- 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)
- High Court
- Rajabai Clock Tower
- Town Hall
- Bassein Fort
- Karnala Bird Sanctuary & Fort
- Elephanta Caves
- Babulnath Temple
- Bholeshwar Temple
- ISKCON or Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple
- Mahalaxmi Temple
- Mumba Devi Temple
- Siddhi Vinayak Temple
- Walkeshwar Temple
- Afghan Church or St. John’s Church
- St. Thomas Cathedral
- The Gloria Church
- Mount Mary Basilica
- Haji Ali
- Raudat Tahara
- 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
- Fantasy Land
- Karnala Bird Sanctuary & Fort
|MUSEUM & AUDITORIUM
- Taraporewala Aquarium
- 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)
- Nehru Planetarium
- Chowpatty Beach
- Erangal Beach
- Gorai Beach
- Juhu Beach
- Madh, Marve & Manori Beaches
- Tansa Lake & Sanctuary
- Vaitarna Lake & Dam
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.
Veermata Jijabai Bhonsle Udyan (Victoria Gardens):
- Lush garden is a comprehensive complex of a Botanical Garden, Zoo and Museum, which has cultural and historical exhibits.
- Elephant, camel, pony and boat rides are available.
- Temple of Lord Shiva to the south of Malabar Hill was built in 1780 and a tall spire was added to the structure in 1900.
- It enshrines a black stone Shivalingam and idols of various gods and goddesses.
- It is dedicated to Lord Shiva also known as Bholeshwar (the Pure One).
- Temple is covered with brass plates and has a red flag adorned with representation of the sun and moon.
ISKCON or Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple:
- Magnificent shrine at Juhu is worth visiting, especially during the morning and evening prayers.
- Shrine of Mahalaxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity is set picturesquely on a rocky promontory at the edge of the sea and is one of the most popular shrines of Mumbai.
- Present temple was built in the 18th century and enshrines elaborately ornamented statues of Mahalaxmi, Mahakali and Mahasaraswati.
Mumba Devi Temple:
- It is dedicated to Mumba Devi, the patron goddess of the city.
- It is believed to have been originally built by Koli fisherman in the 1st century B.C.
- Temple was erected at the present site of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and was demolished by the British in 1739.
- New shrine was later reconstructed at Kalbadevi in 1753 and enshrines a beautifully ornamented image of the goddess.
Siddhi Vinayak Temple:
- Mumbaites have great respect and devotion for this holy shrine of Lord Ganesh, at Prabhadevi.
- Ancient temple near Malabar hill is said to have been built in 1000 A.D. by Silhara Kings.
- It was vandalised by the Portuguese in 16th century and was beautiful rebuilt by Rama Kamthi, a wealthy Brahmin in 1715.
- As per legends Lord Rama made a Shivlingam out of sand (Waluk) and prayed here.
- The sacred Banganga Tank nearby is said to have been created by Lord Rama.
Afghan Church or St. John’s Church:
- Magnificent church at Colaba, with wide Gothic arches and beautiful stained glass windows.
- It was built in 1847, in the memory of the British soldiers who fell in the Sindh and Afghan campaigns of 1838 and 1843.
St. Thomas Cathedral:
- Church at fort is a fine blend of the classical and Gothic styles of architecture.
- It also has several interesting memorials and monuments.
The Gloria Church:
- Church located at Byculla, was originally built by Portuguese in 1632.
- It was demolished and built in Gothic style in 1911.
Mount Mary Basilica:
- Church dedicated to Mother Mary at Bandra is one of the most important Marian pilgrim centres of the world
- It houses the tomb of a Muslim saint, who died while on pilgrimage to Mecca.
- When casket containing his mortal remains floated and came to rest on a rocky bed in the sea, devotees constructed the tomb and mosque at this spot.
- Mosque set amidst the waters if the sea can be approached through a causeway, which gets submerged during the high tide.
- It has marble mosque and mausoleum built by the Dawoodi Bohra Muslims in honour of their spiritual leader, the late Dr. Syedna Tahar Saifuddin.
