About Mumbai

Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. According to the United Nations, as of 2018, Mumbai is the most populous city in the country and the seventh-most populous city in the world with a population of roughly 20 million.

Mumbai is located on the west coast of the state of Maharashtra. Crowned as the largest city of India, this vibrant city is spread over an area of about 437 square kilometers and is located just 14 m above the sea level. Due to its moderate location, the climate of this city can be specified a tropical one with wet and dry summers and cool pleasant winters. Mumbai is a compilation of seven islands and is named after the Koli goddess, Mumbadevi. Apart from being the state capital, the city of Mumbai is also the commercial capital of India. According to a survey, Mumbai is tagged as the richest city of India with highest GDP in Asia. The city serves as the home for significant financial institutions, such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, and the National Stock Exchange of India. The corporate headquarters of numerous Indian and multinational corporations are also located herein.

Mumbai is the most populous city in India and it has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India. Mumbai is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, and the city's distinctive ensemble of Victorian and Art Deco buildings. See Places to Visit for more.

The seven islands that constitute Mumbai were originally home to communities of Marathi language speaking Koli people. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese Empire and subsequently to the East India Company when in 1661 Charles II of England married Catherine of Braganza and as part of her dowry Charles received the ports of Tangier and Seven Islands of Bombay.

During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project, which undertook reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Bombay in the 19th century was characterised by economic and educational development.

Mumbai is the financial, commercial, and the entertainment capital of India. It is also one of the world's top ten centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow, generating 6.16% of India's GDP, and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy.

Apart from the commercial significance, Mumbai is a major entertainment center of India, being home to Bollywood; India’s Hindi film industry. Turn the pages of history and you would know that this cosmopolitan city has a strong historic background as well. The islands of this city have been ruled by Portuguese and British East India Company, whose influence can be seen in its architecture and culture as well. Mumbai has a deep natural harbor, which is why it was re-developed as a chief trading town by British Raj, with various engineering projects in 18th century. The city also played a pivotal role in Indian Independence, marked by major events like the Quit India Movement in 1942 and The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny in the year 1946.

Mumbai is known for its everlasting spirit, which can be seen almost everywhere in the city. Whether you are traveling in a local train in the wee hours of the morning or working late at night in a multinational office, the spirit of the city is sure to engulf you. This is one of the reasons as to why Mumbai is popularly known as ‘the city which never sleeps’. Being a commercial and entertainment centre of India, the city has an amazing amalgamation of people from different cultures, ethnicity and sects which makes it one of the best cities to live in and grow. With many tourist attractions like Gateway of India, Sidhhivinayak Temple, Mahalakshmi Temple, Juhu Beach and Marine Drive by its side, Mumbai city has proved to be a potential tourist destination and is thus, visited by thousands of tourists every month.

Best Time to Visit Mumbai

Home to the celluloid razzmatazz – Bollywood -- the boisterous cosmopolitan metropolis of Mumbai promises to be a mind-bending experience for your senses. A melting pot of various cultures, religions, and culinary traditions, this economic powerhouse, affectionately nicknamed as the “City Of Dreams”.

Home to the celluloid razzmatazz - Bollywood -- the boisterous cosmopolitan metropolis of Mumbai promises to be a mind-bending experience for your senses. A melting pot of various cultures, religions, and culinary traditions, this economic powerhouse, affectionately nicknamed as the 'City Of Dreams', with a distinction of housing Asia’s largest slum, is one city that is sure to leave you transfixed. A city of contrasts that runs with a maniac pace and pulsates with head-spinning energy, prides itself on its wealth of attractions ranging from magnificent architectures to dazzling malls to towering skyscrapers and more. If you wish to decipher the thrill and fun of this electrifying city, then all you have to do is pack your bags and head for it. However, if you are wondering on the best time to visit this metro city so that you don’t miss out on fun, then surfing through this article should leave you with plenty of cues on when to visit this place. To know more on this, read on.

When To Go To Mumbai

Weather In Mumbai: Due to its proximity to the Arabian Sea, Mumbai essentially has a humid climate. Since Mumbai is situated in the tropical zone, it more or less enjoys the same kind of weather all throughout the year. The climate of Mumbai is split up into three seasons - summers, which lasts from March to May, monsoons, that starts from June and exists till September and winters, that stays from November to February. Winters are hardly cold here because of the coastal influence. The months between March and October are the most humid months in Mumbai while dryness lasts from November to February.

Choosing Your Favorite Season: Mumbai stays warm and humid for most part of the year. However, if you wish to avoid scorching summer temperature and high humidity, then anytime between November to February should be fine. The sky is usually clear during this time and the temperature remains comparatively cooler than rest of the months. The mercury soars up during the months of March, April, May and June, attracting fewer travelers to the city. Monsoon usually always hits Mumbai by the end of June, and despite of torrential rains and moderate temperature, the weather remains humid. Although monsoons in Mumbai promises to be a mind-bending experience, its best to stay away from this city during the peak rainy seasons since heavy downpour can lead to water clogging and floods.

Best Time To Visit: The winters are by far the most agreeable season of the year. In fact, it is the best time to pack your bags and head for Mumbai. The humidity is lesser compared to the other seasons and the light breeze, cool weather and moderate humidity just adds to the delight of winter. It is the best time to hit the city of Mumbai and explore it to the fullest. Mumbai is at its colorful best during the festive months of September and October when festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali and Bakrid, sum up as double treat for the visitants. Extravagantly decorated streets, shops and houses add to the city’s visual extravagance. Thus, if you wish to visit Mumbai, then the months from October to February are your ideal bet.

Gardens in Mumbai

If you thought that the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai was all about air-conditioned malls, share markets, skyrocketing skyscrapers, cacophonic temples, beaches and warrens of bazaars, well, you are just partially true! Amidst the bustling buzz of city crowd and choking traffic.

If you thought that the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai was all about air-conditioned malls, share markets, skyrocketing skyscrapers, cacophonic temples, beaches and warrens of bazaars, well, you are just partially true! Amidst the bustling buzz of city crowd and choking traffic, Mumbai offers a true repose to wearied hordes with its lush green gardens and fascinating parks. Dotted with many exotic gardens, a trip to these exotic eco-friendly parks is indeed the best way to beat the heat, experience some green, and relax and rejuvenate. The gardens in Mumbai offer a break from its deafening dissonance and stifling pollution. These green attractions not only tots up as a true repose for fagged out body and mind but also sums up as the best place to hang out with your family or friends on a hot summer day or on a breezy afternoon. Scroll down this article and explore more on the green destinations in Mumbai.

Famous Gardens Of Mumbai

Horniman Circle Gardens: Horniman Circle Gardens is a sprawling park in South Mumbai, spread across a whopping area of 12,081 square yards. Situated in the Fort District, formerly known as Bombay Greens, this garden has an old history that dates back to the 18th Century. Inspired by the Park Crescent of London, this beautifully and meticulously designed park with its well-maintained foliage, neoclassical porch, a small park, well planned walkways and rows of trees, is one of the favorite hotspots for early morning joggers.

