Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai. Mumbai is a compact mix of traditional and modern. A lively and varied place, this waterfront city boasts a vibrant and cosmopolitan identity.

Few cities in the world leave visitors with such vivid impressions, whether it's the glitz and glamour of 'Bollywood', the spectacular array of Victorian buildings, the seaside rendezvous on Juhu Beach, or the maze of alleyways and streets of Mumbai.

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai

Mumbai is in all ways a mega-city driven by power, wealth, glamour and fame. It is also a city with strong historical links, wonderful British architecture, museums, beaches, places of worship, and above all, a true galaxy of stars where Bollywood reigns supreme.

The seven islands that came to constitute Mumbai were earlier home to communities of fishing colonies. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company.

During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped with the construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation project transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea.

Upon India’s independence in 1947 the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In 1960, following the Sanyukta Maharashtra movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as the capital. The city was renamed Mumbai in 1996. And in this short period of development, the city has transformed into the commercial and entertainment capital of India.

Travel In Mumbai: Bedse Caves

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Bedse Caves
Bedse is situated in the Maval Taluka of Pune District and is situated about 45 km Northwest of Pune. It can be approached by taking a diversion at Kamshet.

The caves date back to th 1st Century BC. There are two finished and two unfinished Buddhist caves at Bedse along with some rock–cut cisterns and a memorial stupa. The ‘chaityagriha’ (a Buddhist shrine) is carved with a stone screen and a verandah has tall pillars with beautifully carved images of animals and riders.

The ‘vihara’ at Bedse is unique for its apsidal plan and vaulted roof. The inscription on the door frame of a cell in the courtyard of the chaityagriha records a donation of a person from Nashik. The caves at Bedse are considered an important stage in the development of Buddhist cave architecture in India

Travel In Mumbai: Bhandardara

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Bhandardara in the western ghats is a village located in the Ahmednagar district about 185 kilometres from Mumbai. With the Pravara River, and natural environment, waterfalls, a mountain, Forts, Wilson Dam, Arthur Lake and Randha Falls Amruteshwar Temple etc Bhandardara is a huge tourist attraction.

The highest peak in Maharashtra, Mount Kalsubai is 1646 m, and the starting point for this trek at Bari Village is located 12 km away from Bhandardara.

Travel In Mumbai: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus- CSMT formerly known as Victoria Terminus in Mumbai is the city’s most exuberant Gothic building. A magnificent and huge structure, it was completed in 1887, and was named after Queen Victoria.

Its remarkable stone dome, turrets, pointed arches are akin to traditional Indian palace architecture. It is now a designated World Heritage Site. The CSMT is the originating and terminating station for hundreds of express and suburban trains, in which around 30 Lakh people commute daily.

Travel In Mumbai: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
If ever a window was required to peep into the fascinating world of art and antiquities, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India is the right place to visit.

This museum is most famous for having acquired a huge collection of Indian miniatures and other important antiquities, more particularly, the Maratha textiles, arms and armour from the collection of Seth Purshottam Mavji.

This collection was once a part of the treasures of Nana Phadnavis, the most influential minister during the reign of the Peshwas. The importance of the museum has also been enhanced due to the donation of a fascinating art collection from the repository of Sir Ratan Tata and Sir Dorabji Tata.

Built from a winning entry by architect George Wittet in 1909, the museum offers insights into the rich past of the country with its archaeological artefacts sourced from various excavated sites.

The museum has a representative collection of various forms of art from the Indian subcontinent and also to a certain extent works of art from China, Japan and European countries. Additionally, it houses a study collection of natural history specimens.

Travel In Mumbai: Deolali

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Beautiful, scenic and peaceful are the best words to describe Deolali, a hill town situated amidst the Sahyadri Hills. It is a well-maintained cantonment area with beautiful picnic spots, temples and lush greens environs. The place attracts a lot of visitors from adjoining cities, especially on weekends.

