Mumbai is a magical city with a unique vibe of its own. It houses India’s most prolific film industry as well as some of Asia’s biggest slums and also the world’s most expensive homes. Additionally, with the largest tropical forest in an urban area, the city truly mirrors the diversity that India is known for. Mumbai is truly a place to see in India so in case you are planning a trip to this action packed city, do check out some of these great tourist spots.
Another great place to take your kids in Mumbai, Taraporewala Aquarium boasts of rich aquatic life. The kids can enjoy witnessing more than a hundred varieties of sea fish along with seven kinds of coral fish, octopus, shark, sea horse, moray eels, turtles and small starfish. Apart from these, products made using shells and pearls are showcased at the aquarium. Visitors can also visit the room that displays fossils, seashells and fish preserved in bottles.
Global Vipassana Pagoda is a large meditation complex and memorial in Mumbai. It was built to honour Lord Buddha. Completed in 2008, this sacred edifice is counted amongst the biggest stone monuments across the Asiatic continent and houses the sacred bone relics of Gautam Buddha in the main dome. Another prominent highlight of this shrine is that it comprises the largest pillar-less dome in the world and surpasses Bijapur’s Gol Gumbaz in terms of size. Global Vipassana Pagoda mesmerizes visitors with its architecture. It has a towering height of about 325 feet and the large meditation hall at the centre of this domed structure has an impressive seating capacity of 8000 people. Main attractions of this complex include the intricately carved Myanmar Gate and a giant marble statue of Buddha. The Bell Tower and its mirror image, Gong Tower depict Burmese architecture and add mote to the architectural charm of the shrine.
An ancient church, built in 1640 and then rebuilt in 1761, The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount is also an important religious place in Mumbai. What adds to the charm of this church even more is that it is situated on top of a hill known as ‘Sunderban Bandra’, which overlooks the mighty Arabian Sea. It is believed that the church has healing powers and for this reason, the church is often flocked by devotees. It is also said that those who sincerely pray at the Mount Mary Church often get their wishes fulfilled. The ‘Bandra Fair’ or the ‘Feast of Mount Mary’ is a week-long celebration held every September at the Mount Mary Church and is the best time to visit.
Dedicated to honor ‘Goddess Mahalaxmi’, this is an ancient temple in Mumbai. A large number of believers throng this temple on Fridays. Also, during the days of ‘Navaratri’ festival, thousands of devotees throng this shrine to witness the celebrations. It is one of the major Hindu religious places in Mumbai.
Nestled in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park at Borivali, the Kanheri Caves also known as the ‘lungs of Mumbai’ is amongst the best places to see during your holiday in the city. It is said to be the only place in the city with the maximum amount of greenery and consequently, a lot of fresh air. Kanheri Caves date back to 1st century BC and are reckoned to be one of the oldest caves in India. They are especially renowned for their natural Basalt formations, ancient Indian styled architecture and the 109 special entrances to the caves. These caves were once a distinctive Buddhist institution for congregational worship, study and meditation.
Situated within Mumbai, Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) has the distinction of being a wildlife reserve in a metropolitan. The national park is spread over an area of 104 sq km, and is popular among wildlife and nature enthusiasts. It is also one of the most visited places in Mumbai, and gets about two million people annually. The park was earlier known as Borivali National Park and was renamed in 1990 after Congress leader and late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s son Sanjay.
Reckoned to be one of the first amusement parks in India, Essel world in Mumbai is a place for everyone. Situated in the Gorai Island, Essel World is one of the biggest amusement parks with its colossal infrastructure and several exciting dry and wet rides. The park remains open all year round and fun activities that can be enjoyed here include ice skating, dancing and bowling. The park has several rides that cater to all age groups and also there are avenues for shopping and food courts for people looking for a holistic experience.
Probably one of the most beautiful temples situated in Mumbai, the Siddhivinayak temple is definitely a must see in the city. Every day, more than 20000 devotees throng the temple to offer their prayers at the temple and on Tuesday special ‘puja’ and ‘darshan’ takes place. Bollywood celebrities too, visit Siddhivinayak to seek blessings. When one visits this place, they can admire the temple’s ancient style of architecture and its many features.