Hanging Garden (Ferozeshah Mehta Garden): Hanging Gardens, also known as Ferozehshah Mehta Gardens, is nestled on the western side of the city, on top of Malabar Hills. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, this garden offers the best sunset view to the visitors. Situated over the Main reservoir of the city, this picturesque garden was constructed in the 1880s and was later renovated in the year 1921. Special attractions of this garden are the various animal shaped topiaries and the striking flower clock.

Kamala Nehru Park: Kamala Nehru Park is situated just opposite to the Hanging Gardens, in Malabar Hills of Mumbai. Named after Kamala Nehru, wife of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, this park is the popular stamping ground for the bourgeois middle class. It is said that Kamala Nehru Park is to Mumbai what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, a vantage point from where you can look the entire city, from Queen’s Necklace to Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach. Special attraction of this place is a structure called the ‘Old Woman’s Shoe’ which is believed to be inspired by the nursery rhyme - �There was an old woman�.

Victoria Gardens (Jijamata Udyan): Victoria Gardens, better known as Jijamata Udyan, is located in Byculla of Mumbai. It is a botanical garden and a zoo with an exotic collection of rare plants and trees. Laid out in the year 1861, the garden campus stretches itself to Victoria and Albert Museum, which houses magnificent architectural relics like huge elephant from Elephanta Caves, Renaissance Clock Tower and more.

Balodyan Gardens: Balodyan Garden also famous as Children’s Garden, is sited in Charni road station in Mumbai. Built to support and encourage creativity in children, this garden is especially meant for women and kids alone. The garden remains open on all days from 8.00 am to 12.00 noon and 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm in the evening.

Joseph Baptista Garden: Located in the Mazagaon Hill and named after an Indian freedom fighter Kaka, Joseph Baptista Garden is a wonderful place with lots of greenery and herbs. It provides a wonderful site of the portside and city side. Constructed in 17th Century during the Mughal rule, this beautifully designed public municipal garden offers a vantage view of the entire city.

Mumbai Port Trust Garden: Mumbai Port Trust Garden is a scenic garden located in the backdrop of the port of Mumbai, near Colaba Causeway Street. Maintained by Mumbai port trust, this place offers attractions like naval yards and port views. The garden expanse houses exquisite lawns with wonderful fragrant flowers that give a perfect ambience for leisure.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park: Sanjay Gandhi National Park, previously known as Borivali National Park, nestled on the northern fringes of suburban Mumbai, is a sprawling urban park that boasts of rich flora and fauna. The undulating greens, open expanses and the famous Kanheri caves makes for some of the greatest tourist attractions of the park. Occupying most part of the northern suburbs, this bustling park truly stands out as a green park amidst the sprawling metropolis.

History of Mumbai

Mumbai, one of the world’smost vibrant metropolises, has a rich history to relate. Originally, the land of Koli fisher folks, the remnants of which remains cowered on the shorelines of modern Mumbai, today this land stands as the ground for new ideas and groundbreaking trends.

Mumbai, one of the world’s most vibrant metropolises, has a rich history to relate. Originally, the land of Koli fisher folks, the remnants of which remains cowered on the shorelines of modern Mumbai, today this land stands as the ground for new ideas and groundbreaking trends. Feted for its diverse history, this land had witnessed many empires come and go, many a forts being built and dismantled, many a movements rise and fall. Mumbai, which got its name from local goddesses Mumbadevi, was the home to Koli fishermen community that mainly comprised of the tribes coming from Gujarat, Konkan and Vindhya Plateau. Initially an archipelago of seven little islands - Mahim, Parel, Colaba, Mazagaon, Wadala, Old Women’s Island and Matunga-Sion, this city was brought together by an ambitious reclamation project that joined all the islands to form a single landmass. If you are interested in magnificent history of Mumbai then go through the article to find out the legacy of Mumbai.

Mumbai History

Period Of Hindu Rulers: With the defeat of Kolis community in 350 BC, Mauryan Empire Ashoka took over the throne and bought with him a cultural and religious amalgamation of Hinduism and Buddhism. However, with the decline of the Mauryan Empire, the land was passed under the dominance of Satavahanas, who became the longest ruler in history to rule this land. After the decline of Satavahanas, the area came under the dominion of Abhiras and Vakatakas, who ruled the islands concurrently for a little less than one-and-a-half centuries. Later in the 5th century, Kalachuris held the power on island. In 6th century, the Konkan Mauryas overtook the land and it was during their period, the world famous Elephanta Caves came into being. Later in early 7th century, Chalukyas defeated Konkan Mauryas and ruled the glorious land until 750 BC. Their power came to a halt when Rashtrakuta Dynasty from Karnataka captured the island. With the passage of time Silhara dynasty established its rein over the land from 810 AD to 1260 AD. The last Hindu ruler to rule the land was Raja Bhimdev of Yadav dynasty. However, with the incursion of this area by Muslim rulers of Gujarat, the supremacy of Hindu rulers ended in 1348.

Mughal Period: With the capture of land from Hindu rulers, Mubarak Khan of Khilji dynasty of Gujarat established his dominance over this land. During the 15th century, the land was seized by Bhandaris who ruled this land for a period of eight years. However, the area was recaptured by Rai Qutb of Gujarat Sultanate. Later the glorious rule of Gujarat Sultanate was cut short by the Portuguese, with small break in between resulting from the attacks of the Bahamani Sultanate of Deccan. During the dominance of Gujarat Sultanate, rulers constructed various mosques, which are noted even today. Of all the popular monuments, the mosque of Saint Haji Ali, also called as Haji Ali Dargah, is the most popular.

Portuguese Rule: In 1534, the Portuguese who already established their dominance in western coast of Diu, Daman and Panjim, took over Mumbai after defeating the Gujarat Sultanate. They named their new possession as �Bom Baia" which meant "Good Bay� in Portuguese. With the Portuguese power in Mumbai, numerous churches came into existence. However, only one church with Portuguese-style portico remains - the St. Andrew's church at Bandra. Apart from churches, Portuguese also showcased their possession by building number of forts at Sion, Bandra, Mahim and Bassien. After hundred and twenty eight years of magnificent rule the island was given to the English King Charles II in the form of dowry on his marriage to Portuguese Princess Catherine de Braganza in 1662.

British Rule: Mumbai port legally came under the control of King Charles II of England in 1662 after his marriage to Portuguese Princess Catherine de Braganza. However, it was in 1665 all the seven islands of Mumbai came under the Britishers. Later in 1668, British government handed over the land to East India Company for an annual rent of 10 pounds. Impressed by the natural harbor, East India Company moved its main holdings from Surat to Bombay, the present day Mumbai. In the later years, the port city progressed under the hands of company. The year 1720 witnessed British constructing Bombay Fort and carrying out land renovation to link all the seven islands. Apart from this, Bombay also played a vital role in major political affairs during pre-Independence struggle.

