Mumbai is in all ways a mega-city driven by power, wealth, glamour and fame which attracts
people to give shape to their dreams and aspirations. But it is also a city with strong historical
links, wonderful British architecture, museums, beaches, places of worship, and above all, a
true galaxy of stars where Bollywood reigns supreme. It is said that every train that comes
to Mumbai brings on it hundreds of people from across India who are not only drawn to
‘experience’ the city’s mesmerising attractions but would also like to make it their home.
A city of diverse cultures and a melting pot of commerce, industry, entertainment, enterprise,
and politics, Mumbai’s trysts with wealth and fame have, however, been recent. It wasn’t a
cosmopolitan finance centre to begin with. Its history has witnessed several shifts in power,
and the seven islands changed hands frequently. The seven islands that came to constitute
Mumbai were earlier home to communities of fishing colonies. For centuries, the islands were
under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and
subsequently to the British East India Company. During the mid-18th century, Bombay was
reshaped by the Hornby Vellard Project, which undertook reclamation of the area between the
seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation
project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea.
The 85 feet tall structure was built to commemorate King George, the Fifth’s visit to Mumbai.
Incidentally, the last of British soldiers that were to leave India after independence,
departed through Gateway of India. The monument’s architecture is a prefect blend of three
styles, namely Hindu, Islam and European Gothic styles. You could take ferry from here to
visit Elephanta Caves.
Elephanta caves are located in Elephanta Island, which is roughly around 40 minute ferry ride from Gateway of India. UNESCO has declared Elephanta Caves, belonging to 600 AD, as World Heritage Site. The stone sculptures of the gods worshiped by Hindus were damaged when the Portuguese used them as targets for their practices. Regardless, the artwork in the sculptures speak of the artistic excellence of the bygone era and no wonder, Elephanta Caves is considered one of the seven wonders of India.
Marine Drive is in the heart of Mumbai and hence you can have easy access to it from anywhere in Mumbai. It is 3km long and it borders Arabian Sea forming a bay. The stretch is ‘C’ shaped that links Nariman Point and Babulnath. The place offers spectacular view of sunset. Tourists are attracted to Marine Drive where they could stroll in the walkway and experience the cool breeze. Marine Drive is also called as ‘Queen’s necklace’.
This was earlier known as Victoria Terminus. The construction was completed in the year 1897. UNESCO has declared the terminus as World Heritage Site in the year 2004. The building is a representation of architecture of various cultures including traditional Indian, Victorian and Gothic. Though it is a terminus to board and get off trains, you cannot help marveling at the stunning architecture of the building. Whether you intend to take a train or not, this is a must visit site in Mumbai.
Flora fountain was constructed in the year 1864 and named after Roman Goddess Flora. A beautiful statue of Flora, the Roman Goddess is seen at the top. The fountain is situated in a beautiful park. It is one of the Heritage structures of India. The other heritage constructions around Flora Fountain are Gateway of India, Central Telegraph Office, Bombay High Court and a lot more. If you were to visit Flora fountain do not miss visiting the place in the evening to see the beautifully lit fountain.
Nehru Planetarium was constructed in the year 1977. There is an art gallery inside the planetarium along with a library, cultural center and restaurant. Nehru Auditorium inside the planetarium has a seating capacity of nearly 1000 people. The auditorium is the venue for various concerts, dance performances and plays. The planetarium attracts astronomers and the future astronomers alike. Children love this place as they can engage themselves in various science related activities. Arrangements for viewing solar system, meteoroids showers and eclipses are made here. A place worth the visit if you are keen to know more about the world you live in.
The Shrine was built in the year 1431. Located in the heart of Worli, Haji Ali Shrine reflects the Indian Muslim architecture. The 85 feet tall structure is located in 4500 meters area of land. The Shrine is constructed with marble that matches the marbles used in the construction of Taj Mahal. The pillars of the Shrine are artistic and the mirror work in the monument is stunning. The stupendous architecture of the Haji Ali Shrine attracts people of various religions and beliefs.
Also known as Bandra Lake, it is situated in Bandra, Built over 200 years ago, the lake is declared a Heritage area. You can find a small aquarium and musical fountains. Light shows are conducted here. You could go boating on the lake and relax here to view the birds and the wildlife.