Traverse the happening city which is invariably abuzz with activity.
Mumbai is a city of power, wealth, glamour and fame which attracts people to aspire, enterprise & realize their dreams. Historically rich the city is embellished with wonderful colonial buildings, museums, beaches, places of worship, and above all, a flux of millions of stories where Bollywood reigns supreme.
A city of varied culture and a melting pot of commerce, industry, entertainment, enterprise, and politics, Mumbai’s rendezvous with wealth and fame have, however, been recent. It wasn’t a cosmopolitan finance centre to begin with. Its embellished history has witnessed several shifts in power, and the seven islands changed hands frequently.
The seven islands that constitute Mumbai were earlier home to communities of fishing colonies. For many centuries, the islands were under the sovereignty of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and later to the British East India Company. In the middle of 18th century, the city was reshaped by reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of basic infrastructure, the reclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea.
In 19th century, Bombay transformed from being a seaport to economic & educational centre. During the early phase of 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian independence movement. Upon India’s independence in the year 1947 the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In the year 1960, accompanied by the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, a new state of Maharashtra was established with Bombay as the capital. The city was given a new name Mumbai in 1996. During this short period of headway, the city has transformed into the commercial and entertainment capital of India.
Mumbai has two popular beaches named as the Juhu Beach & the Chowpatty Beach. The former has metamorphosed from being a narrow sand bar off the Coast of Salcette Island in the 19th century to one that has at its edge the most elite suburb of the city. Visitors flock here to enjoy the sea & sand including having a look at the imposing bungalows of the film stars. The Chowpatty Beach is the one with sizable crowds simply because it is so very accessible. Along with, it has a row of glistening shops that offer some of the most delicious snacks by way of Chaats, Bhelpuris, Pav Bhaji and of course an assortment of Kulfis and Ice-creams. You can also stroll from here up to Marine Drive, called the Queen’s Necklace, and marvel at a skyline that truly defines the soul of Mumbai. Some of the other beaches, located at quite a distance, are those at Madh Island famous for its group of several quaint fishing villages and farmlands in northern Mumbai and the ones at Marve and Manori located on Western Suburbs of Malad in the city of Mumbai. The one at Gorai is where the Global Vipassana Pagoda is located.
Museums in Mumbai have always been a point of great attraction, offering substantial glimpses into not only the illustrious past of the city but the country as well. The city has over 15 museums accommodating to varied subjects such as archaeology, ancient art, natural history, science and technology, contemporary art, flora and fauna, and so on. Distinguished the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is the prominent landmark of the city for museum lovers. It dates back to 1905 when its foundations were laid by the Prince of Wales and is home to a rich collection of artefacts ranging from sculptures, miniature paintings, coins, etc. Another interesting museum is that of the Bombay Natural History Society which showcases a very rare and prestigious collection of faunal biodiversity in India, which includes bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian specimens – well-preserved and open to researchers too. And there is also the fascinating Nehru Centre which has a permanent exposition, ‘Discovery of India’, which unfolds varied aspects of Indian culture and its journey through times through its 14 galleries.
Visitors coming to Mumbai, wish to see the glitter of Bollywood- the Hindi film making industry of India. But while you may not be allowed to enter the gates of any film studio on your own, there is now a wonderful way of going about it. Take the ‘Bollywood Tour’. It gives you the opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes as you visit the sets of films or television programmes. You may be lucky enough to come close to some of Bollywood’s biggest stars and at the very least you will get an insight into all the creative pain and effort that goes into the making of ‘entertainment’.
Apart from the high-rise buildings that today dominate the Mumbai landscape, the city is also known for the Gothic architecture. It also has several other architectural masterpieces as found in caves, forts, churches, mosques, temples, modern shopping malls, huge bungalows, etc. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, for instance, has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its highly impressive architectural and technological innovations.