Mumbai (Bombay)

This storied wadi (hamlet), a heritage village nearly 180 years old, is clinging onto Mumbai life as it was before high-rises. A Christian enclave of elegant two-storey Portuguese-style wooden mansions (of which only 23 out of 65 have survived), it’s 500m northeast of Girgaum Chowpatty, lying amid Mumbai’s predominantly Hindu and Muslim neighbourhoods. The winding lanes allow a wonderful glimpse into a quiet(ish) life away from noisier Mumbai.

It’s not large, but you can spend a while wandering the alleyways and admiring the old homes and, around Christmas, their decorations. You can also plan an East Indian feast in advance or sleep at the home of celebrated fashion designer, Khotachiwadi activist and amateur chef James Ferreira ( – find his rooms on Airbnb).

To find Khotachiwadi, head for St Teresa’s Church, on the corner of Jagannath Shankarsheth Marg (JSS Marg) and Rajarammohan Roy Marg (RR Rd/Charni Rd), then head directly opposite the church on JSS Marg and duck down the third lane on your left (look for the faded Khotachiwadi wall stencil map that says 'Khotachiwadi Imaginaries').