Post Independence Era: After attaining Independence from British rule in 1947, Bombay became the capital of so-called Bombay Presidency. Later the presidency was divided into two states namely Maharashtra and Gujarat and with the merging of sub-urban areas, Bombay city came into existence in April 1950. Later in the year 1995, Bombay was officially renamed as Mumbai. Today Mumbai, the dream city is one of the most visited cities in India.

How to Reach Mumbai

Mumbai -- a true cosmopolitan city, where tradition and trend walks hand in hand, where the world’s first billion dollar home and largest Asian slum exists side by side, where dreams and disappointments exist together, is perhaps a land of great paradox.

If you have been planning a trip to Mumbai, then surfing through this write-up should leave you with enough info on how to reach the city. But before you start, just know that Mumbai is one of the most well-connected Indian metropolises when it comes to talking of communication. Mumbai has the best national and international air, road, rail and marine links, which makes this place the hub of all international trades. To know more on how to reach Mumbai, read on.

Traveling To Mumbai

By Air: The international airport in Mumbai is named after the great Maratha ruler Chattrapati Shivaji where both domestic and international flights fly. Many eminent airlines have their operations in Mumbai and are apparently considered to be the busiest airport with almost 45 landings per hour. It is well connected with many national and international cities and is rightly renowned as the gateway of the country. The international terminal is called Sahara International Airport, which is 30 kilometers away from northern Mumbai. The domestic terminal is called Santa Cruz which is 25 kilometers away from the city. These two terminals have regular taxi services shuttling.

By Rail: Mumbai is considered the center of operations of the Indian Railway System. The main railway station is known as Chattrapati Shivaji Railway Station where many trains shuttle between major cities of India. The other major stations are Bombay Central, Churchgate, Dadar and Kurla. Railways in Mumbai are the most preferred means of transport here for its large availability and frequency. As far as the local transport in concerned, there are local trains as well as suburban electrical train network. If you plan to go to Mumbai from your city by train, you have to plan well in advance.

By Road: Mumbai has one of the best public bus transport services, ranging from regular buses to deluxe buses, and is well connected to most of the major national highways. The network of roads that connect the city to other major cities and states of India, offers the best road services. The major national highways are 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 17, which passes through the city. It also has an impressive taxi service, both local and national.

By Ferry: Mumbai has one of the best marine services and navy support force in India. Being one among the best natural harbors in the globe, it handles most of the passages and freight in the country. One can reach Mumbai in ferryboats and ships easily since it lies in a coastal region. Many ferries, boats and ships shuttle to major countries and locations in the country and around the world.

Local Transport In Mumbai: Mumbai has a proficient network of local transport that can take you all around the city. This metropolitan city has a regularized metro rail service. As far as the local trains are concerned, it is one of the most commonly used means of transport in Mumbai. Yellow taxis, double-deckers and BEST buses can be found all around the city. One can also try suburban electric trains which, which is both time and cost effective.

Monuments in Mumbai

Mumbai, the city of wannabes and ambitious aspirants stands as one of the monumental example of its striking colonial past. Influenced by British colonial rule, the city of Mumbai has emerged from the relics of its imposing legacy to modernization and liberalization.

With spectacular landmarks and architectures to boast of, Mumbai is mobbed with great number of tourists every year. The colonial history, diverse culture, rich architecture, majestic monuments and epigraphic edifices just adds to the city’s charm. A trip to this city of dreams is perhaps the best way to explore the hidden legacy of its monumental edifices. Explore the article to know more about the famous landmarks of Mumbai.

Landmarks of Mumbai

Gateway Of India: The Gateway of India is indeed the city’s most legendary monument. Located at Apollo Bunder area in South Mumbai, this architectural marvel scores over any other buildings in Mumbai. This symbol of colonialism was built by George Witte to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. Although the foundation stone for the structure was laid in 1911, it took nearly 13 years to complete this humongous monument. With a great architectural design to boast of, this bold archway attracts tourists in crowds. Revered as the pride of Mumbai, the Gateway of India is one of those few monuments that will forever stay close to the heart of Mumbai.

Victoria Terminus: Victoria Terminus is one of the main railway stations in Mumbai. With a massive stone structure and magnificent style to its name, Victoria Terminus stands tall as one of the most massive structural designs of Mumbai. The architecture of the building, which blends Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival with the traditional Indian architecture, has been an epitome of artisanship and elegance. Designed by Mr. Frederick William Stevens in 1887-88, this colossal terminus was conceived to commemorate the Victoria Jubilee Day in 1887. The statue of Queen Victoria on the stone dome, turrets and woodcarvings makes this place as awesome architectural edifice and the pride of Mumbai. Victoria Terminus, which is popularly known by its acronym VT, was renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in 1996.

Elephanta Caves: Elephanta Caves, the home to many primeval temples, is located in Mumbai’s Elephanta Island. This island is the abode to a series of bravura caves, which dates back from 4th-9th centuries. One of the highlights of these caves is the Maheshamurti Cave, which houses a 6m high statue of the three head Trimurti or Lord Shiva. This popular sculpture showcases Shiva as the creator, preserver and the destroyer of the universe. Other popular sculptures of the caves are Gangadhara, Uma Maheswara, Kalyanasundara and Ardhanariswara. If you visit Mumbai then don’t forget to take a trip to the Elephanta Caves and explore its artistic finesse.

Rajabai Clock Tower: Rajabai Clock Tower, located within the University of Mumbai, is one of the important landmarks of Mumbai. This 260 feet high clock tower was built between 1869 and 1878 by the renowned English architect George Gilbert and was modeled on Big Ben, the clock tower in the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, UK. The clock tower was named after the mother of a 19th century stockbroker, Premchand Roychand, who contributed towards its construction. The blend of Venetian and Gothic styles makes the clock tower one of the magnificent structures of Mumbai. The Rajabai Clock Tower houses the University library, which is famous for its stained glass windows. The clock of the tower rings once in every 15 minutes, reminding the people the value of time.

Flora Fountain: The Flora Fountain in South Mumbai, which was designed by R. Norman Shaw, was erected in 1869, in the honor of Sir Henry Bartle and Edward Frere. Flora Fountain, situated in the heart of the city in front of the Public Works Secretariat, provides a magnificent view of architectural feat. The Flora Fountain, which was named after the Roman Goddess Flora, looks beautiful in night when the fountain gleams with lights. Even though the place is known as Hutatma Chowk, it is still famous as Flora Fountain.

Mumbai High Court: The Mumbai High Court, situated in the Fort area, is one of the oldest and perhaps the most glittering example of stupendous architecture. Built according to the Gothic style, the building was designed by Col. J.A. Fuller, a British engineer. Although the building was inaugurated in 1862, the first sitting in the court took place in January 1879. The Gothic designs of the high court are impressive enough to bedazzle a visitor.

