Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is India’s most populated city and the 4th most populous in the entire world. Known under many names, including the city of dreams and the city that never sleeps, Mumbai is the country’s finance and trade capital. It is also home to India’s most prominent entertainment industry, Bollywood, and is home to most of the nation’s actors and actresses. Mumbai is a city that won’t give you the time to get bored and offers hundreds, if not thousands, of both local and world-famous attractions. The city is home to some truly captivating heritage buildings that are currently occupied by various government bodies. The British-era buildings are characterized by the colonial architecture, with some of the best examples being the Prince of Wales Museum at Kala Ghoda, and Victoria Terminus (CST) railway station at Churchgate, one of the witnesses of the inhumane terrorist attacks in 2008. The Bombay High Court located at the Fort area is another architectural marvel and the artistic Horniman, whose main feature is its enormous open garden area. Let’s take a look at some of the city’s 5 most famous attractions.
1. The Gateway of India
Mumbai might have dozens of attractions, but the Gateway if India is by far the city’s most iconic monument and a true architectural marvel. It was constructed in commemoration of the visit of Britain’s King George V and his wife, Queen Mary. The Gateway was constructed at such a location so that it would be the very first sight that anyone coming by ship would get to see. It is considered as the starting point for exploration of the city and is usually jam-packed with foreign tourists, as well as locals just looking to unwind. However, the scene in and around the gateway resembles that of a circus rather than a historic monument, with hordes of street vendors peddling anything from cotton candy to balloons to tea. Located on the Colaba waterfront in south Mumbai, the gateway of India sits right opposite the Taj Palace, which is another historic landmark, currently operating as a 5-star hotel run by Taj Hotels & Resorts.
2. Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat
Although a laundromat wouldn’t exactly be considered an attraction in any other country, the Dhobi Ghat at Mahalaxmi is one of Mumbai’s most iconic locations, being an enormous massive open air laundry that provides an unforgettable peak into the lives of poor city dwellers. Dhobi Ghat is where the entire city’s dirty laundry goes to get hand washed by the washers, known as dhobis, in a seemingly endless column of concrete floggers. The washermens’ colony at Mahalaxmi dhobi ghat has been serving the great city of Mumbai for all its laundry needs for over a century now, and is by far the world’s largest open air laundry. Located at Saat Rasta near the Mahalaxmi Railway Station where, the Dhobi Ghat is home to over 730 dhobis and their generation of families’, who work at the Dhobi Ghat, in what has been a long-standing hereditary occupation. You can get to this massive open-air laundry service facility via trains on the Western Line, from Churchgate.
3. Haji Ali
Haji Ali is a world-famous pilgrimage site among Muslims and is open to visitors of any religion. The majestic structure is situated right on the ocean, and is both a mosque and tomb. Constructed in 1431 by Muslim merchant and Sufi saint, Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, it is a monument erected as shrine of sorts after Shah Bukhari had a life changing experience on his pilgrimage to Mecca. The structure was originally founded on a set of high-rising and stable rocks, and is only accessible via a shallow 500 yard path that connects to the mainland. The present day form has been in existence from the early 19th century and managed by the Dargah’s Trust that was made a legal entity in 1916. The structure is accentuated by white domes and minarets, designs common during Mughal- period of architecture. It is said that the Dargah sees anything from 12-16 thousand visitors every day! Visitors can find Haji Ali off the coast of Worli, in close proximity to the railway station at Mumbai Central.
4. Global Vipassana Pagoda
The Global Vipassana Pagoda is a large Meditation Hall located at Gorai, in the North-west region of Mumbai. The “Pagoda”, inaugurated on the 8th of February, 2009, by then President of India Pratibha Patil, serves as a monument of peace and tranquility, which is exactly what one can find here. The structure is constructed on donated land, located between Gorai creek and the Arabian Sea. The entire facility was built in honor of Gautama Buddha and his teachings, and is also a learning centre for devotees and tourists alike. The monument is also a token of appreciation to Myanmar, for retaining the “Vipassana” form of Meditation. The Pagoda is a huge structure that houses a grand hall that sits over 8000 people, and is meant for devotees to meditate together. The Pagoda is also home to a number of genuine Buddha relics.
5. Elephanta Caves
The Elephanta Caves are an extensive network of sculpted caves that are located on Elephanta Island in the Mumbai Harbour. Locally known as Gharapurim, which literally means city of caves, the island is situated approximately 10 kilometers east of Mumbai City. The island is located on a stretch just of off the Arabian Sea and consists of two separate sets of caves. The first set consists of a large group of 5 Hindu caves, while the second is a group of two smaller Buddhist caves. The caves were designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since their artwork restoration in 1987 and are a must-visit owing to them being one of the few major historic sites within reach of the city. The entire location is maintained and protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. The catch is that the island is only accessible by boats at the Gateway of India, which take you up to the docks at Elephanta Island, from where visitors can enjoy a short train ride to the base of steps that lead up to the caves.
City Attraction Charges starts from Rs.1600 to Rs.2500 for a Midsize Car depends on the number of places to visit.
Bigger Car 6 Seater would cost you Rs. 2100 to Rs.3500/-