Mumbai the mesmerizing
commercial capital of India makes a great holiday spot. Mumbai acts as
a gateway for international tourists planning to visit western India.
Mumbai is a convenient starting point from which to tour the beaches
of Goa or travel further down the coast to South India. There are many
tourist attractions in Mumbai, including its beaches, markets,
heritage buildings and film city. Tourist attractions near Mumbai
include the Elephanta Caves and the hill stations of Lonavala and
Khandala. You can have an enjoyable holiday in the cosmopolitan city
of Mumbai, with Indian Horizons.
The metropolitan city of Mumbai derives its name from Goddess
Mumbadevi - the patron goddess of the Koli fisher folk, its oldest
inhabitants. Mumbai is essentially a cluster of seven islands namely
Colaba, Mahim, Mazgaon, Parel, Worli, Girgaun and Dongri. Once upon a
time Mumbai was passed off as a Portuguese princess' dowry and later
an adornment of neo-gothic British architecture. The Portuguese
predecessors of the British preferred to refer to it as Bom Bahia or
the Good Bay.
Located on the long,
narrow coast of Western India Mumbai is a lovely natural harbour.
Mumbai is often referred to as the financial powerhouse, industrial
heartland, and economic nerve centre of India and Bollywood for the
innumerable motion films that are produced here every year.
There are a number of landmarks and places of tourist interest in
Mumbai. For the holy Mahalaxmi Temple, the oldest temple in Mumbai,
dedicated to the Goddess of Wealth is a must visit. Gateway of India,
the monument synonymous with Mumbai, was the principal port when the
visitors came to India by ship. The gateway was conceived, following
the visit of King George V to India in 1911, and was officially opened
in 1924. Close by is the Sassoon dock which is always interesting to
visit at dawn, when the fishing boats come in and unload their catch.
History of Maharashtra
The Chinese pilgrim, Hiun Tsang, visited Maharashtra
during AD 640-641 and was very impressed by the prosperity of the
country, the efficiency of the administration and the character of the
people. He called the land Mo-ho-lo-cha (Moholesh), and was perhaps
the first person to discuss the region and its people.
He says: "The soil is rich and fertile and it is regularly cultivated
and very productive. Men are fond of learning and studying both
heretical and orthodox books. The disposition of the people is honest
and simple; they are tall in stature and of a stern and vindictive
character. To their benefactors, they are grateful; to their enemies,
relentless. If they are insulted, they will risk their lives to avenge
themselves. If they are asked to help one in distress, they will
forget themselves in their haste to render assistance."
The antiquity of this region can be traced to approximately the 3rd
century BC, which is when the Maharastri language, a Prakrit
corruption of Sanskrit from which the term 'Maharashtra' is derived,
was then in use. Marathi, which evolved from Maharastri-Prakrit, has
been the lingua franca of the people of this area from the 10th
And, in the course of time, the term 'Maharashtra' was used to
describe a region which consisted of Aparanta, Vidarbha, Mulak, Ashmak
and Kuntal. The tribal communities of Nags, Munds and Bhils inhabited
this area, also known as Dandakaranya, in ancient times.
They were joined by the Aryas, the Shakas and the Huns, who came from
the North, as well as by foreigners, who arrived by sea. The
Dravidians from the South colonised the land, joining a group which
collectively became known as 'Marathas'
Must See in Mumbai
Gateway of India
What could be more
appropriate a beginning than the 'entrance' to the port of
Mumbai? The ceremonial arch was built in 1927 to Commemorate the visit
of King George V and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar in 1911.
Constructed in honey-coloured basalt, the gateway was designed by
George Wittet, inspired by 16th century Gujarat Style. The changing
light of the rising and setting sun gives varied hues of gold, russet
and pink to the imposing arch. Historically, the Gateway holds greater
significance as the last of the British troops left independent India
by sea, marched through its portals.
Founded by Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Ready money, after whom is named the
earlier of the two structures, was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott.
Flanked by the High Court and the Old Secretariat, the buildings were
completed in 1874. Resplendent in a florid and highly decorative
French Gothic style, the main building with its turrets and gabled
roof has a large circular window, with its outer border originally
made up of twelve stained glass skylights, depicting the signs of the
This blue-basalt building in early English Gothic style was designed
by Col. J. A. Fuller. It has central tower standing almost 180 ft. Two
octagonal towers with their spiralets holding at their pinnacles two
carved figures of Justice and Mercy are situated to the west of the
Sir J. J. School Of Art
Built during the same period as the University, its importance is
heightened by the fact that Rudyard Kipling was born and spent his
early childhood here. His father, John Lockwood Kipling, was the
Principal of the art school and under his tutelage, many local
artisans received training. Some of their works were used to adorn the
buildings being constructed in Mumbai during that period as sculptured
panels and motifs
One of the finest examples of high Victorian Gothic architecture, it
is the headquarters of the Central Railways and is one of the finest
railway stations in the world
Prince of Wales Museum
King George V, who as Prince of Wales, laid the foundation stone of
this museum in 1905. Situated near the gateway of India, it was
designed in the indo-Saracenic style to commemorate the King's first
visit to India. During the First World War, it was used as a hospital.
It was opened as a museum in 1923 and has three main sections: Art,
Archaeology and Natural History. One of the best museums in the
country, it is a treasure house of art, sculpture, China, rare coins
and old firearms. It also has a priceless collection of miniature
The glistering white marble dome crowning this building can be sighted
from a distance as it lies nestled amidst a well-laid out garden.
