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Four places to visit in Mumbai for a first-time visitor

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The great port city of Mumbai is situated on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. It is one of India’s dominant urban centres and truly the city that never sleeps and the city of dreams – whether the dream is a better life or seeing yourself on the 70mm silver screen a la Bollywood. It is one of the most paradoxical cities in India along with being one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the world. Mumbai gets its name from Mumba Devi, a goddess of the local Koli fishing tribe, Mumbai initially grew up around a fort established by the British in the mid-seventeenth century to protect their trading interests along India’s western coast. The city’s fantastic natural harbour served as a focal point for sea routes crossing the Arabian Sea, and Mumbai soon became the main western gateway to Britain’s expanding Indian empire.

The city emerged as a centre of manufacturing and industry during the eighteenth century. Today, Mumbai is India’s commercial, financial and dramatic capital, as well as the capital city of Maharashtra State. Flights keep flocking from all the major airports to this city. While there is a decent number of flights from all parts of the world, Bangalore to Mumbai flights and Delhi to Mumbai flights have the highest frequency in the country. That’s not to say Mumbai has no tourist attractions, it has plenty to see, soak in and do amidst its glorious chaos. Here are the places to definitely visit to get an essence of this great city:

Marine Drive a.k.a the Queen’s Necklace
Commencing from the north of Nariman Point and culminating at the famous Chowpatty beach, the Marine Drive is a 3km-stretch, arc-shaped road along the seacoast of South Mumbai. The coastlines the Arabian sea and resembles a glittering necklace fit for a queen once the night sets in. It is the best place to watch the sunset in Mumbai.

Gateway of India
One of the most distinguished monuments in Mumbai, The Gateway of India was built all the way back in 1924. Now it has become a tourist hub in the city that you can’t leave Mumbai without seeing. Located at Apollo Bunder Waterfront, the monument overlooks the Arabian Sea in the most beautiful manner.

Juhu Beach
Undoubtedly, the most famous and most-visited in Mumbai, Juhu beach is located close to another famous Mumbai suburb- Andheri. It used to be a beautiful beach at one point in time. However, with so many tourists coming in here, the place has become overcrowded but still maintains its charm as a popular tourist destination.

Haji Ali Dargah
This Sufi shrine is like a pearl in the sea and gives a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea. The shrine is dedicated to Pir Haji Ali; a wealthy merchant turned Muslim Sufi saint. People from all spheres of life and religions come here to seek blessings.

The city always remains high on tourists and hence is never short on staying options. There are a number of hotels in Mumbai you can choose from.

Text by Shruti Kothari Tomar

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