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Overview to Mumbai: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

Evening on the Malabar Coast

Mumbai is a puzzling place: few major cities in the world offer the traveler a glimpse of so much contrast between glamour and poverty, ancient history and modern progression.

It's also a city that needs to be approached systematically, simply because it's too massive to fully grasp in a short stay. Most of the sights are located either in the South or South Central suburbs, while moving further inland uncovers greener areas, a few select temples and endless housing.

Historically speaking, the city starts at the magnificent Gateway of India on the southernmost tip of the South Suburb. In the same district, the Prince of Wales Museum, the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Jehangir Art Gallery are all musts on any traveler’s itinerary.

Like much of Mumbai, the South Suburbs are compellingly chaotic. However, if you need a breather, the Babulnath Mandir and the Elephanta Caves are both worthy retreats. The first sits 1000 meters above sea level; the latter is on a small island accessed by boats from the Gateway.

The brashly entertaining Chowpatty Beach lies in close proximity to the Bubulnath Mandir. To the north lies the Siddhiuinayak Temple in South Central (don’t go on Tuesdays as it gets busy) and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount in the Western Suburbs.

The far north of the city reveals the marshy lakes of the National Park and, crucially, Film City – Bollywood’s main production post. Although visitors aren’t allowed in, just seeing a film in one of the city’s many cinemas really gives you a taste of India’s uniquely colorful and vibrant culture.

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