With its vigour and charm, Mumbai has quite a lot to show off. From educational centres and culturally rich theatres to thrilling amusement parks and colourful markets that leave visitors delighted, we explore the most unmissable things to do and see in the city.
‘Where stories come alive!’ is the motto of India’s first international theme park, featuring 26 attractions and numerous themed restaurants, accommodation and shopping opportunities. Opened in 2013, Adlabs Imagica has become an instant hit among people of all ages with its creative and innovative standard of amusement rides and activities. One of the most popular attractions is the floorless rollercoaster ride based on the movie Mr India, though the other rides are no less adventurous or thrilling. To complete the entire 300 acres (121.4ha) of land filled with remarkable rides in one go, you’ll need plenty of time, so make sure to devote an entire day.
Prithvi Theatre is a dream of the great artist Prithviraj Kapoor come true and was established after his death by his son Shashi, a legendary actor from India’s classic cinema. The Prithvi Theatre was just a travelling company compromising of 150 performers when it started off and is now an impressive building with an enormous stage, solely dedicated to the performing arts and promoting Hindi cinema.
Blue Frog Club is where music thrives. This venue, which premieres live music performances six nights a week, brings remarkable artists from all around the world together with a music-loving audience. What could be ‘heavenlier’ than good music and food? Performances range from jazz, blues, funk, soul and afro/Latin to electronic, club, rock, folk and everything in between. The Blue Frog Club does not only limit itself to music; their regular Golden Nights feature live musical performances, stand-up comedy and poetry readings.
Buddha believed that gratitude and helpfulness are the two virtues that must reside in every being. The Global Vipassana Pagoda strives to educate and create awareness among visitors regarding the teachings and footprints of Buddha and the values he espoused. The pagoda is a meditation hall and a symbol of harmony and peace, aiming to keep the practice of Vipassana alive. Featuring a Burmese architectural style exactly like the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar, the pagoda also features the world’s largest stone tomb built without supporting pillars.
If Bollywood has always been a source of fascination or curiosity for you, then the Walk of Fame in the Bandra Bandstand Promenade is the perfect spot to go. With six statues of Bollywood’s legendary actors and 25 handprints or autographs of other actors and actresses who rule the kingdom of Indian cinema, visitors get a chance to have a sneak peek at the personal marks of these performers themselves and truly appreciate the pride India takes in its cinema.
Even though Adlabs Imagica is the new popular kid in town, Essel World is the grandfather of amusement parks, having been around far longer than Adlabs Imagica and still standing strong and tall. Essel World is a throwback to the vintage days of theme parks – not only is it pocket-friendly, but visitors are welcome to hop onto the rides any number of times. When you visit India, both Essel World and Adlabs Imagica are a must in order to experience the stark difference between the old-school and new technology of rides and to understand India’s love of and fascination with theme parks.
If long drives on wide-open roads with scenic beauty all around are your kind of thing, then get the ignition on, and head towards the outstanding marvel of construction that is the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. This incredible steel bridge passes over the expanse of water that separates the suburb of Bandra from that of Worli, cutting short a 1.5-hour journey to just 20 minutes of driving. Officially called the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, the bridge is particularly breathtaking on night drives when the cable wires of the bridge are lit up like golden rays of light.
Flora Fountain is a book lover’s fantasy and piece of heaven for any bibliophile. The moment Churchgate subway ends, the first scene is a huge piles of books everywhere. The piles of books are so tall and spacious, that the sellers have created narrow pathways between them for already-ogling readers to browse. And it doesn’t stop here – look out for little open fortresses whose walls are made of books. Ranging from classics, thriller, erotic, encyclopedias, academic and self-help to romance or even comics dating back decades, Flora Fountains has something for everyone.
The most iconic monument of Mumbai is, without a doubt, the Gateway of India, also known as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai. With its basalt archway, the Gateway of India was built during the British rule to welcome prominent members of the British Government. It was the first thing that anyone would see when approaching Mumbai from the sea. The Gateway of India is always filled with people of all kinds, and a lot of events take place on the premises of the gateway.
If Mumbai is known for anything, it would be its bazaars. Every locality in Mumbai has a bazaar that is always crowded and brimming with lovely and cost-friendly items to buy, ranging from accessories, clothes, party items and electronics to food and books. The best markets that every traveller should visit are the Lokhandwala Market in Andheri, The Link Road and Hill Road market of Bandra and the famous Colaba Causeway of the Mumbai Fort area. It is a delight to walk through these markets simply to revel in the liveliest city of India and to take beautiful, colourful photos.