travelandhome logo

Discover the Heart of Mumbai: A Journey Through Its Marvels

Join us on an enchanting journey through the vibrant streets of Mumbai! Discover the city’s rich history, explore iconic landmarks, and savor the diverse flavors of this bustling metropolis. From historic sites like Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to the colorful markets of Maharashtra, our Mumbai adventure offers a taste of India’s past and present. Come along as we share the sights, sounds, and flavors of this captivating city.

Arina in Mumbai, travel and home
street market i shankar sheth road, maharashtra, mumbai, travel and home

Best of Mumbai Sightseeing

Street market in Shankar Sheth Road, Maharashtra

Take a peek at the video to witness the clever use of banana leaves for packaging bundles of fresh produce. We couldn’t help but be impressed by the immaculate presentation – everything appeared so clean and beautifully arranged.

Just look at those tomatoes – perfectly packed, as if they were set up for a professional photoshoot, don’t you think? It’s truly delightful to purchase your daily groceries from these warm and welcoming vendors!

Street scenes

One thing’s for certain, judging a building by its exterior can be quite deceptive. Sometimes, you’ll enter what looks like a maintenance-needy structure, only to find yourself surrounded by pure luxury once you step inside.

And then there’s the traffic, especially the scooters. It’s a sight to behold – people dressed to the nines, zipping past on their scooters, presumably headed to a nearby festival. But the real jaw-dropper comes when you see a scooter whiz by carrying not just one or two, but a whole family – mom, dad, two young children, and a little baby, all on the same scooter. 

If you’re not accustomed to driving in Mumbai, brace yourself for a unique experience. Sure, they say there are traffic rules, but it seems like they tossed that rulebook out a long time ago. I quickly realized why our host preferred chauffeur-driven transportation, even though they owned a car. According to the 2019 Driving Cities Index, Mumbai claims the top spot for chaotic traffic and unruly drivers. So, if you can, opt for a taxi instead of renting a car. And here’s a pro tip – either close your eyes or do as we did – sit back and relish the adventure. After all, you’re in Mumbai!

Lord Buddha statue

The Global Vipassana Pagoda is “One of Seven Wonders of Maharashtra” You simply must visit because you’ll leave with some food for thought. Irrespective of your faith, or religion.

Take, for example, the teachings of Buddha. He emphasized the importance of gratitude and the initiative to assist others selflessly as genuine indicators of personal growth. Although our faith may differ, these were the very principles instilled in most of our households during childhood. As mentioned before, it’s certainly something worth pondering.

Mumbai2

Kamala Nehru Park

Nestled within the charming Hanging Gardens complex in Mumbai, Maharashtra, you’ll find the beautifully maintained Kamala Nehru Park.

This park holds a special place among Mumbai’s top green spaces. Many visitors choose to incorporate its approximately 16,000 square meters into their daily exercise regimen, whether it’s a brisk walk or a refreshing run. Others simply visit to relax and unwind.

And if you ever wondered about the Old Woman’s Shoe from that beloved nursery rhyme, well, both the young and the young at heart can’t resist stepping inside it, day or night!

One of the real treats of this park is the breathtaking view it offers. From here, you can gaze out over the Marine Drive below, often referred to as the “Queen’s Necklace.” It’s a sight to behold, and you won’t want to miss it.

Kamala Nehru Park old woman shoe Mumbai

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Formerly known as Victoria Terminus, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its exceptional architectural and historical significance.

Visiting the building at night was truly a spectacular experience. The way it was illuminated with various colors, constantly changing, was a sight to behold. The sheer volume of traffic was staggering, even for someone like me who’s used to the hustle and bustle of city life.

It was a special moment for us because we got to check off another UNESCO site from our bucket list. We were absolutely thrilled to be here. Now, for the fascinating UNESCO significance of this place…

  • Architectural Grandeur: The station is a prime example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture, which was popular in the late 19th century. Its stunning design features a blend of Victorian and Indian architectural elements, making it a unique and beautiful structure.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, formerly known as the Victoria Terminusl, Mumbai, India
  • Cultural Significance: It stands as a symbol of the British influence on Indian architecture and transportation infrastructure.

  • Historical Importance: The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus was the location where the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, India’s first passenger railway line, was inaugurated in 1853. A significant milestone in India’s transportation history.

  • Artistic Elements: The station is adorned with intricate stone carvings, stained glass windows, and beautiful decorative elements that tell stories from Indian mythology and history.

Mani Bhavan, Gandhi's Mumbai headquarters for about 17 years

Gandhi lived in his friend’s (Revashankar Jagjeevan Jhaveri) mansion from 1917 to 1934. From here Gandhi initiated the Non-Cooperation, Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Khadi and Khilafat Movements. Gandhi’s association with the charkha and his involvement in the Home Rule Movement are connected to his stay in Mani Bhavan. While living here, Gandhi decided to abstain from drinking cow’s milk in protest to the common practice at the time of phookan meted out to milch cattle.

