This monsoon, grab your umbrella and camera and lose yourself in Mumbai, the city of dreams. There are cosy places to relax, numerous delicious things to eat and oh so many beautiful sights to see.
During this time of the year you often hear about the benefits of visiting lush and picturesque hill stations, but you rarely hear about the magic of witnessing the cool wave of tranquillity that sweeps over the usually sweltering bustle of a city. What’s more? Most of the sight-seeing doesn’t cost a thing; Mumbai’s world-famous street food is conveniently located at most corners along with options for fine-dining.
Walk in the Rain
If it’s drizzling and you fancy a walk across an awe inspiring sea-scape, Marine Drive is the place to be. There’s nothing more relaxing than sipping steaming ‘cutting chai’ while strolling down Marine Drive and a misty fog hangs over a choppy sea. Alternatively, you sip a cocktail and relax at Dome, Intercontinental, an open air lounge that allows one to enjoy the view while
being sheltered from the rain. You could also opt to watch Marine Drive transform itself into the ‘Queen’s Necklace’ at night and have a seat while listening to the calming rhythm of the sea.
Not to miss: Bandra Bandstand has a magnificent view of the sea. There’s also the ‘walk of stars’ where you can see handprints of various Bollywood celebrities. Juhu Beach is yet another site worth admiring. The spiced ‘bhutta’ or corn on a cob here is not to be missed out on.
Admire heritage : Gateway of India is a world heritage site that is perpetually frequented by tourists and locals alike. You can have your picture taken here or go for a boat-ride to the Elephanta Caves if you’re lucky enough to be in time before they shut for the monsoon. The nearby Sea Lounge at Taj has a variety of lip-smacking appetisers that are served alongside a stellar view of the roiling Arabian Sea. For a more relaxed ambience with lower prices, the nearby Bay View cafe provides snacks and the same spectacular view of the harbour. Located at the rooftop of Hotel Harbour View, this is the best place to relax with a glass of wine or a mug of beer while enjoying the monsoon view of the sea.
The ideal place to go when you need a brief respite from all the sight-seeing and crowds is Kitaab Khana at Fort. Here you can curl up with a book, purchase a few or rejuvenate yourself in the cafe, Food for Thought. The tangy pink pasta and creamy hot chocolate are an absolute delight during the monsoon. Second hand books can be purchased from vendors across the streets of Fort and the beautiful labyrinthine buildings are charming to stroll by for photographers or admirers of architecture. Flora Fountain and Hutatma Chowk are both heritage sites worth visiting too.
Located in Borivali, Sanjay Gandhi National Park looks stunning during the monsoons. It has a wide variety of wildlife and exploring the Kanheri caves that are sculpted out of rocky cliffs is worth the effort. For art and history lovers, respectively, the Jehangir Art Gallery and the Prince of Wales Museum are in near vicinity. Bollywood fanatics can visit Maratha Mandir to watch Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge. Pakodas, bhajiya and vada pav can be found on almost all Mumbai streets, best enjoyed in the monsoon.
In the northern suburb of Mumbai is Powai lake. It’s tucked away in the midst of lush hills and a large variety of wildlife. It’s one of the most scenic locations in Mumbai and is perfect for a solitary walk while it drizzles. Boat-rides are available as well and you could also enjoy snacks at the Powai Lake Garden.
In love with rain : Visit Worli Sea-face where a drive on the sea-link with the windows rolled down can be quite an experience. Another place to enjoy rain is Li Bai, located at the very top of Palladium Hotel. It is one of the best places to admire the Mumbai monsoon. It allows its patrons to survey the city through its gigantic glass panes. The bird’s eye view of the city is utterly breathtaking from the window-facing tables and from the spectacular height.
Satiate hunger pangs : Visit Kala Ghoda cafe to feast on their Belgian waffles with chocolate. The transparent exterior allows you to watch the world go by as the rain splatters against the glass panes. You can also stop at Sancha, the adorable tea boutique next door for complimentary cups of tea and buy exotic teas from all over the world.
Come rejuvenate yourself, take a break from your hectic schedule and leave your worries behind as you let your senses run wild and broaden your horizons.
GoAir Connect: GoAir operates direct flights to Mumbai from Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Kochi, Goa, Jaipur, Port Blair, Patna, Srinagar, etc., and easy connections from Leh, Bagdogra, Jammu and Kolkata, among others.
Written by Farah Maneckshaw