YOUR INTODUCTION TO INDIA
- Did You Know -
1. India’s first ever train ran between Mumbai and Thane
On 16 April 1853, India’s first train commenced its operation. Mumbai Locals are the busiest railways in the world and carry about 2.2 billion passengers every year. Mumbai also has the most obsolete electric rail chain in India, which was installed in 1925.
2. Mumbai was the first one to start a bus service in India
It was on 15 July 1926, that the first ever bus service in India was started. The first route was ridden between Afghan Church and Crawford Market.
3. World’s most expensive house is in Mumbai
Antilia, Mukesh Ambani’s 27-story skyscraper is cited as the world’s most expensive house, valued at almost $1 billion. The business tycoon moved into the 400,000 square feet mansion in 2012 with his wife and three children.
4. The Bandra-Worli Sea Link is made up of cement and steel wire equal to the girth of the earth
Officially known as Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, it has a length of around 5.6 kms. It was made with 90,000 tonnes of cement and steel wire equal to the earth’s girth.
5. We all know that it was called Bombay earlier, but you know why?
When the city was in the hands of the Portuguese, they saw it was a natural water bay. Hence, they called it ‘Bom Bhaia’, which is the Portuguese term for ‘good bay’. Later, Bombay was given to the British as dowry when a Portuguese princess married an English prince. They re named the city Bombay. And that’s how the city got its name!
6. Mumbai was once an archipelago of 7 islands
Although now connected, the islands that formed ‘Bombay’ are Isle of Bombay, Colaba, Old Woman's Island (Little Colaba), Mahim, Mazagaon, Parel and Worli. It took over 5 centuries to unite them together to form an emotion called ‘Bombay’. These were famous fishing centres and some of these communities are still active.
7. Mumbai was re named after a local temple deity
Mumbadevi, the patron goddess of the fishing community inspired the name ‘Mumbai’. ‘Mumba’ is the name of the goddess and ‘ai’ is mother. The Mumbadevi temple is situated in Bhuleshwar.
8. Mumbai has a coastline of about 150 kilometres
Not many people know about its vast coastline. Right from Marine Drive to Aksa Beach, Mumbai has huge coastline. Marine Drive is beautifully embellished with the ‘queen’s necklace’.
9. Mumbai is one of the most helpful cities of India
According to a lot of travellers, Mumbai has shown helpful attitude many times over. It has endured a lot of pain through natural calamities, but even in those hard times, it has not failed to lend a helping hand.
10. The Mumbai-Pune railway line was built by a woman
It was in 1863 that the Mumbai-Pune railway line was built by Alice Tredwell, wife of Solomon Tredwell.
Mumbai: CITY OF CULTURE AND History
Are you on a whistle-stop tour of the Mumbai. Well, look no further, because we've picked the top things to see and do in Mumbai so you don't have to. The choice was by no means easy - this city has so much to offer!
Gateway of India
Mumbai Harbor's vast monument was built to commemorate 1911's royal visit. The vibrant streetlife that has formed around it makes it a great starting point if you're new in town!
Shree Siddhivinayak Mandir
As one of India's most extravagant Hindu temples, the astonishing Shree Siddhivinayak provides tourists with fascinating insight into Mumbai's spiritual life.
Also known as Gharapuri, the island was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the labyrinth of Hindu temples carved into its stone caves between 450 and 750AD.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Built in 1888, the vast train station blends Neo-Gothic, Hindu, and Islamic design into one of the city's architectural highlights. Just don't expect it to be as pretty inside!
Haji Ali Dargah
This imposing mosque is also the tomb of Sufi saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. It can only be reached via a narrow walkway at low tide so plan your visit accordingly!
Mumbai is the center of India's film industry, so why not catch a flick at the famous Eros Cinema? Alternatively, enjoy a tour of its largest studio complex – Film City!
Mumbai celebrates and western celebrations. All communities and religions celebrate their festival with great enthusiasm. Though Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city, people welcome all festivals with great vigour. Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Christmas, Maha Shivratri, Navratri, Dussehra, Good Friday, Eid, Moharram, Durga Puja, etc. are some festivals that city celebrates.
The thing about Mumbai is you go five yards and all of human existence is revealed. It's an incredible cavalcade of life.
Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city known for its many lip-smacking dishes. Be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian, the dishes in Mumbai boast of rich taste, fieriness and impressive flavors. The cuisine of Mumbai covers a large assortment of interesting, authentic dishes and zesty seafood dishes. The staple foods consumed by the residents of Mumbai include rice, aromatic fish curries, Indian bread (chapatis and rotis), vegetable curries, pulses and desserts. Coconuts, cashew nuts, peanuts and peanut oil are some of the major ingredients used in many of Mumbai's traditional dishes. Mumbai houses many restaurants where people can enjoy some amazing food. The city is known for its delectable chaats at the various food stalls in the busy streets of Mumbai. Here, the stalls are crowded with people who relish tangy fast-food and local snacks. Apart from the traditional dishes, chaats, sweets and seafood specialties, there are lovely continental restaurants across the city that will cater to a more subtle palate, if you can't handle all the hot food!
