Maximum city Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the financial and entertainment hub of India. From a cluster of seven fishing villages, it catapulted into a pulsating and vibrant metropolis. The expunge of colonialism paved the way for India’s independence, and the new free India, slowly transformed Mumbai into a truly cosmopolitan city. The state capital of Maharashtra, houses people from various faiths across disparate cultures. A first timer in Mumbai may cringe at the paucity of space. It seems chaotic, but slowly the buzz grows into you and the glitzy and dynamic city turns into a place you instantly fall in love with. The Indian Film Industry or Bollywood as it is popularly known is located here. Many iconic studios, like Film City, R.K. Studios hold their bastions in Mumbai. On special requests, Bollywood tours in Mumbai can be arranged. Mumbai is perhaps the only city where over and above the regular monuments and museums, tourists throng to see people getting along with their daily jobs. The dhobi ghats and the assembly of dabba walla are top priority in Mumbai tour plans.
Gateway of India, tops the list of must see destinations of Mumbai. The other attractions of Mumbai include, The Elephanta caves, Marine Drive and the Hanging gardens.
Daily, around mid-day, hundreds of men assemble at Churchgate. Trays of lunch-boxes are hauled onto carts and the delivery crew pedals away to deliver, home-cooked food to its customers. These boxes are earlier collected from people’s respective homes or caterers. Harvard Business School had conducted a study on this system and reported that the chance of error is minimal. It is believed that big corporates like Virgin Atlantic and FedEx have also conducted researches to find out how this chain works so successfully, bearing in mind that people who are involved in the transportation of these boxes are often not very literate. Yet, they rarely muddle up.
One of the main places to visit in Mumbai is the bridge near the Mahalaxmi Station. It is from here that you can look under and see the world’s largest outdoor laundry. It is open 24 hours. It is believed that in the last 100 years, not a single piece of clothing has gone missing. Most of the hospitals and hotels get their sheets laundered here. Dhobi Ghat has secured a place in Guinness book of world records for the largest number of people (496) washing clothes at the same location at one time.
Gateway of India:
The Gateway of India tour is one of the most important aspects of sightseeing in Mumbai. This was built during the British Rule as a landing place for distinguished people. After India gained independence, the last of the British troops marched out through this monumental arch signaling the end of British rule.
Marine Drive or Queen’s Necklace:
The marine drive is a long boulevard of concrete coast serving as a natural bay. Its C shaped. When viewed in the night, from an elevated point its glistening lights seem like pearls strung on a string. This is why it earned the name of Queen’s necklace. The architecture here is more on art deco lines and some of the most important addresses in Mumbai are located here.
At a distance of approx. 10 kms away from the Mumbai coastline, along the Arabian Sea, lie the Elephanta caves. An amalgamation of sculpted caves, these are made out of the basalt rock. There are two sets of caves. The larger group of three caves is Hindu caves and the smaller group of two caves is Buddhist caves.
A few others must see places in Mumbai include the hanging gardens and the Parsi Watch tower. The Kala ghoda is considered an art district and it has its own special charm. It is a revelation of sorts to visit when the Kala Ghoda festival is on. The Chor Bazaar is another jaunt, which a visitor to Mumbai should not miss.