Much has been said and written about the Financial capital of India-Mumbai. Yet the mystique of the place is such that you can’t get enough of it. Our trip to India’s largest city started from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport terminal 1D. Well, if time is not a constraint for you guys then you can definitely vouch for the Indian Railways.
Moving out of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, you will find plethora of food joints offering a variety of finger lickin’ good ranging from snacks,tea, coffee to proper meal tempting you to grab a bite at the very start of your trip .
Finding an authentic yellow colored taxi or booking an Ola/Uber is not at all a problem in the metropolitan city.
Bandra-Worli Sea link: Our journey from airport to hotel in Colaba gave us the opportunity to see an engineering marvel officially called “Rajiv Gandhi sea link” and famously known as “The Bandra-Worli Sea link”. You will be definitely fascinated to know that all the steel cables used in the bridge if put together would be as long as the circumference of the EARTH!! My eyes were on stalks while watching the jaw dropping wonder.
The Gateway Of India & Elephanta caves
Overlooking the Arabian Sea, this 85 feet high arch monument in South Mumbai had witnessed the historic retreat of the last british troops from India- signalling the end of British rule.
Passing a minimal security check one can gaze at the breathtaking view of the sea while watching two of the Mumbai’s main attractions standing opposite to each other.
A trip to the awe-inspiring UNESCO heritage site Elephanta Caves can be taken with the help of a to and fro ferry from the Gateway to Elephanta Island in just Rs.150-200/-. Don’t miss to pay Rs.10/- extra for a seat in the upper deck. You will love the scenic sea view with birds accompanying you alongside in that 50 mins ferry ride. Elephanta caves remain closed on all Mondays.
According to Hindu mythologizes,caves were constructed somewhere between 5th & 9th century. Elephanta caves have rock cut stone sculptures which is based on Hindu & Buddhism ideologies.
NOT TO MISS: Bread pieces to attract and feed the birds
After the ferry, one can enjoy a 3-4 mins toy train ride from the shore to the main island in Rs.10/-
On your way to the caves there are a no. of shops from where you can buy a lot of cool stuff for yourself or as souvenirs for gifting but make sure you BARGAIN !!
Though the present day caves are damaged, still these 7 Elephanta caves exhibit marvelous rock cut architecture and sculpture mainly devoted to Lord Shiva.
The tour of caves will make your mind churn that how such magnificent and elegant artwork can be made out of rocks during 5th -8th century when these caves are supposed to be built.
Recommended: Try to catch the ferry early in the morning (starts at 9 am) so that you have ample time to enjoy. 2-3 hours is enough for the sight seeing
Carry an umbrella if you are too conscious of getting tanned.
After this 3-4 hours of jaunt to the caves some of you are definitely going to be dead tired and needing a place to just sit back and grab some scrumptious food.
The one that top the charts is the first restaurant in Mumbai to house a jukebox located in Metro House in Colaba Causeway and in close proximity to The Gateway Of India is Cafe Mondegar.
The ambiance of the place, background music & murals painted by the very famous Indian cartoonist Mario Miranda on the walls of the restaurant is not just unique but one of a kind. This is a restaurant-cum-bar and a great place for every age group to chill. Since the cafe is a famous one, you got to hold your nerves till the food arrives as the place is always crowded. But trust me, its completely worth it! The menu is quite exhaustive. So after minutes of deliberation we finally feasted upon Chicken chilly, Schezwan Chowmein, Arabiata pasta & Mango pulp milkshake. Approx cost for two people came about Rs. 1200-1300/- (excluding alcohol ) but every penny was worth the mouth watering delicacies.
Behind the Taj Hotel in Colaba, Mumbai lies the “Kebab king” started by Mohammad Yaseen (who was called Bademiya) in 1946 famous for its full flavored Seekh kebabs and Baida roti( stuffed bread) . One can also try variety of rolls & tikkas, biryani and spicy chicken bhuna with rumaali roti.
The place is famous for non-veg but our vegetarian friends has nothing to be upset about as they also share a separate kitchen for vegetarians. So, all my veggie friends can indulge in vegetarian seekh kebab rolls and paneer tikkas .
The perfect blend of spices or as we call masalas is the real secret behind the success of Bademiya that only Bademiya sons & their further generation knows. This authentic Mughlai cuisine restaurant has also been visited by famous celebrities and cricketers. So, the next time you crave for Non-veg, you know where is the place to be.
Colaba Causeway Market:
If you are a street shopping lover just like me then you are definitely going to list Colaba Market in South Mumbai on your priority list. Its a link established in 1838 between Colaba and Old Woman’s Island and hence the name causeway.
Handicrafts, purses, brass items, clothes, boutiques, books, jewellary, vintage watches, you just name it and this place will never disappoint you. All these are available at throwaway prices after bargaining. This street side market adjoining Cafe Mondegar is a fabulous place to buy souvenirs and is one of the major tourist attractions too.