Mumbai: The City of Dreams

Mumbai: The City of Dreams

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is a coastal city located in the western part of India. It is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and is the most populous city in India. Mumbai is located on the west coast of India, overlooking the Arabian Sea. It is the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of India.

Short History

Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. The city is located on the west coast of India and has a rich history dating back to the 2nd century BC, when it was a group of seven islands that were inhabited by fishermen.

In the 16th century, the islands were ruled by the Portuguese, who established a trading center in the area. In 1661, the islands were given to the British as part of a dowry for the marriage of Catherine of Braganza to Charles II of England.

Under British rule, Mumbai became a major port city and an important center of trade and commerce. It played a key role in the development of India’s cotton and textile industries and was an important hub for the transportation of goods and people.

In 1947, India gained independence from Britain, and Mumbai became the capital of the newly formed state of Maharashtra. Since then, the city has continued to grow and develop, becoming one of the most important centers of business, finance, and entertainment in India.


Mumbai is a city with a diverse range of architectural styles, reflecting its history of being ruled by different empires and colonizers. Some notable architectural styles in Mumbai include:

  • Art Deco: Mumbai has one of the largest collections of Art Deco buildings in the world, with over 200 structures built in the style during the 1930s and 1940s.
  • Gothic Revival: Many of Mumbai’s public buildings, such as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly known as Victoria Terminus) and the University of Mumbai, were built in the Gothic Revival style during the British colonial period.
  • Indo-Saracenic: This style, which combines Indian and Islamic architecture, can be seen in buildings such as the Gateway of India and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum).
  • Contemporary: Mumbai has a growing number of contemporary buildings, such as the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and the Imperial Towers, which are among the tallest residential buildings in India.
  • Vernacular: Mumbai also has a rich tradition of vernacular architecture, with many buildings constructed using locally sourced materials and techniques that have evolved over centuries.

Overall, the architectural landscape of Mumbai is a reflection of its diverse history and cultural influences.

Museums and Galleries

Mumbai has a rich cultural and artistic history, and there are many museums and galleries that showcase its heritage and contemporary art scene. Some of the most interesting ones are:

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya: Formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum, it is one of the most prominent museums in Mumbai and showcases ancient Indian art, sculptures, and artifacts.
  • Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum: This museum is dedicated to the history and art of Mumbai and showcases various exhibits from the city’s colonial past.
  • National Gallery of Modern Art: This art gallery has a collection of modern and contemporary art from Indian artists, as well as some international works.
  • Jehangir Art Gallery: One of Mumbai’s most prominent art galleries, it has hosted many prominent Indian artists and showcases contemporary art.
  • Sassoon Dock Art Project: This project aims to transform the city’s oldest dock into a space for contemporary art, with installations and exhibitions by local and international artists.
  • Mumbai Art Room: A nonprofit art space that showcases emerging contemporary artists from India and around the world.
  • Bhau Daji Lad Museum: The oldest museum in Mumbai, it displays Mumbai’s cultural heritage in the form of photographs, manuscripts, maps, and lithographs.
  • Nehru Centre Art Gallery: This gallery hosts exhibitions and workshops by local and international artists, showcasing a range of artistic styles.
  • Piramal Museum of Art: The museum hosts exhibitions and events that showcase contemporary Indian art and photography.
  • National Museum of Indian Cinema: This museum showcases the history of Indian cinema, including exhibits on the evolution of Indian films and the actors who starred in them.

These museums and galleries offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage and artistic scene of Mumbai.

Landmarks and Monuments

Mumbai is a city located on the west coast of India. It is known for its vibrant culture, historic landmarks, and bustling street life. Here are some of the most interesting landmarks and monuments in Mumbai:

  • Gateway of India: This historic monument is an archway that was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai in 1911.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: Formerly known as Victoria Terminus, this impressive railway station is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of Mumbai’s colonial history.
  • Elephanta Caves: These ancient rock-cut caves are located on an island in Mumbai Harbour and are known for their intricate carvings and sculptures.
  • Haji Ali Dargah: This mosque and tomb are located on a tiny islet off the coast of Mumbai and are a popular pilgrimage site for Muslims.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya: This museum houses a vast collection of Indian art and artifacts, including ancient sculptures, paintings, and decorative arts.
  • Marine Drive: This picturesque promenade is a popular spot for evening walks and offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea.
  • Crawford Market: This historic market is a bustling hub of activity and offers everything from fresh produce to souvenirs.
  • Mahalaxmi Temple: This Hindu temple is dedicated to the goddess Mahalaxmi and is a popular site for devotees.
  • Bandra-Worli Sea Link: This engineering marvel is a cable-stayed bridge that spans the Arabian Sea and connects the neighborhoods of Bandra and Worli.
  • Siddhivinayak Temple: This Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Mumbai.

These are just a few of the many landmarks and monuments that make Mumbai such an interesting city to explore.

