Mumbai is an impressive paradox of chaos and hope fascination and squalor, modernity and tradition, old and new. Famously known as the City of Dreams, Mumbai – formerly known as Bombay – has a long legal history, starting from Gandhi’s visits to the city to the intense protests against the Simon Commission in 1928, the city has stood witness to many important events in the country’s freedom struggle. Today, Mumbai is a beautifully blended melting pot of cultures and lifestyles. The city soaks in everything into its fabric, making it it’s very own. From European and Portuguese population who migrated years ago to the city to upcoming actors struggling to make it big on the silver screen, from Bollywood superstars to big industrialists to tribes of fisherman and slum dwellers, Mumbai is a city that proudly boasts of stories from different walks of human survival.
One of the main centers in the country of art, culture, music, dance, and theatre, Mumbai is a dynamic international city that has been running for years solely on the strong spirit of the Mumbaikars.
MOST INTERESTING PLACES IN MUMBAI:
Marine Drive is a km long, arc-shaped road along the South Mumbai coast, starting from the southern end of Nariman Point and ending at the famous Chowpatty beach. The coastlines of the Arabian sea and is the best place to watch the sunset in Mumbai, or even to just take an easy stroll by the sea any time of the day or night.
The Marine Drive is also known as the Queen’s necklace on account of its shape and yellow streetlights. It makes for a stunning view at night – you can go to either end of Marine Drive after sunset and see the lights glowing in a perfect arc all along the coast. People come to walk here in the evening to experience the radiant sunset. It is also one of the places people visit late at night and you will find vendors selling chai and sutta at all hours. The sound of the waves, a view of the Mumbai skyline and the starry sky easily make Marine Drive one of the most romantic spots in the city.
GATEWAY OF INDIA:
The Gateway of India is, without doubt, one of the most popular tourist hotspots of Mumbai. It is located at Apollo Bunder Waterfront and overlooks the Arabian Sea in the most beautiful way. One of the most famous monuments in Mumbai, it was built in the year 1924 by famous architect George Wittet as a memorial of the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai. The imposing structure of the monument is a beautiful confluence of Indian, Arabic and Western architecture and has become a popular tourist hub in the city.
Nicknamed ‘Mumbai’s Taj Mahal’, the foundation of this landmark was laid in 1911 and was inaugurated 13 years later in 1924. The structure in itself is a made of yellow basalt and solid concrete and is overstated with numerous Muslim and Hindu motifs as well. The basalt arch of the Gateway served as the entry and exit access to India through waterways before independence and was the exit point from where the last British ship left India for England. There are statues of Swami Vivekananda and Chhatrapati Shivaji that have been installed near the Gateway as well. The view from the sea of the Gateway complex, especially at night, is as beautiful as that of the Queen’s Necklace from the Marine Drive. An imposing edifice, the Gateway of India is a symbol of India’s rich history and cultural heritage.
HAJI ALI DARGAH:
located at the backdrop of a beautiful view of the sea is the holy place of Haji Ali, a wealthy merchant turned into Muslim Sufi. The Haji Ali Dargah (mausoleum) was raised in 1431 in memories of an affluent Muslim trader, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who gave up all his worldly belongings before making a trip to Mecca. People from all walks of life and religions come here to seek blessings.
Built of glass, the tomb is a beautiful illustration of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. A marble courtyard contains the central shrine. The tomb within the mosque is roofed by a brocaded red and green cloth, supported by an exquisite silver frame and marble columns. The main hall has marble pillars engraved with creative mirror work: blue, green, yellow chips of glass arranged in varied designs and Arabic patterns which spell the ninety-nine names of Allah. As per Islamic customs, there are different praying rooms for ladies and gents. Many famous personalities visit the holy place to seek blessings.
The Siddhivinayak Temple is a revered holy place dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is one of the most significant and frequented temples in Prabhadevi of Mumbai, Maharashtra. This temple was built in the year 1801 by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil. The couple did not have any children of their own and decided to build the Siddhivinayak temple so as to fulfill the wishes of other infertile women. It is one of the richest temples in Mumbai and devotees visit this temple in large numbers on a daily basis. The statue of Lord Ganesha here is believed to be self-manifested.
The Siddhivinayak temple has a small sanctum housing the idol of Shri Ganesha, which is about two and a half feet wide and made out of a single piece of black stone. The trunk of the Lord tilts to the right, and a snake adorns the idol much like a thread would. The deity has four arms and is hence known as ‘Chaturbhuj’. He carries a lotus in his upper right hand, a small axe in his upper left hand, a rosary in his lower left hand and a bowl full of his favorite snack ‘modaks’ as well. Flanked by Goddesses Riddhi and Siddhi who signify wealth and prosperity, the image of the Lord here is one that is of utmost importance to the people of faith. A temple of Lord Hanuman is also present in the premises.
MOST VISITED PLACES IN MUMBAI:
Juhu beach, Colaba Causeway, Elephanta caves, girgaum Chowpatty, Victoria terminus, Bandra Worli sea link, Prince of Wales museum, fashion street, Essel world, national gallery of modern art, film city, global pagoda, Sanjay Gandhi national park.