The city of dreams, the city that never sleeps, the city of Bollywood, Mumbai. It doesn’t have as many historical monuments as some places in India, but its diversity more than compensates. You’ll find everything from beaches to Bollywood. Here are a few places you have to pay a visit to, if you ever come own to the city of Bollywood.
- Gateway Of India
Mumbai’s most recognized monument, the Gateway of India, was constructed in 1924 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city. It is designed to be the first thing that visitors see when approaching Mumbai by boat. It’s a popular place to start exploring Mumbai.
- Location: On the waterfront in Colaba, south Mumbai. Opposite the Taj Palace and Tower Hotel (which is also worth looking inside).
2. Haji Ali Darga
Haji Ali is both a mosque and tomb. It was built in 1431 by wealthy Muslim merchant and Sufi saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who was inspired to change the course of his life after going to Mecca. It also contains his body. Situated in the middle of the ocean, Haji Ali is only accessible during low tide from a narrow, 500 yard long walkway.
- Location: Central Mumbai, just off the coast of Worli, not far from Mahalaxmi railway station.
3. Dharavi Slum
Mumbai is infamous for having Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi. It’s possible to go on a tour of it. However, many people are reluctant to do so for moral reasons, as they feel it’s poverty tourism. The actual reality is very different though. The tours are really insightful and dispel the negative stereotypes that people usually have. Dharavi is a bustling place, which is full of small-scale industry, and you can even by from the manufacturers there (leather items and fabrics are just two popular things to shop for).
- Location: Near Mahim in central Mumbai.
4. Elephanta Caves
The ancient rock-cut caves on Elephanta Island are worth visiting if you’re spending a few days in Mumbai. There are two groups — one Buddhist and one Hindu. The massive main cave, devoted to Lord Shiva, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1987. It has some impressive sculptures and artwork. Get there by taking a ferry from the Gateway of India.
- Location: Elephanta Island is 10 kilometers (6 miles) east of Mumbai. Kanheri Buddhist Caves at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, in the suburb of Borivali, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Mumbai city center.
5. Juhu Beach and Marine Drive Chowpatty
At the end of a tiring day of sightseeing, relax on the beaches of Juhu and Marine Drive, and watch the beautiful sunset. You can also feast on tasty snacks offered by the multitude of food stalls and mobile food vendors. Our favorites include roasted corn on the cob, bhel puri, pani puri and pav bhaji and kalaa khatta gola.
- Location: Juhu is around 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of the city center, while Marine Drive Chowpatty is in south Mumbai, a short drive from the Gateway of India.