Mumbai a City for Full of Dreamers and Hard Labourers, Starlets and Gangsters , Stray Dogs and Exotic Birds, Artists and servants and lots and lots of people. Mumbai has India’s Most Prolific Film Industry, some of Asia’s Biggest Slums and the largest tropical forest in an urban zone.
Mumbai is India’s Financial Powerhouse, fashion epicentre and a point of religious tension. Mumbai people even evolved its own language, Bambaiyya Hindi, which is again a mix of everything.
When to Go:
Dec and Jan- The very best time , Least sticky weather .
Aug and Sept- Mumbai goes Ganesh-crazy during its most exciting festival, Ganesh Chaturthi.
Oct- Apr- There’s very little rain , Post Monsoon best time of year for festivals.
Best Places to Eat:
Peshawri, Revival, Dakshinayan, Koh, La Folie
Best Places to Stay:
- Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
- Residency Hotel
- Abode Bombay
- Sea Shore Hotel
- Juhu Residency
Mumbai In 2 Days
Begin at one of the city’s Architectural Masterpiece’s, The Chattarpati Shivaji Vastu
Museum, before grabbing a drink, and exploring the galleries and scene in the bohemian Kala Ghoda District. Lunch Gujrati Style at Samrat.
In the afternoon continue admiring Mumbai’s marvellous buildings around the oval
Maiden and Marine Dr before heading to Colaba, the Heart of the City. Tour the city’s iconic sights, The Gateway of India and Taj Mahal Palace around the
sunset, and be sure to have a drink at the Harbour Bar. In the evening either fine dine at Indigo or chow down at Bademiya, followed by a nightcap at sky bar AER.
The Next Day, head to the grand -daddy of Mumbai’s colonial-era giants, the old Victoria Terminus train station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Then explore Crawford Market and its maze of Bazaars, hidden temples and unique street life. Lunch at Revival. Make your way over to Mani Bhavan, the museum dedicated to Gandhi, and finish the day wandering the tiny lanes of Khotachiwadi followed by a beach sunset and bhelpuri at Girgaum Chowpatty. In the evening head to hip nightlife hub Bluefrog for Dinner, and the bop to a band or DJ.
Fort Area And Churchgate
Lined up in a row and vying for your attention with aristocratic pomp, many of Mumbai’s majestic Victorian buildings pose on the edge of Oval Maidan. This land, and the Cross and Azad Maidans immediately to the north, was on the oceanfront in those days, and this series of grandiose structures faced west directly to the Arabian Sea.
Kala Ghoda, or ‘Black Horse’, is a hip, atmospheric sub neighbourhood of Fort just north of Colaba. It contains many of Mumbai’s museums and galleries alongside a wealth of colonial-era buildings and some of the city’s best restaurants and cafes.
Mumbai is the glittering epicentre of India’s gargantuan Hindi-language film industry. From silent beginnings, with a cast of all-male actors (some in drag) in the 1913 epic Raja Harishchandra, and the first talkie, Lama Ara (1931), it now churns out more than 1000 films a year – more than Hollywood. Not surprising considering it has a captive audience of one-sixth of the world’s population.
Every part of India has its regional film industry, but Bollywood continues to entrance the nation with its escapist formula in which all-singing, all-dancing lovers fight and conquer the forces keeping them apart. These days, Hollywood-inspired thrillers and action extravaganzas vie for moviegoers’ attention alongside the more family-oriented saccharine formulas.
Bollywood stars can attain near godlike status in India and star-spotting is a favorite pastime in Mumbai’s posher establishments.
Studios sometimes want Westerners as extras to add a whiff of international flair (or provocative dress, which locals often won’t wear) to a film.
If you’re game, just hang around Colaba (especially the Salvation Army hostel) where studio scouts, recruiting for the following day’s shooting, will find you. A day’s work, which can be up to 16 hours, pays ₹500. You’ll get lunch, snacks and (usually) transport. The day can be long and hot with loads of standing around the set; not everyone has a positive experience. Complaints range from lack of food and water to dangerous situations and intimidation when extras don’t comply with the director’s orders. Others describe the behind-the-scenes peek as a fascinating experience. Before agreeing to anything, always ask for the scout’s identification and go with your gut.
Flavours from all over India collide with international trends and taste buds in Mumbai. Colaba is home to most of the cheap tourist haunts, while Fort and Churchgate are more upscale, a trend that continues as you head north to Mahalaxmi and the western suburbs, where you’ll find Mumbai’s most international and expensive restaurants.
Mumbai’s street cuisine is vaster than many Western culinary traditions. Stalls tend to get started in late afternoon, when chai complements much of the fried deliciousness; items are ₹10 to ₹25.
Most street food is vegetarian. Chowpatty Beach is a great place to try Mumbai’s famous bhelpuri (thin fried rounds of dough, with rice, lentils, onions, herbs and chutneys). Stalls offering samosas, pav bhaji (spiced vegetables and bread), vada pav (deep-fried spiced lentil-ball sandwich), bhurji pav (scrambled eggs and bread) and dabeli (a mixture of potatoes, spices, peanuts and pomegranate, also on bread) are spread through the city. For a meaty meal, Mohammed Ali and Merchant Rds in Kalbadevi are famous for kebabs. In Colaba, Bademiya is a late-night Mumbai rite of passage, renowned for its chicken tikka rolls.
The office workers’ district on the north side of Kala Ghoda is another good hunting ground for street snacks.
Mumbai is India’s great marketplace, with some of the best shopping in the country.
Be sure to spend a day at the markets north of CST for the classic Mumbai shopping experience. In Fort, booksellers, with surprisingly good wares (not all pirated), set up shop daily on the sidewalks around Flora Fountain. Snap up a bargain backpacking wardrobe at Fashion Street (MG Rd), the strip of stalls lining MG Rd between Cross and Azad Maidans. Hone your bargaining skills. Kemp’s Corner has many good shops for designer threads.
WORTH A TRIP BAZAAR DISTRICT
Mumbai’s main market district is one of Asia’s most fascinating, an incredibly dense combination of humanity and commerce that’s a total assault on the senses. If you’ve just got off a plane from the West, or a taxi from Bandra – hold on tight. This working-class district stretches north of Crawford Market up as far as Chor Bazaar, a 2.5km walk away. Such are the crowds (and narrowness of the lanes) that you should allow yourself two to three hours to explore it thoroughly.
You can buy just about anything here, but as the stores and stalls are very much geared to local tastes, most of the fun is simply taking in the street life and investigating the souk-like lanes rather than buying souvenirs. The markets merge into each other in an amoeba-like mass, but there are some key landmarks so you can orientate yourself.