Mumbai, the city formerly known as Bombay, is one of the great metropolises of the Indian subcontinent. Home of the Bollywood film industry, the experiences and spectacular sights to marvel at are endless. From the Gateway of India monument to the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat (a huge open air laundry where the clothes from local hotels and hospitals are washed) to the imposing Haji Ali mosque, you could explore Mumbai for months and still find hidden treasures to uncover.
Incredible Energy: The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
Mumbai’s largest festival is just mind-blowing. This massive extravaganza featuring art, dance, theatre, literature and food has a global reach, attracting participants and visitors from all over the world. The festival runs annually from the 1st Saturday of February and closes on the 2nd Sunday in February. Venues include the auditorium at the National Gallery of Modern Art, the David Sassoon Library, and the streets of Kaikashru Dubash Marg and its parking lot, popularly called Rampart Row. Bop along to a band, feast on Indian cuisine or take the kids on a Heritage walk – this is the essential Mumbai celebration.
Buy, Buy, Buy: Chor Bazaar
Chor Bazaar translates as ‘Thieves Market’, but don’t worry, it is you who’ll be finding the ‘steals’ around here as the market is home to hundreds of bargains and, truthfully, hundreds of stolen goods for sale alongside legitimate ones. You can haggle your way to some ridiculously low prices on antique furniture, jewellery, clothing and electronics and more – the range of goods available is wider than Mumbai’s Mithi River. The market’s been going for 150 years, making it one of the oldest in Mumbai, and looks set for the next 150. See what you can find!
Sporting History: Wankhede Stadium
You don’t have to be a cricket fan to appreciate this historical stadium, which hosted the Cricket World Cup final in 2011 between India and Sri Lanka. The stadium was built in 1974 and since that time has seen many legendary matches. Indians are cricket crazy – the atmosphere at matches has to be experienced to be believed! Something to note: items restricted at the stadium include coins, earphones, bags, helmets, bottles, food, drink, cameras, binoculars and plastic bags. Thankfully diapers, baby food, and flags are allowed though.