31 Mar 2015

Mumbai: City of Seven Islands

Mumbai is India’s melting pot, a cosmopolitan hub that attracts hordes of people from across the country. Mumbai has always been a conglomeration of several cultures, in keeping with its origin itself – the city was formed out of seven islands. The seven islands include Mahim, Old Woman’s Island, Worli, Mazagaon, Parel, Colaba, and Bombay Island.  

If you are visiting the city on business or on a holiday, it is a great idea for you to make time for a heritage walk, which will give you an insight into the rich history of the city.
  • Bombay Island was the island that was the main harbour during the time of the British Raj. It stretched till Malabar Hill region from Dongri. This original stretch that went by the name Isle of Bombay was a small one, only 24 km long.
  • Mahim is at the westernmost part of today’s Mumbai. The island was part of the other group of islands that were given to King Charles as dowry. There are many landmarks in today’s Mahim, from the Bandra-Worli Sealink to the Sitladevi Temple and St. Michael’s Church.
    Bandra-Worli Sealink Mumbai(Photo Courtesy: http://www.flickriver.com)
  • Colaba in today’s Mumbai is all about museums and galleries, and the iconic Gateway of India, Sassoon Docks, and the Taj Mahal Palace ad Tower Hotel among others. Back then, the island went by the name Candil by the Portuguese. Colaba is called the Kolis’ territory. The Kolis are the local fishermen.
    Gateway of India (Photo Courtesy: http://www.indiaunimagined.com)
  • Parel is known as an upmarket area, with a slew of high-end apartments and hotels. There are places such as the Planetarium, the Palladium and Nehru Centre Art Gallery you can visit. Parel is also known for its cotton mills.
  • Mazagaon was a fishing village in the southern part of Mumbai. However, it is now a suburb on the outskirts. There are many churches and temples in the area, some dating back to the time of the Portuguese and the British.
  • Haven’t we all heard of Haji Ali? Well, the famous dargah is located on a rock on the island of Worli. Today’s Worli is a bustling locality and is home to major businesses and companies.
    Haji Ali (Photo Courtesy: https://www.pinterest.com)
  • Old Woman’s Island is the tiniest land mass of Mumbai, and is often called Little Colaba. 

Enjoy the greenery and flowers at the Hanging Gardens or go for a stroll along the beach, be it Juhu or Chowpatty and relish a bhel puri or pani puri. If you are inclined to visit temples, you could visit the Mahalaxmi Temple or Siddhivinayak, which gets hordes of devotees, from film stars to other well-known personalities from varied fields.

When to visit

If you plan to make a trip to Mumbai, the idea time would be between September and April. It is best to avoid the rainy season that starts around June.

In terms of accommodation, there are plenty of hotels in Mumbai to choose from. There are budget options, home stays, luxury resorts and 5-star hotels in Mumbai, so you really are spoilt for choice. A relaxing stay in a 5-star hotel on a holiday with family – who wouldn’t want that!