Parks and Green Spaces

Despite being a crowded metropolis, Mumbai is home to several beautiful parks and green spaces that are worth visiting. Some of the most popular parks and green spaces in Mumbai are:

  • Sanjay Gandhi National Park: Located in the northern part of the city, this national park is one of the largest parks in the world located within city limits. It is home to several species of animals and birds, including tigers, leopards, and deer.
  • Hanging Gardens: Also known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, this terraced garden is located in the heart of the city and offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea.
  • Shivaji Park: This large park in central Mumbai is a popular spot for morning and evening walks, and is also a venue for several cultural and political events.
  • Horniman Circle Gardens: This historic garden in the Fort area of Mumbai is surrounded by several beautiful colonial-era buildings and is a popular spot for picnics and relaxing.
  • Kamala Nehru Park: Located in the posh Malabar Hill area, this park is known for its giant shoe-shaped structure that is popular among children.
  • Joggers Park: Situated in the Bandra neighborhood, this park is a popular spot for jogging, cycling, and other outdoor activities.
  • Juhu Beach: Although not strictly a park or garden, Juhu Beach is one of the most popular open spaces in Mumbai and is known for its long stretch of sandy beach and vibrant street food scene.
  • Powai Lake: Located in the northern part of Mumbai, this scenic lake is surrounded by several parks and gardens and is a popular spot for boating and picnics.
  • Dadar Beach: This lesser-known beach in central Mumbai is a great spot for watching the sunset and enjoying a quiet evening by the sea.
  • Chhota Kashmir: This small park in the Goregaon neighborhood is known for its beautiful gardens and artificial lake, and is a popular spot for family outings.

These parks and green spaces offer a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, and are perfect for relaxing, exercising, and enjoying nature.

Shopping Districts

Some of the worth to visit shopping districts in Mumbai:

  • Colaba Causeway: This is a bustling shopping district located in South Mumbai, known for its colorful street markets and shops selling everything from clothes to jewelry, handicrafts, and antiques.
  • Chor Bazaar: This is a popular flea market in Mumbai, famous for its vintage and second-hand goods, including clothing, furniture, and electronics.
  • Crawford Market: This is a wholesale market located in South Mumbai, known for its variety of fresh produce, spices, and dry fruits.
  • Linking Road: This is a popular shopping district in Bandra, Mumbai, known for its trendy fashion boutiques, street vendors, and restaurants.
  • Hill Road: Located in Bandra, Mumbai, this shopping district is famous for its fashion boutiques, street food stalls, and budget-friendly shopping options.
  • Phoenix Marketcity: This is a modern shopping mall located in Kurla, Mumbai, featuring a range of high-end fashion brands, restaurants, and entertainment options.
  • Inorbit Mall: Located in Malad, Mumbai, this is another popular shopping mall featuring a range of fashion brands, electronics, and entertainment options.
  • High Street Phoenix: This is a luxury shopping and entertainment destination in Lower Parel, Mumbai, featuring a range of high-end fashion brands, restaurants, and cafes.
  • Fashion Street: Located in South Mumbai, this street market is famous for its trendy fashion items, including clothes, shoes, and accessories, all sold at affordable prices.
  • Zaveri Bazaar: This is a famous jewelry market in Mumbai, known for its exquisite gold, diamond, and silver jewelry, as well as precious stones and gems.

Food and Drink

Mumbai is a melting pot of various cultures and cuisines, and offers a diverse range of delicious food and drinks. Here are some dishes and drinks to try when in Mumbai:

  • Vada Pav: This is a popular street food in Mumbai, consisting of a deep-fried potato dumpling served in a bread roll with chutney.
  • Pav Bhaji: Another popular street food in Mumbai, pav bhaji consists of a spicy vegetable curry served with buttered bread rolls.
  • Bhel Puri: A savory snack made with puffed rice, vegetables, and tamarind sauce.
  • Butter Chicken: A classic North Indian dish made with tender chicken in a creamy tomato-based sauce.
  • Seafood: Mumbai is known for its fresh and delicious seafood, with popular dishes like fish curry and butter garlic prawns.
  • Chai: Mumbai is famous for its chai (tea), which is a staple beverage for locals and visitors alike.
  • Falooda: A sweet drink made with milk, rose syrup, and vermicelli noodles.
  • Lassi: A refreshing yogurt-based drink, often flavored with fruit or spices.
  • Kokum Juice: A tangy drink made from the fruit of the kokum tree, often served as a refreshing summer drink.
  • Cutting Chai: A small serving of chai, perfect for a quick pick-me-up while exploring the city.

Note: Mumbai has a large vegetarian population, so there are also many delicious vegetarian dishes available.


