Measure out: one part Hollywood; six parts traffic; a bunch of rich power-moguls; stir in half a dozen colonial relics (use big ones); pour in six heaped cups of poverty; add a smattering of swish bars and restaurants (don’t skimp on quality here for best results); equal parts of mayhem and order; as many ancient bazaars as you have lying around; a handful of Hinduism; a dash of Islam; fold in your mixture with equal parts India; throw it all in a blender on high (adding generous helpings of pollution to taste) and presto: Mumbai.
An inebriating mix of all the above and more, this mass of humanity is a frantic melange of India’s extremes. It is the country’s financial powerhouse and its vogue centre of fashion, film and after-dark frolics. Glistening skyscrapers and malls mushroom amid slums and grinding poverty, and Mumbai slowly marches towards a brave new (air-conditioned) world. But not everyone made the guest list: more than half of the population lives in slums, and religious-based social unrest tugs at the skirt of Mumbai’s financial excess.
Only once the initial shell shock of Mumbai’s chaos subsides, can one start to appreciate the city’s allure: a wealth of Art Deco and grand colonial relics; cacophonic temples; warrens of bazaars; and the odd spiritual bastion of tranquillity. In Mumbai you can dine at some of the finest restaurants in the country, and work off the appetite gyrating at ultrachic bars alongside Bollywood starlets and wannabes. With a pinch of gumption, a dash of adventure, an open wallet and a running start, there’s no excuse not to dive into the Mumbai madness head-first.
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These tours & activities make it easy:
Best places to stay in Mumbai (Bombay)
Goa & Mumbai travel guide
Colourful and colliding, spiritual and soothing, crammed with deserted beaches, yogic bliss and heady nightlife. Goa is many things to many people, but everyone agrees there’s nowhere on earth quite like it.
24 hours in Mumbai
Be prepared to be jostled, hurried and incessantly chatted to as you soak in the trendy yet traditional vibe of Mumbai...
Nightlife in Mumbai
Mumbai's best architecture
South India & Kerala travel guide
South India’s long coastline frames fertile plains and curvaceous hills: thick coconut groves, luminescent rice paddies, fragrant spice gardens and picturesque tea plantations all kept glisteningly green by the double-barrelled monsoon.
Around Mumbai in 7 faiths
Holy is not a word usually used to describe Mumbai. With its slums, Bollywood divas, Bombay mafia, and extremes of poverty and decadence, the city’s often made out to be one hot mess. But Mumbai has a complex personality, and the former fishing village is also a traditional place that takes its spiritual paths seriously...
Best places to eat in Mumbai
South India & Kerala - Goa (Chapter)
Goa is as beautiful and culturally rich as it is tiny and hassle-free, so you can go birdwatching in a butterfly-filled forest, marvel at centuries-old cathedrals, venture out to white-water waterfalls or meander the capital’s charming alleyways.
Mumbai to Chennai
Tour India from Mumbai to Chennai. This trip is the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation. For starters you've got Mumbai, India's most cosmopolitan city. Then travel overland through the Western Ghats for a stay on the stunning beaches of Goa and head into the hills for a homestay in the tea and coffee plantations of Wayanad.
Mumbai by Night: Heritage Tonga Ride to Gateway of India with Dinner
See Mumbai at night on a charming tonga ‘heritage ride,’ traveling through the illuminated city by traditional horse-drawn buggy. Ride past famous monuments like the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Victoria Terminus Railway Station to the Gateway of India as your regal carriage follows the Queen's Necklace, officially called Marine Drive.
Mumbai for sweet-toothed travellers
Unknown to many travellers, South Asia has a whole genre – a large one – of food known as mithai, which literally translates as 'sweets'. Some of them have roots in ancient palace kitchens, or travelled long ago across vast distances in the pouches of princes or armies...
South India & Kerala - Andhra Pradesh (Chapter)
Andhra Pradesh doesn’t have the flashiness of Rajasthan, but be prepared to dig for the jew-els; to wend through paddy fields and 500-year-old urban markets, to climb towering smooth-granite hills, and to feel the liberating uncertainty of...