5 tips for Mumbai

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Mumbai (until 1996 Bombay) is the capital of the state of Maharashtra and is located on the west coast of the Indian subcontinent.

With about 14 million inhabitants, it is one of the most populous cities in the world. About 22 million people live in the metropolis of Bombay. Originally, the current territory of Bombay consisted of 7 islands, which in the course of development city by land reclamation grew together into one island.

Bombay is the economic, financial and commercial center of India. It is also a transportation hub and, with its universities, colleges, museums, theaters and galleries, an important intellectual and cultural center of India.

In addition to the many music and theater performances, Bombay’s numerous cinemas provide great entertainment value.

Bombay is the leading center of the film industry in India. The entertainment films produced in the Bombay film studios are known worldwide. The studios are nicknamed Bollywood.

At the same time, Bombay is a cosmopolitan city. The most diverse restaurants, bars and cafes also provide a lot of entertainment.

Tip 1: Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

This station was called Victoria Terminus until 1996, but was renamed in 1996 after the Hindu marath leader Chhatrapati Shivaji. It has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 2004. The railroad station is one of the largest and busiest on earth and was designed by British architect Frederick William Stevens. It was completed in 1888 and expanded in the 1920s. The architecture of the station is Victorian and neo-Gothic. Probably the most impressive is the octagonal dome, about 100 meters high, which can also be walked on and on which the sculpture “Lady of Progress” is enthroned.

Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
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It is probably the most beautiful railroad station in India, if not one of the most beautiful at all. To crown it all, it is also very atmospherically illuminated in the evening.

Tip 2: Gateway of India

The imposing archway directly on the Arabian Sea in the Colaba district is indisputably the biggest landmark in the city of Mumbai. The 26-meter-high archway is not old at all, as one might think at first. It was completed in 1924 according to the plans of the British architect George Wittet. The archway was designed to commemorate the visit of King George V in 1911 and actually to provide an imposing welcome for the passengers of British steamships.

Gateway of India in Mumbai
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But after the last British ship departed from the archway in 1948, symbolizing the end of British rule and India’s independence, the Gateway of India took on much greater significance. Today it is a tourist attraction and an ideal place for evening walks. In addition, numerous boats depart from the Gate of India to the wonderful neighboring island of Elephanta.

Tip 3: Elephanta Caves

Mumbai is an extremely exciting city. It’s noisy, the traffic is crazy (to the point of scary), and you’re overwhelmed by people wanting to take a picture with the exotic-looking Westerners.

If you eventually get exhausted from all the people, cars, cows, sounds and smells, the Elephanta Caves offer you a chance to escape the bustling city and explore another exciting Mumbai sight.

Elephanta Island caves near Mumbai in Maharashtra state, India

The caves are located on Elephanta Island, about 10 kilometers east of the Mumbai mainland. Here you will find 6 cave temples in an area of about 2 square kilometers, where the Hindu god Shiva is worshipped.

In the 16th century, a large stone elephant statue stood in the island’s harbor, which is why the Portuguese gave the island the name Elephanta.

Unfortunately, since the island was used as a military base for a time, not all of the temples and statues in the caves have been perfectly preserved. Nevertheless, a trip to the cave temples is worthwhile.

The Elephanta Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tip 4: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharai Vastu Sangrahalaya

Besides the temples and mosques, Mumbai has many other impressive attractions and buildings to offer. One of them is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharai Vastu Sangrahalaya, very close to the Mumbai University and the Rajabai Bell Tower.

In this museum you will find about 50,000 artifacts from the fields of art, archaeology and natural history in an area of 12,000 square meters.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharai Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai
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The museum is surrounded by a large palm garden and the exterior is at least as impressive as the interior.

As early as November 11, 1905, the Prince of Wales laid the first stone for this handsome building in what was then Bombay. Until 1990, it was therefore still called the Prince of Wales Museum.

Actual construction began only in 1909 under the supervision of British architect George Wittet (who also designed the Gateway of India) and ended in 1915.

During World War I, the building was used as a military hospital. It was not until January 10, 1922 that the building became the museum it is today. Those who are not too interested in the artifacts inside the museum should at least not miss the magnificent architecture.

Tip 5: Siddhivinayak Temple

The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shri Ganesh. It is located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It was originally built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil in 1801. It is one of the richest temples in India.

Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai
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The temple has a small mandap with the shrine to Siddhi Vinayak (“Ganesha granting your wish”). The wooden doors to the sanctum are carved with images of the Ashtavinayak (the eight manifestations of Ganesha in Maharashtra). The inner roof of the sanctum is covered with gold, and the central statue is of Ganesha. There is also a Hanuman temple in the periphery. The exterior of the temple consists of a dome that is illuminated with several colors in the evening and changes every few hours. The statue of Shri Ganesha is located just below the dome.

The Siddhivinayak Mandir evolved from a small, tiny place of worship to the Great Temple that stands today in the later half of the twentieth century. Temple fame was bought not only by the politicians who frequented the temple, but also Bollywood movie stars who constantly visit to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha.