Mumbai Meri Jaan

This short article on Mumbai is a traveller’s perspective on the film city. If you are in Mumbai for a vacation, a business trip, or for any other reason, then my article will ensure that you have a little more fun than you expected on your trip.So what is Mumbai like?

Weather (Mumbai)

The temperature in Mumbai is humid because of the sea. Mumbai experiences heavy showers continuously for days during the monsoon season. Rain is an integral part of all Mumbaikars. People moving in raincoats are a common sight due to the unpredictable weather. The rain also helps in keeping the temperature low.

Transportation (Mumbai)

  • Autos are the best medium for commuting in Mumbai for the following reasons:
  • All auto rickshaw drivers strictly follow the meter reading for charging the commuters.
  • This leaves no scope of the commuters getting cheated.
  • There is no time wasted in negotiating the fare.
  • Drivers have the traffic sense and do not rash drive.

Average fare:

  • Short distances is ₹40
  • Medium distance is ₹80
  • Long distance is ₹140 Long distance during the night is ₹220

Local Trains

Local train is a good option: To travel during the day time when there is no office rush. I was able to capture a picture of a literally empty compartment travelling from Santra Cruz to South Mumbai, contrary to the horrifying stories of the maddening rush in the locals. To travel between faraway places where autos don’t run.

Places to see (Mumbai)

There are many places to see in Mumbai. Depending upon the time at hand and your interest, you can pick from the list below.

Carter Road

Carter road in ‘Bandra’ is where many film stars stay. You can stroll around the sea facing bungalows and see the residence of Salman Khan, Sharukh Khan, Amir Khan and more. ‘Pali hills’ is where Dilip Kumar, Sanjay Dutt and a few more actors stay.

Juhu Beach

Take an auto from the Carter road to Juhu for ₹40. The auto driver will point the house of Amitabh Bachchan before reaching the famous Juhu beach. The beach is not very clean but full of locals and domestic tourists, especially during the Ganesh Visarjan.

There are cops standing on elevated structures to keep an eye on the crowd. They even have a chopper to watch out for any untoward incident at all sea routes. I personally liked the place at night when the beach didn’t look dirty and the weather was cool and breezy.

You may try some Mumbai snacks like Vada Pav, Sev puri, Pav Bhaji, shakes, and so on, right here at the Juhu beach. Please be aware that hygiene is of least priority. Sand Art Ganesh Sand Art

South Mumbai (Gateway of India, Nariman Point, Chowpati, Haji Ali Dargah)

Nariman PointNariman Point Chopper Head back home and come refreshed the next day to South Mumbai. You can catch a shared taxi for a reasonable amount of ₹30-40 from the local train station and reach the Gateway of India. Beyond the Gateway of India is a view of the Arabian Sea.

On the other side is the famous Taj Hotel which was a witness to the unfortunate terrorist attack in Mumbai. After spending half an hour, you can catch the same shared taxi and go to the ‘Nariman Point’ also known as ‘Marine Drive’.

It is recommended to walk through the Marine Drive all the way to Chowpati which is quite like the Juhu beach. Another 3.3 KM by auto and you are at the religious Haji Ali Dargah. Visitors can walk to the Dargah which is located at the edge of the Arabian Sea.

Murud Zanjira(Around Mumbai)

A fewhours’ drive from Mumbai is the picturesque Murud. I loved the journey to Murud. Murud is a nice place but limited good quality resorts. The Golden Swan beach resort is one comfortable resort to chill out. The resort has family cottages and suites. They have a beach, hammock, cycles on rent, play rides for kids.

Attractions

Murud Zanjira fort situated in the middle of the Sea and one needs a boat ride to reach there. (Entry is seasonal and dependent on water current and weather conditions. People in Mumbai People in Mumbai are helpful and friendly. During my entire one week in Mumbai, not even once did anyone try to extort extra money from me or take me for a ride. Whenever I was stuck or didn’t know what to do or how to move around, I simply asked people and got sound advice. One gentleman selling the ‘Anando’ milk at Chowpati wrote directions for me and insisted that I carry the paper with me so that I reach back safely at minimal fare.

Food

  • Missal Pav, Sev Puri, Vada Pav, Pav Bhaji, Bhel Puri are food items everyone knows about.
  • What I found interesting was the Anando milk (This is a Maharashtran brand similar to Verka or Amul in the North.
  • Dry garlic Chutney. (This is in powdered form and served with Vada Pav etc.) Ko
  • kam Juice (Available in shops in form of syrup).

Natural Ice cream. This is something that you can’t miss. It consists of natural ingredients with delicious flavours (Apple custard, coconut, and so on) The good thing is that you can get it packed in dry ice and bring it home if travelling by air. The dry ice packing keeps the ice cream intact for 24 hours. Delivery to your Hotel is also possible.

Note – It can only be brought as checked luggage and many passengers buy this super nice ice cream, so pick your bag at the airport reading the label on it.

Interesting Observations:

  • TV actors can easily be spotted in Andheri where most of them stay.
  • As the actors make career progression, they move to Juhu and then Bandra or Pali Hills.
  • Young couples can be seen getting cozy at all beaches, parks etc.
  • Coconut water is the most amazing drink in Mumbai.
  • All sea routes are monitored with the help of choppers after the Mumbai terrorist attack. Ganesh Chathurthi is a big festival. People are very helpful to travellers. Auto is the best way to commute around.
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