Explore the unruly streets of Mumbai in three days
Mumbai is a feeling which is difficult to describe, the closest and most appropriate description of this feeling I read in Shantaram (book by GREGORY DAVID ROBERTS) which goes like this
“The first thing I noticed about Bombay, on that first day, was the smell of the different air.I know now that it’s the sweet, sweating smell of hope, which is the opposite of hate; and it’s the sour, stifled smell of greed, which is the opposite of love. It’s the smell of gods, demons, empires, and civilisations in resurrection and decay. It’s the blue skin-smell of the sea, no matter where you are in the Island City, and the blood-metal smell of machines. It smells of heartbreak, and the struggle to live, and of the crucial failures and loves that produce our courage. It smells of ten thousand restaurants, five thousand temples, shrines, churches, and mosques, and of a hundred bazaars devoted exclusively to perfumes, spices, incense, and freshly cut flowers.”
After staying three years in Mumbai, I have fallen in love with the city, its energy, food and above all people who are full of life. Often people ask me about recommendation for things to do in Mumbai, and I feel where should I begin with? However I have worked out on this itinerary to conquer Mumbai in three days and dissected the itinerary as per the geographical landscape. It is important to remain centrally located in Mumbai, so that you can save the travel time.
The Southernmost tip-
Colaba is the most happening and upbeat area of Mumbai filled with bustling markets, colorful art galleries, and historic monuments. A shopaholic’s dream, the numerous cramped up stalls have many hidden treasures in Colaba Causeway.
The must do things on the first day are Gatway of India, Colaba, Marine Drive and Victoria Terminal; When you see this UNESCO World Heritage–listed train station, you’ll understand why it’s described as an eastern version of London’s St. Pancras.
Take a stroll along the bay and observe the couples taking a romantic walk, college students strolling and cycling along the walkways, taking in the salty breeze that fills the air with freshness. An evening walk on marine drive while munching the bhel-puri and sipping tea is a must do.
Go to Crawford market, once the only place to get exotic and imported ingredients. Drink in the gothic architecture and the stained glass windows.
Navigating the narrow lanes of Mumbai’s famous bazaars may not be a ‘delightful’ idea but will definitely be a delightful experience once you are through with it. Stock up on spices in the masala stores at Lalbagh Spice Market or explore antiques and gems at Chor Bazaar.
The New-sea link is like a jewel on the crown connecting Worli and Bandra, and that’s how you can be , closest to your favorite Bollywood actors.It is amusing to see fans herded infront of Mannat and Galaxy to see a glimpse of Sharukh or Salman.
From Mehboob studio to Mount Mary church, Bandra has something to offer to everyone.
Spread across the city, some of these are speciality markets (clothes, antiques, spices, flowers), some have a bit of everything, a few are enclosed, and others set up on the sidewalk. Some are organized and others are not. Bandra is shopping paradise for picking your designer clothes, and for the same Linking road is highly recommended for shoes and bags or escape to Lokhandwala for the ethnic shopping.
Mumbai beyond its glamour
If you’re a true admirer of leather as a material but are a little lost on where to find reasonably-priced yet high on quality goods, hit up Dharavi, home to the largest leather market in the world. There are many slum tours who can give you glimpse of slum life in a very responsible way.
The tomb of famous Muslim saint Haji Ali draws people from all faiths and walks of life. This 15th century structure is built on a tiny island off the coast of Worli. Watching the city from the shrine with the waves all around is usually an experience visitors tend to remember. If you’re lucky and your visit coincides with a performance by qawali singers, it will become an even more unforgettable evening.
Somewhere in the tangled mess of winding streets that make up India’s largest metropolitan city is a place known as the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, the largest unmechanized laundry facility and washer-men colony in the world.
Have you explored Mumbai any differently? I would love to hear your ideas..