Travel In Mumbai: Elephanta Caves

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Elephanta Caves
The Elephanta Caves are located on Elephanta Island (otherwise known as the Island of Gharapuri), which features two hillocks separated by a narrow valley. The rock-cut Elephanta Caves were constructed about the mid-5th to 6th centuries AD. The most important among the caves is the great Cave 1, which measures 39 metres from the front entrance to the back. The 7-metre-high masterpiece Sadashiva” dominates the entrance to Cave 1.

The sculpture represents three aspects of Shiva: the Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer, identified, respectively,  with Aghora or Bhairava (left half), Taptapurusha or Mahadeva (central full face), and Vamadeva or Uma (right half). The Elephanta Caves is a designated World Heritage Site. Regular ferries/launches are available from the Gateway of India to Elephanta Caves.

Travel In Mumbai: Ganeshpuri Temple

Ganeshpuri once a dense forestland inhabited by a few tribal communities, Ganeshpuri was transformed into a spiritual centre by a spiritual leader  Nityanand Swami. The place has a Shiva temple, a few natural hot-water springs and several other temples. Of the many hot springs, a few are open to the public with bathhouses built around them.

The Vajreshwari Temple is dedicated to goddess Vajreshwari, who is an incarnation of goddess Parvati. The temple was built by the Peshwas after winning back the Vasai Fort from the Portuguese.

The temple is situated at the foothills of the Mandakini hills. The Mandakini hills were formed out of volcanic eruption, which also explains the numerous mineral-rich springs in the area. A flight of fifty odd steps leads to the temple perched on the top of a small hillock.

Travel In Mumbai: Gateway Of India

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Gateway Of India
This colossal structure was constructed in 1924 and is located at the tip of Apollo Bunder, and overlooks the Mumbai harbour, bordered by the Arabian Sea.The Gateway of India was constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay (Mumbai) facing the majestic Hotel Taj Mahal. It is also the departing point for ferries plying to Elephanta Island famed for the cave temple sculpted out of rocks and a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.

Travel In Mumbai: Global Vipassana Pagoda

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Global Vipassana Pagoda
The Global Vipassana Pagoda has been the inspiration of the well-known Vipassana meditation master Acharya S N Goenka and is representative of the teachings of Gautama Buddha.

It is located in Gorai, in the suburban area of Borivali. Built on the lines of famous Shwedagon Pagoda of Yangon, where the hair relic of the Buddha is enshrined the Global Vipassana Pagoda houses genuine bone relics of Buddha.

The monument is a three-storied huge hollow stone structure painted in a shining Thai golden paint. It is the world’s largest pillar-less dome especially designed for meditation. The relics are enshrined in the centre of the middle dome on a revolving stage. It has the capacity to accommodate over 8,000 meditators at a time.

Travel In Mumbai: Haji Ali Mosque

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Haji Ali Mosque
Haji Ali Dargah is a Mosque and a Tomb located in the Mahim Bay overlooking the Arabian Sea. The Haji Ali Dargah was constructed in 1431 in memory of a wealthy Muslim merchant, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who renounced all his worldly possessions before making a pilgrimage to Mecca.

The tomb in itself is simple in design. The main structure with a white dome. The main hall has marble pillars embellished with artistic mirror work with blue, green, yellow chips of glass arranged in kaleidoscopic patterns interspersed with Arabic patterns which spell the 99 names of Allah.

Travel In Mumbai: Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Karnala Bird Sanctuary
A popular destination for amateur bird-watchers and ornithologists, the sanctuary is also visited by avid hikers, and is a favourite for picnickers, especially families from Mumbai and its surrounding regions.

Karnala was declared a bird sanctuary in 1968 as the first one of its kind in Maharashtra by the state government in recognition of the remarkable efforts of Dr Salim Ali who pioneered the mission of bird preservation in the country.

Travel In Mumbai: Lonavala And Khandala

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Lonavala And Khandala
Lonavala and Khandala are twin hill stations about 64 kilometres away from Pune and 100 kilometres from Mumbai and offer breathtaking sights of the valley and the hills with tiny villages tucked in the folds. One of the best points, about 6.5 kilometers from Lonavala, is the Rajmachi Point which commands a view of the surrounding valley.