- Poplar beach in the ‘Heart of Mumbai’ has a special place in the life of Mumbaites.
- It is the venue for important festivals like Coconut day and the Ganesh Chaturthi immersions.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND MUMBAI
Sanjay Gandhi National Park:
- It is located near Borivalli railway station, which is about 35 kms by suburban electric train from the town.
- Park also called a Krishnagiri Upvan, has the Gandhi Smriti Mandir on Pavilion Hill.
- Lion Safari Park is very exciting.
- Kanheri Caves, one of the largest groups of Buddhist caves in western India, are another attraction of the park.
Essel World & Water Kingdom:
- 70 kms away from Mumbai city near Gorai Beach.
- Very popular theme park offers exciting rides and games.
- Water Kingdom nearly is great experience for any water loving individual.
- Nearest railhead is Malad or Borivalli from where the journey has to be made by road and sea.
- It is also approachable by road via Bhayandar on Western Express Highway.
- 29 kms away from Mumbai city at Jogeshwari.
- Amusement Park is smaller in size and cheaper as compared to Essel World.
- 35 kms by suburban electric train to Malad, thence by road.
- Hotels and shacks are available at this lovely beach.
- Clean and calm beach of Gorai, is located 59 kms from the city centre.
- Nearest railhead is Borivali, from there by bus or auto to Gorai creek, which has to be crossed by ferry.
- Famous theme park – Essel World is located nearby.
- Second most popular beach of Mumbai lies on the Bandra-Khar road, about 20 kms from the city centre.
- Crowded beach lined by bungalows and high rise apartments offers various entertainment and amusements.
Madh, Marve & Manori Beaches:
- 44.8 kms, 38.4 kms and 44 kms respectively by suburban electric train to Malad, and thence 12 kms, 5.6 kms and 6.4 kms respectively by road.
- Ferry services available from Marve Manori beach.
- 112 kms away from Mumbai city.
- Fine beach resort was the home of Shivaji’s admiral, Angre.
- There are two sea forts known as Khanderi and Undheri.
- Nearby, Chaul is an old fortress town.
- It is also a convenient base for visiting Kihim and Nagaon beaches.
- Resort is well connected by road with Mumbai via Panvel and Pen.
- 70 kms away from Mumbai city.
- Hindu pilgrim centre is famous for the 11th century Somnath temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- It is also a popular picnic spot connected by local trains from Mumbai.
- 15th century Portuguese Fort is 76.8 kms by sub-urban electric train to Bassein Road and thence 4.8 kms by road.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary &Fort:
- Sanctuary lies on the Mumbai – Goa road, 61 kms away from Mumbai city.
- An old fort nearby is quite interesting.
- 105 kms away from Mumbai city.
- Clean and quiet hill resort in the Western Ghats is a favourite weekend destination for Mumbaites.
- Some of the important sites ate – Charlotte Lake, the Panorama and the Sunset Points and various other viewpoints.
- Matheran is also known for came and leather articles and chikki, a special sweatmeat.
- The ‘Toy Train’ playing between Neral and Matheran was started in March 1907, covering a distance of 21 kms on 610 mm gauge.
- Beautiful section is very popular among the visitors.
- 165 kms away from Mumbai city.
- Beautiful coastal town is famous for Janjira, an impregnable island-fortress, 5 kms south of Murud.
- It was built in 1140, by Siddi Johar and became the capital of Siddis during 16th century.
- The fort remained virtually invincible in its lifespan.
- The palace of the Nawab and the Janjira Caves are worth visiting.
- Murud lies 45 kms south of Alibag and the nearest railhead is at Roha (50 kms) on the Konkan Railway.
Tansa Lake & Sanctuary:
- Tansa Lake is 103 kms by sub-urban electric train to Atgaon and thence 14.4 kms by road.
- Lush forests around the lake are haven for many species of bird’s animals.
Vaitarna Lake & Dam:
- Scenic lake and dam lies on the Kalyan – Nashik railway route.
- It is 122 kms by sub-urban electric train to Khardi and thence 12.8 kms by road.