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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in bombay
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in bombay, Bed and Breakfast!
Bombay, now known officially and alternatively as Mumbai, is the largest city in India and the capital of Maharashtra state. Bombay was originally a conglomeration of 7 islands on the Konkan coastline which over time were joined to form the island city of Bombay. The island was in turn joined with the neighbouring island of Salsette to form Greater Bombay. The city has an estimated metropolitan population of 17 million (2005), making it the 6th largest metropolis in the world. Bombay is also one of India's largest port cities and looms large as the commercial capital of India. Bombay's nature as the most eclectic and cosmopolitan Indian city is symbolised in the presence of Bollywood within the city, the centre of the globally-influential Hindi film and TV industries.
The Gateway of India
is the most recognizable symbol of the city. It was built to commemorate the visit of the British Monarch to India in 1911.
- The Western and Central Railways are rail lines that serve the western and central parts of India. Since the British era, both have had their headquarters in Bombay and the city is served by both. That is how the names "Central Suburbs" and "Western Suburbs" came about. The Harbour Line is a feeder line that connects the harbour areas to the Central and Western lines. It also provides connectivity to the Northeastern suburbs of Bombay. But those areas do not lie anywhere close to a harbour.
- Almost all localities in Bombay have a "West" side and an "East" side. "West" means west of the railway line and "East means east of the railway line. For example, Mulund (West) means that the area is to the west of the Mulund railway station. In addresses, West and East are abbreviated, i.e. Mulund(W) and Mulund(E).
Bombay is a city of many little neighbourhoods. The neighbourhood typically acquires its character from the community that migrated there and retains it even after the immigrants turn into residents settled there for generations. The number of such neighbourhoods, however, is quite large and there is no commonly accepted way to group them into larger districts. Unfortunately, this means that the divisions given here may not satisfy everyone and their names are not in standard use, each division roughly corresponds to an area that was settled and developed in a particular wave of development.
- South Bombay — Fort, Colaba, Malabar Hill, Nariman Point, Marine Lines, Tardeo.
- The oldest areas of Bombay. Contains Bombay's downtown area and is considered the commercial capital of India. The richest neighbourhoods in the country are located here which command among the highest rates in the world. Home to most of Bombay's tourist attractions like museums, art galleries and the Gateway of India.
- Used to be Bombay's industrial heartland, but went into decline when the industries did. Now this area has been revamped into a white-collar office location. Home to Bombay's only zoo, the Worli seaface and the temple to what people consider the city's guardian diety. As you move north, it morphs into a nice middle-class locality.
- Primarily an upper middle-class area, except for Dharavi, which contains Asia's largest slum. This area developed immediately after India's independence because of a wave of immigration. Part of the migrants were refugees from the partition.
- This is a solidly middle class bastion, Mulund and Ghatkopar are home to predominantly middle and upper middle class populace many from the entrepreneurial Gujarati community.
- Before the development of Navi Mumbai as a satellite town of Bombay, this area used to be known only for the existence of an atomic research centre hereabouts. Now this is known for being on the way to Navi Mumbai.
- Contains Bombay's other downtown and is home to those rich who can't afford South Bombay. It has some beaches, but not very clean. Home to a large Christian community and the city's most famous church. Also this is where the city's two airports are.
- This is where you go to find beaches that are not dirty. Other than this, it is just another victim of Bombay's vast urban sprawl.
Carvings at the Elephanta Caves
The official name of the city Mumbai is an eponym derived from Mumba, the name of the local Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, and Aai, meaning "mother" in Marathi. Portuguese explorers named the area "Bom Bahia" in the 16th century, translating as "Good Bay" and obviously referring to the deep water harbour. This designation was gradually corrupted to "Bomaím" and, after the British gained possession, the name was anglicised to Bombay. The name was officially changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995, but the former name is still popularly used in the West to refer to the city, and is still used as an alternative by many of the city's inhabitants and famous institutions.
Though the seven islands that now make up the city have a long recorded history like any other place in India, their journey to form the city of Bombay really started in 1498, when the Portuguese took them over from the Sultan of Gujarat. They built a settlement, some forts and some churches, (including the strange looking Portuguese Church that stands to this day.) They however, could not make much of their possession and the seven islands were handed over to England in 1661 as part of the dowry of Catherine de Braganza when she married Charles II of England. He wasn't very interested in the islands either, and he leased them to the British East India Company for £10 a year in 1668. The East India Company built the docks, the trading posts and the fort that would form the nerve centre of the city. They also started off the long process of reclaiming land and joining the islands, an activity which went on right up to the 1960s.
The port attracted industries and the entrepreneurial communities like the Parsis, Gujaratis and Marwaris (from Rajasthan) migrated and set up trading companies and factories in the late 19th century. Industries attracted migrant labour from different parts of the country. The successive waves of migration shaped the character of the city and its neighbourhoods.
