Guest Post: Mumbai – The City That Mesmerizes

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Today's guest post is written by Renuka, a writer/photographer and a travel blogger from India. With her blog, Voyager For Life, she aims to inspire and awaken people to travel. She has been a native in four different cities in India and would not mind more city-hopping in the future. When she is not traveling, she likes to be a tourist in her own city. You can follow here on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

I wouldn’t be wrong if I said Mumbai is like wine. You have to smell it, swirl it and feel it to be able to enjoy it. It takes a while to get intoxicated by this enchantress, but when you do, it is for life. Such is its magic. People usually have strong opinions about this city in the western India – either they hate it or love it! Of course, I’m one of those who loves it.

The Taj Mahal Hotel

I got a chance to live in Mumbai for around four months, so I got to know it like a local. To be honest, initially I was exasperated by its traffic, local trains and the usual chaos. But as the days passed by, its charms brushed off on me.

Here’s how I was captivated:

Gazing at the horizon at Marine Drive

I simply loved sitting at Marine Drive along with the locals. Marine Drive is a pavement alongside the sea in South Mumbai. It starts from a point known as Nariman Point and ends at a small beach. People spend endless hours here with absolutely nothing on their minds. It’s a well known spot for morning walks and weekend midnight hangouts.

Driving across the Bandra-Worli Sea link

I let the wind blow in my hair while enjoying a drive over the Bandra-Worli sea link. It’s an excellent way to have a quick overview of the harbour city. Although the drive doesn’t last too long, it takes you on a high. You really get to feel the essence of Mumbai while looking over the skyscrapers and the city at large.

Wandering the Colaba Causeway   

Colaba Causeway is a commercial street in South Mumbai. There is a lot to discover here while simply wandering your way through the shops and cafes. I liked checking out the interesting and unique antiques, books and paintings, and after I had exhausted myself from walking, I sipped a latte at Café Mondegar.

The Taj and around

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is located right in the backyard of Colaba. Simply stroll your way to the back lanes of Taj to find yourself even more amazed. Just opposite to the Taj Hotel are the Gateway Of India and the harbour. It’s an iconic locale where numerous Hindi films have been shot. So, it’s not just an excursion. It is seeing the reel life transform into the real life!

Gateway of India

Strolling along the Bandra Bandstand

Bandra is one of the oldest suburbs of West Mumbai. The Bandstand is a pavement meant for walking along the beach. The promenade also has hand impressions and sculptures of some of the eminent Hindi film personalities. It’s fun to walk in the midst of beautiful palm trees or sip a drink at a sea-facing restaurant. The beach is usually enjoyed from a distance, because it’s mostly hogged by the couples looking for romance.

Sunset view at Juhu Beach

Well, I must admit I did not enjoy it much this time. It has become too crowded over the years. But, I would still suggest one should visit it for the sunset. On one of my earlier trips to Mumbai, I spent a gala evening at Juhu beach – watching people, walking along the beach barefoot, binging on the mouth-watering snacks, and simply savouring the atmosphere. I’d like to mention that it’s also one of the widely seen locales in the Indian movies.

Sophisticated coffee sipping at Heera Nandani

Since I sojourned around Heera Nandani, I frequented it almost every day. It’s a relatively new township in the suburbs of Mumbai. This is one place where I did not feel the essence of Mumbai. It is sophisticated, well planned and well kept, while the city of Mumbai (in general) is quite off the cuff. So, it is a kind of bonus to be in Heera Nandani – it’s all about upmarket restaurants, cafes, hotels, brands and labels.

Although it takes you away from the usual Mumbai, it offers you another beautiful world. I discovered a great confectionery shop by the name of Theobroma in Heera Nandani that served amazing macarons, croissants, and cupcakes!

South Mumbai architecture

I am easily charmed by old architecture, and South Mumbai has quite a few buildings from the old era. While I was walking my way to the Churchgate station, I spotted Rajabai Clock Tower, which is a British legacy. There are also Mumbai High Court, Mumbai University and VT Station that have impressions of Gothic-Victorian architecture. Not just that, South Mumbai is known to be a cultural hub with quite a few museums, libraries and art galleries to its credit. I explored the entire vicinity on foot and I must say I was impressed.

Rajabai Clock Tower

Find quietude at Powai Lake

I would say Powai Lake is a new hideout for tourists and locals alike. It was at a short distance from where I stayed. I found it to be an amazing place for morning walks. Since it’s not very crowded or chaotic, people like to spend some quiet hours by the Lake. I, too, woke up early one cloudy morning and headed for the Lake. I loved the serenity around.

 

So, Mumbai has got all you need to be in love with a city – people, energy, food and places. Brace yourself!

Is Mumbai a place you'd like to visit?

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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22 Comments on “Guest Post: Mumbai – The City That Mesmerizes

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  1. It’s always awesome to get travel intel from someone who has spent a chunk of time there and lived like a local.

      Yup! Mumbai is one of the cities that reveal itself better when you live there as a local.

    Having lived in Mumbai all through my life, I admit that it can a be a little intimidating when you first arrive here. But its one city which welcomes everyone with open arms and its really hard to leave once you get used to its hustle and bustle! Lovely article Renuka 🙂

      Thanks Arti! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. 🙂 Yeah, anybody who has lived in Mumbai would have the same feeling and opinion – that it’s both chaotic and charming.

    I will be in Mumbai March 15 for the first time. Part of a 40 day independent trip hubby and I doing. Excited to see Mumbai and more. Thanks for sharing your favorites.

      Carol, I am sure you are going to love Mumbai! It is a city that may annoy you for a few things, but if you give it a chance, it doesn’t let you down.

    I spent a month living in Mumbai a couple of years ago and would have to agree it is definitely a love it or hate it kind of place, but I’m definitely with you in the love it category! One of my favourite memories of my time there is driving across the Bandra-Worli sea link hanging out of the window feeling the wind rush by and enjoying the view 🙂

    I love the wine comparison! I’ve heard SO many divided opinions about travel to India. I can’t wait to travel there and see for myself!

      Thanks Karisa! 🙂 Once you visit India, and especially Mumbai you will know why I compared it to wine. If you visit Mumbai with an open mind, you are sure going to be mesmerized. 🙂

    Also love the wine comparison, this article encourages me to look a little deeper into visiting Mumbai! great writing, will have to check out your blog.

      Thanks Rebecca for your kind words:) I’m sure you are going to love Mumbai!

    Good writing! I’d love to visit Mumbai and enjoy these walks you mention. The Gateway of India, in particular, looks impressive.

      Thanks Stefania 🙂 Yup, Gateway of India is impressive and especially the surroundings are just too charming!

    Hi, I will be in Mumbai in July. This post has made me so excited, I can’t wait to see these things!

      Glad to hear that! Mumbai is waiting to host you. 🙂

    I’ve heard so many mixed feelings about Mumbai. It’s very exotic for a lot of people so definitely ideal to have a local’s perspective and tips before you go! Hope to get there some day.

      Yup, Mumbai generally evokes mixed feelings. It is both chaotic and charming, dirty and enticing!

    I have stayed for around 15 days in Pawai, roaming all over Mumbai. But let me tell you, no other area in Mumbai is as pleasant as Pawai. Hiranandani had done a great job… 😀 🙂

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