Mumbai is the commercial capital of India
Large cruise ships dock at the Ballard Pier, which is a short walk from the Green Gate
Many of the major cruise lines offer cruises that include Mumbai in their itineraries. Cruising to Mumbai is often included in long round-the-world cruises that call at other ports in South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia. However, you can also find shorter cruises that include Mumbai with just a few stops in the Middle East or South America. If you are short on time in Mumbai, then it is wise to check out the cruise excursions and read the reviews by other passengers, as many of the cruise companies offer tours covering the highlights of Mumbai.
Mumbai is large, it is full of all kinds of people, dreamers, gangsters, starlets, labourers, artists, servants, stray dogs, and exotic birds. It is home to Bollywood, some eye-wateringly expensive homes, and some of Asia’s biggest slums, as well as the largest urban tropical forest. Mumbai is the financial powerhouse of India, and its fashion epicentre. The hectic activity can be little intimidating, but you can find some of the grandest colonial era architecture to be found anywhere in the world. If you dig a little deeper, you will find hidden temples, hipster enclaves, unique bazaars, and some of India’s premier nightlife and restaurants.
The Taj Mahal Palace is Mumbai’s most famous landmark. This beautiful building is a mix of Renaissance and Islamic styles and is the second most photographed monument in India. It was constructed in 1903 by JN Tata, a Paris industrialist. In 2008, it was the scene of terrorist attacks which caused extensive damage to the building. It was restored, and opened its doors again on Independence Day 2010. This iconic building has played an important part in Indian history, it housed freedom fighters during the struggle for independence. It was also the first hotel to employ women, and the first hotel to have electricity and fans.
Elephanta Island lies to the northeast of the Gateway of India. The rock-cut temples on Gharapuri were created between AD 450 and AD 750, and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The labyrinth of cave temples contains some of the most impressive temple carving in India. The main temple is dedicated to Shiva and is a network of pillars, halls, courtyards, and shrines. The highlight of the complex is a 6-metre tall statue of Sadhashiva, which depicts a three-faced Shiva as the creator, destroyer, and preserver of the universe.