Kanheri Caves: Kanheri Caves, situated in the middle of greenery of Borivali National Park, is one of the must-see places of Mumbai. As per the historical records, Buddhist monks started their work on these caves in 1st century and continued until 11th century AD. Popular for its architectural wonder, each cave looks beautiful with its artistic chiseled work. This place definitely serves as the best weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Mumbai Food

Mumbai, one of the most popular travel destinations in India, is widely feted among food connoisseurs for its tantalizing farrago of tempting food platter. From the local street side fare to the ‘amchi dabbewalas’ to fusion menu and more, the food culture of this urban metropolis.

The food culture of Mumbai, just like its diverse way of life, is a mishmash of fascinating flavors and tastes. Loved and relished by foodies from all across the globe, the cuisine of Mumbai isn’t just about authentic Maharashtrian food alone but also includes continental dishes, hybrid cuisines, comfort food and more, which adds to the cosmopolitan culture of the city. From spiffy, self-catering, swish food bars to the street-side food joints, Mumbai is chock-a-block with eateries that cater to all taste. Mumbai houses some of the best restaurants, from slick international food joints to fancy Indian restaurants, which offers a smorgasbord of food and flavors from all across the globe. Explore the article to know more about the delicious Mumbai food.

Mumbai Food Guide

Maharashtrian Platter Or Thali: If you wish to experience the real flavor of ‘amchi Mumbai’, just order yourself an authentic Maharashtrian thali and binge on the various vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies and experience real Mumbai. The Maharashtrian thali is an enticing assortment of luscious local cuisine like ‘Shrikhand’, ‘Puran Poli’, ‘Bombil Batata Bhaji’, ‘Kamag Kakri’, ‘Solachi Kadhi’ and more. Mama Kane located at Senapati Marg in Dadar is nearly a century’s old traditional restaurant that delights you with its old charm and authentic Maharashtrian food. Aram in Bandra East is another Maharashtrian restaurant popular for its swift service and authenticity. Other preferred restaurants for traditional thali are Amey Upahargruh at Bandra East, Manas Sarovar at station road in Chembur and Madhura Upahar in Dadar.

Street Food: Mumbai being a cosmopolitan city prides itself on a wealth of exotic delicacies from all across the globe. However, if you ask the Mumbaikars to suggest one best place to relish true Mumbai food, then the choice is unanimously the street-food-stalls. From boti kebabs to paneer masala to yummy chaats and fiery snacks, Mumbai street-side stalls is indeed one place that Mumbaikars swear by. If you wish to relish the street side savories, then Bandra is the place to go. Other place where you can find best Mumbai treats are Churchgate, Andheri, Borivali etc. These lip-smacking foods are also available on beach stalls of Chowpatty and Juhu.

International Cuisines: Mumbai is a land of diverse tastes! Hence, one should not be surprised to see the line of swanky cafeterias, posh bistros and exotic restaurants, both Indian and international, standing tall among the busiest streets in Mumbai. From Italian and Chinese to Mexican and Lebanese, Mumbai is replete with eateries that specialize in continental and western cuisines. With authentic flavors and awesome ambience, the swanky food hotspots like Ming Palace, Gelato Italiano, and the very regal Gaylord, offers the best eating experience, great international cuisine and awesome wine. Some of the other popular restaurants, which serve best international cuisines, are Relish at Churchgate, Olive Bar & Kitchen at Khar, and Wasabi in Taj Hotel at Apollo Bunder etc.

Museums in Mumbai

Mumbai, the chaotic metropolis, famous for its glamor, din and not to forget, its atrocious traffic and choking population, throbs with a rich historical legacy that remains unparalleled in its grandeur and stateliness.

Mumbai owns much of its historical heritage to the British government who bestowed this land with many artistic buildings, cultural heritages and magnificent museums. Right from century’s old gruesome battle to political scenes to heroic feats and more, all have left an indelible impression on the city’s heart that is echoed in the museums and in its collections here. A trip to these museums is thus the perfect way to delve deep into the rich history of Mumbai. Explore this article to know all about the finest and rarest historical souvenirs on the face of Mumbai.

Mumbai Museums

Bombay Natural History Society: Bombay Natural History Society, located at the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road in Mumbai, is apparently the largest non-governmental organization in India. Founded in 1883, this society houses a museum that boasts of replicas and rare specimens of vertebrates, insects, butterflies, beetles and embalmed reptiles. Tourists can obtain a temporary membership of the society, if they want to get access to the library, lectures and slide shows. If you want to visit the society then you will need to take prior permission. The society is open for your service from 10.00 am to 1.30 pm and 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm on all days.

Mani Bhavan Museum: Mani Bhavan Museum, also popular as Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya, is a must visit place for all those who are curious to know about Mahatma Gandhi and his life. Located in Laburnam Road in Mumbai, the memorial is dedicated to legendary freedom fighter and the father of nation, Mahatma Gandhi. This is the building where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his stay in Mumbai from 1917 and 1934. It was from this building that Gandhi started his Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Non-Cooperation and Khadi movements. For the past fifty years, the building has served as a memorial of the Mahatma and it displays various aspects of Gandhi and his life through picture gallery, short film and a vast library.

Bhau Daji Lad Museum: Bhau Daji Lad Museum, also popular as Victoria and Albert Museum, is one of the oldest museums in Mumbai, situated amidst the picturesque Jijamata Udyan. This museum houses a wide assortment of archaeological relics, maps and pictures that offers a sneak peek into the history of Bombay. Apart from this, the museum also houses a historical library that has as many as 4000 books. The museum is open for your service on all days between 10.30 am to 4.30 pm except on public holidays.

National Gallery Of Modern Art: National Gallery of Modern Art, located near Regal Cinemas at M.G. Road in Fort area, is a government organization that comes under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The gallery, popular for its displays on Modern Contemporary Art of India as well as other countries of the world, houses the paintings of noted painters like M.F Hussain and F.N. Souza. This art gallery also displays other favorites like Egyptian artifacts and a collection of Pablo Picasso's works. If you are somewhat of an art connoisseur, then a visit to this place is sure to delight you. You can visit this gallery from Tuesday to Sunday between 11 am to 5 pm.

National Maritime Museum: National Maritime Museum of Mumbai was set up by the Indian Navy to showcase the models of ships and historical treasures of India obtained from all over the world. This museum was set up in Mumbai as this was the only natural harbor, which handled nearly half of the country’s maritime trade. If you are interested to take a look at the stunning models of navy ships, then you can visit the place between 10 am to 6 pm.

RBI Monetary Museum: RBI Monetary Museum, which comes under Reserve Bank of India, is located at Amar building in Phirozeshah Mehta Road, Fort area. This amazing museum takes you down the numismatic history across different dynasties and rulers and expounds the concept of money and its affluence. This museum has a rich collection of coins and currencies, ranging from the ancient to medieval, Mughal, colonial, British, Independent India and more. Apart from these collections, this museum also gives the visitors an in-depth info on RBI and its role.