The house is now a fascinating museum, waiting for you to explore.

Middle Ground Coastal Battery

Middle Ground Coastal Battery

If you’re already planning to visit the Gateway of India, the Middle Ground Coastal Battery is in close proximity, making it convenient to explore. It’s a popular tourist spot and the views of the Arabian Sean and the Mumbai harbor, are beautiful. 

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, luxury stay, Gateway of India, travelandhome

Gateway of India

This arch-monument was constructed in the early twentieth-century to commemorate the landing of King-Emperor George V and Queen-Empress Mary. At the time (December 1911) it was the first British monarch to visit India at Apollo Bunder, Mumbai.

Rajabai Clock Tower

Rajabai Clock Tower, Mumbai, India, travel and home

The clock tower (built in the late 19th century) is part of the University of Mumbai and is located within the campus. It once housed the university’s library, emphasizing the importance of education and knowledge. The tower’s chimes were designed to be heard in the library, marking study hours.

Elephanta caves Mumbai
Train to elephanta island mumbai 1
Elephanta Caves Mumbai Pillars Entrance

Elephanta Caves

We embarked on a delightful one-hour ferry cruise to Elephanta Island, also known as Gharapuri, translating to “the city of caves,” or Pory Island. The sun beamed down, and we enjoyed a splendid view of the Middle Ground Coastal Battery, as seen in the photo above this section.

Upon disembarking from the ferry, you’ll find some walking ahead. Alternatively, you can opt for a ride on the toy train for an additional fee. We wisely chose the train, and recommend you do the same.

As you explore, you’ll come across several kiosks offering souvenirs. Then, be prepared for a fair amount of climbing – around 120 steep steps. Travel tip: carry plenty of water to stay hydrated! Despite the effort, the journey to the summit was thoroughly engaging, with more quaint kiosks to explore along the way.

The best time to go to Elephanta Caves

The monsoon season is from mid-June until mid-September. During this period all tours are subject to weather conditions.

Guided tour, or not?

It’s best to get a guide if you don’t have a knowledgeable friend (like we had).

How much time will it take to see Elephanta Caves?

Without a doubt, from the moment you leave your hotel to your return, set aside a half-day. Elephanta Caves is worth visiting, and you’ll be sorry if you squeeze it into 3 or 4 hours. Rather allow between 4 and 5 hours.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

“The ‘City of Caves’, on an island in the Sea of Oman close to Bombay, contains a collection of rock art linked to the cult of Shiva. Here, Indian art has found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly the huge high reliefs in the main cave.” – UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

Accessibility

This attraction is not suitable for wheelchairs. You can opt to be carried to the top. However, the terrain at the top is rather uneven and also unpaved.

Pony service

At an extra cost, you can opt to ride Maharajah style to the top. Meaning, that four people will carry you up in a chair. Not only disabled people made use of this very convenient option!

Mumbai's iconic David Sassoon Library

The David Sassoon Library is indeed a gem in Mumbai’s historical tapestry. The elegant architecture and serene atmosphere make it a place where you can almost feel the whispers of history.

The library is named after David Sassoon, a prominent Baghdadi Jewish businessman who made significant contributions to the development of Mumbai during the 19th century. He was known for his philanthropic endeavors, and the library is one of the many legacies he left behind.

The David Sassoon Library and Reading Room, mumbai, India, travel and home

Day trips, half-day packages, and tours in and around Mumbai

Best Indian Food Experiences

Authentic Rajasthani & Gujarati traditional cuisine

Whatever you do, taste the food from Panchavati Gaurav, Barrack Rd, Dhobi Talao, New Marine Lines, Marine Lines, Mumbai, in Maharashtra. We had our best Mumbai meal at this amazing restaurant. The staff was incredibly efficient in filling up your plate. So, be sure to indicate very clearly when you’ve had sufficient. Every bite was absolutely delicious. 

At this point, let’s make it quite clear that #TravelAndHome does not benefit from sending you there. So, go and enjoy an authentic reference to authentic traditional Indian cuisine.

Lassi

This was also the place where most of us tasted Lassi for the very first time. We loved the plain Lassi, unflavored. Try it!

Lassi india cuisine milk drink

Lunch at Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

The luxurious 5-star Taj Mahal Palace Hotel’s architecture is in the Saracenic Revival style.

This magnificent timeless Indian heritage sits next to the Gateway of India, in the Colaba region.

The “Taj Mahal Hotel” or simply “the Taj” is a must on your Mumbai list of things to do. If you don’t stay there, at least have some refreshments at this exquisite venue.

If you travel in a group of less than 6 people, I suggest you book Mumbai’s best street food dinner

See more of India...