Mumbai Travel Guide
Mumbai is the financial capital of India. Most large business houses have their corporate offices in this city. It also the iconic city from where Bollywood – Indian film and the entertainment industry captivates the world. In India, everyone turns to it to make their dreams come true.
You can lose yourself in its frenetic, energetic, exuberant, sparkling mass of humanity. It has building stones of all kinds and colors .And if you choose to shop, you couldn’t have made a better choice- there are mile long markets that change character after every mile.
Most of the International Airlines touch Bombay and connect it with the major cities of India and the world. It is connected by motorable road to all nearby cities. It is also well connected by rail with all the places in the country.
Place To Visit in Mumbai
Mumbai’s famous beach comes alive in the evening as locals balloon sellers, nut vendors and beach entertainers commingle. Eating bhelpuri at the witnessing the annual Ganesh Chaturthi Festival in August/September is a must do.
The Gateway of India
A yellow basalt arch of triumph officially ‘opened’ in 1924. It was redundant just 24 years later and now stands on the wonderfully named Apollo Bunder. It’s a photo op few miss – but mostly the area is populated with a motley crowd of touts, balloon sellers, postcard vendors and snake charmers who turn it into a wondrous bazaar.
Taj Mahal Hotel
Overlooks Apollo Bunder and has great views of the gateway from its top floor Apollo Bar. The streets behind the Taj Mahal Hotel are the travelers’ centre of Mumbai.
The main draw of Colaba Causeway is a melee of street vendors, shops, stalls and cafes that leads south to Sassoon Dock – an area of intense and pungent activity at dawn as fishing boats arrive to unload their catch – and north to the fascinating Indo-Saracenic Prince of Wales Museum.
The sprawling, colorful indoor Crawford Market (or Phule Market) used to be the city’s wholesale produce market. Today it’s where central Mumbai goes shopping for its fruit, vegetables and meat. Bas reliefs by Rudyard Kipling’s father, Lockwood Kipling, adorn the Norman-Gothic exterior, and an ornate fountain he designed stands buried beneath old fruit boxes at the market’s centre. It’s reputed to stock everything from pins to spare parts.
The extravagant Victorian gothic buildings in the Fort area is the established commercial centre of Mumbai. It’s jam-packed with commuters, street stalls and the grand facades of 19th century British institutions and trading houses. Here you can view such British masterpieces as Victoria Terminus, Bombay University, the High Court, the BMC building and stately Horniman Circle and St Thomas’ Cathedral.
Haji Ali Mosque
This whitewashed fairytale mosque contains the tomb of the Muslim saint Haji Ali.The mosque can only be reached at low tide. The cool courtyard, which is generally full of families eager to make their wishes known to the saint. The rocks exposed at low tide behind the mosque are a favorite spot to catch sea breezes.
Don’t miss the bazaars of Kalbadevi, north of Crawford Market. The main areas are Zaveri Bazaar (jewellery), Mangaldas Market (cloth), Dhabu St (leather goods) and Chor Bazaar (Mumbai’s ‘thieves’ market’). Apart from the shopping opportunities, this area is also home to the Jama Masjid and the Mumbadevi Temple dedicated to the patron goddess of the island’s original Koli inhabitants.
Marine Drive runs along the shoreline of the Arabian Sea from Nariman Point past Chowpatty Beach to the foot of Malabar Hill. It’s one of Mumbai’s most popular promenades and a favorite sunset-watching spot. The dramatic curve of its streetlights at night makes it the Queen’s Necklace in popular imagination.
Mumbai is shopper’s paradise. Big or small, anything and everything is available in the markets of Mumbai, ranging from designer outfits to antiques, handicrafts, wooden articles, leatherwear, and jewelry and so on. Most markets in Mumbai have striking names like Chor Bazaar, Mutton Street, Zaveri Bazar etc.
If you are fond of flowers, fruits, meat and fish, Crawford Market is the place for you to shop. Chor Bazaar is famous for its phenomenal collection of antiques, wooden articles, and leatherwear. Zaveri Bazaar offers excellent range of jewelry items. Colaba and Flora Fountain areas are known mainly for ethnic artifacts and departmental stores. In Mohammed Ali Road, you will get the best of Itar, embroidery and Zari work besides artifacts and Mumbai souvenirs. Bandra is famous for its roadside markets, where you can get everything in affordable rates. You can even visit Fashion Street in Mumbai and pick your favorite item.
Breach Candy and Kemps Corner are also popular for their trendy clothes. Wonderful stuff for summer wear, and you can also pick up sequined and embroidered silk blouses and skirts to wear in the evenings.
Mumbai Markets offers much for you to take home. You can also check out the various sales and discounts available almost through out the year in Mumbai stores.
Do’s and Don’t’s
- Beware of pickpockets, touts.
- Always travel in taxis and autos by the meter. Never accept lifts.
- Don’t get friendly with locals.
- The majority of Indians remove their footwear when entering their houses. Because of strict religious and social customs, visitors must show particular respect when visiting someone’s home.
- Many Hindus are vegetarian.
- Many especially women, do not drink alcohol.
- Sikhs and Parsis do not smoke.
- Small gifts are acceptable as tokens of gratitude for hospitality.
- Women are expected to dress modestly.