Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.
There are a variety of tourist attractions in Mumbai - the city of dreams, for tourists who throng this cosmopolitan, entertainment and financial capital, of India. Tourists from within and from all parts of the globe visit Mumbai throughout the year.
Mumbai is the most glamorous and happening city of India. It is also the commercial capital of India. It is a fact that Mumbai never sleeps and those who visit this city will testify to this. The tourist attractions are not only exciting but also offer an insight into the legacy of Mumbai.
To make it manageable to cover all the tourist attractions that Mumbai offers and that includes keeping the length of this hub within reasonable limits, the list of tourist attractions has been divided into instalments. Links to the previous and/or next instalments will be given at the end of the hub so that the reader can read the entire series at one go if he/she reader so wishes.
In this, the first instalment, I list below 10 must-see places to visit in Mumbai that I consider among the top tourist attractions in Mumbai.
Gateway Of India
It will be in the fitness of things if I list Gateway of India as topping the list of the many tourist attractions in Mumbai. The Gateway of India is a landmark tourist attraction not because the majority of the tourists start their Mumbai venture from this landmark but because it became the port of ceremonial entry for the British Governors and Viceroys, to India, once it was completed. And when the British left India, the troops made their exit from the Gateway of India.
Gateway of India is located in South Mumbai. It was inaugurated in 1924. Kissing the Arabian sea, this monument offers a breathtaking view. The Gateway is made into the shape of an arch that has a height of 26 meters. An excellent architectural marvel, it is made of yellow basalt and reinforced concrete.
The Gateway of India commemorates the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India in 1911. The foundation stone was laid that very year.
The famous Taj Mahal hotel stands opposite this landmark. The Gateway of India is a major tourist attraction and a spot which even the local people throng. You can encounter many photographers and vendors of various types of stuff when you visit the place.
A ferry ride can be hired from one of the jetties, for a ride into the Arabian sea. Tours to Elephanta Caves, another tourist attraction, also commence from here.
Gateway of India, Mumbai
They have been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO and are located about 10 kilometres off the eastern coast of Mumbai.
Elephanta Caves are located on Elephanta island, which was formerly known as Gharapuri. The caves can be reached by motorboats taken from Apollo Bunder, near the Gateway of India.
The Elephanta island has 2 groups of caves, having 7 caves in all.
- A large group of 5 Hindu caves
- A small group of 2 Buddhist caves
The caves were made sometime between the 5th and 8th centuries. They have been cut from solid basalt rock. The most significant cave is the Mahesha Murti Cave where huge stone figures of doorkeepers welcome the visitors at the entrance. Inside is a huge hall that has massive stone pillars supporting the roof.
The Elephants caves are dedicated to Lord Shiva and one sees Lord Shiva in both his forms - the shiv ling form as well as in statue form.
A massive 20 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva can be seen in the main chamber as the Trimurthi Sadashiva (Three-headed Shiva), in the form of the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer - the 3 facets of his personality.
Unique and creative architecture and architectural designs can be seen in these caves. These are sculptures of very high quality and architectural excellence. Considering the times the caves were created, it seems an almost superhuman effort carving out these caves from solid rock. It can only be said that they must have been far industrious than us to have been able to create such marvels when technology was not so advanced or they had technology that was far advanced than what we have today but it somehow was lost for future generations.
These caves were Hindu places of worship before the Portuguese rule. When the Portuguese landed here there was a huge elephant statue at the entrance to the caves. This statue is now housed at the Jijamata Udyan, in Mumbai.
Jijamata Udyan was known as Victoria Gardens earlier.
The caves complex or temple complex is spread over 60000 square feet. There is one main chamber, two lateral chambers, a courtyard and some more shrines in the temple complex.
Every year in the month of February, the Elephanta festival - a musical festival - is held. A visit to Elephanta Caves gives tourists an insight into some of the religious and cultural aspects of India. These caves depict several forms and acts of Lord Shiva.
It would benefit the visitors to know that the caves are closed on Mondays.
Trip to Elephanta Caves Mumbai
Film City is a film studio complex located in Goregaon East near Sanjay Gandhi National Park. It is the place where many Bollywood movies are shot.
Mumbai is the Film city of India very much like what Hollywood is to the USA. Mumbai has always attracted thousands of people wanting to try their luck in movies and become famous and rich. The Indian film industry is the largest in the world. thousands of movies are made each year. In technical expertise, Bollywood stands at No 2, after Hollywood.
The first silent movie in India was made in 1911. It is a dream world inside the film city, with modern-day technology at its beck and call to produce movie masterpieces.
Inside, one can find lakes, gardens, helipads, real like buildings, fountains, grounds, several recording and editing rooms etc as many movies are being shot simultaneously here.
Film City was built by the state government for the benefit of the film industry.
To honour Dadasaheb Phalke, the renowned cine figure and father of the Indian film industry, whose dream endeavour this was, film city has been renamed as Dada Saheb Phalke Nagar.
Time Lapse Film City Mumbai
Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus/victoria Terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), is a historic railway station that was formerly known as Victoria Terminus (VT). A beautiful specimen of the Victorian Gothic style of architecture it has been declared a world heritage site. It is the last station on the Central railway, in South Mumbai.CST is also the headquarters of the Central Railways of India.
It was completed in 1888 to commemorate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria and named Victoria Terminus in her honour. The busiest railway station in India it is a terminal for long-distance as well as suburban commuter trains, for the Central Railway in Mumbai.
The CST has marvellous stone domes, turrets, pointed arches and a unique ground plan. With the interiors comprising of wood carvings, tiles, ornamental brass and iron railings, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is an excellent fusion of 2 cultures.
It took 10 years to construct and cost 260,000 pounds when completed, the most expensive structure ever built in Mumbai till then.
Flash Mob Mumbai - CST Official Video
Chowpatty beach runs along Marine Drive, in the South of Mumbai. It is one of the most famous and popular public beaches in Mumbai.
Also called Girgaum Chowpatty or simply Chowpatty, in local lingo, it is the venue of Ganpati visarjan (immersion) during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Thousands of people converge on Chowpatty beach to immerse and many more to just watch the spectacle.
It is also one of the venues where stage performances of Ram Lila are held yearly during Dussehra. The effigy of Ravana is also burnt here on the conclusion of the 9 day Navratri festival.
One can find people from all walks of life and of all ages throng the beach every evening not only to get some fresh air but also to enjoy the variety of the famous Mumbai street food that vendors sell here as also to enjoy the various ferry rides, pony rides etc.
Chowpatty beach almost wears the look of a carnival every evening as visitors come in hordes to have a taste of the amusements like beachside astrologers, professional masseurs, snake charmers, monkey shows, Beebee gun shooting galleries, contortionists and a variety of other attractions.
Local delicacies like kulfi, corn on the cob, chana seeng, pav bhaji, ragda patties, Pani puri, bhel puri, dahi vada, pav bhaji etc are sold by various beachside food stalls and mobile food vendors.
No visit to Mumbai can be called complete without a visit to the famous Chowpatty beach as also the other famous beach - the Juhu beach which is situated further up in Central Mumbai.
Other beautiful and famous beaches are the Versova beach and the Madh Island beach. The Versova beach is known for its proximity to the local fisherfolk community. The Madh Island beach is far from the main city so it is much less frequented and has a cleaner and more peaceful atmosphere.
Sunbathing and swimming is not allowed on these beaches.