Mumbai top sights

Mumbai, as the primary artistic and financial hub of the country has plenty of touristic attractions for the visitors.  Most of those sights are located within the southern central area of South Mumbai where the neighbourhoods of Fort, Colaba, Malabar Hill, Nariman Point and Churchgate are located.  Indeed, it is home to some of the city’s  most iconic landmarks such as the Gateway of India, world class museums including the Prince of Wales, as well as other historic buildings such as the CST railway station, the High Court and the Clock Tower.  One of  the most visited precinct within Mumbai city center, is Khala Ghoda, home to various colonial heritage sites and art galleries.  The Western side of South Mumbai is also worth discovering, especially around Malabar hill, offering spectacular views of the long Chowpatty beach, the Marine Drive and many of the city’s largest skyscrapers.  Finally outside of the city center, the Elephant Island to the east, the Haji Ali tomb on the western side, and the Film City Bollywood and Sanjay Gandhi National Park to the North, are some of the most sought after destinations within the metropolitan area of Mumbai.

Topics

  1. Introduction
  2. Map of Mumbai’s top sights
  3. Mumbai top sights
  4. Mumbai top sights itineraries

Map of Mumbai top sights

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Mumbai top sights

The most popular touristic attractions in Mumbai include:

  1. Gateway of India: Mumbai’s most iconic sight
  2. Colaba Causeway: the lively commercial Shahid Bhagat Singh Road
  3. Khala Ghoda: art precinct home to the museums, the High Court and the Clock Tower
  4. Prince of Wales Museum: officially known as Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Chowk
  5. Chowpatty beach: sandy coast within the western tip of the Marine Drive
  6. Victoria Station: the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) set within a colonial building
  7. Wellington Fountain: now the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Chowk roundabout
  8. Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat: Mumbai’s unique open air laundry
  9. Haji Ali: Mumbai’s floating tomb and Mosque
  10. Malabar hill: south Mumbai’s highest point home to the Tower of Silence and the Hanging Gardens
  11. Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum: a tribute to one of India’s most celebrated figure
  12. Town Hall: set within a remarkable building home to the Asiatic Society of Bombay
  13. General Post Office: Mumbai central post office set within a beautiful building
  14. Dabbawallahs of Mumbai: one of the world’s most efficient food delivery service
  15. Crawford Market: one of the busiest and most famous markets in South Mumbai
  16. Mumbai Stock Exchange: India’s finance epicentre within Kala Ghoda
  17. Banganga: part of the Walkeshwar Temple Complex within the Malabar Hill
  18. Film City: home to Mumbai’s famous Bollywood Productions
  19. Elephant Island: famous for its UNESCO World Heritage 6th-century cave temples
  20. Sanjay Gandhi National Park: home to birds, fauna and Buddhist caves

Gateway of India

The Gateway of India, the grandiose Triumphal Arch with its honey coloured basalt is Mumbai’s most iconic landmark.  It  was built in 1911to commemorate the visit of Queen Mary, and later served as the welcoming sight for European boats during the British Raj.  It is today one of the most important tourist destinations proudly sitting within Colaba’s waterfront, next to beautiful Tower Hotel and Taj Palace.  The structure offers two imposing reception halls, as well as great view of the Sea.  It has a lively atmosphere, day and night, often packed with various street vendors offering numerous products such as Indian tea and balloons.

Colaba Causeway

The Colaba Causeway, officially the Shahid Bhagat Singh Road is perhaps Mumbai’s most famous commercial street packed with a variety of boutiques, cafes and restaurants.  It goes from the southern  Colaba to the Wellington Fountain in between the Fort area and Nariman Point.

Kala Ghoda

Kala Ghoda, located in South Mumbai’s Fort  area, is often considered the city’s cultural epicentre, due to numerous museums and art galleries being based there.  Indeed the district is home to the acclaimed Jehangir Art Gallery, the Prince of Wales Museum and the National Gallery, as well as numerous historic buildings such as the High Court, the Army and Navy building and the Rajabi Clock Tower.   The Kala Ghoda name can be translated to Black Horse in reference to a statue once located at its heart.

Prince of Wales Museum

The Prince of Wales Museum situated in the heart of South Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda is perhaps the city’s most acclaimed art repository.  Indeed, this grandiose Indo-Saracenic building is home to a variety of sculptures and paintings, mostly donated by private collectors.  It opened its doors in 1923, after serving as a military hospital, during the first world war.

Wellington Fountain

The Wellington Fountain, officially named Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Chowk situated at the northern tip of the Colaba Causeway at the entrance of Kala Ghoda in South Mumbai is one of the city most famous statue and roundabout.  It was built in 1801 to celebrate the visit of the Duke of Wellington.  It is surrounded by a variety of impressive colonial buildings including the Prince of Wales Museum on its Northern Side.

Chowpatty beach

Chowpatty beach located within the Girgaun area at the North Western tip of the Marine Drive is Mumbai’s most popular beach overlooking the Arabian Sea.  It get especially crowded during the evening, when many locals come to sit down in the sand and relax.  As for the Marine Drive, known as the Queen’s Necklace it is a famous arc-shaped coastal road going from Nariman Point in the East to Marine Drive to the West, passing by Churchgate, Marine Lines and Charni Road.

