This is actually my first travel post that received almost no views. Maybe that is because I hadn’t presented it well. So, I thought, now that I have enough audience why not re-write it in a different way and share it. The reason why I chose this as my first blog post is because I am a sea-person. I love to be close to the sea and enjoy the fresh sea breeze, feel the sand at my feet and listen to the meditating sound of the waves crashing on the shore. So relaxing, isn’t it?
You cannot separate the sea from the life of Mumbaikars as it provides a great budget friendly holiday spot for those who want to spend some quality time with their loved ones and friends. No matter where you are in Mumbai you are never too far off from the view of the magnificent Arabian Sea that offers you a way to unwind and relax. From Nariman Point in South Mumbai to Virar’s Arnala Beach up north you have many places where you can watch the sea and the sun setting in the west. In this post, we start from the southern tip of the city and move up north. The funny thing is no matter wherever you go in Mumbai you see the same water body – The Arabian Sea. So, let’s get started on this seaside-beach tour of Mumbai.
Gateway of India
Located in the Apollo Bunder area, this basalt arch structure was erected in 1911 to commemorate the landing of the Majesty King George V and Queen Mary. The construction of the monument was completed in 1924 and served as the ceremonial entrance to India for many Viceroys and Governors of Bombay. After independence, this location has attracted many locals and international tourists alike and many come down here to enjoy the sea breeze and the historic view.
If you are looking for a good seaside destination in Mumbai this is one of the places that you should not miss out. Right opposite to the monument you also get to see the much popular Taj Mahal Palace and Tower.
On weekends, this place is filled with thousands of families, couples, and people who just want to hang around the sea and enjoy the cool breeze. If you are allergic to the crowd, I would recommend you visiting this place on weekdays.
However, let me alert you that you won’t get the sunset view here. You can enjoy some great meals at some of the popular restaurants nearby. To reach Gateway of India you can get down at Churchgate on Western Line and CST on the Central or Harbour Line and take a bus or cab to reach the destination.
Those who know me well already know how attached I’m to Marine Drive. I have been visiting this place since my childhood days and it holds a special place in the heart of every Mumbai resident. Better known as “The Queen’s Necklace” Marine Drive certainly tops the list when it comes to seaside destinations in Mumbai. This 2-mile long C-shape promenade comes to life during the evening hours when the street lights turn on and appearing like a C-shape pearl necklace (see above picture).
If you are a tourist in Mumbai you ought to come here at least once. Located right in the heart of the city, Marine Drive offers a great sunset view during the evening time. It’s a great hangout place where you can chill out with friends and family members or just be there alone contemplating.
Many families, couples, joggers, fitness freaks and loners come here to enjoy the fresh sea breeze. To reach Marine Drive you can get down either at Charni Road station, Marine Lines station or Churchgate station on the western line of Mumbai suburban railway.
Located on the northern end of the Marine Drive is the Chowpatty Beach. If I dig further into the history the name Chowpatty comes from Chau-Patti which means Four Channels. It is one of the most popular beaches in Mumbai and offers a great experience for those who want to chill out during the evening hours.
This is a perfect beach destination for those who want to play around on the beach and also for those who feast on fast food. The beach has plenty of stalls that offer fast food like bhel puri, pani puri, kulfis and so on. It is recommended that you look for hygienic stalls before you order.
If street food is not your cup of tea, you may want to eat at many restaurants around like Cream Centre and NewYorkers right opposite to the beach. The nearest station to Chowpatty beach is Charni Road station on the Western Railway line.
Located in the heart of the city, Priyadarshini Park a.k.a. PDP is one such sea-side destination that you can visit in your spare time. This park was once a dumping ground, but being relatively close to a posh area it was transformed into a sports and leisure park.
You can find many joggers, health enthusiasts and couples and families spending time here. The park is quite unique because it has a park area and a rocky sea-side area where you can enjoy the waves. It is not very well maintained, so I would recommend skipping this during the monsoon time when the park ground gets muddy. I still prefer the rocky section where I can unwind and enjoy the sea breeze and waves.
The location of the park is far off from the railway stations and therefore you need to take a cab or a bus. Also, there are no restaurants or hotels close to the park, so you might have to do with tiny drink and snack stalls on the ground that sells mineral water, coconut water, and potato chips. To reach PDP you can get down at Grant Road station on the Western Railway and take a cab or bus (104 or 135).
Worli Sea Face
Mumbai basically is an amalgamation of seven islands which were ceded by the Portuguese to England in 1661. One of the islands was called Varli, now we know it as Worli. While this part of the city was not much into use before the 1960s, but as the business grew in Bombay many of the business offices shifted to Worli and by late 70s Worli became one of the busiest office areas in the city.
Today, some of the top businesses like GSK Pharma, Deloitte, Novartis, and Siemens operate from Worli office. The Worli Sea Face is a small stretch where you can get a view of the Arabian Sea.
When you are here you can also get a great view of the Haji Ali Dargah (tomb), which is one of the recognizable landmarks of the city. The tomb was constructed in 1431 in the memory of Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. The tomb is visited by people of all faith and religion to seek the blessings of the legendary saint.
This 600-year old tomb is only accessible during the low tide hours as visitors have to walk the causeway with sea on both sides. To reach Worli Sea Face you may get down at the Mahalaxmi railway station on the Western Railway and walk a bit to reach the coast.
A bit north of the Worli Sea Face is the Bandstand Promenade, a kilometer long walkway along the sea. This is another popular seaside destination in Mumbai that also has a jogging track and a park. When you are walking down the walkway you can see expensive apartments and bungalows of the rich and famous.
Many of the affluent Bollywood movie stars live here. The promenade has been renovated and therefore you can enjoy the fresh sea breeze if you are in the western suburbs of Mumbai. This sea-side destination is more popular for couples who come here on a date.
If you are somewhere in the western suburbs, a little up north don’t miss out the sprawling Juhu Beach that offers the right sea and sand experience. The beach is opened at all times and attracts thousands of locals and foreign visitors throughout the week. On weekdays, you won’t find too many people hanging out here. However, on the weekends, this beach is pretty crowded, so pick your time and day carefully.
When you come to Juhu Beach it is hard not to eat at the food stalls here. This place is a paradise for street-food lovers. You can find stalls of bhelpuris, pani puris, pav bhajis and chaats and kulfis. Juhu Beach is not too far from the airport and therefore when you are at the beach you also see commercial airplanes taking off at regular intervals.
If you love to play around or walk on the sand and enjoy some sea breeze this is the place you should check out. Juhu Beach is not too close to railway stations but you can get down at Santa Cruz, Andheri or Vile Parle stations on the Western Railway line and take a rickshaw to the beach.
While Mumbai has many other smaller and less popular seaside spots these are some of the major ones. If you are in Mumbai, or if you visited Mumbai share your stories and tell me more about which seaside destination is your favorite and why?