Jehangir Art Gallery: Jehangir Art Gallery, located at Kala Ghoda locality of Mumbai, has the finest display of art by the most famed artistes. Constructed in 1952, the building of the gallery is a beautiful mansion, managed by the Bombay Art Society. This modern venue serves as a well- known platform for the artists to display and sell their work. Jehangir Art Gallery gathers a lot of media attention every year and aspiring artistes wait for their turn to exhibit their works in this prestigious gallery. You can visit the gallery on any day of the week between 11 am to 7 pm.

Nehru Planetarium: Nehru Planetarium, situated on Dr. Annie Besant Road in Worli, was inaugurated by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on March 3, 1977. Within few years, Nehru Planetarium came to acquire a distinct identity and grew into a massive centre for study of astronomy and scientific lectures. Planetarium also houses a restaurant, library, art gallery and a cultural centre. Apart from this, the planetarium also has a movie hall, where visitors can enjoy various films on astronomy. You can visit the planetarium on any day between Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10.30 am to 5 pm.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum or Prince of Wales Museum, located at M.G. Road in South of Mumbai, is a great historical museum. Its said that the foundation stone for this building was laid down by George V, the Prince of Wales. Hence, the name Prince of Wales Museum. Earlier the building served as a military hospital for the victims of World War I, but was converted into museum in 1923. The museum houses three exclusive sections namely art, archaeology and natural history. Apart from its rarest collections, the museum is also popular for its Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. The museum remains open for public from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10 am to 5 pm.

Asiatic Society Of Mumbai: The Asiatic Society of Mumbai in Town Hall near Fort area is famous for its milk white neo-classical building, wide steps and striking pillars. The society was founded in 1803 by Sir James Mackintosh, a distinguished lawyer and jurist. This library is a storehouse of thousands of rare books and manuscripts and includes the original manuscript of Dante's Divine Comedy. This magnificent library, which has featured as Bombay High Court in many Bollywood films, is wadded with stone staircases, cozy alcoves and life-size statues of British-era governors, officials and altruists, making this place a visual treat for the eyes.

Mumbai Nightlife

Mumbai, the city of rich power moguls and posh glitterati, swish bars and archaic bazaars, mayhem and madness has come to be the hallmark of fashion, fun, film and after-dark frolics. With spectacular streets and electrifying nightlife.

A sparkling conurbation that glistens with lights and reverberates with music, Mumbai is indeed the hub of nocturnal tourists. With lounge parlors, discotheques, posh clubs and throbbing parties entertaining the night traffic, Mumbai nightlife is something that is sure to leave you bedazzled. Whether you wish to swing to DJ beats, lounge on low couch and sip on premium liquor or just rub shoulders with silver-screen stars, the clubs and discs in Mumbai is indeed the place to go. To check out more on nightlife in Mumbai, read on.

Nightlife In Mumbai

Discotheques: Mumbai city, that grooves and gyrates to pulsating beats every night, is known for its electrifying nightlife and sizzling discotheques. Electric, house or trance, the discos in Mumbai cater to every musical trends. The classy lounge, swish bars, neon lights, loads of blings and amazing DJ line-ups just adds to the party fever. So if you are looking for some late-night reveling, the hip discos are the place to go. Some of the most popular are Fire And Ice Disco in Lower Parel, Jazz By The Bay in Marine Drive, Three Flights Up near Regal Cinema, Razzberry Rhinoceros near Juhu Centaur and Blend and Brew behind Geeta Bhavan Restaurant. So, if you wish to dance till you drop, you know where to go!

Nightclubs: If you have loads of cash to burn, wish to catch up with some Bollywood best stars, or just be a part of the jet set Gen-X, the nightclubs in Mumbai are the place to go. If you love deafening music, stunning fashions and hottest females in the city, then raiding the nightclubs in Mumbai should leave you satiated. The nightclubs in Mumbai are one place where the party is always on. Although there are plenty of nightclubs in Mumbai to choose from, only some of them really offer the best in terms of ambience, service and security. Polly Esthers, situated in Gordon House Hotel, is one nightclub that offers best drink, music and food. Other famous nightclubs of Mumbai are Fire And Ice, Zenzi, Club Escape, Poison, Bling, Insomnia and Prive.

Bars and Pubs: The phrase - ‘city that never sleeps’, goes down well with Mumbai. With sparkling conurbation gleaming with lights, life, music and drinks, Mumbai indeed knows how to buoy up ones bashing spirit with plenty of fun and booze. With dozens of gastro-pubs opening up in recent years, with their identikit decor, exotic carte and beer, it has become difficult to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Most of the hotels have their own bars. However, for the best drinking experience, hop on to popular bars and pubs of Mumbai like Blackout, Cafe Mondegar, Hard Rock Café, Shiro and Campus Pub.

Places to Visit in Mumbai

Mumbai, the city of dreams, is an inebriating ragbag of colonial relics, soaring skyscrapers, ultrachic malls, archaic bazaars, fashion and film in one hand, and grinding poverty, mushrooming slums and social unrest on the other.

If you happen to be in Mumbai, then don’t forget to take a quick tour down the popular tourist’s destinations. Here is a list of must-see places in Mumbai. Stroll down the following write-up and get exploring.

Tourist Attractions In Mumbai

Gateway Of India: The Gateway of India, the yellow basalt emblem that proudly perches itself at the tip of Apollo Bunder in South Mumbai, stands as an exaggerated impression of the colonial times today. Built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V, this bold basalt gateway was conceived and designed by British architect George Wittet. Apart from a spectacular view, this archway stands as a favorite gathering spot for both the locals and the tourists, Indian and foreign. From giant balloon sellers to snake charmers to horse ride in gilded carriages and spectacular boat rides to the Elephanta Island, a visit to the Gateway of India is indeed to leave you thrilled.

Flora Fountain: Flora Fountain, located at Martyr’s Square in the business centre of South Mumbai, was erected in 1864 in the honor of Sir Bartle Frere, who was the governor of Mumbai at that time. This stunning stone architectural heritage, with sterling floral designs, is a perfect architectural amalgamation of exquisite sculpture, breathtaking design and cascading water. Today, this magnificent fountain, which is inspired by the Roman Goddess of Flowers, stands as one the major tourist attractions of the city of Mumbai.

Marine Drive: If you love fun, entertainment and are a game for joyful activities, then a stroll down the Marine Drive is the best way to experience the real spirit of Mumbai. Located between the concrete jungle of Nariman Point and green leafy slopes of Malabar Hills, Marine Drive tots up as one of Mumbai's most popular promenades and sunset spots. Popularly called as the Queen’s Necklace, this seafront remains the favorite spot for courting couples and anyone in a mood to enjoy some fresh air. A visit to Mumbai is incomplete without hitting the throng of food stalls here.

