Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is world’s most populous city and on top of that it is incredibly densely populated. If Mumbai is the first city you are visiting in India – prepare yourself! Heavy pollution, biggest slums in Asia, gypsy people living in tents on sidewalks and begging for money (seeing foreigners as walking bags of money who they just need to “shake a little” and the money will start pouring), piles of garbage on every corner, street, river or ocean, you name it. This is what you will face here on a daily basis and it can get challenging. However, in same Mumbai you can also find some of the grandest colonial-era architecture on the planet which is located in the heart of the city. On the Mumbai Harbor waterfront stands the iconic Gateway of India stone arch, built by the British Raj in 1924. Offshore, nearby Elephanta Island holds ancient cave temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Putting a little effort and exploring more will help you uncover hidden temples, unique bazaars and some really nice people living in this insane environment.
Mumbai is a financial powerhouse, fashion center and a pulse point of religious tension. So, no wonder people here are so diverse. Between lots and we mean lots of people here you will find hard workers and complete dreamers who are spending their days doing nothing. In addition to that city is full of stars from most prolific film industry – Bollywood, sharing the seat with local mobsters. In the same port you will find local fisherfolk and in couple hundred meters away a fancy restaurant filled with millionaires having dinner.
Our visit here was short but we were happy to be able to explore it thoroughly as we changed many hosts in different parts of the city. While we were staying with multiple local people, we got to spend time with them and even their families in some cases. This allowed us to get to know their culture, point of view and even way of life. Wandering through different areas of the city and exploring places where the intense and furious energy of Mumbai is coming from was our priority and we believe that we touched at least some part of it on our stay here.
Best of luck planning your holidays in India!
Is there anything else you would like to visit while in India?
If you have anything in mind, please let us know and let’s discuss it.
For more traveling tips subscribe to our newsletter!