Acclaimed as one of the Alpha world cities, Mumbai has that everlasting charm that can set the holiday mood rolling. The cosmopolitan metropolis is the largest and most populous in India and had served as an important administration hub under the British Rule. In fact, the colonial allure added to the city during the foreign rule renders it with a distinct character. Today, the city is recognized by its bustling beaches, colonial buildings and monuments, religious places, contemporary malls and Bollywood, one of the largest film industries in the world.
Many of the city’s attractions are located in its southern part. The Gateway of India, built on the waterfront using yellow basalt, is easily the most identifiable icon of the city. Erected by the British, it marked arrival of English Viceroys and other officials to India. It also serves as the starting point for ferries that take the tourists to Elephanta Caves located on Elephanta Island. These rock-cut ancient caves date back to the times of Mahabharata and are well-known around the world for their mesmerizing stone sculptures.
Another attraction of Mumbai tourism is Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus that serves Indian Central Railways and has a remarkably attractive station building built in Victorian Gothic style. The Prince of Wales Museum is known for its Indo-Saracen style building and three sections featuring more than 50,000 exhibits. The Art section of the museum accommodates, manuscripts, paintings, ivories, metal ware, arms and armors and many other items, while the Archaeological section exhibits coins, sculptures, weapons, ornaments and other items that had been obtained during excavations.
The coastline of Mumbai, formed by the Arabian Sea, has many wonderful attractions to its credit. Marine Drive is a stretch of 3 km that provides the opportunity to enjoy marvelous sunset views and to breathe in fresh air. Chowpatty Beach is the most important attraction of this stretch. It is crowded at times, but enjoying the delicious snacks like panipuri and bhelpuri at the beach is recommended. Aksa Beach is popular for offering clean and serene environment and is admired for fun activity of collecting shells. Juhu Beach is known for the presence of the residence of Bollywood celebrities.
Among the most popular religious places is the mosque called Haji Ali Dargah. Located on a small islet, about 500 m off the coast; the mosque can be visited through an adjoining path amidst the splashing tides. Siddhivinayak Temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesha, is another important religious site in the city. There are many churches in the city; some of the most visited ones including St. Michael’s Church, St. John the Baptist Church and St. Andrew’s Church.
The city also has some beautiful gardens that allow spending some great moments. Hanging Gardens and Kamla Nehru Park are some good examples. The tourists also take pleasure in exploring the fabulous architecture of buildings like High Court, University of Mumbai and Bombay Stock Exchange. There are many destinations for shopping and to enjoy the local cuisines and foods.