The city that owes its existence to the efforts of the British was also the birthplace of the Indian National Congress, which played an overwhelmingly important role in the independence movement. The city whose mills were built by industrialists from across the country is the capital of Maharashtra state, which (like most other in India) was carved on linguistic lines for Marathi speakers.
Culture and attitudes
Bombay is the most cosmopolitan city in India. Compared to the rest of the country, attitudes are quite liberal, though that is not saying much. Because almost everyone is an immigrant, the citizens have learnt to tolerate and even like one another. But this tolerance has sometimes broken down. Between the 60s and 80s, there was resentment about the non-Marathi speakers taking away jobs. There were riots in 1991 and 1993 between Hindus and Muslims. Sometimes the city is subject to periodic fits of morality and the policemen go after couples displaying affection. But the city mostly manages to recover from these.
Bombay like India has 3 main seasons - Summer, Monsoon and Winter. November-February, winter time is the best time to visit. March-June is the summer with another hot spell in October. July to September is the monsoon season where the city is lashed by rain. It is normal for the city to get flooded 2 or 3 times and normal life to get disrupted during the this season. Climate is humid pretty much throughout the year due to proximity to the sea.
Bombay's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport 1 (http://www.airportsindia.org.in/aai/mumbai/index.htm) (BOM) is India's busiest airport is the primary international gateway to the country.
The airport consists of two terminals : International Terminal (Terminal 2, Sahar) and a Domestic Terminal (Terminal 1, Santacruz). Both terminals use the same airspace but are physically separated on land. There is a free (in theory) shuttle bus connecting them.
The Domestic Terminal is further divided into Terminals 1A and 1B. Terminal 1A serves Indian Airlines, its subsidiary Alliance Air and Kingfisher Airlines. Terminal 1B serves the various private airlines such as Jet Airways, Air Sahara etc.
The International Terminal is divided into Terminal 2C (Air India and its partner airlines) and Terminal 2A (which serves most of the other International Airlines. Terminal 2B is unoperational at present. Terminal 2C is considerably better than the others. The domestic terminals are undergoing a long overdue upgrade. Terminal 1B now meets international standards and work is going on on Terminal 1A
Paid parking is available at the airport. The charges are Rs.50 per 4-hour block for cars. Longer term parking for a day at a time is also available in a separate "premium" area.
Travellers' opinions of the Bombay Airport haven't been that great. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a fleapit and comes in high on lists of the world's worst airports, with chronic congestion, heavy time-consuming security, staff asking for baksheesh, and filthy toilets. Some of these problems which have to do with infrastructure should get alleviated with the ongoing upgrade. Others will have to wait (probably forever!) for the privatization initiative to get going.
The airport is 28 kilometers from downtown. Take a prepaid coupon taxi to minimize hassle. Go to the taxi office and purchase a coupon to take to the driver. The coupon will have the taxi registration number written on it. Make sure that you get into that very taxi. Do not accept a lift from someone claiming to be a taxi driver as they may also charge much higher prices designed to target tourists. The charges will depend on the general area you need to get to, and will include all tolls to be paid. Most premium hotels will organise their own cars which is a much better alternative.
There was a spate of robberies of tourists arriving on international flights which land mainly in the night in late '04 and early '05. These seem to have ceased now, but caution is still advisable.
Trains arrive in Bombay from all over India.
The two major lines and one minor line serve different parts of the country. The Central line serves South India, Eastern India and parts of North India. The key stations are Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus, known just as VT), Dadar Terminus and Kurla Terminus. The Western line connects to the Western states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and some parts of North India. The main terminii are Bombay Central and Bandra.
The Konkan Railway (which is a separately administered and newly built line ) travels through the picturesque Konkan coast of Maharastra and is a good way to travel to Goa and coastal Karnataka.
The main reservation offices are at Churchgate, Bombay Central and Bandra on the Western line and CST and Dadar on Central line. There are special ticket windows and quotas for foreign tourists.
Bombay is well served by buses from destinations inside India.
- The MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation), commonly known as ST, operates services to Bombay from various cities in Maharashtra. Dadar is the most important terminus in the city.
- There also exist numerous private bus operators who operate a large number of services from/to Bombay from all the major cities of the country.
Travel Agents and Hotels can arrange private chauffeur driven cars to provide services. Expensive by comparison, they are the most trusted, secure and comfortable way to travel around the city. Driving in India is an uphill task with the poor driver discipline and chauffeur services are very reasonable. These can be arranged by travel companies or online from the countries of origin.
Taxis are cheap and plentiful ($50 would be worth a lot of taxi rides). Taxis in Bombay are small-medium sized cars. The now defunct Premier Padmini ("Fiat"), Fiat Uno and Tata Indica models are most common.
