Written by Jayant Row in Asia
Viewed by 382 readers since 03-24-2009
Mumbai, earlier known as Bombay is the commercial capital of India. It is the capital of the state of Maharashtra situated on the west coast of India. It is said to contribute the major part of tax revenues to the Indian Government, and is a center for the Bollywood film industry and is also famous as the glamour capital of India.
The paces to visit as a tourist in Mumbai are too many to be listed and it would really depend on the tourist’s preferences as to which places he should visit.
The Gateway of India built to welcome King George V of Britain in 1911 is a monument worth visiting. Situated near the harbor, sea cruises from here are quite a tourist attraction. While you are at the Gateway of India, consider a visit to the Elephanta rock caves, full of ancient paintings and sculptures, situated on Elephanta Island just a short ride away by boat. Opposite the Gateway of India, is also the world famous Taj Mahal hotel and a building as impressive as the Gateway itself.
Just a 10 minute drive away is the Marine Drive. This stretch of road, facing the Arabian Sea is almost semicircular and is also called the Queen’s Necklace. At one end is the famous Chowpatty beach ideal for water sports or just to absorb the atmosphere of the place and the various fast food joints around. Just a little further away are the Malabar Hills from where the Queen’s Necklace must be viewed. The Taraporewala Aquarium is on Marine Drive and can be visited. It is being made over with new underground sea vistas.
If you want to go shopping, ask your guide to take you to the Chor Bazaar (Thieves Market). There are streets and streets of shops, each street having its own specialty. Bargaining is a must, and antiques abound in its narrow lanes.
Go further to Haji Ali, an impressive mosque, built on a promontory in the sea. Nearby is the Nehru Planetarium for some impressive shows about the skies above us. Also close at hand is the Science Museum which is interesting to young and old alike.
Drive further to Bandra, which has some famous old churches, and the Bandra fort, where sometimes musical and other performances are held in the open. At a distance of 30 kilometers from the Gateway of India is the Aarey Milk colony. Its sophisticated dairy is worth a visit as well as the observation pavilion which is on a hill that can give you a view of all the 4000 acres of gardens and parks that are part of this colony. Nearby is Film City, if you are interested in glamour and watching film shooting. Also close by is a beautiful golf course, attached to a five star hotel which will please golf tourists.
Adjacent to the Aarey Colony is the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, a green lung for the city, and having almost 300 kilometers of roads crisscrossing verdant jungles with lots of wild life, including a lion safari. It is a favorite spot for nature lovers, trekkers and bird watchers. Not too far away is the Essel Amusement Park with rides and attractions for the children in your party.
If you are a bird watcher, consider a trip to the Arnala Bird Sanctuary which is an hour’s drive from Mumbai. Drive further to Alibaug and Khim, some beautiful beaches that are actually just across the Mumbai harbor and can also be reached by boat.