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Mumbai doesn't have as many historical attractions as some places in India, but its multitude of unique and interesting sights more than compensates. You'll find everything from beaches to Bollywood. Mumbai, more popularly known as Bombay, Located on the Arabian Sea, Mumbai is one of the main ports of call in India and home to over ten million people. Geographically, Mumbai once consisted of seven separate islands, but through dredging, dikes, and land reclamation, the seven islands have coalesced to form the city of Mumbai.
 
Mumbai's most recognized monument, the Gateway of India, was constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city. The looming Gateway is designed to be the first thing that visitors see when approaching Mumbai by boat. It's also a popular place to start exploring Mumbai. These days the atmosphere around the monument resembles a circus at times, with numerous vendors peddling everything from balloons to Indian tea.
 
It is the fastest-growing and most industrialized city in India. Mumbai is a massive metropolis of more than 20 million people, and it's defined by its exuberance, energy and sheer madness. Unlike other destination cities in India, it's not known for its great monuments, arts or sights. Its appeal for visitors is its friendly people, cultural diversity and vibrant markets.
 
The name Bombay comes from the Portuguese Bom Bahia, meaning Good Bay. The Portuguese, who controlled much of India in the 16th and 17th centuries, ruled over Bombay until 1661, when it was given to the British. Bombay grew exponentially in size and importance during the latter half of the 17th century, playing a pivotal role in international trade. The name of the city changed officially to Mumbai, an alternative name that many Marathi and Gujarati speakers had used for centuries, in 1995.
 
At one time, there existed nothing but a group of low-lying, swampy, malarial mud flats passed on to the British by the Portuguese as a dowry when Catherine of Braganza married England's Charles II in 1661. After the British takeover, Mumbai started to develop as an important trading port. It steadily grew over the next century; its most dynamic development took place in the mid-1800s.
 
In 1854, the opening of India's first railway line from Mumbai to Thane prepared the route to the Deccan Plateau, stimulating cotton production for export and for milling in India. The American Civil War provided an enormous boost to Mumbai's young cotton and textile industry as cotton from the United States became scarce. A major land reclamation project in 1862 joined the original seven islands into a single land mass; a year later the governor, Sir Bartle Frere, dismantled the old fort walls, sparking a major building boom.
 
Mumbai is far more crowded than Delhi; a heavy demand for building space accounts for the exceedingly high property values. With population pressure in the surrounding agricultural hinterland, the city is still growing at a fast rate. One-third of the population lives in Mumbai's desperately cramped, miserable makeshift hovels and thousands exist as pavement dwellers. Despite so much poverty, Mumbai remains a city of hope. It is far more westernized than Delhi, with a mass rapid transit system, a heavily used suburban train network and a good bus service. Only in the suburbs are the auto-rickshaws more common.
 
Mumbai is the major commercial, industrial, financial, trading and film center of India. It has Victorian monuments and Buddhist relics, mega-congestion, gleaming high-rises and cardboard shanty towns, all blending into a vibrant society. Mumbai is one of the world's largest film makers, producing over 300 films per year and earning it the nickname "Bollywood". The stars live in sumptuous mansions located mostly on Malabar Hill, also known as Mumbai's Beverly Hills.
 
Chaos does not even begin to describe Mumbai, where people do daily battle with who knows how many motor vehicles. Indeed, the cacophony of hooting horns is a constant, and just crossing the street is risky business. Bustling crowds add to the lively atmosphere and never-ending assault on the senses.
 
Parts of the hit film "Slumdog Millionaire" were filmed there, and, as you travel through the city, you can't help but see the squalid shacks that millions call home. These slums are often in the shadow of the high-rise homes of Mumbai's growing middle and upper classes. As you explore this sprawling city, you'll see that none of these neighborhoods is immune from the noise, air and water pollution that come with such rapid growth and widespread poverty.
 
Where Mumbai stands now there were once seven islands that formed part of the kingdom of the Emperor Ashoka. They passed into the hands of various Hindu and Muslim rulers and in 1534 were seized by the Portuguese, who named them Bom Baia, meaning "Good Bay." They became British in 1661, and the name morphed into Bombay. In 1668, Bombay was leased to the East India Company, the islands were joined through land reclamation projects, and the city became an important trading port under the British Raj.
 
The region gained independence from Britain with the rest of India in 1947. The city's name was changed to Mumbai in 1996. Some claim that was its name before the British arrived, and others say that it's derived from "Mumbadevi," the patron goddess of the Koli fishermen, who were the islands' earliest known inhabitants. Whatever the truth, you'll find many locals still call it by its British name.
 