Mumbai, being a bustling metropolitan city, has various modes of transportation for people to move around. Here are some of the best ways to move around Mumbai:

  • Local Trains: Mumbai’s local train network is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to travel around the city. The trains run on three major routes- Western, Central, and Harbour lines.
  • Buses: Mumbai has an extensive network of public buses that connect all parts of the city. The buses are operated by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) and are a cheap and convenient mode of transport.
  • Taxis: Taxis are available 24/7 in Mumbai and can be hailed on the street or booked through ride-hailing apps like Uber and Ola. Taxis are slightly more expensive than buses and trains but are more comfortable and convenient.
  • Auto-rickshaws: Auto-rickshaws are a common sight on the streets of Mumbai. They are smaller than taxis and are a cheaper alternative for shorter distances.
  • Metro: Mumbai’s metro rail network is a relatively new addition to the city’s transport system. The network currently has one operational line, and more lines are under construction.
  • Ferry: Mumbai also has a ferry service that connects the city to nearby islands like Elephanta and Alibaug. The ferry is an excellent option for those looking for a scenic and comfortable ride.

It is recommended to avoid driving in Mumbai due to the heavy traffic congestion and narrow roads. Instead, opt for public transportation or hire a driver.

City Safety

Mumbai, like any big city, has its share of crime and safety concerns. However, the city has also implemented measures to improve safety, such as increased police patrols and surveillance. Visitors to Mumbai should still take precautions such as staying alert and avoiding isolated areas, particularly at night. It’s always a good idea to keep valuable belongings in a secure place and be cautious of pickpockets and scammers. Overall, Mumbai is considered a relatively safe city for visitors, as long as they take basic safety precautions.

Expensive or Cheap

Mumbai is considered to be one of the most expensive cities in India. The cost of living, including accommodation, transportation, and food, is relatively high compared to other cities in the country. However, compared to other major cities in the world, Mumbai is still relatively affordable. The cost of living in Mumbai can vary depending on the neighborhood and lifestyle choices.

Date Ideas

There are many interesting and unique things to do in Mumbai for a fun and romantic date. Here are some date ideas for Mumbai:

  • Marine Drive: Take a romantic walk along the beautiful Marine Drive at sunset and enjoy the stunning view of the Arabian Sea.
  • Elephanta Caves: Visit the Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on an island off the coast of Mumbai. Take a ferry ride and explore the ancient caves together.
  • Gateway of India: Visit the iconic Gateway of India monument and take a romantic boat ride to explore the nearby islands.
  • Bandra Fort: Take a walk on the Bandra Fort, located in the suburb of Bandra. The fort is situated on a hill and offers a breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline.
  • Food Tour: Mumbai is famous for its street food, so go on a food tour and try some of the delicious local delicacies together.
  • Bollywood Tour: Take a Bollywood tour and visit the famous film studios, where you can see the making of Bollywood movies.
  • Chor Bazaar: Go shopping at the famous Chor Bazaar, which is known for its antiques and vintage items.
  • Art Galleries: Visit the various art galleries in Mumbai, such as the National Gallery of Modern Art and Jehangir Art Gallery.
  • Sanjay Gandhi National Park: Take a nature walk in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which is located within the city limits and is home to a variety of flora and fauna.
  • Watch a Play: Mumbai has a thriving theater scene, so watch a play or musical at one of the many theaters in the city.

These are just a few ideas for a romantic date in Mumbai. With its vibrant culture, delicious food, and stunning scenery, Mumbai has plenty to offer couples looking for a memorable experience.

Fun and Interesting Facts

Really interesting to know, that:

  • Mumbai was originally named “Bombay” by the British, and the name was officially changed to Mumbai in 1995.
  • It is the most populous city in India, with a population of over 20 million people.
  • Mumbai is home to the largest film industry in the world, known as Bollywood, and produces more films per year than Hollywood.
  • The city’s iconic landmark is the Gateway of India, a grand arch built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.
  • Mumbai is known for its dabbawalas, a group of lunchbox delivery men who transport thousands of meals across the city each day with incredible accuracy and efficiency.
  • The city is home to the world’s most expensive private residence, Antilia, owned by Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries.
  • Mumbai is a hub for street food, with popular dishes including vada pav, pav bhaji, and bhel puri.
  • The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a historic railway station in Mumbai, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Mumbai’s Marine Drive is a popular promenade that curves along the Arabian Sea and is sometimes referred to as the “Queen’s Necklace” due to the streetlights that resemble a string of pearls.
  • The Haji Ali Dargah, a mosque and tomb located on a small island off the coast of Mumbai, is a popular pilgrimage site for Muslims and a popular tourist attraction.

In conclusion: Mumbai is a bustling metropolis with a rich history and diverse culture. It is a city that never sleeps, with a thriving film industry, vibrant street food scene, and stunning landmarks that draw millions of tourists each year. Despite its challenges, such as overpopulation and traffic congestion, Mumbai remains a fascinating and dynamic city that captures the essence of modern India.