ALI MOSQUE (7.3 km)
The tomb of a Muslim saint who died while on pilgrimage to Mecca. It
is believed that a casket containing his mortal remains floated and
came to rest on a rocky bed in the sea, where devotees constructed the
tomb and mosque.
Can be visited only at low tide.
HEADQUARTERS OF WESTERN RAILWAY
Completed in 1897. It has, an ornamentation, a sculptured group
representing engineering, commerce and agriculture.
HUTATMA CHOWK (1 km)
Formerly known as Flora Fountain. This is the business centre of
Mumbai, surrounded by offices, banks, colleges and shops.
Built in marble in 1904, the shrine is dedicated to Adinath, the first
Tirthankara or apostle. The walls of the temple are adorned with
colourful paintings depicting various incidents in the lives of the 24
Tirthankaras of the Jain religion. On the first floor is a special
shrine dedicated to Parsvanath carved out of black marble and the
ceiling shows the different planets as personified in Hindu mythology.
KAMLA NEHRU PARK (5.6 km)
Situated on the slopes of Malabar Hill, it is mainly a children's park
named after the wife of India's first Prime Minister. Laid in 1952,
the garden offers a panoramic view of Marine Drive and Chowpatty
MAHALAXMI TEMPLE (7.2 km)
An important Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess of wealth.
MAHATMA JYOTIBA PHULE MARKET (1.6 km)
Formerly known as Crawford Market it was constructed in 1867. This is
principally a fresh produce wholesale market with shops selling
flowers, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish all under one roof. At the
hub of the market is a fountain by Lockwood Kipling (father of Rudyard
Juhu Beach in Mumbai
While on a tour to Mumbai, one can not miss out a visit to Juhu Beach.
One of the largest and frequently visited beaches in India, Juhu Beach
in Mumbai is an indispensable part of the city.
Located on the shores of the
Arabian Sea, 20-25km north of the city centre, Juhu Beach in Mumbai
represents the pulse of the city. With its numerous vendors, food
stalls, entertainment outlets, Juhu Beach is the best beach in Mumbai.
It is a famous hangout zone of Mumbai
Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai
Chowpatty beach is among the
most frequently visited beaches in Mumbai. Situated at the top end of
Marine Drive, It is the only beach in the central part of
Mumbai. Feel lucky to witness the annual thread-tying ceremony and
Nariel Purnima at Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai. Here the idols of Ganesha
are immersed on the last day of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai is
also famous for a huge line of stalls, selling Bhelpuri, Kulfi and
Paan. The shooting galleries, snake charmers, monkey trainers, balloon
sellers and masseurs- enjoy all of these at Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai
Marine Drive, the Jewel of Mumbai
Marine Drive in Mumbai
Located in the central
Mumbai, Marine Drive is one of the most famous beaches in Mumbai. It
was built in the 1920s and 1930s on land rescued from the sea. Walk
around or sit in the evenings- it's your choice. You can even play
with sand or have fun watching children playing around the colorful
Owing to the dramatic line
of street lamps lit up at night surrounding the beach, it is also
known as Queen's Necklace. Recently its name has been changed to
Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Road.
Versova Beach in Mumbai
Located towards the north of
Juhu, Versova Beach is among the other attractive beaches in Mumbai.
It is a home to Mumbai's largest Koli fishing community.
Marve and Manori Beach in
Want to spend a refreshing
weekend? Drive 19 miles from the din of the Mumbai city and find
yourself amidst the beautiful Marve and Manori beaches. These
attractive beaches are pleasant for bathing.
Errangal Beaches in
Away from the hustle and
bustle of the city of Mumbai, the calm and quiet surrounding of the
Errangal Beaches are very welcoming for the tourists.
Gorai Beach in Mumbai
Gorai Beach is another
rustic place to be in Mumbai. It is adjacent to the Manori Beach. The
Gorai creek barge looks like a jalopy but is sturdy and serviceable.
Madh Island in Mumbai
Madh Island in Mumbai is a
peninsula. It might have been an island earlier. The area is bounded
by the Arabian Sea to the west, and the Malad creek to the south. You
can access the area through a bus service from Malad or a ferry
service through Versova.
Beaches in Mumbai are the
most exciting tourists' destinations in Mumbai. Have fun on the sands
bordering the Arabian Sea!
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Mumbai and other tourist places in India.
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How to Reach Mumbai
By Air: Mumbai is an international airport. Many international
airlines operate flights to Mumbai from various parts of the world.
Indian Airlines and many private airlines connect Mumbai with all
major tourist centres in India.
By Rail: Mumbai is the headquarters of the Cent6ral and Western
Railways. Regualr trains connect it with all major cities like
Aghamedabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Calcutta, Delhi, Goa,
Hyderabad, Jaipur, Madras, Nagapur and Trivandrum.
By Road: Mumbai is connected by good motorable roads with all
major tourist centres
Important Road Distances:
PUNE 163 KM
(Via) Panvel 5km
NASIK 184 KM
MAHABALESHWAR 239 KM
AURANGABAD 392 KM
(Via)Pune 163km, Ahmedmagar 120km
PANAJI (GOA 597KM
HYDERABAD 711 KM
BANGALORE 998 KM