The British did not waste their years there but spent it building grandiose buildings that would turn the city into a little England. Among them are the Victoria and Albert Museum, built in 1872; Crawford Market, completed in 1869; and its Victorian-styled clock tower, the Victoria Terminus, reminiscent of St. Pancras station in London. The first train in India departed from this station in 1853; these days, millions of commuters use it daily.
 
All these places are must-see sights for visitors, along with Mumbai's numerous ornate temples, bustling bazaars, instructive museums and, yes, even its slums. And of course you can't miss the Gateway of India, actually quite a small edifice by today's standards, but the jewel in Mumbai's sightseeing crown for many people.
 
Where You are Dock
Cruise ships dock at the Port of Mumbai, located at Shoorii Vallabhdas Marg in Mumbai. Taxis and buses will be waiting at the port to take you to your destination in the city.
 
Taxis are a very popular way of getting around Mumbai, and they can be flagged from every street corner. The truly adventurous traveler can rent a car, but keep in mind that driving in this city is quite challenging. Contact Hertz (22/5570-2126) for rental information. Mumbai has a rapid, air-conditioned hydrofoil service that connects the city with major outlying areas. Call the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (22/2202-6713) for more information. However, the most efficient and affordable way of getting around the city of Bombay is by hiring a driver. Taxis are generally available in the port area. Be sure to agree on the fare before starting out. Contact the Government of India Tourist Office (22/2220-7433) and they can refer you to a safe and knowledgeable driver.
 
Heritage Buildings
Mumbai has some captivating heritage buildings where you can marvel over staggering examples of intricate colonial architecture. Some of the best are the Gothic looking Prince of Wales Museum in the Kala Ghoda art precinct, Victoria Terminus (CST) railway station, the Bombay High Court and the buildings of Horniman Circle in the Fort area. The feature of Horniman Circle is its huge gardens, which provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Also have a wander past the historic 18th century homes in Khotachiwadi village.
 
The Gateway of India (22/2202-3585), located at the end of C. Shivaji Maharaj Marg at the Peninsula, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Mumbai, and a great photo-op as well. This stone archway was opened in 1924 and witnessed the departure of the last British troops in 1947.
 
Mumbai features some truly spectacular art museums and galleries. At the top of the list is the Prince of Wales Museum (22/2284-4519), located at 159-161 MG Rd. This world-class museum features a fantastic gallery of paintings by European and Indian artists, as well as an incredible natural history and archaeological wing. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10am to 6pm. Across the street from the Prince of Wales Museum is the National Gallery of Modern Art (22/2288-1969) featuring prominent contemporary art pieces from all over the India.
 
Located at 19 Laburnam Rd., the Mani Bhavan (22/2380-5864, www.gandhi-manibhavan.org) was the home of legendary Mahatma Ghandi from 1917 to 1933. Open daily from 9:30am to 6pm, the house and adjoining museum trace the history of Gandhi's life and include copies of his manuscripts and many of his most sacred possessions.
 
A trip to Chowpatty Beach, located on Marine Drive, is a particularly memorable way to spend some time in Mumbai. Here you can stroll amidst the hundreds of food and trinket stalls, enjoy a few hours of sunbathing on the beach, and take the kids for a ride on the vintage Ferris wheels and carnival rides.
 
In a word, don't. There is absolutely no reason to hang around the port area, so head out sightseeing as quickly as possible.There are more than 70,000 registered yellow-and-black taxis in Mumbai and another 8,000 posher taxis with air-conditioning. As you exit the port, you'll probably feel all of them are lying in wait for your business.
 
Because the city is big and there's a lot to see, your best bet is to hire a taxi driver for the day, but you'll need to haggle over the price. As a rough guide, you should be paying around Rs 600 for two hours, but how much you actually pay depends on your negotiating skills.
 
You'll get a better deal the closer you manage to get to the port exit; the drivers start to get desperate for business if it seems you're going to escape. You will get an even better deal still if you find a taxi out on the street or at taxi stands around hotels. They're required to have working meters and are very affordable, compared with fares charged in most major cities. However, steer clear of unregistered cabs (with no sign). They might be cheap, but they are also potential death traps on wheels, as drivers don't need to keep them serviced. Another option is to book in advance one of the excellent car and driver services for about Rs 1,500 for a full day. Most drivers speak limited English, but they know enough to get you to major attractions.
 