Victoria Station

Victoria Station, officially known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or CST, centrally located in the heart of South Mumbai is one of the most impressive remains of the British colonial heritage.  It was completed in 1888, designed by Frederick William and richly decorated with  domes and arches in the Victorian Gothic tradition to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.  It is today, one of India’s most busy train station, as well as the headquarter of the Central Railway, with no less than 2 million passengers and over a thousand trains every day.

Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat

The Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, a very large open air laundry is one of Mumbai’s most unique sight.  It is where thousands of dhobis or washermen, literally do Mumbai’s dirty laundry, hand-washing hundreds of items a day in a concrete cubicle for a 100 rupees.  Interestingly the craft is handed from generation to generation, and require immense physical strength.  The laundry is located next to the Mahalaxmi railway station, not far from the Haji Ali mosque.

Haji Ali

Haji Ali is a beautiful mosque and tomb,  uniquely located on a small island in the middle of the Arabian Sea, within Mumbai’s western coast and accessible through a 500 yard long walkway during the low tide.  It was  establish by a Haji Ali in 1431, a Muslim merchant known to have given up all his wealth, shortly after pilgrimage to Mecca.

Malabar hill

Malabar hill  is southern Mumbai highest point at a height of 50 metres.  It is famous for being home to the Walkeshwar Temple, the Tower of Silence and the Hanging Gardens.  It is considered a very upmarket residential area of the central part of the city.

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum

The Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum is one of Mumbai’s most sought after cultural desination, paying homage to one of India’s most celebrated figure.  Located on Laburnum Road within the Gamdevi district, not far from Chowpatty beach, the multi stories mansion offers a variety of photo and painting galleries, a library and even the actual room where the Mahatma lived. The house once served as the epicentre of Gandhi’s political activities.

Town Hall

The Town Hall located in the Kala Ghoda district and set in a remarkable building was first establish in 1804, the year the Literary Society of Bombay was formed.  It is today classified as one of Mumbai’s heritage sights and famous for housing the Asiatic Society of Bombay, which helps promote useful knowledge about India.

General Post Office

The General Post Office is conveniently located next to the  Victoria Station, and share a similar Saracenic architecture.  It is Mumbai central post office, handling most of the city’s inbound and outbound mail and parcels.

Dabbawallahs of Mumbai

The Dabbawallahs of Mumbai, one of the world’s most efficient food delivery service, is one of the city’s most unique and remarkable attractions.  Indeed those man delivers over 100, 000 uniquely package lunches in round stainless steel containers called dabbas, every single day to office workers all over the city.  As the number of errors is so low, the Dabbawallahs system is often mentioned in a variety of business books.

Crawford Market

The Crawford Market, officially known as the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai is strategically located north of the very busy Victoria Station and opposite the Mumbai Police headquarters.  It is considered one of the busiest and most famous markets in South Mumbai, offering  a variety of wholesale fruit, vegetable and poultry as well as a pet store with numerous dogs, cats, and birds.  The building itself in a mix of Norman and Flemish architectural styles, is famous for being the first in India to be lit up by electricity in 1882.

Mumbai Stock Exchange

The Mumbai Stock Exchange is India’s finance epicentre, located in the heart of Kala Ghoda within Dalal Street.  It is considered the 4th and oldest stock exchange in Asia and has the world’s largest number of listed companies with over 5,085, totalling about US$1.63 trillion in market capitalization.

Banganga

Banganga is a famous and ancient water tank located within the Malabar Hill of the Western side of South India.  It was first built in 1127 AD and later rebuilt in 1715 and is today part of the Walkeshwar Temple Complex.

Elephant Island

The Elephant Island is a small piece of land some e15 kilometers east of South Mumbai.  It is famous for its 6th-century cave temples dedicated to Shiva built into a rocky cliff, considered a UNESCO World Heritage.

Film City

Film City is Mumbai’s epicentre of Bollywood, the world’s largest film industry.  It is located in Goregaon in the western suburbs of Mumbai, next to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.  Closer to South Mumbai, next to the Churchgate railway station is the famous Eros Cinema within a beautiful building, ideal  place to catch a Bollywood movie.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a very large protected area covering 104 km2 (40 sq mi) and located within the northern part of Mumbai suburbs.  It is considered one of the world’s most visited parks, welcoming over 2 million visitors every year.  It is mostly famous for the rich variety of flora, fauna and birds species , as well as the 2400 years old Buddhist caves sculpted out of the rocky cliffs at its heart.  Not to forget it is the perfect peaceful retreat away from the buzz of the city.

Mumbai top sights itineraries

Depending how long you wish to spend in Mumbai, and how much you wish to visit, here is a few of the sights itineraries we propose.

  1. Crawford Market to Colaba Causeway
  2. Haji Ali to Chowpatty beach by Malabar Hill

Crawford Market to Colaba Causeway

The first itinerary is a classic North South route from the Fort area down to the southern Colaba.  You should start the day at the Crawford Market, moving south to Kala Ghoda, passing by the beautiful CST station and General Post Office.  You  may then pass by the Bombay Stock Exchange , and visit the Prince of Wales Museum.  Then further south to the Gate of India passing by the Wellington Fountain.  Finally enjoy a drink, a meal or do some shopping on the busy Colaba Causeway.

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Haji Ali to Chowpatty beach by Malabar Hill

The second itinerary is going through the central western side of Mumbai, starting at the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat and the Haji Ali tomb,  and the moving south to Malabar Hill and the Chowpatty Beach.

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