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Culture of Bombay. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Cowasjee Jehangir Building at Fort Mumbai is a city of rich historical and cultural heritage. The landmarks and sights of this tourist destination will be of great interest to all the travelers. One of the most beautiful architectural landmarks of the city is the Victoria Terminus railway station. Its opening was held in 1882. The building of the station is executed in Gothic style and resembles a graceful church. A beautiful frontage featuring carved stained glass windows is decorated with original statues of animals. One will meet there cocks, monkeys, stone gargoyles as well as cruel lions.
The shortest and most precise definition describing the nature of Mumbai is “the city of contrasts”. The contrast is seen literally in every aspect of the city life: its architecture, … Open
A symbolic landmark of the city is a monument named the Gateway to India. The construction of the monument was finished in 1924. The main material used for building of the monument was yellow basalt. A scale stone arch with small turrets is the main symbol of the city.
Opposite to the Gateway to India monument tourists will find the same impressive architectural construction being the Taj Mahal Palace which is now home to a luxurious hotel. The Palace was built in the beginning of the 20th century. At present the palace appears in its initial look. Its frontage features original and unique decoration. The palace is crowned with huge majestic cupolas. Copyright
Mumbai is a popular destination among eco tourists. The nearest suburbs of the city host the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The territory of the park is crossed with numerous touristic walking … Open
The tourist exploration tour should necessarily run through the Mani Bhavan palace. In the first part of the 20th century the palace was owned by Mahatma Gandhi, a famous politician, freedom fighter and nationalist. The palace has still preserved the atmosphere of the past ages. It is a scale museum keeping a collection of private articles and photos of Mahatma Gandhi. Regarding cultural establishments of the city the Prince of Wales Museum is well worth visiting. Its exposition is of great interest.
Mumbai Museum excursion will stun and impress genuine art connoisseurs as among the showpieces presented in the museum one will find ancient engraved plates and paintings, statues and antique furniture. The first floor of the ancient palace hosting the museum is taken with a science exhibition. Among religious sights and landmarks of Mumbai the St Thomas Cathedral is of great interest. The construction of the cathedral was started in 1676 and lasted for more than forty years. The cathedral became the first English church in the city. The premises of the church are the last destination of British soldiers and civilians, who lived in Mumbai. For Great Britain residents the ancient church is still the most significant landmarks and pilgrimage destination.
1. The city is convenient for cruising by taxi as all means of public transport available in the area are always crowded. A cost of a trip should be discussed in advance and the counter … Open
Mumbai is often associated with Bollywood as that’s where the famous film studio is located (it is called Mehboob Studio). You should definitely visit it and learn lots of interesting information about the Indian film industry. Those who like going to cultural performances (theatrical, music) on their holidays should visit the Royal Opera House or the Tata Theatre. To learn more about local culture, you should check out the Archaeological Survey of India Museum, an open-air live history park exhibiting monuments, archaeological finds from excavations as well as a collection of local citizens’ household items and traditional clothing.
Mumbai, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus) Nehru Centre is one of the must-visit places on a tour around Mumbai. Here, you can learn a lot of interesting facts not only about the life of a prominent Indian politician but also about the world in general. Apart from the collection dedicated to Jawaharlal Nehru, the complex has other exhibitions and halls: Discovery of India introducing visitors to the country’s achievements from ancient times to the present day (it includes 14 galleries); Culture Wing where wonderful music, theatrical, and dance performances are regularly held; Art Gallery displaying a permanent exhibition of works by Indian artists; Nehru Planetarium and Nehru Science Centre where you can learn more about physics and astronomy.
