Mumbai is a place very close to my heart since I was a little girl. The reason could be Bollywood which really fascinated me and of course the beaches (haven’t heard of Goa till then). It would give me butterfly in my stomach if someone would take its name. I would imagine Mumbai to be a giant aircraft with sea around and celebrities roaming here and there. Now you can imagine my level of fascination with the city. Mumbai is a paradise for dreamers. It is a place which welcomes everyone with open arms. There was a time when I craved to go there but now I have travelled to Mumbai several times and every time I land, I feel like settling down forever. I visit there often for work but once I decided to go to Goa via Mumbai along with my friends. I wanted to show them Mumbai from my eyes.
We reached Mumbai early morning and checked in to our hotel. I booked Hotel Novotel at Juhu beach purposely as I wanted to stay close to the beach (I love beaches) and I didn’t want to miss the jog with sand under my feet. We came to our room; it was a nice room with a spectacular view of the beach.
Our first destination was Bandstand, it is also known as lovers point. The place is surrounded by many celebrities’ house. Bandra Fort is also a tourist attraction; you can also take a peaceful walk at the Promenade with a rocky seaside. If you are SRK’s fan you can also wait for his Darshan like many other people were doing. We had a great time there. We also witnessed the Bandra Sea link, this bridge is also a popular tourist attraction.
After that we left for Irla market – Alfa store, it is a one stop outlet where you will find any and everything. My friends got berserk in the shop (they had to go there because I always go ga ga about this outlet during my previous visits to Mumbai). We later went to Pappilon for a quick bite with more of street food touch. It offers variety of food range and not very expensive too. As it was a Sunday, so our next stop was Amitabh Bachchan’s house and like other crazy fans we stood on a fence for more than an hour to have a glimpse of him. Although I am not a crazy fan, but my friends wanted to see him and it was a mind-blowing experience of my life. I have never done anything like this before.
Later we headed towards a walk on the Juhu beach. It is one of the longest beach in Mumbai and famous for its street food. It is a jogger’s hub and if you are lucky you may come across a celebrity jogging along. We spent a lot of time there as our hotel was on the beach itself. We had our food and kept on walking, sharing our life, laughing and later middle of the night we came back to our hotel. It was a day well spent.
We started early at 7.30 and headed towards station parle station from there we took a local train to church gate. We wanted to experience the life line of Mumbai. Frankly the experience was way beyond my imagination. As I entered inside the train, the male fellow passengers made way for us and few people gave their seat to me and my friends (it wasn’t a ladies coach), I couldn’t believe my eyes. We didn’t face any eve teasing, people minded their own business. This is the best part of Mumbai; no one is really bothered about each other. We reached Gate of India – it is one of the most important landmarks of Mumbai, the place faces the huge Arabian Sea. It is visited by millions of tourist every day. The famous Taj Mahal Hotel is also situated there; it is India’s first luxurious hotel with a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea.
From there, we took a ferry ride till Elephanta caves. It was an hour long ferry ride from Gateway of India. Once we reached the island, we took a toy train to the caves (can be avoided). The cave was interesting, but that’s it, there was nothing much to see. There will be monkeys around so be careful. It was very hot, so don’t forget to carry your sun-glass, scarf, hat and water. The caves were interesting, but the best part was the whole experience over all from taking a local train to walking towards gateway of India, taking a ferry, a toy train and then reaching the caves. It was quite an amazing journey.
We came to Gate way of India and roamed around for a while in Colaba market. We strolled around and decided to take our meal in one of the restaurant. This place is also famous for Leopold Café now (I hope you know what I am talking about). After our food, we took a taxi to Marine drive, which is also known as “Queen’s necklace”. I simply loved this place, there were couples hanging out, kids were playing, people were walking/jogging. This place was definitely worth the walk, watching the sea and scenic beauty. Even the drive is amazing. This place looks amazing in the night. It was the best place in Mumbai if you want to hang out with friends and family or even want to sit with the person you love. There were lots of nice restaurants in the surrounding. We stayed there till late evening and went back to our hotel.
This was our last day in Mumbai and in the evening we had a flight to Goa. Before that we went to Lokahandwala market (thanks to hindi movies for making my friends desperate to visit this place). Everything is available here from jewellery to clothes, home décor to electronics, handbags to footwear. The market is trendy and famous for its style. It is also a hub of aspiring actors. The area is quiet posh. Few shops have fixed price policy but you can bargain at many other places. Carry enough cash as many shopkeepers don’t use credit card machines. We shopped a lot like a maniac and our last stop was Natural’s ice cream (now available in Delhi also). I simply love its custard apple and coconut flavor ice cream.
Our last day was over and I wished we would have stayed more. Guys, don’t miss the street food in Mumbai. It is famous for its vada pav, ragda pattice, pav bhaji, sandwich, panipuri etc etc. Although I am not a foodie but my friends enjoyed the food alot. I love the place because people mind their own business, the culture is entirely different. Locals of Mumbai are helpful and affectionate. It is a city which never sleeps; people are always on their toes. There is no show off, people are simple. I really wish someday I would reside here.
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