Last Updated: June 22, 2019 Abhishek Gurung
Seeking relaxation in SoBo (abbreviation of South Bombay) can be rather difficult when you’re always surrounded by the rhythmic commotion of markets and popular tourist attractions of the city… but hey, that’s why we all visit SoBo for, right? The locals take pride in their southern hub where history, culture and lifestyle meet, and the nightcrawlers swing along the medley of music and play their guitar along the Marine Drive as the sun sets. The desire to linger in South Bombay (Mumbai) escalates when you visit one of the famous places of the city, Colaba. If I count the tourist sites in Colaba itself, the list of places to visit in Mumbai may just never end. But keeping things justified, let me introduce the first time travellers to some of the very best attractions that this exciting part of Mumbai. Your options include some of the popular attractions in South Mumbai like Khotachiwadi Village where you can relish a photo walk and Colaba Causeway where you can shop on the never-ending Colaba Causeway Market. Taking a ferry ride to Elephanta Cave and exploring the art district, Kala Ghoda are also some options to leave you spoilt for choice. C’mon let’s check out more places you can visit during your holiday in South Mumbai in this blog.
Colaba Causeway: Splurge in an Endless Shopping Paradise
A charm you cannot escape, SoBo’s very own Colaba Causeway is the talk of the town and everyone’s at it. Whether it is to be simply walk along the extended lanes admiring the Colonial architecture or to get hold of the some best souvenirs but one thing’s for sure, you’d always come back for more. Like literally, this popular shopping destination offers a wide collection of cheap treats, street food, antique silver jewellery and fashionable boutiques all at reasonable prices. Make sure to utilize your bargaining skills, this is the only weapon to lower the prices to a great extent. Apart from shoes, clothes, bags, jewellery and everything you can think of, this destination also offers you a visit to another renowned attraction in South Mumbai, The Gateway of India which we will be talking about NEXT.
Gateway of India: Sight One of the Iconic Landmarks of Mumbai
A visit to the Gateway of India is an absolute must, I mean it is a legit tourist attraction and an important part of any Maharashtra tour. After you exit from the causeway lanes of Colaba, you will come across the wide expanse of Arabian Sea. Probably, it won’t be difficult to spot ‘GOI,’ as most tourist’s head and camera will be turned towards it. This UNESCO archway monument was opened to visitors on the 4th December of 1924 which was built to commemorate King George V and Queen Mary during their visit to India. Quite a famous landmark in the whole of SoBo but to be honest, it is rather crowded during afternoon and evening, this is why, it is best visited during morning hours. I’d personally would visit in the morning in order to get an interrupted shot of this massive structure.
Port Trust Garden: Let the lush greens rejuvenate your day in Mumbai
In order to spend few hours in the lap of nature, enter the garden of natural beauty in Port Trust Garden which is an ideal place for it. Graced by the beautifully manicured garden, this park is perfect for nature enthusiasts and the lovebirds who are mostly seen capturing the sea-facing benches of this 12-acre wide attraction. Its main crowd puller is the variety of flowers and tall trees, and even the World Wildlife Fund contributes in beautifying the garden. Besides, who can resist the sight of the expansive Arabian Sea? If you ask me, I probably would spend more than an hour listening to the neighbouring honks of ships, reading a book, admiring the sea and buildings here. The entire place is neatly maintained by placing paved tracks for leisure strolls and the on-site Rock Garden and Cacti Section are also two major tourist spots in Mumbai Port Trust Garden.
The Sassoon Docks and Art Project: Explore some artsy decors and fishing boats
The fisherman’s Sassoon Docks and the Art Project make the two best places for photography in Mumbai. Sassoon Docks Art Project’s beautiful graffiti walls and old factory offers a rather rustic look resulting in amazing portrait shots. In fact, many youngsters spray paint the walls in the old buildings and make various figures using recycled items, which brings alive the building with vividness and colours. Sassoon Docks, on the other hand, is one of the oldest harbours in the city. Photographers can capture the raw mornings when the fishermen bring in the fish to the enormous market dedicated to its trade. It is also one of the trading centres of South Mumbai where colourful fishing boats are seen in plenty. Here, you can experience chaos and a hurried harbour lifestyle of SoBo.