Both taxi and limo drivers appreciate a bit extra at the end as a tip, especially if they have done a good job as a guide.Most taxi drivers and guides will want to take you to a super-clean tourist store like the Bombay Store, where goods are highly priced. (They might earn commission on anything you buy.) If you want to go, fine. If not, be firm about it. Remember: It's your sightseeing day.
 
Watch Out For
People hustling or begging for money are unfortunate facts of life in Mumbai, especially around the Gateway of India. Many are just selling things like postcards and giant balloons, but there also are lots of others begging for money to feed their babies or help an orphanage or other good cause. In general, steer clear of both. Often, beggars with infants in their arms will follow you for blocks. The best strategy is to ignore them in silence and walk on. For some reason, saying no only makes them more insistent.
 
You'll also get hassled by taxi drivers, especially if you try to walk out of the port. Usually a polite "no thank you" works, but some can be very persistent, and it can get very tedious.
 Although Mumbai has many beaches, avoid getting into the water. Raw sewage and toxic waste from businesses and industries flow directly into the ocean.
 
Do not drink any liquid unless it's in a container with a sealed top. Also do not drink anything with ice unless you're in a first-class hotel. Stay away from street vendor food and seedy restaurants, or you'll probably end up with "Delhi belly" or diarrhea that will spoil at least a few days of your holiday.
 
Americans should remember that Indians drive on the left, as drivers do in the U.K. If crossing a road, be warned that drivers don't stop for pedestrians but, rather, weave around them. In most parts of Mumbai, stop signs and traffic lights seem to be invisible to drivers; however, in South Mumbai, where many tourist attractions are centered, traffic lights are taken a bit more seriously. A good tip is to look for locals crossing the road and walk with them.

Things to See 
 
Elephanta Island 
Elephanta Island is one of the islands in Mumbai Harbor. The name Elephanta, was given by 17th C Portuguese explorers, after seeing a stone sculpture of an elephant near the shore. The rock-cut temple caves are the main and most popular tourist destination on the island, and they are designated an UNESCO World 
Heritage Site.

The caves date back to the 9th through 13th C, with the main cave housing numerous sculpted panels that include Shiva. The famous Trimurti greets visitors at the entrance to the caves; the trinity includes Lord Brahma (the Creator), Lord Vishnu (the preserver) and Lord Shiva (the Destroyer).
Sanjay Gandhi National Park (formerly Borivali National Park) 
 
Sanjay Gandhi National Park is located north of Mumbai with virgin forests that have become a bird watcher's paradise. Over 270 species of birds have been recorded such as Jungle owlets, Golden orioles, magpies, robins, hornbills, herons, peacock, and woodpeckers. The best time to see the birds is from October to April.

The forest contains two main types of trees South Indian moist deciduous and semi evergreen. There are many types of flowers found in Sanjay Gandhi and during monsoon season the park is a rainbow of colors. One of the most breathtaking sights is the seven-year mass flowering of the Strobilanthes or Karvi. Tourists can watch thousands of these flowers covering the hilltops, turning the whole landscape purple.
Wildlife within Sanjay Gandhi National Park includes spotted deer, porcupine, mouse deer, Rhesus macaque, Hanuman langur, Indian flying fox, and sambhar. Leopards are fairly abundant in the park despite being so close to the city.
Another attraction within Sanjay Gandhi is the Kanheri Caves. Buddhist monks used the caves from the 2nd to 9th C as monasteries and temples.

Elephanta Caves, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, form a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva and are believed to have been carved between the 9th and 13th centuries. The complex is full of huge sculpted images of Hindu deities carved in the hard rock, including a colossal 20-foot-high three-headed image of Lord Shiva, depicting his three facets -- creator, destroyer and protector. You reach the caves by motorboat from piers behind the Gateway of India. Boats leave roughly every 30 minutes; journey time is about one hour. You'll need to climb 120 steps to get to the entrance to the caves. It's not such an ordeal if you take your time and shop the souvenir stands that border the stairway. Or you can play Cleopatra and, for fee, climb aboard a litter and be carried to the top by two strong Indian men.

 Gateway of India 
The Gateway of India is a monument located on the waterfront in Mumbai. Built from yellow basalt and reinforced concrete, the Gateway is designed in Indo-Saracenic architectural style.
The Gateway of India was opened in 1924 and the last British troops to leave India passed through the gate in a ceremony in 1948, making the gateway redundant.
The Gateway is now a favorite hangout for locals and traditionally the first thing visitors see upon arrival in Mumbai.
 
