Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the most populous city in India with a population of over 11 million. It is home to a vast range from hard-working natives, artists, fisherfolk and not forgetting the crorepatis (millionaires). Recognised for its diverse yet extremely westernised society Mumbai is the capital of all things cultural and commercial including the highly dazzling Bollywood film industry. Entertainment seekers will be happy to know Bollywood has tours on throughout the year as well as Mumbai boasting an energetic nightlife.
One of many famous must-see landmarks is Global Pagoda; a golden 96-metre-tall building with a beautiful ancient architectural exterior. It contains a museum displaying the life and teachings of the Buddha with a meditation area of 8000 spaces. It would be impossible to visit India without visiting the impressive Taj Mahal Palace; this stunning hotel is a fairy-tale turned into a Renaissance reality with an intricate interior that’s just as phenomenal as the building itself. Another unique hot spot close by is The Gateway of India; built in 1924 this gigantic structure overlooks the harbour with views stretching to the Arabian Sea. What’s more, this monumental building is near to the Elephants Cave, another fantastic attraction that dates back to the 5th century.
If you fancy delving into more historic culture then the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum) is Mumbai’s biggest and most popular museum – showcasing an elaborate mix of Indian art. Or perhaps you’d like to see where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his visit to Mumbai at the poignant Mani Bhavan. There are many wonderful historic and religious sights to be in awe of in India however it is expected of tourists to be dressed modestly for particular establishments.
For a change of scenery how about visiting Mumbai’s protected tropical forest, home to vibrant flora, birds, butterflies and wild animals such as leopards. Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a beautifully tranquil place to visit that’s perfect for couples and groups who enjoy tours.
Dynamic, colourful and full of complex flavours, Mumbai’s cuisine is high quality yet charmingly down-to-earth. Mouth watering kebabs, biryanis and curries are all on offer, if you’re adventurous make sure you sample their Bombay duck; you’ll be in for a surprise when you notice its deep-fried fish fresh out of the Arabian Sea! Alternatively try their parsi dhansak, a meat dish of curried lentils and rice and while you're at it, kulfi for dessert.
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