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Tourist Places In Mumbai

TOP TEN PLACES TO VISIT IN MUMBAI

 

SIGHTSEEING IN MUMBAI

Mumbai is one of the most glamorous and happening cites of India. Being highly influenced by the British during the colonial rule, the city has transformed drastically and is now known as the commercial capital of the country. It has an unfaltering lifestyle and never comes to a halt. Besides, Bombay has been bestowed with a host of tourist attractions which are thronged by a great influx of tourists every year. Therefore, the sightseeing tour to the city will refresh you by all means. Moreover, these tourists spots will not only make your tour exciting, but will also provide an insight into the otherwise hidden legacy of the place. 

 

Gateway of India

Location: South Mumbai
Inaugurated in: 1924 AD
Highlight: It is an excellent example of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.
How to Reach: One can easily reach Gateway of India by hiring taxis or autos, or by boarding buses or trains from the city.

    

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.

Flora Fountain

Location: Fort business district, South Mumbai
Built in: 1864
How to Reach: One can easily reach Flora Fountain by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.

 

Inspired from Flora – the Roman Goddess of Flowers, Flora Fountain is a stone fountain in South Mumbai. Located in the Fort business district, the splendid fountain was built in 1864. It was constructed by the Agri-Horticultural society of Western India and was carefully designed by R. Norman Shaw. Crafted out of imported Portland stone, Flora Fountain was erected at a total sum of Rs. 47,000. 

Today, this magnificent fountain has been coated with white oil paint. Initially, it was intended to be named after Sir Bartle Frère, who was the governor of Bombay at the time of its construction. Nonetheless, it was decided to change the name just before to its inauguration. Situated almost in the center of South Mumbai, Flora Fountain is sited just at the place where stood the original Churchgate of Bombay Fort.

In 1960, the square where the fountain stands, was formally christened as Hutatma Chowk or Martyr’s Square. Flora Fountain has been declared as a heritage structure that continues to soothe the passers-by with its spray of water. Encircled by imperial colonial buildings, the fountain still depicts the royal times. In short and snappy terms, Flora Fountain is city’s famous landmark that definitely deserves a visit.

Mahalaxmi Racecourse

Location: Mahalakshmi, Mumbai
Attraction: Horse races
How to Reach: One can easily reach Mahalaxmi Race Course by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.

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.

Churchgate

Location: South Mumbai
Attractions: University of Mumbai, Nariman Point etc
Highlights: Churchgate is home to Western Railway headquarters.
How to Reach: One can easily reach Churchgate area by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from anywhere in the city.

 

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.

Nariman Point

Location: South Mumbai
Known for: Housing the leading business headquarters of India
How to Reach: One can easily reach Nariman Point by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.

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.

Rajabai Tower

Location: Next to the High Court, Fort Campus, South Mumbai
Built in: 1878
Attraction: Beautiful stained glass windows
How to Reach: One can easily reach Rajabai Tower by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.

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.

Haji Ali

Located: On an island off the coast in Worli, Mumbai
Built in: 1431
Attraction: Beautiful architecture, picturesque backdrop
How to Reach: One can easily reach Haji Ali by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.
 
 
 

Haji Ali is a venerated tomb (dargah) of the Muslims. Not only from Mumbai, people from all parts of India come to pay homage to this mosque. Located on an island off the shoreline of Worli, Haji Ali Mosque looks stunning amidst the blue waters of the sea. It also makes the most popular landmark of Bombay. In 1431, the mosque was built by Haji Ali – a rich Muslim merchant, who gave up all worldly charms before going to the pilgrimage of Mecca. 

As per the legends, Haji Ali left this world during his journey to Mecca and a coffer carrying his body hovered back to Mumbai. Other stories state that the great saint drowned at the place, where the mosque stands at present. On Thursdays and Fridays, the shrine is visited by at least 40,000 pilgrims. Irrespective of faith and religion, people visit the ‘dargah’ to get the blessings of the legendary saint. 

The edifice is a brilliant specimen of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. Built on a small island, the mosque is sited about 500 yards from the shoreline, in the middle of Worli Bay. This island is connected to the Mahalakshmi area by a narrow walkway, which is not even constrained by railings and is prone to sea waters during high-tide. Consequently, you can reach the mosque only during low-tides. 

The walkway, offering 500-yard-walk, is the highlight of this expedition, where the touch of cool waters and pleasing breeze altogether will make this a divine experience. Sprawling in an area of 4,500 meters, Haji Ali Dargah has a tomb that is always covered with a brocaded red and green sheet, supported by a delicate silver frame. The marble pillars inside the main hall are decorated with multihued mirrors and embrace the ninety-nine names of Allah.

Film City

Location: Goregaon (East), Mumbai
Known For: It serves as the venue for the shooting of many Bollywood movies
Attraction: Picturesque Movie Sets
How to Reach: One can easily reach Film City by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the 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.

Malabar Hill

Location: South Mumbai
Attractions: Hanging Gardens, Banganga Tank etc
How to Reach: One can easily reach Malabar Hill by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.

 

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.

Chowpatty Beach

Location: Northern end of Marine Drive, South Mumbai
Attractions: Local delicacies, amusements etc
How to Reach: One can easily reach Chowpatty Beach by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.

Chowpatty Beach is a place that requires no introduction. No tour to Mumbai is complete without visiting this lively beach, which is not meant for sunbathing or swimming, but for eating. Situated at the northern end of Marine drive, Chowpatty Beach is popular amongst people of all age groups. Every evening, this beach gets stuffed with people, amidst food kiosks, ferry rides, balloon sellers, etc. Indeed, it’s a place where you would love to come after a tiring day to please your taste buds, suck in some fresh air and gradually cooling your heels.

Moreover, it hosts various festivals of the Hindus throughout the year. Coconut Festival and Ganesh Chaturthi are the events that bring together people, from all stratus of the Commercial Capital of India. During the sunlight hours, Chowpatty Beach makes the resort of the people who doze under the shade of small trees. However, the evenings transform the whole beach into a venue for some carnival, where children enjoy in ferry rides and pony rides, while curb wayside astrologers make some swift money.

Take a quick bite of ‘bhel-puri’ that once eaten, you will not be able to resist. Relish the local delicacies such as Pav Bhaji, Pani Puri and Kulfi sold at local stalls dotting the beach. Chowpatty Beach acts as a hangout for masses in all seasons. Don’t forget to explore this lively beach of Mumbai, where evenings are bustling and days are quite somber.