First Visit to Mumbai: Sea, Food and the Culture
June 7, 2019
by Shafaque Shaikh
Known internationally as the financial hub of India, Mumbai is a city that has a lot more to offer to people from every walk of life. Full of rich history, people and food, Mumbai allows a person to experience authenticity at every step of the journey. From mouth-watering delicacies to awe-inspiring places, the city has spots and activities that every kind of traveller would enjoy.
Evolving for hundreds of years, the city has flourished under several rulers and has become one of the most sought after place not just to visit but also to create new roots. One of the first things that come to mind when one thinks of Mumbai is the glorious west coast facing the Arabian Sea.
The Western Coast of Mumbai
The city of Mumbai resides on the western coast of India facing the Arabian Sea. The whole strip is littered with beaches and promenades that allows people to enjoy the balmy sea air and the very beautiful view of the sea. One can also find various other forms of activities and sceneries to enjoy while travelling the coast.
Nariman point serves the dual purpose of being a business locale and a very popular tourist spot. While provisions have been made for people to sit and enjoy the sea view, there are also several eateries scattered through the promenade, attracting people to try the delicacies and give their taste buds a new sensation to experience. The spectacular sunset witnessed at Nariman point also makes for some amazing pictures to take back home as souvenirs.
Chowpatty is a famous beach favoured by both locals and tourists. There are rides for children and adults, tasty snacks that have become that speciality of the beach over the years. And one shouldn’t forget to try out the ‘pani puri’ and ‘gola’ stalls present at the beach.
Gateway of India
A literal arched gate, the Gateway of India is considered to be a monument built in celebration of the arrival of King-Emperor George V and Queen-Empress Mary. Today, the gateway not only proves to be a picturesque spot but also promotes the various ferry rides that take a person to a tour of the nearby ports, to the Elephanta caves, Alibaug, etc. With several hotels nearby, the Gateway of India becomes the easiest tourist attraction to access.
In addition to the places mentioned above, there’s also Juhu Beach, Worli Sea face, Carter Road, Band Stand and many more such places lining the entire coast of the city of Mumbai. From taking a dip in the sea, staying in a hotel with a sea view, to taking a stroll through the bustling promenades, the coast of Mumbai has a lot for a person to enjoy.
Now, this is where the rich multicultural history of Mumbai gets highlighted. Since known, the island of Mumbai has been under the rule of various families ranging from native to foreign. This has contributed to Mumbai adapting to many different cuisine styles and sometimes making it it’s own with a twist.
Available at every corner, the original food of Mumbai becomes a much sought after thing when one visits the city. Spicy, tangy, sweet are just a few of the prominent tastes one senses in these dishes. Pani puri, vada pao, bhel puri, pao bhaji, gola, aflatoon, falooda, and many more snacks can be eaten in large quantities and can be bought easily.
Being a cultural hub, Mumbai caters to various people hailing from different parts of the world. In order to fulfil their every need, lots of restaurants opened up that specialized in a particular cuisine. For instance, there are many restaurants that serve only Chinese or Italian or Lebanese food. There are other cuisines present too. Tourists can easily avail any type of food they desire due to the number of restaurants and cafes inhabiting the city of Mumbai. Thus, allowing a person to experience the taste of different nationalities and communities in one place while also offering an individual with an opportunity to stay close to one’s home with a familiar cuisine.
Mumbai is famous for its rich and diverse history and it is clearly seen in the variety of places situated all around the city. These places not only showcase the past ages but it also depicts the various stages of the city’s evolution to what it is today. Each space has its own lot of past history that can be seen through the architectural designs.
Elephanta and Kanheri Caves
Situated on the opposite sides of the city the Elephanta caves and the Kanheri caves both boosts of statues and mouldings depicting mythological and religious history. A pleasant and soothing ambience wraps around the whole place, attracting an individual to take in the beauty all around leisurely. While one admires the symbolism of the spaces, there are other things to occupy one’s attention nearby too. For instance, both places have a population of fun-loving monkeys who are always hungry and various stalls have been built that sells authentic and traditional souvenirs and other such trinkets.
V.T and Colaba
The whole V.T (Victoria Terminus) and Colaba areas have maintained the British era atmosphere with its architecture. The buildings in the areas were built during the time British ruled India and has been maintained as such even now. Each building is unique with the Victorian and Gothic architectural designs so beautifully shown.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (King Shivaji Museum)
The museum in Mumbai is a building that houses centuries of history and culture. With various dynasties ruling over India including the British, the museum holds a piece of each of them inside and in good condition. A visitor might just lose himself or herself in the enchanting pull that each section of historical artefacts exudes. From the times of the ancient dynasties to the freedom struggle, the museum allows an individual to explore the rich history of the country and the city. What better way to learn a place’s history than to visit the local museum?
Travelling in the city
-Mumbai is a city best explored on foot. But while some areas may be easily accessed by walking, there are still parts of the city that one has to reach through other means of transport.
-The city has a good public transport system in place with local trains and buses with a frequency of arriving every other five-ten minutes, thus, making it easier to travel from one part of the city to the other.
-Another way of travel is through cabs. One can book an online Uber for an entire day or can easily get the local taxi.
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June 22, 2019
This is a very well written and informative article :)