As we got down at the Mumbai Central and soaked in some fresh air after almost 16 hours of travel, there lay the city of dreams welcoming us with an open heart. While at first glance it seems like you’ll be overwhelmed by the population explosion you witness at the station itself, but wait till you experience the bliss of being in Mumbai. The city is like a celebration of all the diverse cultures of this country, all seemingly dancing to the same tune in unison, the tune of the very soul of the city i.e., Bollywood. So, join in and dance your way to joy!
Located along the Western Ghats, the city boasts of a pleasant climate almost throughout the year (except during monsoon). The city is adorned with some very unique tourist spots (and I am not talking about celebrities’ houses or movie shoots!) and there is just so much to do here that you’ll be on your toes till the very end. Here, we tell you about top 5 things you ought to do while you’re here:
- The Scrumptious Mumbai delicacies:
Photo by Jason Lam, CC BY-SA 2.0
If you’re in Mumbai and you do not step out to places like Juhu Chowpatty or Girgaum Chowpatty along the Marine Drive to taste the lip smacking traditional Mumbai dishes, well your trip’s a waste. There are a few dishes you absolutely have to try!! At the Juhu Beach or the Girgaum Chowpatty, you can find various stalls that serve most of these dishes right there on the beach! You ought to try the mouth-watering Mumbai’s special Pao Bhaji (a dish made with delicious buns glazed with butter and a splendid vegetable mixture), the amazing Vada Pao, the awesome Bhel puri, the heavenly Bombay Sandwich, the classic ‘English breakfast’, the delicious prawns & crabs and the epic milkshakes. Each of these dishes is a unique preparation that will blow your mind away!
- The thrilling Essel World! :
Water Park inside Essel World – Photo by rajkumar1220, CC BY 2.0
Essel world is an amusement park filled with the most adventurous and thrilling rides that are bound to send chills down your spine. A water park known as the Water Kingdom is also present inside the Essel world and is equipped with exciting water-rides. The rides here are huge and bumpy but extremely fun! Be prepared to be tossed in all possible directions. They have arrangements for small kids as well. Enough joyrides, mazes and toy houses are present to keep your kids engaged! This entertainment city is located on Gorai Island, where you can reach either by road or a ferry ride.
- Visiting Alibaug:
Alibaug Beach – Photo by Nagesh Kamath, CC BY-SA 2.0
Alibaug is a quiet destination away from the constant commotion that prevails in the city. A perfect way to reach Alibaug is by the ferry that takes only an hour as opposed to the bus that takes around 4 hours. This place is extremely peaceful and calm. The beaches here are relatively cleaner and much less crowded. If you’re looking for a place to relax and just lie down at a beach unperturbed, Alibaug is the place to be! Alibaug is also famous for its marine forts. Fort Janjira is an absolutely magnificent piece of architecture. It is a fort built in the middle of the sea! For almost a thousand years, this majestic fort has been standing (or rather floating). One interesting thing about this fort is that amidst all the salty sea water, the fort houses natural ponds of freshwater almost 50-60 feet deep! Such is the beauty of nature! Trust me, there are many more such interesting facts and mysteries awaiting you at this fort.
- A walk in the woods:
Kanheri Caves – Photo by Chaitu, CC BY-SA 3.0
Whether you’re a photographer, a nature-enthusiast or a tourist, a walk in the woods is always a good idea. Imagine strolling through the woods early in the morning when dew droplets still hang in the air and the birds’ conversations echo all throughout. There isn’t anything more refreshing than lying in the lap of Mother Nature and observing the marvellous scenic beauty all around. At the Sanjay Gandhi national Park (SGNP) or the Karnala Bird Sanctuary you can do just that! SGNP is a wildlife sanctuary, quite popular among tourists due to the Kanheri caves (which are hundereds of years old!), the lion and tiger safari, the toy train that goes all around the park and boating at the lake. Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a relatively less popular among tourists but equally awesome and worth visiting. Apart from that, you can trip down to some mind-calming hill stations near Mumbai.
- A ferry ride to elephant caves:
Photo by mike, CC BY-SA 2.0
These caves represent some of the oldest forms of rock-cut architecture and were essentially built as temples dedicated to lord Shiva. Located 10 km away from the gateway of India at the Elephanta Island, these temples are the most marvellous and breathtakingly beautiful examples of architecture that will leave you mesmerised. The Elephanta caves are a UNESCO world heritage site and require at least one visit in your lifetime.
A travel writer by profession Rohit Agarwal loves to observe and explore cultures of the world, languages, exotic locations, traditions and other stuff. He believes in the quote “Writing is the painting of the voice” and hence likes to share his experiences in the form of blogs and articles at his personal blog – http://www.transindiatravels.com.