Marine Drive: Relax and unwind at the tip of Nariman Point
It always has been one of the most loved tourist place overlooking the wide expanse of the Arabian Sea. Marine Drive is one of the top tourist destinations that is thronged by domestic as well as foreign travellers. If you believe in Julia Roberts quote ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’ in Eat, Pray, Love, well, that is what the Marine Drive offers. Seat yourself at the Marine Drive ledge while getting drunk on the view of the calm sea and soothing sunset. And what’s even better is the sight of the aligned Art Deco buildings that illuminate as soon as the sun sets. To each his own, the tip part of Marine Drive or the Nariman Point is where the feeling of solitude takes place. You can feel the chill breeze by the Bay where you can gather with friends and relish the view of the other side of the buzzing city and I bet, you won’t regret this feeling!
Elephanta Caves: Venture to the historic place to explore the ancient marvels
Visit Elephanta Caves, yet another tourist spot in Mumbai some 10 kilometres away that is also one of the best heritage attractions. A short ferry ride from the Gateway of India will drop you to a picturesque island that treasures the famous 8th century carved historic monuments of five Hindu and two Buddhist caves. The caves got their name when the Portuguese discovered a black stone elephant sculpture here. But the answer to who built the caves is still unknown due to lack of records. Inside the caves you can witness the 6 meters high Trimurti sculpture, it features the three faces of Lord Shiva making it an iconic work of art. The internal design of the cave with sculptures and wall carvings are similar to that of Ellora caves. Here, you can explore the prayer hall and the intricate sculptures on the walls located near the cave.
Worli Fort: Hear the sounds of the ocean and savor breathtaking views
Past jam-packed Worli fishing village, you’ll arrive at this historic 17th century fortress built by the British Raj. Overlooking the Mahim Bay and Bandra, this fort was actually used as a hideout for the pirates. Well, gone are those times, now Worli Fort is mostly surrounded by the local kids playing cricket and tourists visiting yet another historical site despite an inconvenient location. This fort has an in-built well and a temple, you can spend a day sightseeing the local places enroute Worli, witness the simple lives of fishing villages (not that you’ll have to), it has one of the oldest fisherfolk communities but most importantly it is one of those places to get the best view of Bandra-Worli Sea link.
Cafe Mondegar: Savour and adore the interiors in the charming cafe of SoBo
Cafe Mondegar may not be as old and famous as the Britannia and Co. but it is one of the best places to eat in South Mumbai. I also have to mention it for its Art Deco and of course the murals made by the famed cartoonist Mario Miranda. Its classic yet fun interiors truly is to adore. This cafe has a great selection of beers and is rather famous for its elaborate breakfast menu. Cafe Mondegar is located near the trendy shopping street, Colaba Causeway saving you from starving when hunger strikes. The exterior of this triangular building may make you think of Paris or London; you’ll have to come here least for a picture of the old colonial building.
Rajabai Clock Tower: Feel small in front of Mumbai’s massive clock tower
Designed by the same fellow who created the London’s massive clock tower, the Big Ben, Rajabai Clock Tower was beautifully carved out by George Gilbert. The tower’s architecture boasts a nice blend of Venetian and Gothic architectural style. The clock tower is named as Rajabai after the mother of Premchand Roychand, the 19th-century famous businessman known as the ‘Cotton King.’ Although, you cannot enter the towering structure to get a panoramic view of the coast… I wish we could… but you can always click pictures of this famous landmark in Mumbai. In addition, you can also visit one of the oldest and most beautiful libraries in India, the University Library, which is built of colourful stained glass works.
