This historical building of CST is definitely an eye candy for history and architecture lovers. This terminal is an integral part of the Mumbai city. The government has opened a railway museum inside this building which very informative.
They arrange a tour in and about this building. The recent addition to this architectural beauty is the laser show on special occasions. The laser lights definitely highlights it's features. So overall it's a must see place.
A week in Mumbai just isn't enough to get to know the city properly. But if you spend three days enjoying an Indian wedding in the company of your family, you're sure to find it a worthwhile experience. My first trip to India came just after I returned from Thailand. With a hangover and a notebook full of drawings, I got home to discover that my cousin was gong to get married to her Indian boyfriend. In India. There weren't going to be many ambassadors from my family, but I was eager to go, and we decided to go a few days early to explore the area and prepare for the wedding.
Our first stop was at Juhu Beach on the norhwest coast of the city, which allowed us to have direct contact with a reality that we had previously only imagined. Juhu Beach is a very popular tourist destination for Indians, with a lot of hotels - for those who can afford it. There are many actors, actresses and other Bollywood professionals living here, facing the Arabian Sea, and it shows in the Starbucks stores, spas and restaurants scattered along Juhu Road. As a tourist, you are expected to avoid walking, and take a taxi everywhere; although Gandhi abolished the caste system, the sad reality is that you can clearly see class differences between the citizens.
There's a complex web of traditions and ingrained habits that make it difficult to resolve social differences. The streets of this neighborhood are not very well paved, very dirty with heavy traffic and reckless drivers. Every dya at sunset, the beach is full of people walking, talking, snacking in the bars, in groups of friends, couples, families. Only children go into the water without clothes; adults go in pants, sarees and kurtas. Although the guidebooks advise against it, we tried several specialties in a snack bar and it tasted like heaven - vegetarian samosas with a variety of lentils. Funnily enough, pasta has become a popular dish. It must be quite exotic here, macaroni or spaghetti. In short, Juhu Beach is a good choice if you are looking for a place to relax and unwind after an excursion to the Elephanta Island, the Gateway of India and the Prince of Wales Museum.
Elephanta Island is a small island with famous cave temples and lots and lots of monkeys. You can catch a boat to Elephanta Island on the piers next too the Gateway of India, which I'd recommend because the boat trip also lets you take in the vast industrial expanse of the Port of Mumbai from the sea. You can buy tickets on the boasts themselves, but there are tons of different boats so the best thing is to ask each of them and compare prices.
Known as the Hanging Gardens, these beautiful gardens are situated atop Malabar Hill. They were built in 1881 and its real name is Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens. Hedges of these gardens have animal shapes, there is also a children's area with rides, but mostly known for its excellent views of the city.
Amid the chaos, noise, cars and pollution in central Mumbai, you can find a silver lining of peace. Next to the University of Mumbai and recognizable by the clock tower, are the famous "maidan". The word means "field" and they are huge gardens with some grass and vegetation, but mostly consisting of sand. You will see many walkers and sportsmen here, especially for a sport that drives them crazy: cricket.
The great passion for Indian cricket is undoubted. It's played in every corner of the country. People play everywhere from very small leagues, all the way up to federated organized leagues. The number of chips in the federation is astronomical, it's hundreds of millions! This is a living example that everyone here is interested in this sport with stats similar to professional soccer in other countries. This game takes place in a park in the middle of the big city, across from the High Court and Bombay University. Both places appear briefly in this video in the Colaba neighborhood. You have to come see a game with a sandwich and little bit of water and, it's easy to make friends.
Hundreds of people, called "dohbi", who belong to one of the lowest Indian castes, are involved with this work. The craft is passed down from generation to generation, creating a cycle that is difficult to break out of. Clothes are washed in large water buckets, hit with a stone until spotless, then ironed, with heavy coal irons. These people usually work about 16 hours a day and live next to the water buckets.
There are at least two points of interest worth visiting in Malabar Hill, a hill 50 metres above the sea. There's a Jain temple with white marble and embossed silver doors, and the haven that is the Hanging Gardens. You have the opportunity to explore one of the most luxurious residential areas in the city; real estate prices here are among the most expensive in the world. Here is the official residence of the Governor of Maharashtra, as well as the homes of some Bollywood stars. The view of Bombay is quite impressive.
If you are interested in charming historical things, then here you can admire a masterpiece of art dating back to the time of French colonialism in India. The University of Mumbai has a tower that dominates the campus. It's not as cosmopolitan as other universities in the world; here you can see many students in uniform. The interior is not open to visitors.