Taj Mahal Palace and Tower 
The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower is located opposite the Gateway of India in Mumbai. Built in 1903, this landmark faces the harbor and is a striking monument on the waterfront.
In 1973, the Tower Wing was added and the Taj Mahal Palace is a member of the 'Leading Hotels of the World'. Leisure activities offered at the Taj Mahal Hotel include swimming, use of the fitness center, golf, badminton, squash, billiards, tennis and table tennis.
Address: Apollo Bunder, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 001, India

Victoria Terminus 
Victoria Terminus was opened on January 1st, 1882 as the main railway station of Mumbai. Designed by F.W. Stevens, this Gothic building features carvings of peacocks, gargoyles, monkeys, and lions. Domes, turrets, spires and stained glass windows are other architectural items of note. The style of the Victoria Terminus is more like a cathedral than a railway station.

Prince of Wales Museum
This Indo-Saracenic style building houses the Prince of Wales Museum and a priceless collection of art, sculpture and miniature paintings. This huge domed building was designed by George Wittet to commemorate King George V's visit in 1905.
The Prince of Wales Museum is well laid out with a natural history section on the main floor; Indian miniature painting gallery, Nepali art and the Indian miniature painting gallery on the second floor; examples of the 19th C Pahari School of painting include Shiva and Parvati displays; an extensive collection of art objects in glass, jade and porcelain; and other decorative art exhibits in ivory, silver and wood fromthe late 18th and the 19th C.

St Thomas Cathedral
Construction on St Thomas Cathedral began in 1676 and it was completed in 1718. It was named for St Thomas, who established India's first Christian community.
St Thomas was the first Anglican Church in Mumbai, it was built to accommodate the growing British population. Inside the cathedral are the ornate tombstones of British officers and civil servants.

Mani Bhavan
Mani Bhavan was a focal point of Gandhi's political activities in Mumbai between 1917 and 1934. The rooms of Mani Bhavan remain untouched and in the same condition they were when Gandhi visited.
Mani Bhavan now houses a research library, a photo exhibit of Mahatma Gandhi's life, and other well preserved memorabilia.
 
The first thing everyone wants to see when they visit Mumbai is the Gateway of India, an ornate arch built to celebrate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to what was then Bombay in December 1911. It opened in 1924 and used to be the first monument visitors arriving in Bombay saw. The last British troops to leave India passed through the Gateway on February 28, 1948.
 
Although the arch is a big attraction, it's dwarfed by the Taj Mahal hotel across the road. It opened in 1903 and is an attraction in its own right, as everyone wants a picture taken with the bearded doorkeepers in their white uniforms and turbans. More recently, the hotel gained notoriety as the site of the terrorist attacks on the city in November 2008. The Taj is a great place to take a break from the chaos outside. It has immaculate restroom facilities, great bars and restaurants, and upscale shopping.
 
Your sightseeing should include a drive along Marine Drive, Mumbai's seaside promenade, past Chowpatty Beach and to Malabar Hill, which is the Beverly Hills of Mumbai. Look out for the Parsi Tower of Silence, where people of the Parsi faith who die are laid out to be eaten by birds of prey and their bones left to disintegrate so they wash into the sea.
 
Mani Bhavan, known as the Gandhi Museum, is on Laburnam Road in South Mumbai and is a shrine to the man who won independence for India. It's packed with books and photos from his life, along with a glassed-off reproduction of the room in which he lived (during visits from 1917 to 1934). Especially don't miss the dioramas of his life's events; the exhibit is definitely not up to contemporary standards, yet it's haunting and illustrative.
 
The Jain Temple in Malabar, considered the prettiest temple in Mumbai, is worth a look. (Jainism is one of the many religions in Mumbai and is related to Hinduism.) Two stone elephants adorn the entrance; inside, there's an ornate domed ceiling painted with signs of the zodiac. The last stop while in Malabar should be the Hanging Gardens, which offer great views over the city.
 
Be sure to also visit Crawford Market, which is packed with stalls selling fruits and vegetables. Spare a glance or two at the building, completed in 1869, with its beautiful Victorian carvings. Also take a peek at Victoria Terminus, another Victorian masterpiece with a strong resemblance to St. Pancras station in London. These days, it's actually called Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, but luckily taxi drivers understand Victoria Terminus.
 
Try to time your visit around the lunch hour to watch the famous dabba-wallas stream out into the city to deliver some 200,000 cooked lunches prepared by housewives for their office-worker husbands. The meals are kept warm in identical dabbas (metal lunch containers). How the lunches end up in the right hands is quite a mystery.
 
