Mumbai : The land of contrasts
Mumbai is considered the financial capital of India. This cosmopolitan city is bustling with life in all its shades. From 5 star hotels to cafés and restaurants with extensive cuisines, you will not be short of options to find something for yourself.
This city is home to the Bollywood movie industry where hundreds of movies are made every year. With over 20 million people living there it is quite a fast-paced city that runs like clockwork. This energy can be compared to that of New York’s time square. Except that the energy of Time Square is spread out throughout Mumbai.
As a tourist visiting Mumbai for the first time, you will be surprised to see all colors of life in this city. You can find people rushing to catch the local train on time to reach their offices, the area of slums which cannot be ignored along with the high rise luxury apartments right next to each other. You will truly be surprised at the contrast of people and their lives that make up the very fabric of this city.
There is no shortage of tourist attractions to see in Mumbai, as you will realize that exploring Mumbai is an adventure on its own. You might find yourself getting overwhelmed with all the choices but there are some destinations that one has to visit to make their Mumbai visit a complete experience. Mumbai is famously known as the ‘City of Dreams’ because of the many people hoping to find work in the movie business as well as in the business world.
7 Famous Places To Visit In Mumbai
Mumbai is the capital city of the state of Maharashtra situated at the shores of the Arabian Sea. We have compiled a list of some great places to visit in Mumbai which are worth your time and money.
1. Kanheri Caves
The Prayer Hall of Kanheri Caves, Mumbai, India (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
These pre-historic caves are known to be made in the 1st century and are located in Borivali East in Mumbai. These caves have a vast network of interconnected cave systems. It is believed that the construction was done on these caves until the 10th century. One of the most unique features of these cave systems is carvings and paintings.
Kanheri caves are used as a monastery by the Buddhist monks and several Buddhist sculptures can be found here. For the Buddhist community, these caves are considered important as a religious site. The scenic beauty of the area around these caves is quite different than the rest of Mumbai city.
Tourists can rent bicycles to ride to the caves or even take buses from the entrance of the national park. You can find small shops and restaurants to enjoy the local food and even do shoot some Instagram-worthy pictures and videos.
2. The Gateway of India
The Gateway of India, Mumbai, India (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This popular landmark is a structure that is 26 meters tall and is made out of basalt. The Gateway of India is Mumbai’s most treasured monument. It is located in the Apollo Bander area and is considered one of the most historical places in Mumbai.
The architectural design of the Gateway of India is a unique blend of Roman, Hindu, and Islamic design elements. The Gateway of India was built for the arrival of Queen Mary and King George (the fifth) during the British colonial rule of India in the year 1911.
Today, the Gate of India is a famous spot for photography and as a popular tourist attraction. You can observe the sea and enjoy the local street food with your friends and family. This spot is famous for people just wanting to spend some time outside hanging out with friends and family. You can also take a walk to the nearby market area of Colaba which sells almost everything at great prices.
3. Global Vipassana Pagoda
The Global Vipassana Pagoda, Mumbai, India (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
The need for peace is great among the people living in the vibrant and bustling city of Mumbai. The noise of the traffic and the daily stress of living in a city can make one look for solutions for their mental well-being. The Global Vipassana Pagoda is a stupa that is around 95-meter tall and is decorated with gold. Inside the pagoda, people can sit and meditate together in silence.
The meditation of silent witnessing was developed as a technique that is scientifically proven to bring a state of mental relaxation. The capacity of the meditation hall is enough for 8000 people. It is a great place to be at peace and to find an opportunity to look within. The Global Vipassana Pagoda is one of the most peaceful places to visit in Mumbai.
You can get a free 10-minute meditation class that is offered every day in the meditation hall. You can also find many delicious vegetarian dishes to enjoy in the food section that is built within the premises of the Pagoda. The Global Vipassana Pagoda is located in Borivali West in the Gorai Village of Mumbai.
Also Read: Wonderful Places to visit in India
4. Shree Siddhivinayak Temple
Shree Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai, India (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This temple is one of the best tourist attractions to see in Mumbai. This temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Ganesh which is considered as the god that brings in luck by removing obstacles in one’s path. Devotees from all over India visit this temple for pilgrimage.
This temple is a great way for you to experience the cultural significance of the Shree Siddhivinayak Temple. You will find hundreds of people lining up each day to offer their prayers to the idol of Ganesh. Many people come here to get their wishes fulfilled. You can also visit the nearby temples of Ganesh such as Garodia Nagar Temple and Vazira Naka Temple which are also popular among the Hindu pilgrims.
The Siddhivinayak Temple is located in the Prabhadevi area of Mumbai and it also has a dedicated online following on its website (www.siddhivinayak.org).
Also Read: Things to Do in India
5. Girgaon Chowpatty
Girgaon Chowpatty Beach, Mumbai, India (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This beach is considered the most popular beach in Mumbai and it is also considered the most crowded beach in Mumbai. It might be a challenge for you to find a good spot to sit and relax here. A lot of local people come here to relax with their friends and families after a long day of work. For the locals, Girgaon Chowpatty is one of the most frequented beaches of Mumbai.
Although this beach is crowded, you will find street food as one of the best things to enjoy here. From juices to the local ‘Chaat’, you will not be disappointed by the delicious food choices you have. Taking a stroll on this crowded beach will give you a vibe of Mumbai’s energy.
However, the crowdedness is not for everyone, but it is the best way to know the people and the general way of life in Mumbai.
Also Read: A Complete Goa Travel Guide
6. Juhu Beach
Juhu Beach, Mumbai, India (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
The list will not be complete without mentioning Juhu Beach as one of the destinations to visit. This beach is the most popular beach in Mumbai that is much less crowded compared to the Chowpatty. This beach is great for ending your evenings on a cool and calm note.
If you are in Mumbai for the first time, you can enjoy the sunset while enjoying the local street food and enjoy various activities such as horse-riding. Juhu beach is also a popular destination for the people who gather here during the festival of ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’. During this festival, an idol of ‘Ganesha’ is submerged into the waters as an offering. This ritual is an old tradition that is still practiced until this day.
Juhu beach is full of small shops selling popular street foods such as ‘Pav Bhaji’ and ‘Missal Pav’ etc. There are many other vegetarian and non-vegetarian food options where you can enjoy the locally made delicious items which will not disappoint you.
Also Read: Baga Beach (North Goa)
7. Elephanta Caves
Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, India (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Elephanta Caves is one of the historical places in Mumbai which is also a world heritage site declared by UNESCO. These caves are situated at the Mumbai harbor and are cave temples dedicated to the Lord Shiva of the Hindu tradition.
These caves are believed to be built 1600 years ago and are constructed in a shape of a Mandala. There are several ancient carvings inside these caves representing the old myths of Hinduism. You will also find the status of Shiva with three facets. This status is around six meters in height.
If you are interested in ancient mythology then these caves will excite you and give you glimpses into the ancient past and its relevance to Hinduism.
Mumbai is a high-speed city with youthful energy. It might seem that the people of Mumbai are always running for something. But, once you have spent enough time in the city, you will realize that the city has a beautiful soul and the people here are deeply rooted in tradition and have their own culture. If you do not rush to judge this city quickly and harshly, you might be surprised to find many places which will make your journey and your stay memorable.