Bombay is a city of extremes and unexpected discoveries, where skyscrapers stand tall next to slums, some aspects of livelihood of local residents are simply mindblowing. Everyone who wants … Open
Coin collectors will like the Monetary Museum. Flora and fauna aficionados shouldn’t miss the Bombay Natural History Society. The oldest museum in India is the Bhau Daji Lad Museum. Its collection includes a great number of archaeological finds, maps, photos of Mumbai, clothes from different eras, and household items of local citizens’ ancestors. The Vardhman Fantasy theme park is a great place for a family visit. There you can find miniature copies of the best architectural creations: the Taj Mahal, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Christ the Redeemer, Chichen Itza’s ziggurat, and the Great Wall of China—which all together make up the seven modern wonders of the world.
Mumbai Skyline Govardhan Ecovillage is a unique calm retreat in modern, noisy Mumbai. The nicely arranged centre offers travellers to immerse themselves in country life, learn more about local citizens’ everyday life over centuries, and get acquainted with Ayurveda. Besides, it has an incredibly comfortable atmosphere with picturesque views. You should definitely take a walk along Mumbai’s waterfront and have a look at the majestic Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge built in 2010. There are no pedestrian and bicycle lanes, so you can cross it using a four-wheeled vehicle only.
Among Indian cities, Bombay is arguably the most shopping-friendly one, as it’s littered with various markets and shops full of exotic goods. Zaveri bazaar should definitely spark … Open
The Bombay High Court and the Rajabai Clock Tower as well as several nearby buildings make up the Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai. As for the courthouse, it’s worth noting that it was built in 1862 but started to be used as a government building only in 1956. The clock tower erected in 1878 is a gorgeous mix of Venetian and Gothic styles. It was designed by George Gilbert Scott who modelled it on the most famous landmark of the capital of Albion, Big Ben. It has an interesting history, but it’s currently not open to public—the tower was popular among those committing suicide which made it notorious.
Mumbai High Rise The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation building erected at the end of the 19th century is also worthy of attention. Frederick William Stevens, the architect of the construction, chose neo-Gothic for the design of the building. Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market is one of the most colourful places in the city. It was designed by William Emerson who blended Flemish and Norman architectural styles and got a unique architectural creation as a result. The interior, including fountains, was designed by Lockwood Kipling, the father of the author of The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling. St. Xavier's College, one of Mumbai’s most prestigious educational institutions, is another architecturally interesting building.
Discovering the architecture of Bombay from bird's eye view! Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Palace, Central railway station, Mumbadevi Temple, St. Thomas Cathedral, Rajabai Clock Tower, all those monuments are defining the image of Bombay … Open
The city is famous for its wonderful holy places, which include not only Indian temples—for example, such colourful temples as Sri Sri Radha Gopinath, Mahalakshmi, and Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari Ji—but also churches of other denominations. For instance, there is the Haji Ali Dargah mosque, a Catholic church called Mount Mary Basilica, and Lord Buddha Statue, a Buddhist temple. That vividly shows that the city is multinational and tolerant. Each of the above-mentioned holy places is worthy of at least a quick visit. It’s also worth noting that Mumbai is rich in wonderful sculptures created by real geniuses. You can find them all around Mumbai, and it’s a great pleasure to look for them.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Bombay and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Bombay and surroundings