- Cool Cabs are Blue/Grey in colour and have electronic meters. You pay the amount on the meter. These cabs charge 40% higher than the ordinary taxis. Contact:
- City Cool Cabs +91 22 2216 4466, +91 22 2218 9620, +91 22 5688 4466
- Cool Cab +91 22 2490 5151, +91 22 2490 5152
- The standard Yellow and Black Taxi is not air-conditioned and generally uses mechanical meters. Calculating the fare is done by matching the meter reading with a tariff card to arrive at the final payable fare. The minimum fare is Rs. 13.00. Prepaid plans have the fare collected at the start and thus the meter reading is not applicable. Night charges apply from midnight to 5 am when the fare is marked up by 25%.
Large items of luggage are chargeable at approximately Rs. 10 per piece. Refer to the tariff card. If you have extra pieces of luggage, the boot (i.e. trunk) of the taxi will not provide sufficient space - one large suitcase is all that will fit there. Hiring a taxi with a top carrier will be better - top carriers can accommodate upto three large suitcases. Before starting the journey, ensure that the luggage is securely fastened to the carrier.
Generally the only way to call for the standard taxi is to hail one on the street. This will not be a problem if you are inside city limits (i.e. North Central Bombay and below), but if you are in the suburbs, you will be hard put to find a taxi as here they have been outcompeted by the cheaper auto-rickshaws. If you don't want to hire an auto, you will have to ask around and find a way to call for a taxi.
Follow the queue system to board a taxi. Quite frequently, tourists and new visitors are mobbed by unscrupulous taxi drivers. Most taximen are honest, but the dishonest ones tend to cluster around railway stations and airports where they can more easily find suckers. Unless you are taking a prepaid taxi, always ask taxis to go by the meter. At the start of the journey, ensure that the meter is visible and shows the flag-down fare/meter reading.
The maximum number of passengers allowed for a trip officially is four - three on the back seat and one in the front. However an additional person or a few kids can squeeze in. Seat belts are not mandatory for taxi passengers, and most taxis will not have them installed. The maximum speed that a taxi takes is 100 kmph.
Within the city limits, taxis are the only means of travel. However in the suburbs, the 3 wheeler autorickshaw (open taxi) is cheaper and more popular. The driver sits in the front and the three adult passengers in the rear. Space for luggage is minimal - a few handbags or briefcases can be accommodated. Like taxis, at the start of the journey, ensure the meter is visible and shows the flag-down fare reading. Autorickshaws are slower than cars (they are modified scooters in reality) and have terrible suspensions. Pregnant ladies are most strongly advised not to travel by autorickshaws since the combination of rash driving, poor suspensions and horrible road conditions in have quite often lead to serious complications. The autorickshaw is a slow vehicle and not recommended for very long distances.
Bombay has an extensive network, with three lines, the Western Line, the Central Main Line and the Harbour Line. Bombay is a linear city and the Western Line travels from Churchgate to Virar via Bombay's Western Suburbs. The Central Main Line travels from Mumbai CST (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) aka VT Victoria Terminus to Kalyan via Bombay's Central Suburbs and Thane, with some services running beyond to Karjat, Khopoli and Kasara. The interchange point for these two lines is Dadar.
The Harbour Line has a common stretch between Mumbai CST (aka VT Victoria Terminus) and Vadala. The harbour line splits into two spurs, the main one running to Bombay's Eastern Suburbs and Navi Mumbai, upto Panvel. The Interchange point of this line with the Central Main Line is at Kurla. The other spur of the Harbour Line runs upto Mahim on the Western Line and runs parallel upto Andheri. The interchange stations with the Western line are Bandra and Andheri.
Trains on all lines start operations after 4 am and close operations between midnight and 1 am. Second class travel is very cheap. However it is advisable to buy first class tickets as the economy class is extremely crowded. First Class can be quite expensive and if 4 people are travelling together a taxi might be better. Also avoid using local trains during rush hour, first class or otherwise. Rush hour is between 8:30 am and 10:30 am towards CST (VT) and Churchgate and between 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm in the opposite direction.
There are special coaches for women on both classes. These are generally less crowded and safer. But very late in the night, it might actually be safer to travel by the general coach than the first-class women's coach, as the latter may be absolutely empty except for you. Sometimes they have a cop guarding the coaches, but sometimes they won't. Use your judgement.
Why Electric supply and Transport?
Because BEST started off as a tram company, that's why. The company is still in charge of electricity distribution for South and Central Mumbai.
Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (known as BEST) 2 (http://www.bestundertaking.com) provides efficient and comprehensive services connecting up all places of the city and the suburbs. Some services also link the city with the extended suburbs like Navi Mumbai, Thane and Mira-Bhayanadar areas. The services are well patronised and they would always have most of all seats occupied. There are bus stops all over the city. There is usually a crowd and sometimes there is a queue too. You have to get in through the rear entrance and off at the front. Tickets are issued by a uniformed "conductor" after you get in. Special seats are marked for Ladies, Senior Citizens, Handicapped, Expectant Women and Women with infants. They can get in from the front.
Buses run from 5 am to midnight. Selected routes run beyond these timings, even all night but with very reduced frequency. Average frequency between buses ranges from 5 to 30 minutes depending on the route. Fares are reasonable and buses can be travelled in even in peak hours, unlike trains which are far too crowded. Some trunk routes do get extremely crowded however. Peak hours also have traffic snarls which may depend on the area traversed and the state of the roads.
Buses are numbered, and the final destination is marked on the front in Marathi and on the side in English. Generally, buses around the city and trunk routes would be in the 1-199 series. Buses in the western suburbs would be the 200 series while those plying in the central and eastern suburbs would be in the 300 and 400 series. Services to Navi Mumbai are in the 500 series and buses to the Mira-Bhayander area are in the 700 series. The BEST website has a nifty tool 3 (http://www.bestundertaking.com/transport/index.htm) that will help you plan your journey.
There are ordinary and limited buses. In theory, the difference is a 5 Ltd stops at fewer locations than a 5. But in practice, the difference is too small to be noticed and the same goes with the fare. BEST offers a few air conditioned services. These are more expensive than the ordinary ones, but nonetheless reasonably priced and comfortable.
These are a few intra-city ferry services
- Gateway of India - Elephanta caves - Fast boats and Catamarans operated by private operators. These are moderately priced. This is the only way to get to Elephanta Caves.
- Marve Jetty (Malad) - Manori Jetty - Cheap ferry (by BEST) connecting Manori and Gorai. Also services for Esselworld (Amusement Park)
- Versova (Andheri) - Madh Jetty - Cheap ferry connecting Madh/Erangal/Aksa/Marve.
- Gorai (Borivali) - Cheap ferry connecting Gorai Beach/Esselworld.
Many languages are spoken here, but Hindi, Marathi and English are the most prominent. At most places you will be able to get by with English, as most people you will encounter can communicate in broken English at the very least.
The game of names
The names of Bombay's monuments tell us the story of which way political winds were blowing when they were built. In the late 19th century the British named everything after their Queen, so we had Victoria terminus, Victoria Gardens and the Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute (built in 1887 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Her Majesty's coronation). In the early 20th century, they named everything after the Prince of Wales.
After independence the colonial names could not be retained of course, so they were renamed . Depending on whether the city was suffering from bouts of nationalistic pride or Marathi pride at that time, they were named after either Jawaharlal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of India) or Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj (King Shivaji, who founded the Maratha empire in the 18th century). Often, they were named after Shivaji's mother, Jijabai. The advantage of this was that using Veermata Jijabai ("Courageous mother Jijabai") for a place that was earlier named for Victoria maintains the same abbreviation, so "Veermata Jijabai Technical Institute" is still VJTI.
For a traveller, the practical problem would be that many places have multiple names, as locals haven't got the memo that the official names have changed. There is also the problem that there are multiple places named after Nehru, Shivaji or Jijabai, so you need to be careful about specifying which place you need to get to.
- Gateway of India This was built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India. This arch is the most recognizable symbol of the city.
- Elephanta Caves Elephanta Island, Mumbai 4 (http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=244) Check out these fine examples of rock sculptures dedicated to Shiva. Even though many of them have been vandalised by Portuguese invaders, their grandeur is hardly diminished. Every year around February, the Elephanta Festival 5 (http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/mtdc/Default.aspx?strpage=festivals_mtdc.html) of music and dance takes place on this island in the backdrop of the sculptures. Take a ferry from the Gateway of India. The round trip costs Rs. 100 and will take 45 minutes one way.
- Prince of Wales Museum 159-161, M.G. Road, Fort, Mumbai - 400 023. +91 22 2284 44 84, +91 22 2284 45 19 (fax: +91 22 2204 54 30 firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com)) 6 (http://www.bombaymuseum.org/) Now known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, the Prince of Wales museum is located near The Gateway of India next to Jehangir Art Gallery. Tue-Sun 10:15am. - 5:45pm.
- Jehangir Art Gallery M.G.Road,Mumbai 400 023 +91 22 2204 4058 Entrance Free 11am - 7pm
- Nehru Science Centre Dr. Edwin Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 018 +91 22 2493 2667, +91 22 2493 4520, +91 22 24926042(fax: 91 22 2493 2668 firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com), firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com), Additional Contact7 (http://www.nehrucentremumbai.com/contact_us.htm) ) 8 (http://www.nehrusciencecentre.org/) A science museum, also contains the Discovery of India - a show on India's History named for Jawaharlal Nehru's book. It is spread over a relatively large area and surrounded by greenery. Check the website for prices and timings of different shows.
