08 August 2015

24 hours in Mumbai! #TheCityDiaries

You can spend a lifetime and still not see everything and that holds true for not just Mumbai but every city waiting to be explored by you.

Of all the places I have lived, none has the loveliness of Bombay! Be prepared to meet people from all over India and get ready to be jostled as you start to turn pages of your very own #MumbaiDiaries.

What if you had 24 hours to spend in Mumbai? Where would you go and what can you afford to ditch? Read on to and draft your itinerary.

Morning in Bandra

There’s nothing more beautiful than the mornings in Bandra engulfed in the aroma of freshly baked breads. Mornings are the best time to explore the beautiful Chapel Street and the serene Bandstand. Less crowded in the morning, Bandstand will offer a sense of romanticism in the air overlooking the magnificent Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Don’t forget to walk down the Carter Road by the sea to reach the Bagel shop for breakfast.

You can head to Hill Road for shopping. Early shopping attracts a lot of discounts as the shopkeepers try for their ‘Bohni’ (first sale) which they believe brings them luck. You can shop for clothes, shoes, bags, and all kinds of accessories at Hill Road market, also known as Elco Market. You can head to Good Luck Café which is an Iranian Restaurant and try your hands on Keema Pao, Maska Pao and Tea. You can even head to Amrut Sagar Fast Food corner which is delight for vegetarians and then you have Candies Cafe at Pali Hill for some more good food.

Afternoon in Dharavi and Lunch at Matunga

Once you leave Bandra, catch a Rick for the leather market in Dharavi. I would suggest you have a local friend to accompany you and the girls shouldn’t head there alone. Dharavi is one of the largest slums in the world and also a home to the best of leather goods. Be it bags or jackets or shoes. 

Tired shopping? - Head to Matunga for Bon appetite. I asked my Food Guide, Dakshin Adyanthaya (co-founder, Bhooka Janta) and here’s what he had to say, “Grab a highly affordable South Indian meal at Ram Ashray. You can also go to Cafe Mysore along with Nayaks sweets. One can try hands on the Kheema pav at Cafe Gulshan. And if you are still hungry head to Koolar and try their famous omelettes. Finish your food spree at DP's with their famous Cold Coffee and Ice cream sodas.” Phew. Matunga has some really good options, right?

Evening in Dadar and Mahalakshmi

Once you are full, head to Dadar which is the next stop from Matunga. The must visits are Siddhivinayak Ganpati Temple built in 1801and Mahalakshmi Devi Temple built in 1831. Offer your prayers to the deity and walk to Haji Ali which is in the same vicinity. 

The Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque and dargah located on an islet off the coast of Worli and is one of the most recognisable landmarks of Mumbai. Don’t forget to savour the amazing juices at Haji Ali juice centre right outside the Dargah.

Night in South Bombay

I can spend my whole life in South Bombay and still not get over the life on this side. Hop on a double Decker bus and visit the majestic ‘Gateway of India’. Standing majestically across from the Gateway of India, is the iconic 5-star – The Taj Hotel.

Take a stroll in the Fort area, admire the Roman architecture. Walking is the best way to see the lovely heritage structures of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai Building, Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai Police Commissioner's Office, St. Xavier's College (My Alma mater), Flora Fountain, Asiatic society and more.

Go to Colaba Causeway and do more shopping, especially junk jewellery and accesories. Visit the 143 year old Café – Leopold also known as – Leo’s for a range of Sangrias and Chicken. The café is a major landmark of South Bombay and a must visit for all. 

After all the hard work and walking and traveling hostling the hustle bustle, it is time you put your thoughts together and look at the beautiful sunset at Marine Drive. If you missed the sunset, don’t worry; the night will just get more beautiful when all buildings light up. 

The Queen’s Necklace as it is fondly known as needs you to sit on the promenade or just take a slow walk with your friends at night. When the breeze splashes on your face, you will feel content with the 24-hour jostling. You will find couples sealing kisses, college students spending the best time of their lives and sort of the whole spirit of Mumbai at calm, here.

For some good Biryani, one can head to Bade Miyan and do some pet-pooja. One can also head to Café Mondegar which is open till almost 1 at night. Take a stroll by the Girgaum Chowpatty and savour the pav bhaji and delicious chaat. The lane opposite to Girgaum has the must-visit – Bachelor’s Juice House; go for their Chocolate milkshake, I bet you’ll find it crazily awesome (I am a fan).

Wind up your night at Marine Drive or sit on the rooftop of Intercontinental Hotel or Harbour View. Gaze at the amazing view and go nom-nom.

Don’t forget to travel in Mumbai local, even if it means a short distance. No Mumbai Local in your itinerary is like not-seen Mumbai at all!

Click lots of pictures alright? And do share your thoughts on ’24 hours in Mumbai’.

Until we meet again, keep traveling!

The article was originally published on the WeAreMumbai website.