Plan your own excursion through Bombay: churches, museums and castles

St. Thomas Cathedral, Bombay

Location on the map:   Facts: » St. Thomas Cathedral is a Christian church built in 1796. It was consecrated in the name of Apostle Thomas. He came to India to propagate the faith in Christ.
» The building was built by the British. Before that, the ruler in Bombay had intended to build the House of God for the English community.
» The construction lasted 40 years.
» You can see a lot of statues in wall recesses. The walls are decorated with bas-reliefs in Eastern style. There are high narrow windows. You can see figures of saints on stained glass windows. The vaulted ceiling is upheld by stone columns with arched soffits. The walls in the main halls are covered with carved panels.
» In the inner space, you can see stone sculptures. There is the preserved picture of the first bishop lying in the bed.
» The roof is tiled. There are also patios with fountains inside.
» In the territory of the cathedral, there are preserved memorial heave marble slabs with plates in honor of the dead British subjects.
» After some time, the magnificent tower was constructed. There is a clock on it. The first worship took place at Christmas. The cathedral was built in the center of the former fortress.
» The last reconstruction was paid by the United Nations Convention.

Mumbadevi Temple, Bombay

Location on the map:   Facts: » “Mumba” means “the Great Mother of everything”. This is the name of the goddess, the local incarnation of Devi. The temple was built and named after her. This is also the name of the city, Mumbai (previously, Bombay) and, as the legend says, of the woman who encouraged the construction of the temple.
» The Mother Goddess defended salt miners and patronized anglers. They were the main group in the city.
» There is the two-meter statue of Mumba in the temple. It is made of black stone. Its head is decorated with a silver wreath. There are golden rings on the fingers and toes and a precious necklace on the neck. The figure is dotted with orange and yellow marigold leaves.
» The idol is surrounded by other goddesses. One of them is riding a peacock. Near it, there is the statue of the simian creature and the god of wisdom and wealth.
» The sanctuary is modestly decorated. There are almost no decorative elements. The rectangular temple is built of white stone. There is a tower in the tower of the pyramid at the top. There is a flag atop. Massive vertical ledges are the foundation of the construction.
» The entrance to Devi’s room is guarded by a sculptural tiger. The goddess rode it.
» Unlike the interior, the exterior of the temple impresses with plenty of intricate elements.
» Mumba has been revered since the 15th century.

Taj Mahal Palace, Bombay

» The hotel called “Taj Mahal Palace & Tower” started to be built in 1898. It opened its doors in 1903.
» The building is famous for the visits of the Royal family. Here, banquets were held for Indian high society. August 1947 is a historic date. The political freedom of India was proclaimed exactly in the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower.
» The hotel is an architectural monument, as it is characterized by the combination of different styles. The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower features many elegant arches, domes, and balconies. Columns upholding the dome are made of onyx. The massive doors are decorated with carved paintings. The interior impresses with rich design. It is decorated with many semi-precious stones. The floor is covered with a home-made carpet. In the rooms, there are crystal chandeliers and antique pieces of furniture.
» It was the first time when modern lighting appeared in the building.
» Historic objects and valuable pieces of art are displayed.
» The rooms are cleaned 8 times a day. The walls in bathrooms are covered with Italian tiles.
» The convenient location of the hotel (on the embankment) attracts many tourists.

Central railway station, Bombay

Location on the map:   Facts: » Mumbai Central is a railway station that links a range of cities. It is considered as an architectural monument because it was built in the colonial era, in the period of the British rule in India.
» The English started to build the railway from Bombay so far into the country in the middle of the 19th century.
» The building itself was constructed in 1876. It was completed at the date of the 50th Anniversary of Victoria’s reign. The construction lasted 9 years.
» The railway station is still open for tourists. It is the final destination point of the city Bombay Railway. This is the only railway, by which you can travel from one district to another.
» Not so long ago, the railway station received the name of the national hero of the 17th century, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, or CST.
» It features a mixture of different architectural styles: New Gothic, Italian, and Indian. With its exterior, the building resembles a luxury palace but not a strict state institution.
» It is also characterized by carved wood, sculptures, railings, and grids decorated with patterns. The walls are faced with ceramics. There are many towers and arched hallways.
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What to visit during two-day excursion in Bombay

Nehru Planetarium
Where: Dr Annie Besart Road, Worli Mumbai, Bombay; Telephone: +91 (0)22 2496 4676;
Crawford Market/ Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market
Where: Junction of Dadabhoy Naoroji Road and Carnac Road, Bombay;
Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum (Gandhi’s House)
Where: 19 Laburnam Road, Bombay; Telephone: +91 (0)22 2380 5864;
Malabar Hill
Where: Near Marine Drive, Bombay;
Chowpatty Beach
Where: Juhu, Mumbai, Bombay;
Flora Fountain/ Hutatma Chowk (Martyr’s Square)
Where: Fort Business District, Bombay;
General Post Office
Where: St Georges Road, Bombay;
Swapna Nagri (Western Suburbs)
Where: BR Road Model Town., Bombay; Metro: Trains from CST to Mulund Station.;
Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Bombay
♥   Palace 'Jag Niwas' , 7.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Bombay and around
♥   Art museum 'Jehangir Art Gallery' Mumbai, 5.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Prince of Wales Museum' Mumbai, 5.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Cowasji Jehangir Hall' Mumbai, 5.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'National Gallery of Modern Art' Mumbai, 5.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Mumbai' Mumbai, 12.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Bombay
♥   Cathedral of Our Lady of Grace, Vasai, 41.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Cathedral, Kalyan, 45.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on Rentals in Bombay

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Bombay

Landmarks of culture on Bombay map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Bombay

Culture guide to Bombay. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Bombay: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Bombay. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info! - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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