower of Jainism. Thanks to the bell of this tower, she didn't require anyone's help to know the time and she could herself take her dinner before evening, on the word of her religion.

Presenting a fusion of Venetian and Gothic styles of architecture, Rajabai Tower is constructed out of Kurla stone - the locally available buff colored stone. In the earlier times, it played the tunes of 'Rule Britannia', 'God Save the King' and 'A Handel Symphony', amongst the sixteen tunes that changed four times a day. However, the glockenspiel repertoire currently plays only 'Big Ben', after every fifteen minutes.

The tower has a spiral staircase, but is closed to the visitors due to some sad incidents. Rajabai Tower houses the library of the University, which has some of the brilliant stained glass windows in Asia. Recently treated by the British conservationists, these exquisite windows have been reinstated with their grandeur. In a nutshell, Rajabai Tower is a spectacular structure that is a standing testimony to the transformation of the Mumbai as well as India, and is worth visiting.

Town Hall

Town Hall is conceivably the most imperial structure amongst the heritage buildings of Mumbai. Housing the Asiatic Society of Bombay, Town Hall is located in the Fort area of South Mumbai. The pillared monument is even more significant for its exquisite edifice that has old wooden floor, spiral staircases, wrought iron loggias and superb marble statues of late benefactors of the Island City of India. The Asiatic Society consists of city's largest library with a collection of 8,00,000 antique volumes.

Amongst the anthology, Dante's first edition copy of "Inferno" is one of the inestimable reserves. The Society's museum has a remarkable numismatic compilation of above 1,000 ancient coins and a rare gold coin belonging to Akbar - the Mughal Emperor. Permission is required to take a glance of these treasures. However, the public library is open to everyone and generally attracts scores of senior citizens, who come to read the local newspapers.

Constructed somewhere near 1830, Town Hall has been profoundly influenced by Greek and Roman styles of architecture. Comprising a portico with eight Doric pillars, the building can be reached by taking a flight of 30 steps. In praise of this grand structure, Sir John Malcolm - the Governor of Bombay said "It is the most magnificent structure that taste and munificence combined have as yet erected in India". Thus, Town Hall is a place worth visiting in Mumbai.

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