Another must-see is the Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai's central laundry for more than 350 years. Some 4,500 people work there, hand-scrubbing laundry from private citizens, hotels, restaurants and even hospitals all across the city. Take a paid tour, or watch the action from the streets above the Ghat; afterward, wander the adjacent streets for free.
 
Mumbai is the center of India's booming "Bollywood" film industry. The architecturally resplendent Eros Cinema, adjacent to the Churchgate railway station, is a great place to take in a Bollywood movie. Alternatively, it's possible to go on a tour to the heart of the action in Film City. Or if you'd rather be in a Bollywood movie than simply see the set of one, that's possible too!
 
Caves and National Park In contrast to its millions of inhabitants and sprawling development, Mumbai surprisingly also has a national park located within its limits. It's worth a visit just to see the many ancient Buddhist caves, which have been hand carved into volcanic rock there. More caves, dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shiva, can also be found on Elephanta Island.
 
Location: Kanheri Buddhist Caves at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, in the suburb of Borivali, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Mumbai city center. Elephanta Island is 10 kilometers (6 miles) east of Mumbai (get a boat from the jetty at the Gateway of India).
 
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum), opened in 1923, is considered one of the 20 best museums in the world and houses a huge collection of artifacts, from weapons from the Mughal Empire to Indian paintings and Greek-influenced figures.

Dharavi Slum tour is a guided 2.5-hour walk through "India's largest slum." It's challenging and often shocking, but it's an unforgettable experience for visitors who climb to rooftops and meander through tiny, dark alleys to see the underground industries that range from plastic and metal recycling to pottery-making and leather tanning. Guides also take you through residential areas where more than a million people reside in tiny Spartan rooms with no plumbing. Visits to schools and the slum markets are included, too. No photos are allowed, and you'll have to wear close-toed shoes. 

Shore Excursions
As sightseeing can be very slow in India due to the traffic, ships' tours tend to be split between religious and the nonreligious attractions. Whichever you choose, it's bound to include a stop at the Gateway of India. Average excursion time is four hours.
 
Best for Temples: By the end of a tour of Mumbai and its temples, you'll be an expert on all things religious in the city. The tour takes you to the Jain Temple, the Mahalakshmi Temple and the Shree Siddhivinayak Temple. You'll see Malabar Hill and Marine Drive, and there's a photo stop at the Gateway of India.
 
Best for Ticking All the Boxes: A "highlights" or "best of" tour is the best way to see all the top sights without the hassle of finding/haggling for a taxi. You'll stop at the Gateway of India, drive along Marine Drive and to Malabar Hill, see the Victoria Terminus and visit Mani Bhavan (the Gandhi Museum), Jain Temple and the Prince of Wales Museum.
 
Best Outside the City: A tour to Elephanta Caves is a great escape from the noise and traffic of Mumbai, and you'll get to see one of the most amazing Hindu temples. Transfers to the boat pier, tickets for the trip to the island and a guide to explain about the massive carvings are all part of the package.
 
Best for Shopaholics: This is perfect for anyone with rupees to burn in the bazaars but who's a little wary of going it alone. Top stop is Bhuleshwar, where you can buy just about anything your heart desires. There's Zaveri Bazaar for gold, Mirchi Galli for spices, Mangaldas Market for silk and cloth, and Chor Market for antiques and furniture. Crawford Market, for fruit and veggies, is close by.

Eating Out
You'll find cafes, coffee shops, McDonald's (no beef) and quite a few Pizza Huts, but you've come to India, so this is the place to stop and have a really good curry or other local dish. It's also a delight for vegetarians; "veg" and "pure" veg options abound on menus. There are some lovely restaurants in the city, but they can be hard to spot.
 
Mumbai is known for the best selection of restaurants of any Indian city, with an amazing variety of food. The local specialty is bhelpuri, a tasty snack of crisp noodles, puffed rice, spiced vegetables, crushed puri, chutney and chilies. In addition, you will find everything from traditional north Indian food to Goan seafood and Chinese cuisine.There are so many wonderful dining opportunities to be had in Mumbai. Among the best restaurants is Khyber (22/2267-3229), located at 145 MG Rd. Their succulent lamb and rice dishes have made this restaurant famous throughout the city, and the scenic décor is spectacular as well. For world-class seafood, look no further than Ankur (22/2265-4194), which is located at the Meadows House on Tamarind Lane. Shrimp, crab, and lobster are all mainstays here, and vegetarians will delight in a plethora of entrees to choose from as well. If you are in the mood for a more western dining experience, stroll down the Colaba Causeway to Café Mondegar (22/2202-0591) for a tasty hamburger and French fries.
 
