Mumbai: Tour Guide
When you enter Mumbai, it’s like entering the door into India. It was previously known as Bombay and is very, very big. You will find every type of creature living in Mumbai. From stray dogs to working labourers or gangsters to exotic birds and millionaires. This is just to mention a few. It also holds India’s most productive film industry as well as bringing big contrasts. With some of Asia’s biggest slums and only a few hundred kilometres away from some millionaire mansions. What also lays there is one of the world’s largest tropical rainforest right in the centre of an urban zone. As you can see it is full of contrasts and contradictions, but it’s what makes Mumbai so unique. It holds India’s financial centre as well as a fashion point and brings some religious tension with it too. Mumbai is a good introduction to India if it’s your first but, prepare yourself. It’s not such a dangerous city but can challenge some visitors that are not prepared. With limited public transport and a thick layer of pollution lingering it can sometimes take you unprepared. There is some very beautiful architecture in the centre of the city but dive a little deeper and you might discover some bazar temples and premier restaurants.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus:
This ancient building brings lots of energy. It is always full of people with still more arriving, this historic beautiful train station is one of the city’s most extreme gothic buildings which has some perfect detailed architecture. It merges Victorian, Hindu and Islamic styles together to great this great structure of ferocious spires, domes and turrets. Some of the detail put into this magnificent building is just truly incredible. A stunning central tower and stained-glass windows sit directly above the central square, this won’t fail to impress anyone who visits. It was completed in 1887 and 34 years after the first train in India left the station. Its interior is not as impressive having added modern features, but it is still claimed as a world heritage site.
Iskcon Juhu plays a key part in this temple. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada he spent many long periods of time living here. As you probably know there are many temples around India where people from different faiths go to prayer. However, this temple has a special vibe to it. It is such a peaceful location yet right in the centre of the rush of the city. You can visit the founder AC’s living quarters which is adjacent to the temple. The best time to visit the temple complex is during prayers as this is really when the temple comes alive and you can experience the full feel of what it is like. The prayers are accompanied by an ensemble of dancing, crashing symbols and drumbeats. It is an experience that you will not forget for a while due to its intensity and unusual feel to it.
This beach in Mumbai might just pass as ‘some’ fresh air, which is essential after being submerged in layer upon layer of pollution all day. An evening stroll is strongly advised and is perfect for couples, families or anyone who is out to enjoy some ‘fresh’ air. An evening attendance at the south end of the beach for the throng stalls is a big part of any visit to Mumbai, whether it's for leisure or business. Although, do not even think about taking any sort of swimwear to the beach with you for a late afternoon/evening dip as the water is toxic. On the 10th
day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, which is held in August or September, there are millions who flee here to showcase their massive Ganesh statues. You can attend this if you wish and like a joyful mayhem, but if you prefer a more relaxing time, I would miss out.
Transport in Mumbai:
Mumbai is filled up with traffic. The public transport network is easily accessible and a good price. The red buses and black and yellow taxis work like a dream most of the time, with a good suburban rail network too that runs efficiently and smoothly. The rail network runs from 4 am to 1 am and are said to be crucial for locals to get to places every day. There are two lines which run between east and west suburbs. You can choose to travel first or second class with trains running every two minutes. They can get busy during the peak hours, but first class tends to be slightly quieter due to the higher expense of it. The buses are said to be the best in India. Comfortable, affordable and safe it is the best way of getting to every corner of the city in little to no time. Taxis are very relaxing having friendly and helpful drivers too. Fares are paid by the metre and are quick and easy to use.
Nightlife in Mumbai:
The city allows a safe environment for you to party all night and never get bored. People looking for peace and a drink you’re in luck too with many bars that will take your fancy. Here are a few suggestions:
- Trilogy (Nightclub, outdoor seating, groups)
- Kitty Su (Bar, contemporary, DJ parties, casual)
- Tryst (Modern, neon-lit, a long bar offering food and cocktails)
- Sirkus (Casual, Finger food, dance floor, full bar, nightclub)