‘Life is a journey, not a destination.’
Mumbai too is not a destination but a journey in itself. A journey, where at each turn you discover and learn something new. Located in western Maharashtra, it is one of the four metropolitan cities as well as the financial capital of India. Mumbai is easily accessible by road, railways, airways as well as waterways. There are incoming trains, buses, flights, ferries daily from various parts of the country. Each and every visitor is welcomed here with open arms.
Mumbai is called as the city of dreams and hence throughout the year an influx of people is seen. However, Mumbai is best enjoyed in the Monsoons from June to September. People from all over the country come to Mumbai with mainly one dream: to make it big. With the Hindi film industry situated in Mumbai, every year thousands of hopefuls land up here to become actors and actresses. In fact, out of every ten people who migrate here, seven want to be a part of the film industry. Others come here in search of a job or to improve their careers.
It is a melting pot of different people from different cultural, religious, ethnic and lingual backgrounds. The people here have a no nonsense attitude, but are very warm hearted. One of the most prominent features of Mumbai’s culture is the language which has evolved out of our national language Hindi. Called Bambaiyya Hindi, it is exactly that, Hindi with a dash of Mumbai’s flavor. For eg. Aloo is commonly referred to as batata and pyaaz as kanda, kona is referred to as khopcha and dimaag as bheja!!
Travelling within the city is very easy and affordable. The BEST buses are the most economical. However the traffic jams can be quite annoying. The next best option is the local trains. A journey on a local train is quite an experience; one which you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. For those who don’t want to use public transport, there are taxis in south and central Mumbai and rickshaws beyond that. Car rentals are also available throughout the city. Accommodation too is available for all budgets. There are 5-star hotels as well as lodges where suitable accommodation can be sought.
Mumbai is a shopper’s paradise. Right from the many malls where topmost brands can be found to street shopping, it is heaven for a shopaholic. Fashion Street, Colaba Causeway, Linking Road, Hill Road are famous for their street shopping whereas malls can be found all over the city. A visit to Mumbai is incomplete without visiting the picturesque Chowpatty beach and Juhu Beach. Gola, kulfi, pav-bhaji, pani puri, bhel, sev puri, etc is the favored food on the beaches. If you aren’t a fan of the beach you can simply go to Marine Drive, Worli Sea face or Bandra Bandstand and sit on the promenade and take in the beautiful view. The promenade on Marine Drive when lit up at night is referred to as the Queen’s Necklace and is extremely beautiful. The other tourist spots are the Chhatrapti Shivaji Maharaj Musuem formerly known as the Prince of Wales museum, the Taraporevala Aquarium, the Jijiamata Udyan or the zoo, the Gateway Of India, the Haji Ali Dargah etc. Mumbai also has some very good theatres like the Prithvi Theatre and the National Center for the Performing Arts where one can catch a good play. The Nehru Science Centre is also worth a visit.
Mumbaiites are total foodies. This is obvious from the fact that in every locality, be it commercial or local, there are a number of restaurants which serve a variety of cuisines. Also, there is a wide variety of street food available especially where there are offices and colleges. “Vada Pav” or Mumbai’s version of a burger is the most popular food because it is filling as well as affordable with the average price being a meager Rs 6. Chinese restaurants or “thelas” can be found at every nook and corner of the city. Also popular is the South Indian cuisine where a lot of experimentation has been done and now a wide variety of “dosas” and “idlis” are available eg Spring Dosa which has a filling of Hakka Noodles.
A holiday in Mumbai is an experience which will remain with one for life. Such is the warmth and allure of the city. No matter how many days you stay here for, you never feel it is enough and you want a bit more of this wonderful experience. The people here are kind and welcoming and you will make friends here for life. It is also a safe city especially for women. So make the most of the coming monsoons and pack your bags for the city of dreams and hope, Mumbai.