The financial and commercial capital of India is a modern metropolis as well as a living museum of the British era in India.
It was originally a cluster of seven islands namely, Colaba, Fort, Byculla, Parel, Worli, Matunga and Mahim, which have been linked through successive reclamations.
In 1534, the seven islands were ceded to Portugal by the sultan of Gujarat in the ‘Treaty of Bassein’.
The major island of the group of Mumbadevi was passed on to Britishers in 1661, as part of the dowry when Catherine of Braganza married England’s Charles II.
In 1665, the British occupied all the seven islands and leased them to East India Company.
Today, the vibrant metropolis presents a true cosmopolitan outlook.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
Airport: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM), Mumbai, 10 kms away from Mumbai city centre.
Rail: Lakmanya Tilak Terminus Railway Station (LTT) 3 kms away, Bandra Terminus Railway Station (BDTS) 6.5 kms away, Dadar Railway Station (DR) 8 kms away, Mumbai Central Railway Station (BCT) 14 kms. away and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station (CSTM) 17 kms away from Mumbai city centre.
Road: Well connected with NH 3, NH 4, NH 6, NH 8, NH 9 and NH 17.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE:
FORT & MONUMENTS
Gateway of India
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus)
Hutatma Chowk (Flora Fountain)
Rajabai Clock Tower
Karnala Bird Sanctuary & Fort
ISKCON or Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple
Mumba Devi Temple
Siddhi Vinayak Temple
Afghan Church or St. John’s Church
St. Thomas Cathedral
The Gloria Church
Mount Mary Basilica
Netaji Subhash Marg or Marine Drive
PARK & GARDENS
Kamla Nehru Park
Pherozshah Mehta Gardens (Hanging Garden)
Veermata Jijabai Bhonsle Udyan (Victoria Gardens)
Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Essel World & Water Kingdom
Karnala Bird Sanctuary & Fort
MUSEUM & AUDITORIUM
Bahu Daji Lad Museum (Victoria & Albert Museum)
Bombay Natural History Society (Hornbill House)
Mani Bhavan (Gandhi Memorial)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastusangrahalay (Prince of Wales Museum)
Madh, Marve & Manori Beaches
Tansa Lake & Sanctuary
Vaitarna Lake & Dam
Tansa Lake & Sanctuary
ATTRACTIONS OF MUMBAI
Gateway of India:
26 metres high archway was built to commemorate the visit of King George Vand Queen Mary to India in 1911.
It has a main, large arch flanked by two smaller arches, at the top are four spires enclosing a small space with large balconies on either side.
An equestrian statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji and statue of Swami Vivekananda have been installed here.
There are plenty of launches and cruisers anchored in the sea near the archway, which carry tourist to the famous Elephanta Caves.
Famous Taj Mahal Hotel facing the Gateway of India is also a prominent landmark of Mumbai.
9 kms away by sea.
7th century rock cut cave temples on Gharapuri or Elephanta Island dedicated to Lord Shiva is a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.
The Maheshmorti in the main cave is one of the most renowned and attractive sculptures.
Here Shiva is shown is shown in one single carving as the Creator, Protector and Destroyer of the Universe.
Other deities of Hindu trinity, Brahma and Vishnu are also shown in the panels along with Shiva.
The island can be approached by launches and cruises available at the Gateway of India.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus):
First railhead of India is one of the largest and oldest train terminuses of the East.
Designed by F.W. Stevens in Gothic style, the modern terminus is one of the most magnificent railway stations of the world.
It was built over a ten-year period from 1878–88 at a cost of Rs. 16,35,562.
Station has an imposing dome surmounted by a figure symbolising progress.
Recently, it has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Hutatma Chowk (Flora Fountain):
Stone figure of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers is set at the junction of five busy streets.
It is surrounded by fountains and host of mythological figures and was built in honour of Sir Bartle Frere, Governor of Bombay (1862 – 1867).
There is also a martyr’s memorial in the same premises.
Today, the area around the square is a flourishing businesscentre of Mumbai.
Imposing white-pinnacle building was built in 1878 and designed by Gen.
A. Fuller in English Gothic style.
It is 169 metres long and the central structure soars upto 54.2 metres, surmounted by statues representing Justice and Marcy.
Rajabai Clock Tower:
19th century clock tower at the university campus rises to a height of 79 metres.
It is the most conspicuous landmark of Mumbai.
Colonnaded building overlooking the Horniman circle house the Asiatic Society Library.
Netaji Subhash Marg or Marine Drive:
It is one of the most beautiful and popular promenades in the world.
Reclaimed from the Back Bay, the drive starts from Nariman Point via Chowpatty Beach upto the Malabar Hill.
Exhilarating view of the promenade can be enjoyed from Malabar Hill, especially at night, when the string of lights on the curve shine like pearls and appears like a ‘Queen’s Necklace’.
It houses an exotic collection of marine and fresh water fish.
Bahu Daji Lad Museum (Victoria & Albert Museum):
Museum set amidst lush Veermata Jijabai Bhonsle Udyan was originally established in 1855, as treasure house of the decorative and industrial arts.
Today, it has a rich collection if archaeological finds original maps, photographs, prints and paintings depicting the history of Mumbai.
Museum was recently honoured with an ‘Award of Excellence’ by UNESCO under its Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation Programme, 2005.
Bombay Natural History Society (Hornbill House):
It is located near Prince of Wales museum and is a treasure house of nature wonders.
Mani Bhavan (Gandhi Memorial):
Mahatma Gandhi often resided here during his visits to the city.
It is now preserved as a national memorial.
Building houses a research library, a film and recording archive and set of diorama on Gandhiji’s life.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastusangrahalay (Prince of Wales Museum):
It is now of the best museum in the country and was earlier named after King George V, who as Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone in 1905.
Museum a housed in an impressive building built in indo – Saracenic style and is surrounded by well laid out gardens.
This imposing structure at Worli, houses the only astronomical centre of the city.
The circular sky theatre of the planetarium recreates an image of the sky as seen from anywhere on the earth.
A library here has a rich wealth of books specialising on astronomy, astrophysics and space science.
Nehru Science Centre, adjacent to the planetarium is specially designed for children and youth.
Kamla Nehru Park:
Children’s park named after the wife of Jawahar Lal Nehru is perched on the beautiful slopes of Malabar Hill.
It was laid in 1952 and commands a panoramic view of Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach.
“Old Woman’s Shoe” along with the swings and slides in the park are centre of attraction for children.
Pherozshah Mehta Gardens (Hanging Garden):
Beautiful garden was laid out in 1881, atop a water reservoir.
It is also a popular picnic spot and the sun-set view from here is spectacular.