Chowpatty Beach: A fast food lover’s favorite destination, Chowpatty in South Mumbai is located at the northern end of Marine Drive. Almost synonymous to the food and fun culture of Mumbai, this veritable beach, which is thronged with large crowds every evening, is famous for its food kiosks, ferry rides, monkey shows, wayside astrologers, magicians and not to forget, Mumbai chaat. So don’t forget to pig out on kulfis, yummy chaats, pani puris, paav bhaajis and eat your heart out while you are here at Chowpatty.

Elephanta Caves: Elephanta Caves, the elegant rock-cut temples on the serene Elephanta Island, is a splendid work of art. Originally known as Gharapuri, this cave temple was re-christened by the Portuguese as Elephanta after the Elephant statute in the Island. Located in the Mumbai Harbor, just 9 km away from the Gateway of India, this century-old temple proudly stands as a manifestation of elegance and beauty. Carved somewhere between 450 and 750 AD, the main attraction of the cave is the large sculpted panels relating to Siva and a 20 feet tall statue of Trimurti, which demonstrates the role of Siva as the creator, preserver and destroyer.

Chor Bazaar: Chor Bazaar, the Mumbai’s shopper’s paradise, is a must visit place for all antique lovers. Located at Grant Road station of western railway lines, Chor Bazaar offers a wide array of shops catering to an impressive range of century-old antique jewelries, handicrafts and other timepieces. Apart from antique pieces, you can also find spare parts of vehicles, clothes, shoes, furniture, jewelry etc. over here. Bargaining is the key to shopping here. If you know to bargain, then Chor Bazaar is the ultimate shopping place for you.

Juhu Beach: Juhu, the sprawling beach flanked by the Arabian Sea, is one of the most striking suburban locales in Mumbai. Home to many Bollywood stars, this open beach is the hub for the well-heeled populace. Located in the central suburbs of Mumbai, this coastline serves as the ultimate leisure spot for kids, couples and beach lovers. With its amazing vista, attractive eateries, turquoise waves and more, Juhu is indeed one of the most loved tourist hotspots in the city. As the sun goes down, you can catch up with the local food vendors and snack on Mumbai’s street side fare while enjoying the swooshing breeze.

Haji Ali Mosque: Haji Ali Mosque, one of the sanctified landmarks of the city of Mumbai, is situated at the end of a concrete causeway protruding into the Arabian Sea. This sacred mirage, that houses the tomb of the Mulsim saint Haji Ali, was built in the 19th century and till dates stands as one of the most revered shrines for the Muslims. Legend has it that Haji Ali passed away during his pilgrimage to Mecca and his casket miraculously drifted back to this spot. Noted for its amazing beauty, this pearl white mosque is thronged with pilgrims from all over the world.

Jehangir Art Gallery: Jehangir Art Gallery is situated at Kala Ghoda in Fort area. This famous art gallery is the ideal venue for artists to display their creativity. The gallery, which is managed by Bombay Art Society, was founded in the year 1952 by Sir Cowasji Jehangir at the request of K.K.Hebbar and Homi Bhabha. A huge institution in itself, Jehangir Art Gallery attracts number of visitors from around the world. The gallery is open for your service on all days between 11 am to 7 pm.

Nariman Point: Nariman Point of Mumbai is a busy commercial hub, which houses almost all the corporate and industrial buildings. Named after Khursheed Framji Nariman, a Parsi visionary, the area is situated on the extreme southern tip of Marine Drive. The political headquarters of Maharashtra, Vidhan Bhavan is also located in Nariman Point. Apart from being the business hub, the place is also quite popular for its shopping and entertainment sources. The entire place is believed replicate Manhattan and is popularly called the Manhattan of India.

The Prince Of Wales Museum: The Prince Of Wales Museum or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is magnificent Gothic and Moorish style architecture with an imposing white dome adding to its grandeur. Located at MG road, the museum was set up in the beginning of 20th century to honor King George V's visit to India, while he was still the Prince of Wales. The Museum has three main sections namely art, archaeology and natural history, which displays good collection of ancient Indus valley artifacts and some of the other precious exhibits of ancient India.

Film City: Film City, located in the outskirt of Mumbai in Goregaon, is one of the popular tourist destinations. Film City is the dream project of Dada Saheb Phalke, one of the legendry filmmakers of the country. Today Film City serves as the background for most Bollywood films. With the beautiful indoor and outdoor shooting areas as well as well-equipped recording and editing rooms, this studio is one of the magnificent film studios in the country. With the fountains, lakes and real-looking mansions, Film City is the must visit place in Mumbai.

Essel World: Essel World, Mumbai’s famous amusement park is located close to Gorai Beach at Borivali. Mumbai’s only international-style park, Essel World is quite famous for its special ferries and number of amusement rides. Some of the amusements of park include standard roller coaster, adventure themes and water world. If you love to have fun in water, then this place is sure to woo you. The Essel World is open on all days from 11 pm to 7 pm and the time extends up to 9 pm during school vacations.

Shopping in Mumbai

Often described as a bargain hunter’shub, Mumbai is indeed every shopper’sparadise! With the city’sinternational chain of markets, fancy supermarkets, archaic bazaars and magnificent malls, we know that the reputation is no exaggeration.

From air-conditioned malls to designer boutiques, from branded shops to street side stalls, Mumbai indeed has a lot to offer to the shopaholics. You can buy almost anything here, right from apparels to perfumes, cosmetics, antiques, trinkets, handicrafts, furniture, books, jewelry and more. Just hop into the city and explore its shopping extravaganza! The experience is going to be unlike anything else you have ever lived before. Get on with this article to check out the hottest shoppers stop in Mumbai and indulge in some retail therapy.

Shopping Places In Mumbai

Crawford Market: Crawford Market is one of the busiest markets in Mumbai, located in the southern part of the city, to the north of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Designed by Lockwood Kipling, the father of famous novelist, Rudyard Kipling and named after the first municipal commissioner of the city, Arthur Crawford, this market stands out as a vivacious display of Norman and Flemish architecture. This vibrant bazaar, which always jostles with life and action, is popular citywide for its wholesale fruits, vegetables, poultry products and mutton. Crawford Market also caters to a host of other items like cheese, chocolates, cosmetics, food items and more, all in reasonable rates. Don’t forget to hop into the food hub of Mumbai, if you happen to be in South Mumbai for a scrumptious shopping delight.

Colaba Causeway: Colaba Causeway, one of the bustling commercial areas in South Mumbai, is the prime shopping destination for the shopaholics. Established by British East India Company in 1838, the Causeway is the home to some of Mumbai’s renowned shopping stores and has been the ultimate shopping hub for price-conscious homemakers and thrifty travelers. Whether you are looking to buy authentic Maharashtrian Kolhapuri chappals or just grab good deals in shoes, Causeway is the place to go. From cosmetics to leather goods to imported items and more, you are likely to find almost everything here. However, the fun isn’t limited to shopping alone. Colaba Causeway offers some great food experience to the visitors with a wide variety of bistros and restaurants, attracting flock of foodies every time.