This boardwalk is situated in the "now famous" Colaba neighborhood. People come to walk around here, to see historic buildings, the India Gate, and now more fashionable than ever the " Taj Mahal Palace & Tower ". here is where people come to eat, see the boats that take you to different parts o the city, and it is huge. Many families come in colored clothes. There are many people selling things that have already disappeared in Spain. Fun and entertaining
Chowpatty Beach is one of the most representative of Bombay's beaches. It is named in many novels by Indian authors such as White Tiger or Chandra, stories similar to the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. It is located near one end of Back Bay and from here you can see part of the "skyline" of Bombay, facing the Arabian Sea. Bathing is not recommended as like the rest of the city and much of India, there are piles of garbage everywhere, with crows pecking the odd clueless cow. But it is a good place to see the sunset and share moments and smiles with the people of Bombay who come to escape the heat after the working day (or unemployment) and to take a few ice creams and juices. The juice and food stalls by the sea are very curious! Though I would not trust eating or drinking something from them, but they are certainly colorful and full of life! In short, a good place to have a good time, because the people are very friendly, smiling and, barring hustlers who can be a little heavy, in general it is a good part of this great city, wild and fascinating, although there are many that it would overwhelm.
100 metres long and 40 metres wide, this is one of the oldest places in Mumbai, surrounded by small Hindu temples where the faithful make their offerings and ceremonies. It's a different city within Mumbai itself.
This charming white cathedral has little to do with either the slums of Bombay or the traditional Indian architecture. It's more like an example of colonial gothic, as you see in some places. It was, in fact, the first colonial building in the city, dating back to 1718. The minimalist style of the exterior contrasts with the activity of the neighborhood. A good place for contemplation and rest after a morning walk.
A short walk from the Gate of India, which borders the famous Taj Mahal Hotel, is the port of Mumbai. Take a walk here very early in the morning and you can see the fishermen in action. The light here is beautiful, and the climate is quite pleasant. You'll need to ask permission to take photos, but it really is stunning! A good place to go, especially if you're staying in Colaba.
Hutatma Chowk is the Plaza de los Mártires: a memorial built near the Flora Fountain. It is a bronze statue on a pillar: two martyrs holding a flame. In fact, a real flame burns continuously, as in the tomb of the unknown soldier. This monument was erected in 1960, in memory of the 105 members of the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti who were killed by the police while demonstrating peacefully in favor of the creation of Maharashtra state.
The district of Colaba is one of the most visited, because here is where you'll find the famous Gateway of India, the Taj Mahal hotel, the cathedral, etc ... behind the Taj Mahal, there's a succession of completely calm, empty or half-trafficked streets. They are filled with old colonial buildings on the verge of ruin, and there's a romantic air. You can also find accommodation "in extremis": at about 23:30, we were newcomers to the city, and were taken here by a dodgy driver who brought us from the airport. After investigating a few options, we found this mansion where there was a hotel run by fairly orthodox Muslims.
The first question they asked us...are we Jews? I said no, and showed our passports. After that, no problem, and in fact we were able to book another room for some friends due to arrive the next day. The big problem with cheap accommodation in the area is the damp inside the house. The bathroom and walls of the room were rich with mould ... but this was the best place we saw on that first night, of about 3 or 4. It's steps away from the Colaba Causeway, a busy street filled with stalls sending all kinds of souvenirs, as well as restaurants for lunch or dinner. You'll find rats the size of cats in this neighbourhood, too, but that's part of the adventure.
The Friday mosque, the Jami Masjid, is at the corner of ruined builings, black pollution, and crowded markets. The mosque itself is not particularly pretty, is covered with billboards, and is surrounded by heavy traffic. It also rains two out of three days during monsoon season, so it's hard to find in a few hours with the streets full of trucks, taxis, cows and people. And then you end up stepping into a really deep, dark puddle when crossing the street and it even scares the locals were scared, that might not be the best. Today I can laugh, but at the time, I felt overwhelmed because I felt like I was getting nowhere. Then we relaxed and kept laughing, running in the rain, and if there wasn't any space on the pavement, then we ran in the streets on our second day in the city. Incidentally, we went into a fabric, which was covered. It had narrow corridors between the stalls where they sold all kinds of fabrics. Some traders called to us, but most let us pass. Not many tourists go there, so they must have known we were tourists. I didn't take any photos, which I regret now.
Thinking of taking a trip to Mumbai? Wonderful! The city is full of contrasts and travelers will find no shortage of stuff to do in Mumbai. Some of the top things to see in Mumbai are actually UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but most travelers will tell you that it's the city itself with its contrasts, chaos, and diverse inhabitants that's most impressive.
The Colaba neighborhood is one of the most-visited attractions in Bombay. The port and its market are a spectacle no traveler can miss. In the same port you'll also find the Gateway of India, one of the most impressive places to visit in Mumbai. It's a triumphal arch in the Islamic style, and quite different from what most travelers expect.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is another place of contrasts in Mumbai. Its Gothic architecture stands out in the Fort neighborhood, an area with a more colonial air and English influence. The same effect can be seen in the St Thomas Cathedral.
Museums also rank among the many things to do in Bombay. The Prince of Wales Museum and the Mani Bhavan, which is dedicated to Gandhi, are both among the most interesting Bombay attractions. A visit to the Knesset Eliyahoo Synagogue, the Mahalakshmi Temple, the Dhobi Ghat. or Marine Drive are some of the other most popular Bombay activities for visitors and locals. Finally, the historic Elepanta Island is a place that should be on every traveler's list of what to do in Bombay.