Charmingly located on the Konkan Coast, Mumbai is swept by gentle breezes from the Arabian Sea. Owning some fine golden beaches with swaying palms, the city has a natural charm of its own. Undoubtedly, the main charm in Mumbai is the Marine Drive. As the sun goes down, the drive gets illuminated by street lights that make up what is famously called the Queen’s Necklace. Another beach which is almost synonymous to Mumbai is the Chowpatty Beach. Best known to be the spot where Ganesha idols are immersed during the annual festival, the beach is a venue for many religious celebrations. The major draw here, however, remains the scores of small eateries that serve popular local cuisines. Another crowded breach in Mumbai is the Juhu beach, which is a rather happening place with all celebrities of the film industry Bollywood, residing around it.
Mumbai has done well in trying to preserve it natural beauty too. Even as the urban jungle has grown manifold, the population has still kept pockets of greenery within the city. The Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a testimony to this fact. It boasts of being the most visited National Park in Asia and the largest National Park within city limits in the world. The park has within it an ancient art preserve too. The Kanheri Caves are age old caves which were carved out of the rocks there. An important archaeological site, Kanheri Caves is a major tourist attraction. Another green spot on the face of Mumbai is the Hanging Garden or the Pheroze Shah Mehta Garden. This is located on the upscale Malabar Hill area and is definitely a pleasant place to spend some relaxed time.
The charm that the city holds is further enhanced by the architectural wealth it possesses. An architectural wonder and an amazing colonial structure is the Gateway of India, a Twentieth century ceremonial gateway erected for Queen Victoria, the then Empress of England. Fort St. George, the fort within and around which the city of Mumbai thrives is a formidable structure. Beautiful with ancient Victorian and Gothic buildings, the place is still a major financial and commercial hub. The Prince of Wales Museum can be a treat for architecture maniacs and culture buffs. A fine collection of ancient odds the place is a must-visit for all tourists. The most precious gem in this treasure called Bombay is undoubtedly the Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus (originally Victoria Terminus). A world heritage structure, it is a monumental building and a protected site. The magnificence and splendor of the structure can make anyone take it for a fine palace or a royal structure.
A cosmopolitan city in its true sense, Mumbai is a melting pot for people from various cultures and different walks of life. It is this feature of the city that has given it some of the finest religious places in the country. One of the most revered sites for followers of Islam is the tomb of Haji Ali. A white structure located in the middle of the sea, the place can be accessed only during low tide. According to the belief, Haji Ali was a wealthy merchant who erected this mosque. While on his trip to Mecca he died and his body miraculously flowed back to this point where his tomb stands now. The most noted and highly revered temple in Mumbai is the Siddhivinayak Temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesha, most definitely the favourite god of the city. The richest temple in the city, it is patronized by big politicians and most celebrities. A huge number of Churches, Parsi Agiaries, and even a few Jewish synagogues are present in the city, representing its multi-cultural dimension.
The more flamboyant side of Mumbai can be seen in Bandra and Colaba areas. These areas afford the most lavish markets, the swankiest of pubs and the classiest of restaurants. Kemps corner, Breach Candy, Fashion Street and Colaba Causeway are some of the best places to either hangout or simply shop till you drop. The urbane spirit is thoroughly felt throughout the city though. The best and largest of malls can be found towards the suburbs of the city.
To accommodate the huge number of travelers and tourists who arrive here, there are huge number of hotels in Mumbai. From simple to the most luxurious ones, you get it all here. There are also a number of serviced apartments as well as classy business hotels that cater to the needs of thousands who stay here.
Not just another Indian city, Mumbai is a world of its own, Indian in every aspect, yet so different and amazingly mysterious.