This thriving metropolis is the commercial capital of India’s booming economy and is home to the Indian film industry, better known as Bollywood. Mumbai’s colonial past is evident in its architectural gems. Originally an archipelago of 7 small islands eventually joined by land reclamation, the city centre is built on a narrow arm stretching into the Arabian Sea. Cosmopolitan, vibrant and fast-paced, this city overwhelms every sense.

What to see:

  • Gateway of India – Completed in 1924, to commemorate the visit of King George V.
  • Elephanta Caves – World Heritage listed ancient temples carved into rock, located on Elephanta Island, easily accessible by ferry from the Gateway of India
  • Queen’s Necklace – Best seen at sunset, when the lampposts along Marine Drive light up like a string of pearls along the waterfront.
  • Haj Ali Mosque – On a small island off the coast, this Mosque can only be visited at low tide when the causeway to the mainland isn’t submerged.
  • Hanging Gardens – Built over a water reserve, the gardens provide an idyllic perch to watch sunsets over the Arabian Sea.


  • Cinema – Mumbai’s strong ties with the film industry has formed a strong film culture.  The audiences in a cinema can be as entertaining as the films themselves.
  • Festivals – The largest is the 11-day festival dedicated to the Lord Ganesh in August/September, which culminates in the submerging of thousands of clay statues into the sea.
  • Shopping – The many street markets of Mumbai are now overshadowed, but not outdone by mega-malls and designer boutiques.
  • Coconuts – Sold by street vendors all over the city, fresh green coconuts are cooling and cheap.

Secrets of the City:

  • Kanheri Caves – Off the beaten track in the centre of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park are 109 Buddhist caves carved in stone. These caves are less elaborate, and much less visited than Elephanta.
  • Fashion Street – On Mahatma Gandhi Road, stalls sell excess production of local garments, offering cheap clothes and accessories.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Station – Colloquially known as VT it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This transport hub handles around 2.5 million commuters per day, and is a spectacular blend of Venetian Gothic, Victorian Italianate and Indian architecture.


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