“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls”
– Anais Nin
With this quote I want to start our journey through one of the most fascinating places on Earth that every traveler should visit at least once in their lives. Every day, I will share with you one destination that will change, more or less, your perspective on life and traveling. And, who knows, maybe I will inspire you to go and continue our journey, but this time alone, so you can fully submerge into this place’s atmosphere.
The first destination that I will introduce you to is located somewhere in one of the most vivid countries in the world – India. Mumbai, except being the largest and most populous city in India, is also one of the most interesting, colorful and rich locations in the whole world. With its population of over 12 million people, it holds so many stories within its lands that is hard to describe it in just one article. That’s why, as I said, I hope to inspire you to go see for yourself what Mumbai holds in itself.
Mumbai is situated on the western coast of India, making it the main Indian port to the Indian ocean due to which it’s called “The Gateway to India”. The climate is tropical, which means mainly very dry and hot weather – a thing that not all the tourist can get used to. Mumbai is the fashion and commercial center of India so the economy is in the fast lane. The official language of the region is Marathi, but English is also spoken by some people so it’s not that difficult for tourists to find their way around the Indian megapolis. Transportation can sometimes be difficult due to all the people living there. It’s the world’s cheapest city to live in so you can imagine how little it will cost you to stay there for a couple of weeks.
As I said, Mumbai is a very colorful place mainly because of how populated it is. It’s home to people from every religion in the world and that’s why its streets are studded with churches, mosques, synagogues and other temples, some more well-knows than others. Again, due to all these religions, Mumbai holds out a vast variaty of cuisine, from the local Indian one, to Asian, Mediterranean and Western – basically everything a person could want. Of course, my advice is to try mostly local cuisine and delicacies that you can’t find everywhere.
So, when it comes to attractions, for the average tourist that comes from a non-Asian coutry, basically every building can be an attraction. But for those of you who are not easily impressed, I will offer you several options to spend your day exploring. The first place you should go is “The Gateway of India”. The architecture is typical for India and because of its historic value, it has become a main tourist attraction. From there, take a boat to Elephanta Island to see its cave temples. If you are not into traveling by boat, go to the Haji Ali Dargah – one of the most famous landmarks in Mumbai. Basically it’s located on an island but you can reach it by bus or train. It’s both a mosque and a tomb and carries great history within itself. One of the most beautiful places to go in Mumbai, especially at night is the Marine drive (it’s official name is Netaji Subhash Chander Bose Road). It’s not only romantic but it gives an amazing view of the city that you will never forget.
It you are a fan of art, there are so many art galleries in the city that you will be incredibly satisfied. The galleries feature not only traditional national art, but also graffiti, contemporary art and the works of many young and independent artists. If you are looking for some outdoor fun, people in Mumbai celebrate both Western and Indian festivals of all sorts so celebrations are held constantly – just look around and ask the locals for directions! The Zoo, beaches and Essel world (India’s largest amusement park) also offer outdoor fun which is great, especially if you go at times when the weather is not so hot.
As for accomodations, it’s relatively cheap. As I said, Mumbai the world’s cheapest city to live in so you can easily go there with your family for a week or two and go back home without being broke. If you search the Internet for hotels you will see that even the 4 and 5-star hotels are not that expensive which will make your Indian experience even better!
I hope that I have excited you just enough to go see for yourself what I’m talking about. Tomorrow, we will dive in a culture that’s as interesting and unique as the Indian. Which one? I will leave you wondering…