- Nehru Planetarium Dr. Edwin Moses Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 018 +91 22 2492 0510 (firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com)) 9 (http://www.nehrucentremumbai.com/planetarium.htm) This is located next door to the Nehru Science Centre, has some interesting shows. Adult Rs. 35. Children Rs. 20 11am-5pm Tue-Sun
- Sanjay Gandhi National Park Borivali, Mumbai +91 22 2842 1174 Check out this relatively unknown national park, situated in north Bombay. It's in Borivali, and serves as the lungs of Bombay. It's quite famous for its leopards and the caves inside the park. 7.30am-7.30pm
- Kanheri Caves Borivali, Mumbai is a nice place to visit for history enthusiasts. This is a complex of Buddhist temples cut out of the rock. 9am-5.30pm
- Veermata Jijabai Udyan - Bombay's zoo, popularly known as Rani Baug ("Queen's garden" - The queen in question could be Victoria or Jijabai. See infobox.) or Byculla zoo, because it is in Byculla. This is a sad little zoo, mentioned here only because a guide is expected to mention it. Go there for the garden, not to look at the animals.
- Marine Drive Chowpatty is the city's most famous beach. Situated at one end of Marine Drive, Bombay's most famous promenade. This is not a place to sunbathe, however. Go here to watch the crowds enjoying themselves, and have Bhel puri, as a moderately famous Hindi song asks you to. Note that Chowpatty in Marathi means "beach". So you may hear people referring to other beaches suffixed with Chowpatty (For example "Juhu Chowpatty"). But if they say "Chowpatty" without qualification, they are referring to this place.
- Aarey milk colony is another green pocket of Mumbai. You can take a tour of the milk production plant and have a picnic outside.
There's more to see in Bombay of course. The minor ones have been covered in the district pages. See South Bombay.
- Harbour Cruise, Gateway of India, +91 22 2202 3585. Cruises leave at 30 minutes frequency every day except during the monsoon season (June-September). Rs40.
- Heritage walks, Navyug Niketan, 185 Walkeshwar Road, Teenbatti, Mumbai 400 006 +91 22 2683 5856 +91 22 2369 0992 (Contact Brinda Gaitonde or Abha Bahl firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com)) Organized by two architects, these walks take you around various historic and architecturally significant areas of the city. Walks are organized on the third sunday of every month (with a break in June and August for the monsoons) and the route varies each time. The walks last around 90 minutes. Rs.100 (Discounted rates for students and the physically challenged)
- Enjoy the Mumbai Festival10 (http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/mtdc/Default.aspx?strpage=Mumbai_Festival.html), held in January every year. In 2006, it will take place between January 14-26. Sample the vibrant culture of the city. The festival covers theatre, sports, fashion, food and shopping.
- Elephanta Festival, Elephanta Island, Mumbai ( MTDC Reservation Division: +91 22 2202 6713, +91 22 2202 7762; Dadar, Near. Pritam Hotel: +91 22 2414 3200; Gateway of India: +91 22 2284 1877; Churchgate: +91 22 2209 3229; Rhythm House +91 222284 2835; Archies Gallery, Churchgate +91 22 2202 7511 Extn. 113, +9193246 35505) 11 (http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/mtdc/Default.aspx?strpage=Elephanta_Festival.html) of music and dance takes place around February every year. In 2006, it is scheduled to take place on February 11 and 12. The festival will see performances by renowned artists like Alarmel Valli, Sanjeev Abhyankar and Ananda Shankar. There will be traditional Koli dances and traditional food. 7.00 pm - 10.00 pm (both days. Ferries start 4 pm onwards), Rs. 300 (per day, includes to and fro journey by ferry from Gateway of India to Elephanta Island)
- It is a beautiful sight and experience to drive on Marine Drive.
- Also a very good place to hang out and take in the sea without the menacing crowds is Carter road and Bandstand in Bombay's poshest suburb, Bandra .
- The Rock scene is very good in Bombay, as compared to the rest of the country . These are very safe to go to and are recommended for rock fans. Most bands cover heavy metal acts like pantera, six feet under, slipknot etc. but at places like Not just jazz by the bay, there are treats for Jazz fans, as well. To try to find places with specific music tastes try asking students outside Bombay's colleges.
- Rave Parties, Karjat , a place outside Bombay is known for its "rave" parties. Many international underground and electronic Djs like. Infected Mushroom, Skazi , Astral Projection , and others have played here . These parties are not well publicised and are often held on the quiet,so finding one might be tough. Note that this might be illegal, so caution is advised.