Khotachiwadi Village: Wander in the narrow and colourful lanes and marvel the Portuguese architecture
The steaming loud streets of South Mumbai may get on your nerves at times, as it does to the locals too but that’s when the quieter air of Khotachiwadi Village comes to the rescue. This quiet destination is often adored by tourists as an important photography places in Mumbai. One can clearly see the contrast between the rest of the city and this place where you can explore a series of old and colourful Portuguese-style houses that still hold the vibe of the then era. Small plastered bylanes, pretty open facades, verandas, mini chapels, arched doorways and red-tiled roofs offer a distinctive character to the city. Make sure to check this place while relaxing in the Marine Drive or the Chowpatty Beach, look out for a sigh board ‘Khotachiwadi’ located in Girgaum.
Kala Ghoda: Listen to the sound of music and take a ride around the Victorian-style structures
Most probably you may have seen this place in almost all of Bollywood movies and said, wait it kinda resembles Connaught Place of Delhi, yes, it is Horniman Circle and it is located in Kala Ghoda. Basically, it is a large park surrounded by office complexes and it is said to have taken 12 years for its completion. If you love soulful Sufi music, this place is where to be in as Horniman Circle Garden hosts the music festival, Ruhaniyat and even Kala Ghoda Arts Festival every year. Kala Ghoda is also a famous place for the 1864 built fountain with a sculpture of the Roman goddess Flora in it. Trust me, it is one of the legit sightseeing places to witness, for real! You can also pay a visit to the grand museum of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and later savour on a traditional Burmese cuisine at the Burma Burma Restaurant and Tea Room.
Haji Ali Dargah: Seek blessings of the almighty at the island mausoleum surrounded by the Arabian Sea
There are many dargahs around the city but did you know Haji Ali Dargah is located on an island. Yes, if this couldn’t excite you more, wait till the sun starts to set, you’ll get a heart-melting sight of the sun rays reflecting the ocean and behind, the bright and glittering coastal roads. Haji Ali Dargah is one of the religious places for muslims and this popular island mausoleum of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari who was a Muslim saint and the entire complex is built in a Mughlai-style of architecture with white domes and minarets. This prestigious landmark of Mumbai is accessible via long boardwalk or a bridge and the only way to get there is by walking since no vehicles are allowed.
Afghan Church: Witness the gothic architecture church that holds special place for the soldiers
Located on a greener patch of SoBo in Colaba, let your pilgrimage tour land you in Afghan Church, another noteworthy tourist site that mustn’t be missed during your Mumbai holiday. This Anglican Church in Mumbai was built as a memorial to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the First Afghan War. Thus, despite it originally being the Church of St. John the Evangelist, it is called as the Afghan Church. However, the architecture of this church is to die for, from the doorway to the church spire, everything is built in such detail. Its gothic arches and the attractive stained-glass windows truly steal the beauty of the church. In fact, some of the pieces of the church have been imported from England like the eight large bells in the tower and the flooring of the church.
Taraporewala Aquarium: Fix your meeting with the exotic oceanic creatures
One of the oldest aquarium in Mumbai as well as in the country, Taraporewala is a treat to the eye, if you love aquatic animals. This kid-friendly destination is located alongside the Marine Drive Promenade and you know what will make a visit to this attraction more fun? By bringing in your kids. This place offers you an opportunity to hang out with an impressive variety of unique and rare water species, it also has a large pool that allows the visitors to touch the fishes. You can find a series of coral fishes brought in from the islands of Lakshadweep and also has a bunch of some beautiful and dangerous species like moray eels, starfishes, turtles, stingrays and sharks.
With no shortage of places to visit coupled with top things to do, South Mumbai certainly offers a wide variety of options to explore and appreciate the British and Portuguese architecture and the Bandra–Worli Sea Link bridge. Needless to say, South Mumbai is also an ideal destination for couples vacations and I bet this blog already helped make your minds to visit South Mumbai after all. Well, if this is the case, why not contact us at email@example.com or +91-8744012088 because we offer best of the best travel packages and zing Mumbai travel deals. You can also share this blog and comment if you found this article worth reading.
Published: 06 Feb, 2018