Kyber at Fort is like stepping back in time, with its big wooden doors, oil lanterns and weathered wood. It's frequented by international celebrities, including Sir Paul McCartney, Goldie Hawn, Richard Gere and Demi Moore. There's a vast menu of soups, salads, kebabs and curries, plus seafood, chicken, lamb and plenty for vegetarians. (145 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort, Mumbai (Near Gateway of India); open daily from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.)
 
Indigo is an uber-modern eatery in a leafy residential area behind the Taj Hotel that would not look out of place in London's West End. The modern, European lunch menu is simple: soups, salads, sandwiches and main courses. All are quite mouthwatering and pricey. A new upstairs balcony offers alfresco dining and serves as a relaxing spot for cocktails. Nearby is the casual Indigo Deli with lengthy eat-in and takeout menus. (4 Mandlik Road, Apollo Bandar, Mumbai; open daily from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 11:45 p.m.)
 
Trishna is the place to see and be seen in Mumbai. Inside, the decor is nothing special, but the food is. Seafood is a specialty, with king crab, lobster, jumbo prawns and various types of seafood tandoori on the menu, but there are plenty of meat and vegetarian choices, too. Reservations are highly recommended. (7 Sai Baba Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai; open daily from 11:30 a.m. to midnight)
 
Table has been a big hit since it opened in 2011. This sophisticated South Mumbai establishment serves up supper club atmosphere and French-American dishes that range from sliders to risottos and quesadillas. Sunday brunch, high tea, daily happy hours and a highly rated wine list add to its appeal for Mumbai elite and tourists alike. (ground floor of the Kalapesi Building, below Hotel Suba Palace, Apollo Bunder Marg, Mumbai; lunch from noon to 4 p.m., dinner from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
 
Swati Snacks is about as close as a Westerner can get to authentic Indian dining without risking "Delhi belly." The decor is fast-food cafe, but don't be put off. Reservations aren't accepted, so just add your name when you arrive, and join the inevitable queue for a table. There are traditional curry specialties and snacks like pizza, falafel and patties. (248 Karai Estate, Opp. Bhatia Hospital, Javji Dadaji Marg, Tardeo; open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.)
 
Shopping
Mumbai is India's great marketplace and often considered as the best shopping in the country. As India's fashion center, textiles are especially good buys. Shopping opportunities are found next to the Taj Mahal Hotel, in the arcade at the Oberoi Hotel and along the Colaba Causeway.
From the multitude of colorful pavement vendors that line Colaba Causeway, to the fascinating Chor Bazaar Thieves Market, Mumbai is full of interesting places to go street shopping. Stock up on attractive souvenirs at Colaba Causeway, delight in cheap shoes and clothes at Linking Road, scour the narrow alleyways of Chor Bazaar for antiques, and sample the fresh food and spices while marveling at the architecture of Crawford Market. Location: Colaba Causeway, Linking Road in Bandra, Crawford Market near Churchgate, and Chor Bazaar on Mutton street (opposite Shafi Masjid).
 
General store hours are 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Most shops are closed on Sundays. The local currency is the rupee. Chor Bazaar, located on Mutton Street, is a huge flea market that will satisfy your urge to find that perfect bargain among the heaps of useless junk! On the weekends, the Chor Bazaar is especially jammed packed with tourists and locals alike, all searching for great buys on a variety of items. For quality antiques and Indian relics, a trip to Phillips Antiques (22/2202-0564, www.phillipsantiques.com), located on Woodhouse Road, is a must. Phillip's Antiques specializes in silver and crystal goods, many of which are centuries old and truly spectacular. If you have come to Mumbai in search of fine jewelry, look no further than Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (22/2363-3060), located at 241-43 Zaveri Bazaar. In business for nearly 150 years, this jewelry store is the largest in India, and their showcase of jewels is simply breathtaking.

The enormous Chor Bazaar, also known as Thieves' Market, is one of the most exotic shopping experiences anywhere. Mutton Street shops specialize in antiques, wood carvings, stone sculpture jewelry, furniture and just about everything else under the sun. It's open throughout the year, with most of the shops closed on Friday when it turns into a big flea market. Although real Indian antiques are sold there, be aware that many are knockoffs made locally. As you leave, stroll one of the nearby streets that specializes in breaking down cars with hammers and chisels. It's fascinating junkyard entertainment.




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