- Iyengar Yogashraya Elmac House, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel West, Mumbai +91 22 2494 8416 12 (http://www.bksiyengar.com/) This is the institute run by the renowned B K S Iyengar. Mon, Tue, Thurs, Sat: 6.30pm-8pm Rs. 111 per day
- Yoga Institute Prabhat Colony, Yogendra Marg, Santa Cruz East, Mumbai +91 22 2611 0506 13 (http://www.yogainstitute.org/) This is the more famous of the Yoga institutes in the city. It is also probably more conveniently located if you are staying in the Western Suburbs.
- Kaivalyadham 43, Netaji Subhash Rd, Marine Drive, +91 22 2281 8417 14 (http://www.kdham.com/)
- Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay 15 (http://www.iitb.ac.in/) Ranks among the best technological institutes in India and has a worldwide reputation. The institute has quotas for children of Non-Resident Indians (people of Indian origin settled abroad) and also for foreign students.
- University of Mumbai 16 (http://www.mu.ac.in/) - The oldest university in India.
- VJTI 17 (http://www.vjti.ac.in/) A reputable technological institute.
- Sardar Patel College of Engineering 18 (http://www.spce.ac.in/) A reputable technological institute. Hub of Mechanical Engineering Department 19 (http://mech.spce.ac.in/) of Mumbai University.
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences 20 (http://www.tiss.edu/)
A good idea to make quick money is to work part-time in a BPO . or a call center. A part-time job can pay you as much as $350 a month for just 6 hrs a day for 5 days in a week .note : only good for english speaking travellers.
Foreigners can also earn a quick buck by doing cameos in Hindi movies. You could earn more than $50 just for pretending to have fun in a night club scene.
- Buy some material and get some clothes made up by a tailor. It's an incredibly cheap way to get quality made-to-measure clothes. Usually only takes a couple of days.
- Also for antiques , see Bombay's Chor bazaar located in the Grant Road suburb . Be careful as to what you are buying and also bargain a lot. theres nothing like taking a local along to shop for you
Street food stalls
- A tip: cheap and tasty food stalls are concentrated around the city's collges. Also try Samosas. You can get good samosas from Punjab sweet mart in Bandra. They cost under Rs. 10 each.
Sea food joints
If it is seafood you are looking for, there is a lot of it to be found in the city. The usual suspects like Mahesh, Trishna, etc. are mentioned in every tourist guidebook. What isn't mentioned too often are little places like Fresh Catch and Bay of Bombay that are listed in the Budget section.
Fast food chains
While in Mumbai, make sure you try some of the street food.
- Vada Pav, Vada, in the Mumbai context, is a mashed potato patty. Pav is a kind of bread that has its roots in Mumbai again. The potato patty is sandwiched in the bread. Liberal helpings of three kinds of chutneys (sauces) are also added to the sandwich to make a seriously tasty snack. It is widely available on the streets and most folks price it Rs 4 a piece. If you feel uncomfortable with the hygiene of a particular stall, avoid. The Jumbo Vada Pav outlets at almost all train stations in the city are hygienic and its not risky to have Vada Pav from there.
- The other Mumbai speciality is pav bhaji. Again part of the street food culture -- this is mashed vegetables cooked in spices, topped with butter and served piping hot with pav. Widely available. Shiv Sagar is a fast-food chain where you can find excellent Pav Bahji and great South Indian dishes such as dosas.
- Then there are the ubiquitous bhel puri and sev puri. Again a classic Mumbai concoction, bhel-puri or bhel in short comprises mostly of puffed rice and assorted spices with a few chutneys. You can specify whether you want it spicy or bland and the vendor will make it for you. It is quite tasty and again ought to be had off the streets to get the real flavour. Most people though, like to flock to Juhu beach to try this out.
- While on bhel puri, make sure not to miss out on the pani puri. For first timers, this can be seriously intriguing. The vendor hands you a plate. Next he takes a puri (it looks like a golf ball -- only brown in color), makes a small hole in it, and dips the puri into two jars. These jars contain water -- one tangy on a tamarind base, the other spicy on a mint base. He tops it off with some condiments and places the puri on your plate. You got to pick it with your hand and pop the whole thing into your mouth. The outcome is an explosion. Awesome. A word of caution here though. Make sure you don't have your pani puri from any vendor. The best vendors use only packaged water. Stick to that and enjoy the taste. Two good vendors exist around Bandra. A bloke called Karachi Sweets on Hill Road does a good job. A little further down on Hill Road is Elco Arcade. There's a vendor there too who makes some pretty good pani puri. In fact, most of what has been described above can be had from the vendor on Elco Arcade. For the pani puri though, Karachi Sweets is strongly recommended.
