Two of the most well known cities in India are Delhi and Mumbai. These are the first bustling and activity galore cities that we see on entry to India, and yet it is well known that many tourists use these cities only as stop-off hubs before hopping on the next flight to somewhere else. It is true that on first time entry to these cities they can be a little overwhelming to say the least, with the heat, huge crowds, pungent smells, the poverty, the thousands of cars and beeping horns, and of course the dirt and grime, but with a little bit of preparation you can truly enjoy these cities, and I promise it is worth investing more than one day of your time.
Starting with Mumbai there is a great deal to experience in the economic engine of India. This also makes it a fantastic place to enjoy card rewards, as you can earn points each time you spend. Highly recommended are the online credit card deals from Amex India, particularly their rewards card offers. These deals could really help you get more from Mumbai.
Furthermore, why not make yourself an itinerary and discover the real delights of Mumbai, you will find that the list of things to do is exhaustive, below are a few ideas to get your started:
Visit some of Mumbai’s colourful markets, there are many, but four markets not to be missed are Crawford market, aesthetically pleasing as it is for its produce, an indoor mainly food market famous for its fruit and vegetables, and the beautiful old building that it’s held in Next is Colaba Causeway, a favourite with tourists who want to get presents to take home, this market has a bit of everything for everyone. Finally is Chor Bazaar, a great antiques market, you will pick up some weird and wonderful things here, also set in the heart of the Muslim district it’s great for experiencing a whole new culture.
Moving on from Mumbai’s markets to one of its more historical attractions, the magnificent Indian Gateway, standing 26 meters high, using a combination of both Muslim and Hindu architecture, it was built to commemorate the arrival of King George V to Bombay, as well as being well known for the spot at which the British soldiers left India when India was granted independence in the mid 1900s.
This great arch is located in the Fort District, the economic hub of Mumbai that the English developed in the 19th and 20th century. There is some great colonial architecture in this district and you will find that there are some informative and interesting guided tours should you be interested in the history and architecture of Mumbai. If you want to experience the earliest culture of Mumbai, still in existence today, not far from the Fort District is the fishing village of the Kolis. The Kolis were the first inhabitants of Mumbai and can be traced back to the 2nd Century. People watching in this village is a pleasure, with men mending fishing nets, women selling produce at street markets, children playing with kites, an overall simpler way of life.
If you have time, a wander around the Elephant caves is worth your time, said to have been built between the 5th and 8th centuries. They are now a World Heritage Site, and a fascinating display of great towering rocks, with beautiful carvings of Indian gods, covering an area of 60,000 sq feet.
For a bit of fun, make sure you take time to see an Indian Bollywood movie, after all Mumbai is home to Bollywood, with its crazy, tragic and romantic love stories, whilst cheesy you will find the songs catchy, and the Indians love to join in, so don’t be shy. You can even be an extra in a Bollywood, and get paid a small sum
Lastly don’t miss out on Mumbai’s stunning sunsets at Chowpatti beach, first taking a stroll along Marine Drive, and experience Mumbai’s pearl necklace ( the city lights curving around the long stretch of beach that is Marine Drive in South Mumbai), and finishing at Chowpatti for the sunset, and some delicious street food ( try Bhelpuri) from one of the many vendors.