MUMBAI : The City of Dreams

Call it the financial capital of India, the hub of India’s movie industry or the city full of life, Mumbai impresses everyone. Often called the city of dreams, it is one of the biggest metropoles in the country. Serene mornings, hip cafes, spicy local snacks, street art, plenty of shopping and a memorable nightlife, Mumbai offers an incredible panoply of life to its visitors

ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECES

The Gateway of India is recognised as the most iconic landmark of Mumbai , guarding the Arabian Sea in the Colaba area of the city. Designed by Scottish architect George Wittet, it is said that the last battalion of British soldiers departed the country through this gate. On the opposite side is the iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel , the first building in India to get intellectual property rights protection for its architectural design.

Another famous landmark worth visiting is the Haji Ali Dargah. It is widely believed that whoever prays here gets their wishes fulfilled . The mosque is situated in the middle of the sea and is joined to the shore by a 700-yard pathway. The Sanjay Gandhi National Park , formerly called Borivali National Park, is a one-of-its-kind park in the city. It attracts over two million visitors every year. From tigers to over 2,000-year-old Buddhist caves, there’s lot to fascinate you here.

Often termed as the lifeline of Mumbai, the Mumbai suburban railway system sustains the daily travelling needs of the residents. Over 7.5 million people take the local train every day to commute. There are certain stations that count themselves among the world’s most beautiful pieces of architecture. One among them is the Victoria Terminus. Also called the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), it is a Victorian Gothic style edifice, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

LOCAL DELIGHTS

While Mumbai has a wide range of food options to try, few notable among them are vada pavs (bread stuffed with mashed potato), pav bhaji and kebabs. Try these at local stalls to get the real taste of the city. Sardar’s near the Mumbai Central Station is the place to try pav bhaji, skewered kebabs can be tasted at Mohammed Ali Road and chicken tikka rolls at Bademiya in Colaba (behind the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel). Mumbai is also home to a large number of cafes, which are a place of their own. Try Kyani & Co in Mumbai’s Marine Lines, the oldest one in the city, or the Café Universal in Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, it’s known for art nouveau décor, butterscotch walls and four grand doorways.

STREET ART

Home to the biggest movie production house in India : Bollywood , a visit to Mumbai is incomplete without a visit to the Film City. Mumbai Darshan , a daylong tour, gives visitors an insider’s look into the film-making world of Mumbai. The streets of Mumbai are also decked with Bollywood memorabilia in the form of street art that span the entire length of the city. An initiative that began as a means to pay tribute to the different shades of Indian cinema , you can find yesteryears who’s-who of Indian cinema in the streets of Mumbai.

FASHION STREETS

For people looking to buy some local stuff, the streets of Mumbai are the best choice. There are many flea markets across the city offering you everything from designer knock offs, junk jewellery and even branded clothes. Linking Road , Hill Road and Fashion street offer excellent choices for the budget conscious fashion buyer. Crawford Market and Chincholi Bunder Link Road has a plethora of shops selling branded clothes. Colaba Causeway is a paradise for shoppers with its affordable clothes, boutiques, colonial curio shops, and to top it all, mouth-watering restaurants to end a joyful day of shopping.

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