- Try Indian-Chinese, nothing like regular Chinese. For a typical Bambaiyya flavour, try the Chinese Bhelpuri!.
- Other things to try in Bombay are variations of world cuisine such as Tandoori Chicken Pizzas or McAloo Tikki burgers If you happen to be in Bombay in summer, try eating some Hapus (Alphonso) mangoes.
- Fresh Catch, Diamond Court, Lt Kotnis Marg, Off L J Road, Opposite Gandhi Electronics, Mahim, Mumbai - 400 016 (behind The Bombay Scottish School) +91 22 2444 8942 This small restaurant serves authentic cuisine from the Karwar coast. Lip smackingly delightful and away from the touristy things to do. While there, try the Bombay Duck -- a fish found off the coast of Mumbai.
- Bay of Bombay, (close to St. Xaviers College) +91 22 2205 6173. It's a favorite with oyster lovers. If you're in the mood for a quiet evening and meal, this is the place to go to.
- Vow Snax, 16th Road, Bandra. +91 22 2600 4359. Indian fast food with a twist. Besides serving fusion Indian food they also serve traditional Sindhi home-cooked meals such as Sindhi curry. Their Chinese bhel is out of this world and original. It is run by a very nice Sindhi-Punjabi family and they make you feel at home when you are there. Especially recommended to singles who dine alone. Everything is very reasonable and their servings are very big. They provide free delivery as well.
- Swati Snacks, Tardeo. A safe way to try Indian fast food and street food.
- Thai Ban, Shop Number 8, Gaspar Enclave, Pali Naka Bandra +91 22 2645 9775. A great suburban favourite, this restaurant is wonderful value. Authentic Thai food with loads of coconut milk. Tiger prawns in spicy lemon sauce, squid with nakaching and chicken satay are all memorable, and often superior to more upmarket competitors.
- Chetana Vegetarian Restaurant, Kala Ghoda, K Dubash Marg, Mumbai. Telephone: +91 22 2288 1159 21 (http://www.chetana.com/). A great Gujarati and Rajasthani food restaurant. Service is OK, atmosphere decent. They also serve cocktails and beer. Rs. 450 ($10) for two.
- Oh! Calcutta, Tulsiwadi, opp.A/C Market, Tardeo, Mumbai 400 034 (Nearest landmark is Crossroads Mall, M M Malviya Road. You have to turn left at a little lane a couple of blocks down from Crossroads. ), +91 22 2496 3114 (firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com)) 22 (http://www.hotelrosewood.net/restaurnt.htm). 12pm-3pm, 7pm,-Midnight. Primarily a Bengali place which naturally means that it is big on seafood. But it also has a good vegetarian selection. Try the yellow dal, but be warned that it will be on the sweeter side. A meal for two would come to Rs. 800.
- Persia Dabar Linking Road, Bandra, Mumbai (Next to Shoppers Stop) Indian and Chinese food. Their Tandoori Naan and crispy veg. is a killer. Cheap, clean and friendly place.
- Gallops, Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mumbai (first entrance of the Mahalaxmi Race Course while coming from Haji Ali) Continental and Indian food restaurant, Expensive, but worth it for the ambience, service and food.
- Rajdhani, near Crawford market (it also has branches in Malad and Mulund) serves excellent thalis. Unlimited food for around Rs. 250. It is strictly vegetarian. Has been rated as one of the best places to eat in Bombay.
- Yoko's Sizzlers, 10/11, West View, S.V. Road, Near Akbarally's, Santacruz(West), Mumbai 54. +91 22 2649 2313, +91 22 2649 1528. Serves excellent sizzlers.
- Bhagat Tara Chand, Kalbadevi. Great Indian Curry and 'home food'. Must visit for Indian food lovers.
- Dum Pukth at ITC's The Grand Maratha near the international airport is a lovely place. It serves food that has its origins in the Mughal empire. Classic Lucknowi fare!
There many coffeeshops in and around Bombay. Try the Cafe Coffee Day and Barista chains of coffee shops there are the best around town and also serve some pretty neat coffee for cheap. There's the Cafe Mocha chain of coffee shops which also serve fruit flavoured hookas- South asian smoking pipes. If a small coffee and cookies place is what you are looking for, try Theobroma, it has an outlet at Cusrow Baug in Colaba.
- Toto's Garage Pub Off Pali Market in Bandra is the closest you will ever come to a Western bar. The place fires up every single night throughout the week, the beer is great and the place is packed with locals and the occasional tourist.
It is very difficult to find budget hotels in Bombay. A good recommendation could be to live with a family as a paying guest .