Also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, the museum is one of the most popular places to see in Mumbai. Prince of Wales Museum was built in the early 20th century and showcases several collections of ancient artworks, sculptures and artifacts in its galleries. This place features a collection of 2000 rare miniature paintings from several art schools in India; decorative artworks made from wood, metal, jade and ivory; rare archeological artifacts dating back to the ‘Indus Valley’ civilization in the 2000 B.C can also be seen in the museum. Remnants from the Mauryan as well as Gupta periods are displayed in the museum. There is a section in the museum that includes a collection of reptiles, mammals, amphibians, birds and fishes. On the other hand, another section in the museum displays Indian arms and armor, weapons, swords, shields. The museum has a section comprised of European oil paintings as well.
Known as Marine Drive, this tourist spot has also been called Sonapur by the locals of the city. Marine Drive is a 3km long stretch that links Nariman Point to Babulnath, and is situated at the foot of Malabar Hill. Large crowds of people come to this place to stride along the walkway and to view the setting sun at dusk. Marine Drive is also referred to as ‘Queen’s necklace’, because the street lights make the road look like a string of pearls and create an illusion of a necklace, when viewed at night from an elevated point. Towards the northern end of Marine Drive lies one of the oldest beaches in Mumbai, Chowpatty Beach, which is famous for its bazaars and fast food and snacks such as Bhel Puri, Paav Bhaji, etc.
Believe or not but this 140 years old Dhobhi Ghat (laundromat) is amongst one of the most popular places to see in Mumbai. Travellers actually make sure that they visit Dhobi Ghat on their trip to Mumbai. Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat is Mumbai’s biggest human-powered washing machine, where every day hundreds of people beat the dirt out of soiled Mumbai clothes and linen in 1026 open-air troughs. The best view is from the bridge across the railway tracks near Mahalaxmi train station.
One of the most important religious places in Mumbai, Haji Ali Dargah is truly a must-visit. The whitewashed structure is spread in an area of 4,500 meters and is flanked by marble pillars. Haji Ali is said to have miraculous powers and it is alleged that whoever prays at this place gets his/her wish fulfilled. The location of this holy place for Muslims is situated in the middle of the sea and is attached to the land through a 700 yard pathway that gets submerged in water during the evening high tide.
Located near Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the vicinity of Aarey Colony in Goregaon, Film City is probably the most famous place in Mumbai. Also known as Dada Saheb Phalke Chitranagri, Film City is spread across 520 acres and is absolutely a dream world. It is said that the place is so large that almost 1000 sets can be put simultaneously here. The main highlight of the Film City are realistic lookinge sets, which include fake lakes, fountains, mountains, gardens houses, picnic spots, cities and villages.
Also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), this Victorian Gothic style edifice is situated in the heart of Mumbai City. Just like the Gateway of India, CST is an important landmark of Mumbai. Declared a ‘World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004, Victoria Terminus was built in 1888 and till today stands as one of the best examples of Gothic style architecture in India. It is also one of the busiest railway station in Mumbai.
Probably one of the most visited places in Mumbai, Juhu Beach is situated in Ville Parle. Juhu Beach comes to life mostly in the evening, when people from all walks of life visit here to enjoy sunset, play in the water and treat their taste buds with street food like Bhel Puri and Pav Bhaji.
Another important must see place in Mumbai, the Elephant Caves are situated at a 10 km radius from the Gateway of India, and tourists can travel on motor boats to reach there. The caves are said to be one of the oldest rock cut structures in the country and are a perfect example of archaic Indian art associated to the cult of Lord Shiva. It is reckoned that the caves were adorned with sculptures between in 6th or the 8th century. The island on which the caves are built was originally known as Gharapuri and is a quiet and picturesque island with green foliage and harmless primates. The three-headed Shiva sculpture called Maheshmurti is the main attraction of this island. Apart from it the sculptures of Shiva, in the ‘Shiva Nataraja’ and ‘Ardhanarishvara’ forms are also worth seeing in Elephanta Caves.
Gateway of India is the major landmark of Mumbai City. It was built in the 20th century to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai. Located at the tip of Apollo Bunder, the gateway overlooks the Mumbai harbour that is bordered by the Arabian Sea in the Colaba district. Gateway of India is constituted of a large arch, with a height of 26m and is done in Indo-Saracenic style. Also, Taj Mahal Hotel, which is India’s most prestigious and luxurious hotel is situated close to the Gateway of India and is also a major tourist attraction in Mumbai.