highlights and main attractions of mumbai

Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is India’s financial capital and with its impressive skyscrapers, many wealthy and fashionable inhabitants and lively nightlife it has the feel of a true metropolis. This is India at its most glamorous and hedonistic, and it is no surprise that Mumbai is the birthplace of the Bollywood industry. However, it is also a place of real contrast and mesmerising extremes, where growth and development of new infrastructure is almost a given, but the humble Indian way of life is noticeable in equal measure and UNESCO-protected heritage and local community spirit are never too far away.

Overlooking the Arabian Sea on India’s west coast, Bombay was always an important gateway and port city, which became more significant following the opening of the Suez Canal. The Gateway of India, what many do not realise is that Mumbai is in fact an island, separated from the mainland via narrow creek. 

Mumbai is also a seaside city and a stroll along Chowpatty Beach is wonderful for people watching and soaking up the coastal atmosphere.

where is mumbai?

What is there to see?

Despite the prevalence of soaring skyscrapers, the city has a number of important historical architecture, including British-built Indo-Saracenic (a combination of Indian and Islamic) and Gothic buildings. The Gateway of India is a popular yellow basalt arched monument; Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal is UNESCO-listed and is one of the most impressive rail stations in the world for its unique Victorian Gothic style. Boat trips out to the UNESCO-listed Elephanta Island offer a glimpse into unusual Indian art set in a network of rock-carved cave temples.

Mumbai is also home to many religious monuments, including some interesting Parsi, Jain and Hindu temples. Other cultural highlights include the Prince of Wales museum for its Mughal art or the Mani Bhavan Museum, where Gandhi used to live. Mumbai’s restaurant and dining scene is amongst the best in India and it is possible to try cuisine from all over India in this huge metropolis. The nightlife is equally buzzing and in one of the stylish bars, you may well spot one of India’s Bollywood stars in this city that never sleeps.

Brilliantly connected to the rest of India, from Mumbai it is easy to explore Goa and Kerala’s beaches or Northern India’s highlights, which makes it an excellent temporary base from which to journey into this thrilling country. 

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