Mumbai offers a wide array of mouth-watering vegetarian and non-vegetarian food that the local people cannot do without. The dishes that are unique to this city are vegetable pulao, masala bhaat, moong dal kichdi, dalimbya, palkachi takatli bhaji, amti, kanda batata poha, batatyache kaap, vangyache kaap, bombil batata bhaji, kamag kakri, Mumbai tawa pulao and so on. Dry Bombay duck curry, anda bhurji, kebabs, chicken tikka, butter chicken, bheja fry and kheema pav are also some of the amazing non-vegetarian dishes for all meat-lovers.
Mumbai is a coastal city with a long history of fish trade, as the city's natives were 'Kolis' or fishermen. For this reason, seafood is an essential culinary must-have that forms an important part of Mumbai cuisine. There are plenty seafood restaurants in Mumbai that serve a range of delicious seafood dishes. You can savor amazing fish appetizers, grilled fish dishes, baked fish dishes, fish pickles and lots more in the city of dreams. Some of the main seafood items offered in Mumbai include fish koliwada, tisriya masala, prawn tikki, fish thali, chanak fish fry, bangda tikhale, surmai fish curry, and Bombil fish fry.
Chaats (Local Fast-Food)
Every nook-and-cranny in Mumbai, houses numerous food stalls and eateries offering hot, spicy, crunchy and fresh chaats-a favourite with the locals. Chaats are tasty crispy, snack items that comprise of ingredients like chaat masala, yoghurt, onions, coriander, sev (crunchy wafers), mango powder, chilies, potato and much more! There are hawkers who move from one road to another, even selling chaats to the people stuck in their vehicles during peak traffic hours. So don't be surprised if a chaat vendor walks up to your vehicle while you are traveling somewhere or while you are at a traffic signal. Some of the popular chaats dishes are Vada Pavs, Aloo Chaat, Dabeli, Pani Puri, Pav Bhaji, Bhel Puri, Dahi Vada and so on.
Some of the yummy sweet dishes served in Mumbai include modak, sheera, puran poli, dry fruit kulfi, gulab jamuns, laddoo, aamras and chirota. One of the most popular desserts in Mumbai is 'shrikhand', which is a sweetened yoghurt dessert flavoured with cardamom, nuts and saffron.
Mumbai is a wonderful city and also a culturally diverse one. The city promises some heavenly street food that includes a wide range of appetizers, seafood dishes, chaats, traditional Maharashtrian and Konkani dishes and desserts! Visit Mumbai and get ready to be taken on an extraordinary culinary journey.
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a beautiful white marble mausoleum in the city of Agra, India. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest architectural masterpieces in the world and is listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Every year, the Taj Mahal receives visits from between four and six million tourists from all over the world.
excursions & tours
Mumbai by Dawn
Experience Mumbai come to life on this special morning tour, which visits many of Mumbai's bustling early morning markets. These include the fish market at Sassoon Dock, flower market, wholesale fruit and vegetable market, and herb market with vendors sitting atop a bridge. You'll also get to see newspapers being sorted and distributed. No Footprints is renowned for telling the city's stories, and this is one of their most in demand tours despite the early starting time.
The Sights of Mumbai
This tour is perfect for those who like to step out of their comfort zones and experience the local way of living. You'll be shown many of Mumbai's famous attractions but you'll travel around using the city's black and yellow taxis, double-decker red buses, local trains, and on foot. At the end, you can look forward to sampling some authentic Mumbai chai (tea) and snacks.
Bazaars and Markets of Mumbai
According to this walking tour, Mumbai's heart lies not in its monuments but in its markets. You'll be expertly guided through the vibrant but chaotic bazaars of Kalbadevi and Bhuleshwar, where it's otherwise easy to get lost. The area is a fascinating mix of shops, stalls, noise and activity, mosques, temples, and tranquility. The tour includes Crawford Market (fruit, vegetable and spice market), Mangaldas Market (cloth market), Zaveri Bazaar (gold market), and Mumbadevi temple (an ancient Hindu temple from which the city derived its name).
Mumbai's Street Food
Mumbai has some distinctive street food that's different to the rest of India, and you'll get to learn about it and try it on this tour. The tour will explore some of Mumbai's renowned street food destinations and khao gallis (food lanes), such as Mohammad Ali Road and Marine Drive Chowpatty (beach).
Mumbai by Night
Mumbai has a very different vibe at night and you'll be able to enjoy it on this tour. Visit Marine Drive Chowpatty, Banganga Tank, the Jain temple, businessman Mukesh Ambani's $2 billion home, and Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus.
Mumbai's Ganesh Festival
The Ganesh Festival is the biggest festival in Mumbai and it takes place on an epic scale in late August or September each year. It's worth planning your trip around when it happens. There are various ways of experiencing the festival including seeing the statues of Lord Ganesh being made, seeing the statues on display, and attending the immersion of statues on the last day.