City of Mumbai / मुम्बई

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Mumbai (map), earlier known as Bombay, is the largest city in India and the capital of the state *Maharashtra. Mumbai bears the distinction of being the most cosmopolitan city of India. It has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India.

Mumbai’s nature as the most eclectic and cosmopolitan Indian city is symbolized in the presence of Bollywood within the city. It is also home to India’s largest slum population and the iconic *Gateway of India (map) built on the waterfront of Mumbai Harbour during the British Raj.

Mumbai is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the *Elephanta Caves (map), *Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (map), and the city’s distinctive ensemble of *Victorian and Art Deco (map).

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The architecture of the city is a blend of Gothic Revival, Indo-Saracenic, Art Deco, and other contemporary styles. Most of the buildings during the British period, such as the Victoria Terminus and Bombay University, were built in Gothic Revival style. Mumbai has the second largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world after Miami. Art Deco styled landmarks can be found along the *Marine Drive (map) and west of the *Oval Maidan (map). (*List of tourist attractions in Mumbai)

There is a lot to see in Mumbai, but the typical “tourist” sights are concentrated in *South Mumbai. The oldest areas of Mumbai, and is considered the heart of this commercial capital of India. Most of the city’s famous landmarks, including the iconic Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Hotel (map), and Marine Drive (Queen’s Necklace) are found here. This area also connects to another nearby UNESCO Heritage Site of Elephanta Caves (map), located on the Elephanta Island. Ferries are available from Gateway of India to the island.

The British built a magnificent city within the walls of Fort St. George, which lies at the southern extremity of the city. Some fine examples of the Gothic revival, Neo-classical style and Indo-Saracenic style are seen within this area. To get the best [South Mumbai] experience, stroll around the wide streets of the area right from Churchgate (map) to Colaba (map).

Mumbai is probably worth visiting just for its street markets, the hustle of vendors, and the madness of the crowds. Good places are Bandra (map), Khar (map). If you came to Mumbai and didn’t give visit to the highly dense and crowded markets, it means you didn’t meet the real Mumbai.

Summers are usually hot, winters are cool and monsoon period brings a lot of rains to the city.

Public transport

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*Mumbai Metro


 BUS >   Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (known as BEST) provides efficient and comprehensive services connecting up all places of the city and the suburbs. Some services also link the city with the extended suburbs like Navi Mumbai, Thane, and Mira-Bhayandar areas. Buses are numbered and the final destination is marked on the front in Marathi and on the side in English.

BEST has launched its app “BEST Prawas” for Android, which contains features like live tracking of buses and ETA of buses.

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While you can’t take a cross-country bus ride across India, buses are the second most-popular way of travelling across states and the only cheap way of reaching many places not on the rail network (e.g. Dharamsala).

 RAIL > / *Mumbai Suburban Railway (Central RailwayWestern Railway). Railways were introduced in India in 1853, more than one and half a century ago by the British, and today India boasts of the biggest network of railway lines in the world, and the rail system is very efficient, if rarely on schedule. It is one of the safest ways of travel in India.

The Konkan Railway (which is a separately administered and newly built line) travels through the picturesque Konkan coast of Maharastra and is a good way to travel from *Goa (map) and *Mangalore (map), coastal resort areas to the South.

>> *Rail travel in India

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