October 11, 2016

Why You Should Include Mumbai on Your Bucket List

The capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra, Mumbai or Bombay is a densely populated city with a population of about 18.4 million. It is also the financial, economic, and commercial hub of India.

Mumbai never fails to excite local and foreign visitors. With its beautiful landscapes, awe-inspiring architecture, warm and lively atmosphere, and a culture that is unique as it is diverse, the city offers an irresistible experience that’s mesmerizing, even surreal – one can be likened to what can only happen in dreams or in movies. Highly popular among tourists, Mumbai is easily one of the most visited and most loved cities in India.

If you’ve never been to Mumbai, never miss an opportunity to explore this amazing city. Here’s why you should seriously consider checking it off your bucket list.

Mumbai’s Rich Heritage and Culture

There are various religious groups that coexist in Mumbai – Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, and Christians, with smaller denominations comprised of Jews and Parsis. The city’s culture is an interesting mix of a diverse range of cultures and their traditional festivals, practices, and traditions.

There are many structures featuring fine colonial architecture – Art Deco, Gothic Revival, Victorian, and Indo-Saracenic. Most of these heritage buildings were built during the British Rule. The most noteworthy of these colonial-era buildings and structures in Mumbai include the Prince of Wales Museum, University of Mumbai, the Gateway of India, as well as the Bombay High Court.

Elephanta Caves

Mumbai boasts of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Elephanta Caves. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the headquarters of Central Railways, is an historic railway in Mumbai that’s a perfect example of Indo-Saracenic Revival Architecture. The Elephanta Caves, on the other hand, are a network of Hindu temples and sculptures found on Elephanta Island.

Mumbai’s Delicious Food

Chicken Curry

If you’re not from Mumbai, you’ll be delighted to find out that the city boasts of street food and other dining options. You will never go hungry as you exploring its chaotic streets because there’s food everywhere. Not to be missed during your Mumbai trip are the dirt-cheap curries, tandooris, vada pavs, misal pavs, and pani puri. When ordering food in restaurants, don’t forget to try Akuri on toast, the Bombay Sandwich, or a paneer masala toast.

Mumbai’s Eclectic Nightlife

Mumbai is an ideal destination for travellers who love to party. It undoubtedly has the best nightlife in India because just like any other modern metropolis, it is always bustling with activity and comes alive as soon as the sun sets. It is home to many funky bars, fashion-forward cafes, high-end restaurants, and clubs offering live performances and indie music – Mumbai has a little bit of everything. You will never get bored in the city and you’ll surely find something to keep you entertained even if it’s very late at night.

Mumbai’s Energetic Movie Industry

Mumbai is the cradle of India’s movie industry. From the first silent films to the highly popular Bollywood film industry, everything about cinema and film traces its roots to Mumbai.

Bollywood films are known to be inspiring, romantic, and moving so catching a Bollywood film at any of its many cinema halls is a must when in the city. If we may suggest, head to Eros Cinema to catch a movie. One of the most iconic landmarks in Mumbai, the cinema hall has been showing Bollywood films since 1938. And while you’re there, do not forget to appreciate the architectural style of Eros Cinema as it is one of the many well-preserved art deco buildings in the city.

Mumbai’s Amazing Beaches

Chowpatty Beach

Facing the Arabian sea, Mumbai boasts of a long stretch of beaches such as Chowpatty Beach, Juhu Beach, Madh Island Beach, and Versova Beach. Mumbai’s beaches are popular tourist attractions and one of the most relaxing things you can do during your trip is to marvel at their beauty, and perhaps watch the sunrise or sunset a few times.

If you need to spend a few relaxing hours after a day of sightseeing, head to Juhu or Marine Drive to take in the cooling breeze and listen to the calming sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Both locations are also filled with vendors selling Mumbai street food such as bhel puri, pani pure, and other traditional treats.

Mumbai’s Bustling Art Scene

Mumbai supports the efforts of the local arts and culture community and proof of this is the presence of government-funded art spaces in the city. When touring Mumbai, take time to check out Jehangir Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Modern Art, and the Prince of Wales Museum or the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Snagrahalaya. The museum features a rare collection of exhibits pertaining to ancient Indian history.

Mumbai’s Warm and Inviting Atmosphere

Mumbai is an open city, one that values cultural diversity. It is a city where everyone is welcome, regardless of culture, race, ethnicity, or economic background.

Aside from tourists, Mumbai also opens its doors to students from all over the globe. Its reputable universities offering world-class educational facilities and training attracts thousands of foreign students across many different disciplines annually. Mumbai is also one of the most tourist-friendly destinations in the world where the friendly locals are approachable and always willing to go out of their way to help you.

Mumbai’s Shopping Street and Markets

Shopping at Mumbai's markets

Mumbai is a shopping destination as well. It is a mixed bag of bazaars, markets, shopping streets, and shopping centers. If you are looking for unique local goods and souvenirs, head to Coloba Causeway and check out the merchandise sold by the vendors there. For a more exciting shopping experience, you might want to check out the Cor Bazaar Thieves Market. Do not be put off by the market’s name because this is where you’ll snag the best deals on unique antique finds. For those who are looking to buy affordable footwear and clothing, you’ll most likely find the best bargains on Linking Road. Other popular shopping destinations in Mumbai include Mutton Street, Mutton Street, Zavery Bazaar, and Crawford Market.

Getting ready for your trip to Mumbai? Spice up your itinerary with these tours and activities.

By: Brendelyn Balaga

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