Have you felt like a tourist in your own town? Well, lately I have experienced this in my own city of Mumbai and let me share my experiences with you. Thanks to my sister Farzeen Irani who won a Twitter contest, the prize being – a two-night stay in any of the Fab Hotel chain all over India. We decided not to go far but take a trip downtown while keeping up with the fun things we #WanderingSisters do. We narrowed down to “Crawford Inn” in the heart of busy South Mumbai.
So read on and check out our two day South Mumbai darshan and exploration. Just two days is what I had, felt like Simran from “Jab We Met” – Jaa Sweetannu, jee le Apni Zindagi. Yes, it was packed with places to see, shopping and of course food.
10 things you must do in South Mumbai
1. Visit the Gateway of India :
As a child, I faintly remember visiting the Gateway of India with my family, but as good parents, we had taken our daughter Zenia for the history lesson to the Gateway. It was an era where there were no mobile phones and the need to click umpteen numbers of Selfies was not yet discovered.
The Gateway of India is one of India’s most unique landmarks in South Mumbai constructed in 1924. Located at the tip of Apollo Bunder, the Gateway overlooks the Mumbai harbor. Its a reminder of the grandeur of the British Raj in India. We did our round of touristy selfies while being one of the thousands of people who were there in heart and spirit to admire this magnificent structure.
2. A Walk down Colaba Causeway :
A casual stroll is fun on this street. The vendors approach you with their goods and talk to you an accent. Lol!! Have the time? Get into Cafe Mondegar or Leopold Cafe for a chilled beer and run shoulders with the foreigners.
3. Heritage Walk at CST Station :
We heard about the conducted heritage tour, one can take from 2 pm – 5 pm for a fee of Rs 200/ and decided to take the time out and admire this iconic Station.
CST station has now been declared as a World Heritage site by the UNESCO now. We were taken to the Railway Museum. So much knowledge was imparted by Mr Xavier who patiently took us through Railway history. Who knew that’s trams ran on roads of Bombay and salary of Railway employees in 19th Century for Rs 100/ per month.
Later we toured the part of the station only special visitors are allowed. The building is designed by British Architect F.W. Stevens, he portrayed a mix of two cultures – British and Indian.
You will be shocked at the history and beautiful architecture this place offers. 3D figures of birds, animals, and reptiles are carved into the upper portion of pillars. The outer Facade is beautiful too, with heads of important traders/Railway personal carved into the structure. The grand lady who is placed on the top of the building holds a lamp in one hand and a wheel in the other. Protecting and looking over a city that never sleeps.
4. Thali at Pancham Pooriwalla :
The same day we had lunch at a legendary vegetarian place that has been run for over 150 years now. Tucked in one of the by-lanes near CST station. PP offers good food at very pocket-friendly prices. A deluxe thali with 4 types of sabzi, pooris, dal, and rice can be savored for Rs 100/.
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5. Shopping at Crawford Market :
Never ending rows of shops here, It has the best of street shopping, wholesale and retail trade. The main part of Crawford market was under repair this time we visited.
We shopped for dry fruits, cosmetics, mobile covers, sunglasses, and niknaks. Not worrying about how to get home through the crazy traffic as we just had to walk to our hotel.
On hearing temple bells down Kalbadevi we discovered Mumba Devi temple. Mumba Devi Temple is one of the oldest temples in South Mumbai. Read this article to know more about this 18th-century temple dedicated to the guardian goddess of Mumbai.
6. Kheema/bhurji pav at Cafe Firdos :
After all that shopping we slipped into Cafe Firdos for Irani chai and a bite. The kheema was oily and cooked in green masala, while the Bhurji let out an enjoyable eggy aroma. Both polished off in five minutes by the hungry sisters… Err, Wandering Sisters.
7. Take a Double Decker bus ride :
It doesn’t matter where you are headed, just get on an empty bus and take a ticket to the last stop. We actually drove past the Mumbai University, Jahangir Art gallery and got off near the Regal cinema.
8. Catch the dabbawallas in action at Churchgate station :
It’s a routine day for them, segregating boxes and bags to deliver to offices. But these Men in white were happy to pose for us and the foreign tourists who were delighted to see the South Mumbai Dabbawallas.
9. Get a glimpse of Flora Fountain :
Yes, we did from the bus, it’s been covered for a while and undergoing restoration work. Pray this beautiful monument will be visible to the public soon and also be the backdrop of everyone’s selfies.
10. Woman’s Wednesday nights at Boston Butt :
Situated a stone throw away from iconic Rhythm House in Fort area. Boston House is one staircase up, the door opens up to a really cool relaxed ambiance along with living music. Its ladies night every Wednesday night so we were in for a fun-filled treat with mocktails/cocktails/martinis and good food.
And if you still have the energy and more time to explore a walk down Marine drive, shopping at Fashion street and catching a movie at Eros should be on top of your list. Make beautiful memories, that’s all what life is about?
- You should take a look at Kamal Upreti”s top post on World Tourism Day.
- Click on the link below World Tourism Day