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A vibrant city with the imposing...
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Mumbai is the city of dreams. It is a unique place where the past is mixed with the future and history meets modernity, a city that lies at the cross-section of business and entertainment and beats to a pulsating rhythm of its own. Located by the Arabian Sea, Mumbai is an amalgamation of heritage and culture and glitz and glamour. So from historic art deco buildings, which are recognised by UNESCO, to natural delights, Mumbai has it all!
To spend 48 hours in Mumbai can be a fantastic experience and here is how to go about it.
For a lavish taste of the Financial Capital, check into hotels like the Taj Mahal Palace, The Oberoi, Four Seasons Hotel, etc. There are several budgeted accommodations as well as homestays available in the city.
8 am: Start with a morning visit to the Gateway of India. An integral visual seen in most skyline photographs of Mumbai, this monument is visited by millions of people across the world. As the oft-repeated saying goes 'When in Mumbai, do what the film's actors do' and in the same vein, you can click photos of each other while running in exaggerated styles through the mass of pigeons that are often pecking on seeds in the courtyard of this heritage structure.
10 am: Travelling to Elephanta Caves from the Gateway of India is a popular choice. Take a ferry ride to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is host to a series of rock-cut caves. There are opportunities for trekking and as well as picnicking.
Have lunch at Colaba. You can shop at Colaba Causeway, also known as Shahid Bhagat Singh Road. This place sells clothes, jewellery, and antiques for as low as INR 100.
4 pm: From here, you can head to Kala Ghoda to see the arts and literature of Mumbai while having one of the finest coffees in one of the cafes.
6:00 pm: If you want to catch a spectacular sunset, head to Marine Drive. A beautiful sea-facing promenade, this road has been given the nickname Queen's necklace because at night, the street lights along this curving three and a half kilometre long road create the illusion of a string of pearls around a neck. The sight of sparkling waters of the Arabian Sea combined with the cool, fresh breeze that blows in, makes this area one of the most exclusive and expensive real estate hubs in Mumbai.
Start your day by working out at Jogger’s Park or taking a stroll around the Hanging Garden. From the latter, you can catch spectacular views of the sunrise over the Arabian Sea. The Sewri Mangrove Park is a delight for birdwatchers, who can catch a group of flamingos nesting nearby.
8 am: Hang out at the Juhu Beach, from where you can see the imposing bungalows of Bollywood stars. If you want to enjoy a beach treat, head to Chowpatty, which is lined with shops selling delectable snacks like chaat (savoury snack), bhelpuri ( a snack made of puffed rice, tangy tamarind sauce and vegetables), pav bhaji (soft bread roll served with a thick vegetable curry), kulfis (frozen dessert) and ice creams. With its clean and sea-shell studded sand, Aksa Beach is about an hour’s drive from Mumbai. It is a quieter and more serene option than Juhu Chowpatty. Far from the maddening crowd, this beach is perfect for a weekend or even a day trip.
10 am: South Mumbai should be your next stop. The area is scattered with gorgeous buildings and awe-inspiring architecture. Visit the Prince of Wales museum or the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum. From Japanese art and pottery to a huge collection of snuff boxes, there is much to see there.
A short distance away lies the Dargah of Haji Ali, which houses the tomb of a Muslim saint, Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, and a mosque. Popular with photographers, this iconic monument can be seen from the shores of Mumbai and lies entirely on an island in the Arabian Sea, at a distance of about 500 yards from the mainland.
2 pm: Spend some time at the Jehangir Art Gallery, a prime exhibition space that houses many art masterpieces. Grab lunch at one of the nearby cafes or restaurants.
4 pm: Visit the famous Siddhivinayak Temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesha. In the periphery, there is a Hanuman temple as well. One of the narrow lanes that lead up to the temple is called the phool gali and has a large number of vendors selling flower garlands, tulsi (basil) leaves, coconuts and sweets, which can be offered to the god.
Take some time out for shopping at some of the most vibrant markets of the city. Try the Crawford Market for wholesale goods; Bhuleshwar Market for artificial jewellery; Mangaldas Market and Colaba Causeway for textiles and Fashion-street for brands and labels.
8 pm: Another stopover can be the Mumbai Devi Temple, devoted to Goddess Mumbadevi. You can attend the evening arti (a fire ritual) and also explore the stores in the temple area.
10 pm: Spend your last night in the city of dreams on a dinner cruise. Taste the luxury of Mumbai as you dig into delectable dishes. You can also attend a live music concert.