Mumbai Sights

There's plenty to see in Mumbai, but it doesn’t have much in the way of the stationary monuments that London, Paris, Delhi, and other major cities possess. The art of experiencing Mumbai lies in eating, shopping, and wandering through the strikingly different neighborhoods and the various markets. Think of Mumbai as a 50-km (30-mile) -long open-air bazaar.

Colaba, headed by Gateway of India,

is the tourist district and main drag for visitors, and from the Gateway of India to Colaba Market, along the main road, is a walkable stretch of hotels, pubs, restaurants, and interesting shops. Churchgate and Nariman Point are the business and hotel centers, and major bank and airline headquarters are clustered in skyscrapers on Nariman Point.

The district referred to as Fort—which includes Mumbai's hub, Flora Fountain—is filled with narrow, bustling streets lined with small shops and office buildings, as well as colleges and other educational facilities. Another upscale residential neighborhood, Malabar Hill, north of Churchgate on Marine Drive, is leafy and breezy, with fine, old stone mansions housing wealthy industrialists and government ministers.

Shopping and people-watching are most colorfully combined in Mumbai's chaotic bazaar areas, such as Chor Bazaar, Zaveri (jewelry) Bazaar, and Crawford Market (aka Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market). Many of the city's newest and trendiest shops and restaurants are now out in the suburbs—where more and more people have been moving due to soaring real-estate prices and a lack of space—but South Mumbai still retains some of the very best.

Some travelers opt to stay in the suburbs, either in Bandra, at the end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link; or in Juhu, a popular coastal suburb between Mumbai and the airports (about 20 km [12 miles] north of the city center). Juhu's beaches aren't clean enough for swimming, and the place can be scruffy, but staying out here is a good way to observe everyday Indian life beyond the shadow of Mumbai's skyline. Sunday nights bring families down to the beach for an old-fashioned carnival, complete with small, hand-powered Ferris wheels, and lantern-lit snack stalls hawking sugarcane.

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Aurangabad, and the Ajanta and Ellora Caves 13

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Ajanta Caves 1

Aurangabad 3

Ellora Caves 9

CST and Environs 6

Malabar Hill and Environs 6

Fort and Marine Drive 6

Central Mumbai 2

Colaba 2

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Archaeological Site/ Ruins 2

Beach–Sight 1

Building/ Architectural Site 1

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 1

Cave 1

Educational Institution 1

Hotel–Sight 4

House/ Mansion/ Villa 1

Market/ Bazaar 3

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 1

Military Site 1

Museum/ Gallery 3

Neighborhood/ Street 1

Park/ Playground 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 10

Resort–Sight 1

Scenic Drive/ Tour 1

Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) 1

Winery/ Brewery/ Distillery 3

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Mumbai Sights

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Ajanta Caves

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

Set in a wide, steep, horseshoe-shaped gorge above a wild mountain stream, the Ajanta caves reward intrepid travelers—you'd be surprised...

Babulnath Temple

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

To get the flavor of a large, traditional Indian temple that's nevertheless jammed in the heart of a busy city, a visit to the Babulnath...

Banganga Water Tank

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

This serene, criminally under-visited temple complex is considered one of the city's holiest sites. It's also the oldest surviving structure...

Bibi-ka-Maqbara

  • Memorial/Monument/Tomb

This 17th-century tomb is also known as the mini Taj Mahal; you can usually see it from the plane when you're flying into Aurangabad.

CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus), aka Victoria Terminus

  • Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train)

Built by the British in 1888, this is one of India's—and probably the world's—busiest train stations, overflowing at rush hour with...

Chor Bazaar

  • Market/Bazaar

This narrow thoroughfare, in the center of classic Muslim Mumbai, is lined with dozens of stores crammed with antiques and general bric-a-brac...

Chowpatty Beach

  • Neighborhood/Street

Chowpatty Beach and the rest of long, elegantly curved Marine Drive are the essence of the mammoth, cheeky, beautiful seaside beast that...

Crawford Market

  • Market/Bazaar

Renamed Mahatma Jyotiba Phule market decades ago, but still known by its original name, this building was designed in the 1860s by John...

Daulatabad Fort

  • Military Site

The imposing fort, built in 1187 by a Hindu king, is surrounded by seven giant walls more than 5 km (3 miles) long. Daulatabad was once...

Elephanta Caves

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

A quick 30-minute ferry ride from bustling South Mumbai, the Elephanta Caves make an ideal half-day trip for anyone who wants a quick...

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