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Here the huge rock-cut elephant stands, which was moved by the British in 1865 from Elephanta Island. This complex houses Mumbai's zoo as well as the Bhau Daji Lad Museum (Victoria and Albert Museum). The museum has interesting exhibits relating to the city's past. Archaeological finds, maps and photographs depicting Mumbai's history are on display. The surrounding Botanical Gardens cover an area of 48 acres in the midst of the bustling and congested city. One of the oldest and the largest public gardens, it was established in 1863.
Founded in 1872, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum has long been the predecessor to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum). Located in Veermata Jeejamata Udyan (Byculla Zoo), the museum was named after Victoria & Albert, and emerged largely as a result of the initiatives taken by one of Mumbai's revered freedom fighters, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad. The irony behind the renaming notwithstanding, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum echoed with history dating back to the British Raj in India, but had few visitors. Silver and copper ware, ivory models, old photographs, clay models, temples made of pith, interesting agricultural articles and other decorative pieces and figurines, reminiscent of various clans and communities, silently rest in peace. Owing to private enterprise initiatives and the Mumbai chapter of INTACH, the museum saw a face lift in 2007, restoring it to its old glory. It's about time more people walked off the beaten path and took notice of this hidden museum.
The center offers interactive exhibits that help children decipher and understand the mysteries of science. There is also an outdoor science park that gives kids a chance to understand science through games. The center organizes programs, science expositions, creative science workshops, film festivals and a science drama festival on a regular basis. It houses a terrific bookstall called Third Wave that sells great scientific toys and books.
Looking to jet ski, parasail or enjoy other water sport activities in the center of Mumbai, then head straight to the H2O Water Sports complex. Located along the Girgaon-Chowpatty coastline is this water-sports hub that rents out kayaks and speed boats. Adventure out to the sea with the fun cruises that it offers. Get to the place and explore a whole lot of fun!
A city built on islands, Mumbai has no shortage of beaches. The most popular among them is Girgaum Chowpatty, a stretch of beach that extends along Marine Drive near Charni Road Railway Station. The only sand beach area in South Mumbai offers a unique culinary experience for both the tourists as well as the locals. A stretch of the Chowpatty beach is populated by a long line of fast food stalls serving excellent Pav Bhaji (spicy mashed potatoes and bread), Vada Pav (potato cutlets in bread) and kulfi (regional ice-cream). Girgaum Chowpatty however truly comes to life at sunset, with its masseurs, transvestites, balloon-sellers, gamblers, fortune-tellers, magicians, ferris wheels and shooting galleries.
Also called the Queen's Necklace (a romanticized perception of the streetlights), Marine Drive was built in 1920 on reclaimed land from the back bay. The five kilometer-long sweeping curve runs along the shoreline of the Arabian Sea from Nariman Point, and takes one past N.C.P.A, Marine Plaza, Not Just Jazz By The Bay and Pizzeria, InterContinental Marine Drive, Wankhede Stadium and Art Deco buildings till you reach Taraporewala Aquarium, Bachelors Juice House, the Gothic Wilson College, to the foot of Malabar Hill. Couples are found perched all along, like birds on a wire, oblivious to the joggers and dog walkers, peanut sellers and hawkers.
Formerly known as The Prince of Wales Museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, besides being a mouthful, is a Mumbai landmark situated between the historic areas of Colaba and Fort. Completed in 1914-1915 to commemorate the first visit of King George V to India, the museum was however open to the public only in 1922. Designed by George Wittet and John Begg, who also have designed the G.P.O. (1913) and the Gateway of India(1924) to their credit, this Mumbai museum stands proud in the midst of a beautiful lush garden. The extensive collection includes miniature paintings, decorative arts, sculptures in various media, weaponry and rare pieces from Elephanta and the Indus Valley. Other museums in Mumbai worth visiting are Mani Bhavan (Gandhi Museum), Bhau Daji Lad Museum (Mumbai's oldest), the BEST Transport Museum and FD Alpaiwala Museum.
This place was also once a concert venue, but now is one of India's premier galleries. It has an extraordinary permanent collection, but is also a generous patron of emerging and contemporary art. NGMA plays host to not only the best in Indian art but also from the world over. Located opposite the famous Prince of Wales museum, the gallery is easy to spot. It has a center in Bengaluru and Delhi as well. For art lovers and members of the art fraternity, NGMA is an ideal place to showcase their work.
Easily Mumbai's most popular landmark, this yellow basalt arch was built to commemorate the visit of King George V in 1911. Designed by George Wittet, this imposing structure overlooking the Arabian Sea, was opened to the public in 1924 and since then it's been on every tourist itinerary besides being a favorite meeting point for the locals. Many launches depart from here for short joyrides around the harbor or for longer ones to the Elephanta Caves. Touts, balloon sellers, photographers, peanut vendors roam around the place to give it a unique buzz.
South of the Gateway of India is Colaba Causeway, the commercial thoroughfare that is extremely popular with the tourists and locals. Glorified in all guide books, from the Lonely Planet to Gregory Roberts' Shantaram, Colaba Causeway passes close to Sassoon Dock, which is the picture of hectic activity every morning as the fisher women unload and sort the catch that would be sold throughout Mumbai. The Causeway has some great restaurants (Delhi Darbar, Piccadilly, Cafe Churchill, Basilico) and bars, and the veritable institutions Cafe Mondegar (Mondy's) and Cafe Leopold (Leo's) are both found not a few yards from each other. There are shops and vendors selling anything and everything under the sun and the variety on offer boggles the mind. This is the place to come if you want to taste the flavor of the city that never sleeps.
Formerly known as Borivali National Park, this 110 sq. km protected area on the northern outskirts of Mumbai, provides a fresh breath to this congested megapolis. Originally planned as a wildlife retreat outside Mumbai, most of its area still remains wild but breathtakingly beautiful. It is filled with dense forests and picturesque lakes. The highlights of the Park are the several animal species like the Hyena, four-horned antelope, panther, deer, leopard along with plenty of fauna, making it a birdwatcher's paradise with over 274 species. You can enjoy the Lion Safari park inside or take a ride on the toy train.