Mumbai, which the locals stubbornly continue to call Bombay, is the “Indian Manhattan”, firmly merged with Indian Hollywood (Bollywood), where more films are produced annually than in any other city in the world. Initially, Mumbai was a conglomeration of 7 islands, which eventually united and turned into the largest city in India, which consists of the following areas:
- South Mumbai – Fort, Colaba, Malabar Hill, Nariman Point and Tardeo – the oldest district of the city and the commercial center of the whole country. The richest people in India live here, and real estate costs more than in Manhattan. In addition, this is the most popular area for tourists, where most of the museums, galleries, bars and restaurants of the city are located.
- South Central Mumbai – formerly the industrial center of the city, now – a place of concentration of office buildings. Tourists here may be interested only in the zoo. A little to the north are the residential areas of the “middle class” of India.
- North Central Mumbai is the very place where the Mumbai “middle peasants” and most of the immigrants live. Tourists have nothing to do here.
- Western Suburbs (western outskirts) – this place was also chosen by the local rich, who, however, prefer a more measured pace of life. There are several beaches, the city’s most famous Christian church and two airports nearby.
- Central Suburbs – the area where the “middle class” Bombays live, is absolutely uninteresting to tourists.
- Harbor Suburbs is a former satellite of Bombay, now this area is an integral part of the city. It houses the Mumbai Atomic Research Centre.
- Northwest Mumbai – here are the cleanest beaches in the city, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and ancient temples that date back to the 1st-5th century. n. AD: Kanheri, Mahakali, Jogeshwari and Mandapeshwar.
How to get there
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is the busiest in India and receives most of the flights from the rest of the world. The two terminals, International No. 2 (Sahar) and Domestic No. 1 (Santacruz), are located km apart. Free buses run between the terminals. Check clothesbliss for how to get to India.
At the same time, terminal No. 1 is divided into 1A (where the state-owned airlines Air India and Kingfisher Airlines are based) and 1B (where private Jet Airways, Simplify Deccan, SpiceJet and others are located). Terminal No. 2 is not far behind, there are: 2A (most international flights arrive here), 2B (temporarily closed) and 2C (receiving flights from the state company Air India and its partners, the most comfortable terminal).
NB! There are no ATMs in the international terminals of the airport. If you order a taxi, you will need to exchange cash at one of the currency exchange offices.
The airport is located 28 km from the city. The easiest way to get to the center is to take a taxi. You can make a reservation at the counter, or take a taxi with a meter (it is more profitable and more convenient only for very long distances). You can also catch a taxi or take a bus to Vile Parle train station, where there are frequent trains to the city centre. In this case, it is worth buying tickets only 1st class and not during peak hours (in the morning and in the evening, when the trains are very crowded).
Trains to Bombay come from all over the country. Trains from South, East and parts of North India (Central line) usually arrive at Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (or Victoria Terminus, also simply called VT), Dadar Terminus and Kurla Terminus. The Western line connects Mumbai with the state of Rajasthan and other parts of Northern India, with the main stations for such trains being Mumbai Central and Bandra. And the Konkan Railway (the newest line) connects the Konkan coast and the state of Maharashtra to Goa.
MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) flies from Bombay (Mumbai Central Terminus bus station) throughout the state of Maharashtra. In addition to MSRTC, you can find many private companies (National, Sharma, VRL, Konduskar, Dolphin, Paulo or Southern Travels) that send buses to Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Goa and other cities in the country. Buses typically depart from Crawford Market, Dadar TT, Sion, Chembur and Borivili.
Weather in Mumbai
There are three seasons in Mumbai: summer, monsoon and winter. The best time to visit is in winter, from November to February. Summer lasts from March to May, at this time the thermometer does not fall below +30 ° C. From June to September, the monsoon reigns in the city, which arranges daily water procedures for the city.
See also the current weather forecast in Mumbai for 10 days.
There are several beaches in Bombay, one of them is even within the city, but this is not the best place for a beach holiday in India. The water and some beaches here are dirty, during the monsoon the current becomes very strong, and a two-piece swimsuit can be looked askance. And yet, good beaches can be found in the Northwest Mumbai area (Aksa Beach and the beaches on Manori Island), pretty Girgaon Chowpaty beach in South Mumbai, and Juhu beach on the western outskirts of the city (Western Suburbs).
Manori is a tiny island with beautiful beaches, which, however, is quite unsafe for swimming, located in the Northwest Mumbai region. The beach located on the northern part of the island is cleaner. This is a great place for a picnic or a whole weekend, there are several hotels and good restaurants with fish dishes. You can get here by taxi or by bus to Marve, from where the ferry departs.
Entertainment and attractions in Mumbai
In Mumbai, it is worth visiting Elephanta Island (Elephant Island), famous for its caves with images of Shiva, and look into the Kala Goda area, where most of the city’s galleries and museums are collected. Nearby is the Prince of Wales Museum with a very interesting collection of Gandhara art, Mughal miniatures, porcelain and weapons. Part of the mandatory program is the local fort with three of its famous buildings: the Supreme Court, the University and the grandiose Victoria Station, much more like a palace than a station. On Malabar Hill are the picturesque Hanging Gardens, the Temple of the God of Sand Walkeshwara, the Zoroastrian “Towers of Silence”, the cult springs of Banganga Tank and the caves of Jogeshwari.
Among other things, in Bombay there is enough entertainment for the originals: you can rummage through the deposits of seductive rubbish for half a day at the Chor Bazaar flea market or go for shocking photo frames in Dhobi Ghat. It’s a block made up entirely of small concrete bathtubs where thousands of washerwomen do their laundry at the same time. They wash, it must be said, in an unusual way for a European: they lather and beat for hours on the sharp edge of a special stone, so that the clothes are washed to incredible cleanliness, but an ordinary shirt can withstand only a few such “washes”. Washerwomen leave a strong impression, but it is best to photograph them from the railway bridge: tourists are not favored here. Another interesting place is the largest market in the city, Crawford.