Bandra: Popularly known as 'Queen of Suburbs', Bandra is one of the poshest areas in Mumbai and is the home to cosmopolitan crowd and many illustrious Bollywood celebrities. This highly sought after locale with its high-street markets, bistros, elegant malls and designer stores have been the ultimate shopper’s hub for the high-end buyers. Bandra is flanked with many Indian as well as international outlets and is highly popular for its extensive street shops. Linking Road in Bandra is the most popular shopping destination for bargain hunters.

Fashion Street: Fashion Street, nestled in MG Road, is the ultimate fashion hub for the fashionistas. Hugely popular among students and college crowd, one can grab fresh off the rack branded apparels and shoes here, right in throwaway prices. If you are looking for trendy, cheap and chic stuff to buy, Fashion Street is the place for you. From clothes to chunky accessories to cool junk jewelries, you can grab everything here in darn cheap prices. But for that, you have to haggle your way out. Haggling is the main mantra for shoppers here to grab deals in great prices. So if you are someone who loves to wear flashy designer or cool branded stuff, you know where to go for shopping now.

Chor Bazaar: If you love your antiques and wish to grab the best pieces in best price, then Chor Bazaar is the place to go. Located in Mutton Street near Bheendi Bazaar in South Mumbai, Chor Bazaar is apparently one of the largest flea markets in India. Chor Bazaar, which literally means thieves market, is antiquarian’s paradise, where you can buy almost anything from old ship parts, antique vases, brass statues, silverwares, coins, jewelry, gramophones, crystal chandeliers, wooden carvings and Victorian furniture, all and more in a reasonable price. This paradise for antique lovers is open for your services on all days except on Fridays. Whether you are looking for Ming vases or wish to add Muranos to your collector’s item, Chor Bazaar is the place to shop.

Zaveri Bazaar: Zaveri Bazar, located in Bhuleshwar in South Mumbai, is the most popular place to shop for jewelries and gems and is a huge hit with women and jewelry freaks. Flanked with diamond, gold and silver jewelry shops, the bazaar is an ideal place for shopping branded jewelry. This great tourist attraction is not only popular in India but is also famous worldwide. Zaveri Bazaar also serves as headquarter of the biggest jewelry retailer in India- Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri. However, if you wish to buy jewelry from here, don’t forget to confirm the rates before signing off a deal.

Temples in Mumbai

If there’sone place in India that can wow you with its aesthetic splendor and frenzied religious passion, it’sMumbai. From majestic shrines to simple roadside temples, Mumbai is packed with temples that are as diverse as its traditions and topography.

If there’s one place in India that can wow you with its aesthetic splendor and frenzied religious passion, it’s Mumbai. From majestic shrines to simple roadside temples, Mumbai is packed with temples that are as diverse as its traditions and topography. If you wish to explore the diverse sanctimonial legacy of India, there is no other unique place better than Mumbai to live the experience. Thronged with temples and holy shrines that boast of artistic elegance and rich religious legacy a trip to Mumbai is incomplete without witnessing its spiritual grandeur. With incredibly diversified architecture, deities, style, history and traditions to recount, the marvelous temples of Mumbai indeed offers a rich divine experience. A visit to the various temples in Mumbai can leave one brimming with devotion and wonder. Read the following section to know more on the famous temples of Mumbai and explore its religious legacy.

Famous Temples Of Mumbai

Mumba Devi Temple: The city of Mumbai was named after Mumba Devi, who is considered to be the patron Goddess of Mumbai. Mumba Devi is none other than Goddess Parvati in the form of Shakti. This 3 centuries old temple was built in the year 1737 at Bori Bunder. Later it was rebuilt at Bhuleshwar in the central where VictoriaTerminus is located. It is one of the oldest temples in Mumbai. There are many other deities in the campus of Mumba Devi temple.

Siddhi Vinayak Temple: Siddhi Vinayak temple is located in Prabhadevi and is one of the most visited temples in Mumbai. This temple enshrines the grand deity of Siddhi Vinayak or Lord Ganesha along with his consorts Riddhi and Siddhi. The temple is designed with innovative architecture and style. Devbai Patil and Laxman Vithu founded the temple in the year 1801.

ISKCON, Mumbai: Another major attraction of Mumbai is ISKCON temple, which is situated at Juhu. It was established in the year 1978 by the Founder Acharya A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Thousands of devotees and visitors flock to this temple all through the year. This sprawling marble temple that houses the idols of Lord Krishna, Radha and other deities has facilities like libraries, guest houses, large auditorium for lectures and a huge campus with well maintained surroundings.

Walkeshwar Temple: Walkeshwar Temple is one of the oldest temples in Mumbai. It was constructed around 1050 years back by the Silharas on Malabar hill. It is famous for its exquisite design and structure and profound style. The name Walkeshwar temple came from Valuka Ishwar, which means the Lord of Sand. After the attack of the Portuguese during 16th century, it was remodeled in the year 1715 and was again remodified during the 1950s. Mythology has it that this was the place where Lord Rama halted on his way to Lanka. Lakshmana brought a shiva linga made of sand and Lord Rama erected it for performing puja, which is now known as Walkeshwar.

Babulnath Temple: Located at the end of Marine Drive, towards the southern top of Malabar Hills, the Babulnath Temple stands dedicated to Lord Shiva. Flooded with large group of visitors and devotees all around the year, the architecture of this ancient Shiva temple reminds one of the Kailash Mountain. You can avail local transport facilities to reach Babulnath Temple. Although the temple is opened to devotees on all days, the best time to visit this temple is from August-September.

Mahalakshmi Temple: Located at the seacoast on the northern part of Malabar hills, Mahalakshmi temple is one of the eminent and the oldest temples of Mumbai. With the exquisitely adorned idols of Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswathi and Mahakali presiding in the temple and with millions of visitors and devotees thronging the temple all around the year, this fascinating architecture indeed has a lot of reverence attached to it. You can easily reach the temple with the help of local transportation.

Jain Temple: The famous Jain Temple of Mumbai, also famous as Babu Amichand Panalal Adishwarji Jain Mandir, was built in the year 1970 and is mainly visited by the Hindu Jain Deravasi Community. The Jain Temple is particularly noted for its marvelous architecture with aesthetic carvings, pillars and two stone elephants on the door. It is situated quite close to the Walkeshwar, near to Ridge Road, on the way to the famous Kamala Nehru Park.

Tourist Places Near Mumbai

Mumbai may be the commercial, financial and celluloid capital of India, but there is more to this city of slumdogs and millionaires than just its frantic melange of extremes.