There are a lot of guesthouses at Colaba, where you find most of budget foreign travellers staying. Also note that this entire stretch called Colaba Causeway is known as a tourist haunt, so don't be surprised if the street vendors greet you in French, German or even Russian.
If you are looking for hotels close to the airport, you should be looking at the Western Suburbs.
- Supergrowth, +91 22 2284 6079 for paying guest accommodation in South Bombay.
- Hotel Rosewood, Tulsiwadi opp. A/C Market, Tardeo, Mumbai 400 034 (Nearest landmark is Crossroads Mall, M M Malviya Road. You have to turn left at a little lane a couple of blocks down from Crossroads. ), +91 22 2494 0320-29, +91 22 2496 0318, +91 22 2498 3568-69 (firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) , fax: +91 22 2498 3567,) 23 (http://www.hotelrosewood.net/). The location is somewhat inconvenient, but has a good restaurant - Oh! Calcutta(see Eat section). Rs.1750-4500 (exclusive of tax).
For travellers with deeper pockets, try any one of the follwing:-
- JW Marriott hotel, Juhu
- The Taj mahal hotel, Colaba
- Taj land's end, Bandra
The area code for Bombay is 22. Prefix +91 If you are calling from outside India. Phone numbers here are eight digits long. Occasionally, you might find a seven digit number listed. That is probably an old listing. They made the changeover from seven to eight digits a few years back, when they allowed private service providers to offer telephony. Just add a "2" to the number and it should work just fine, however if that does not work try prefixing "5".
Phone booths can be found all over the city. Though they are coin operated, there is usually someone to run the place. (Typically the phones are attached to a roadside shop) You need to keep putting 1 rupee coins into the slot to extend the talk time, so keep a change of 1 rupee coins handy with you. The person running the booth will usually have them
Cell phone coverage in the city is excellent. There are many service providers offering a wide variety of plans. Among them are Hutch 24 (http://www.hutch.in), BPL Mobile 25 (http://www.bplmobile.com/), Airtel 26 (http://www.airtelworld.com/), Dolphin 27 (http://dolphin.mumbai.mtnl.net.in/), Reliance 28 (http://www.relianceinfo.com/Infocomm/) and Tata Indicom 29 (http://www.tataindicom.com/). It might be a good idea to buy a cell phone and use one of those prepaid plans to get yourself connected while you are in the city.
Cybercafes are located at virtually every street corner and the rates are quite low. Just keep in mind that they have probably not kept pace with advances in hardware or software, so if you find yourself in one of them, don't be surprised if you are stuck with a really small monitor, Windows 98 and IE 5.0. Also data security is an issue. Change your password after you use it at a cybercafe.
Many coffeeshops like Barista have started offering wi-fi. You will find wi-fi hotspots in Chembur, Pamposh, Phoenix Mills, Santa Cruz and Sterling Baristas.
Although famous for its night-life, foreigners (especially women traveling alone) are advised not to stay out late alone. If you do, avoid taking the help of strangers. Also, do not wear attractive and extravagant jewellery while traveling by public transport. Avoid skimpy and provocative outfits while walking around on the streets, it would be a good idea to carry a light shirt/shawl which you can get rid of once you're indoors in a restaurant or pub.
- Police: 100
- Fire: 101
- Ambulance: 102
The services have improved quite a bit but they are more likely to respond to a phone call from a house/office etc rather than a public phone.
- Mumbai Metropolitan Region: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region around Bombay is fast developing into a major conurbation. If you need to get to the surrounding cities of Thane, Navi Mumbai or Kalyan, bus services are available
- TMT (Thane Municipal Transport) operates services in the Thane city and areas around it.
- The MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation), commonly known as ST, operates services from selected points in the city to the extended suburbs. From Dadar, services to Navi Mumbai and Panvel and from Borivali to Thane being the most prominent. Numerous other important routes are also covered in the MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region) by the MSRTC.
- NMMT (http://www.geocities.com/skiposeidon/index.html) (Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport) operates services in Navi Mumbai Area, and a few points around. They also have services from Mulund in Greater Mumbai.
- KDMT (Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Transport) operates in the Kalyan-Dombivali Area with a few connections to Navi Mumbai.
- The suburban train service, mentioned above, does a good job of connecting the surrounding cities.
- Raigad district of Maharashtra lies just south of Bombay. It is famous for its beaches and forts. You can get there by road or by ferry from Bombay. The important ferry routes are:
- Ferry Wharf, Mazagaon - Mora (Uran)
- Ferry Wharf, Mazagaon - Rewas (near Mandwa) -These are in the budget range.
- Gateway of India - Rewas Fast boats and Catamarans operated by private operators. Service approximately every 2 hours, suspended during the monsoon season, i.e. May-October. From Rewas, take a bus or car to Alibag.
- Hillstations - Matheran, Lonavala, Khandala.