Another hotspot with tourists is the Valvan Dam, Duke’s Nose, Kune Falls, Bushi Dam, and the nearby Bhaja and Karla caves ancient, Buddhist rock-cut shrines featuring intricate carvings and pillars.

Travel In Mumbai: Mahalaxmi Temple

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Mahalaxmi Temple
The Mahalaxmi Temple is an ancient shrine dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Mahakali and Goddess Mahasaraswati, who are adorned with resplendent jewellery. This beautiful temple overlooking the Arabian Sea at one end of Breach Candy, now known as Bhulabhai Desai Road, is in a trendy residential and shopping area.

The Mahalaxmi Temple is renowned for its exquisite architecture and intricate designs with the main doorway leading to the temple complex luxuriously ornamented attracting not only pilgrims but also avid photographers.

Travel In Mumbai: National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA)

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA)
If you wish to attend lectures, seminars and conferences, and to encourage higher studies and research in the field of art history, art criticism, art appreciation, musicology and the inter-relations on visual and performing arts then NGMA is the place for you.

The idea of a national art gallery to germinate and bear fruit was first mooted in 1949. It was nurtured carefully by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Azad, sensitive bureaucrats like Humayun Kabir and an active art community. The Gallery is the premier institution of its kind in India.

The gallery is a repository of the cultural ethos of the country and showcases the changing art forms through the passage of the last 150 years. Notwithstanding some gaps, the NGMA collection today is undeniably the most significant collection of modern and contemporary art in the country today.

Travel In Mumbai: Sanjay Gandhi National Park And Kanheri Caves

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Sanjay Gandhi National Park And Kanheri Caves
The caves date back to 1st century BC and are believed to be one of the oldest cave formations of the country. The Kanheri Caves are renowned for their natural Basalt formations, ancient Indian styled architecture and the 109 special entrances to the caves.

The word Kanheri originates from the Sanskrit term 'Krishnagiri'. Each cave here, unlike the other caves in the country, is adorned with a 'splinth' or a rock bed. Congregation halls with large stupas also indicate that the caves were Buddhist shrines and a focal point during the Buddhist settlement in the 3rd century.

The Kanheri Caves became a distinctive Buddhist institution for congregational worship, study and meditation.Spanning from the 1st century BC to 11th century AD, an era that saw the rise and decline of Buddhism, these caves present an insight into its evolution and also have the distinction of having the largest number of cave excavations from a single hill.

Travel In Mumbai: Siddhivinayak Temple

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
Siddhivinayak Temple
Located at Prabhadevi in central Mumbai, the idol of Shree Siddhivinayak was carved out of a single black stone with the trunk on the right which is rather an unusual appearance of Lord Ganesh.

The upper right and left hands hold a lotus and an axe respectively while the lower right and left hands hold a rosary (japmala) and a bowl full of ‘modak’. On the forehead of the deity is an eye, which is like the third eye of Lord Shiva.

On both sides of Lord Ganesh are placed one idol each of goddesses Riddhi and Siddhi. It is because of this that the temple is called the Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple.

These goddesses signify sanctity, success, wealth and prosperity. Tuesday is the main day of Darshan and Puja, but this temple is frequented by hundreds of devotees every day.

Travel In Mumbai: The Yoga Institute

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
The Yoga Institute
The Yoga Institute, world’s oldest and first organized centre for Holistic Classical Yoga, was founded in 1918 by Shri Yogendraji (Father of Modern Yoga Renaissance). Three generations of Yogendra family, have been unrelentingly transforming lives of millions of householders and spread yogic wisdom for 100 years.

Travel In Mumbai: Vasai

Best Places To Travel In Mumbai, India
It is famous for the Vasai Fort, which was built by the Portuguese with an intention to keep a watch over the region of Vasai, Thane earlier known as Saashti. The fort witnessed the victory of the Marathas under the leadership of Chimaji Appa from 1737 to 1739, against the Portuguese.

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