From swanky clubs to seedy slums, Mumbai is one metropolis that wows and appalls you at the same time. Added to this is the frantic frenzy of the crowd, financial excess, communal tug and choking pollution that can just leave you shell-shocked. If the awful traffic, fretting smog and shocking poverty is too loud for your senses and you wish for an escape from the din and bustle of Mumbai city life, then exploring the tourist places near Mumbai should give you that much-needed break. There are a host of places fringing Mumbai, from monumental centers, to picnic spots, wildlife parks and more for you to explore. Scroll down to find out some of the exotic places to visit around Mumbai to go, relax, enjoy and carry memorable moments with you.

Tourist Attractions Around Mumbai

Karnala Bird Sanctuary: Karnala, one of the famous fort cities, located in Panvel Taluka of Raigad, Maharashtra, 54 kilometers away from Mumbai, is the ultimate paradise for the bird-watchers. Established in 1968, this bird sanctuary serves as the home to migratory birds and other resident birds. Dotted with old forts, mountain ranges, lush forests, rivers and an exotic potpourri of flora and fauna, this place is highly famous for its avian songsters. Best time to flock this eco-friendly destination is between November and February.

Kanheri Caves: Located 40 kilometers away from Mumbai, Kanheri Caves in Borivali is seated deep within the picturesque greens of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. This simple and minimally embellished basalt cave, which once served as the seat of Buddhist monks, is adorned with the unique figure of Avalokiteshwara, which is the major tourist attraction here. Small cells, curved pillars, stone idols, defaced woodwork and platforms are the other highlights of this cave. You can easily reach Kanheri caves from Mumbai by local trains, cabs and buses.

Matheran: This hilltop destination is a huge favorite with tourists seeking for a quite recluse, away from the city din. Situated 108 kilometers away from the city of Mumbai, this popular gateway between Mumbai-Pune is located on the Sahyadri range. Whether you wish to see the panoramic view of nature or experience the most breathtaking views of sunrise and sunset, Matheran is one place that is sure to wow you with its natural splendor. Special attractions of Matheran are Charlotte Lake, Malet Spring, Porcupine Point, Echo Point, Panorama Point, Heart Point, Monkey Point, Alexander Point, Mount Berry, Luisa Point etc.

Karjat: Situated 70 kilometers away from hustle and bustle of city life, this truly picturesque tourist outpost, streaked with lush green plains, hilly terrains and unspoiled atmosphere, is the ultimate hub for the adventure freaks. Located in the backdrop of Bhor Ghat, Karjat serves as an ideal place for trekking and river rafting. You can also catch up with other tourist hotspots like Bahiri Cave, Nakhind, Chanderi and Kondheshwar Temple here. This hilly hamlet is well connected to Mumbai with local trains shuttling between the city and Karjat almost every day. Best time to visit Karjat is between November and March.

Khandala: One of the most popular hill stations in Maharashtra, Khandala, perched on the Sahyadri mountain range, is appropximately101 kilometers away from Mumbai. An ideal place for outing, this green hill station offers the ultimate sports for adventure freaks like trekking, hiking and rock-climbing. Khandala has umpteen numbers of attractions like Tugauli Lake, Lonavala Lake, Bhushi Lake, Karla and Bhaja Caves, Duke's Nose etc. You can reach Khandala by tourist buses or private cabs from Mumbai. Best time to escape to Khandala is from October to May.

Alibag: The coastal town of Alibag is situated just 35 kilometers away from Mumbai, overlooking the Arabian Sea. This picturesque coastal area is flocked with tourists all over the year because of its scenic beauty and calm beaches, hemmed with coconut and betel trees. Special attractions of Alibag are Kolaba Fort, Tower of St. Barbara, Vikram Vinayak Temple, Janjira Fort, Kihim Beach, Nagaon Beach, Mandawa Beach etc. It surely is a must-visit place to unwind and revitalize. Many local transports shuttle between Alibag and Mumbai.

Ajanta Ellora Caves: Situated about 400 kilometers away from Mumbai, the magnificent hand-chiseled cave shrines of Ajanta and Ellora are nestled within the hills of Sahyadri near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. An outstanding architectural specimen of wonderful caves, enchanting sculptures and carvings, depicting the incarnations of Buddha, the intriguing Ajanta and Ellora Caves are a true marvel. There are 29 caves in Ajanta and 34 caves in Ellora with an enriching heritage of more than a million years and has been declared as World Heritage Site. One can reach Ajanta & Ellora Caves by tourist buses, trains or private cabs.

Lonavala: Lonavala hill station, snuggled in the Sahyadri mountain range, is 96 kilometers away from Mumbai. Lonavala not only attracts tourists from all over the world but is also a favorite destination for the adventurers. A Buddhist centre initially, now this hill spot serves as a vacation destination. Best time to visit Lonavala is from October to May.

Mahabaleshwar: Mahabaleshwar is a beautiful hill station lying in the Satara district. One can reach Mahabaleshwar in a private cab or a tourist bus. With a splendid mix of architectures of ancient and modern styles, Mahabaleshwar is crammed with exquisite forests, waterfalls, springs and valleys. Major attractions of Mahabaleshwar include Arthur's Seat Point, Malkam Point, Tiger Spring, Hunter Point, Castle Rock Point, Savitri Point, Elphiston Point, Cannought Peak Point, Wilson Point, Bombay Point, Babington Point, Krishna Valley and Venna Lake. Best time to visit Mahabaleshwar is from October to June.

Pune: About 170 kilometers away from Mumbai, Pune is known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra and the second largest city of India. Pune is famous for its nightlife and shopping streets. The must visit shopping venues are MG Road, Laxmi Road, Tulsi Baug, Fashion Street and Junna Bazaar. With a glorious past to its name, the city is famous for historical spots, museums, temples, palaces and hill forts. Famous tourist attractions are Shanwarawada Palace, Osho Ashram, Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum, Pataleshwar Caves, Aga Khan Palace, Pashan Lake, Vishram Bagh Waada and so on. Best time to visit Pune is between October and March.

Shirdi: Shirdi is a divine domicile of Sri Sai Baba - the godly saint who taught universal brotherhood and religion to all and was the source of inspiration of this small town. Located in Ahmednagar, about 300 kilometers from Mumbai, the major hotspot of this shrine is a mosque like structure called Dwarkamai where Sai Baba spent most of his time. On your visit to Shirdi, you can also see the famous neem tree where Sai Baba originated. Other significant places to visit are his memorial called Guru Sthan, Chavadi and Khandoba temple. Best time to visit this place is from June to August.

Panchgani: Panchgani is one of the eminent hill stations of Maharashtra, located about 265 kilometers away from Mumbai. Mainly influenced by the British architecture and style, Panchgani is a fabulous place worth visiting with gracious greenery and valleys. Famous attractions are Sydney Point, Krishna Valley, Pandavgad, Mandhardeo etc. Though Panchgani is thronged with visitors all the year round, the best time to visit it is between October and May.