Gateway of India, Taj Hotel, Marine Drive, Upvan Lake, Juhu Beach, the Satellite city – Navi Mumbai, the SoBo shopping, street shopping, Bandra nightlife, Siddhivinayak, hundreds of malls and the clichéd list of places to visit in Mumbai goes on and on. The same things over and over again. What about the hidden treasures? Yes, the city is home to some lesser known yet not to be missed places.
This article will take you on a trip to 8 such places:
- Maharashtra Nature Park
A place which was a dump yard 30 years ago is now no less than a fairy land. Also known as the “Green Heaven in the center of concrete city Mumbai” – the deeper you go into the embrace of the 14,000 trees, the more peace you feel in the midst of chirruping birds, hovering colorful butterflies, thick rough woods and meandering snakes. The park accommodates – 300 varieties of trees including some rare herbal species, local and hundreds of migratory birds, 35 to 40 variants of butterflies, many reptiles and even mammals. This wonderful scene is located on the land of Dharavi, that’s right – the biggest slum in Asia that you probably have only seen in Slumdog Millionaire.
A must visit for bird and butterfly lovers in the early morning and evening times, and don’t forget to bring along your binoculars!
- Flamingo Point
Every time we think about flamingoes’ migrating to India – Rann of Kutch comes to mind. What we don’t know is, us Mumbaikars, have our own little Rann of Kutch in the mangroves of Sewri. These pink feathered beauties migrate in between November and March every year for foraging. Along with flamingoes, many other migrating birds are also spotted here. Get you’re your comfy shoes, pick your cams and you are ready to roll!
- Food at Mard Mavala
For all the foodies out there, it’s time to cherish the history a little bit. This small eatery situated near Goregaon East Station is the place where Shivaji Maharaj used to eat with their soldiers. -The entrance itself will give you the “ancient village-feels” due to the presence of – lanterns, earthen pots, dhols and flour mills. Now coming to the food, you can actually get a vegetarian thali comprising of 8 authentic items for a price of Rs.49. Yes you read it right! The eatery also serves mouthwatering non-vegetarian food of crisp surmai curry, kolambi curry, gawti chicken/mutton, and bombil fry, which will make you crave for more!
- Prince of Wales Museum:
Whether we love art or not, we all have visited or have at least heard of the infamous Jahangir Art Gallery, but we have no clue know about another 1900’s ancient beauty located close by. Later renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghahalaya; this museum is a home to over 50,000 articles of art, ancient civilization and Natural History. In short, paradise for all art and history lovers! The beautifully designed Indo-Saracenic structure holds some personal collection of the popular Tata family. We would suggest you to take the audio guide facility provided there to understand the significance of each item better.
- Gilbert Hill:
Tweak up your imagination skills, because the facts about Gilbert hill are going to be hard to digest. This 65 million years old (that’s 65,000,000 years) rare structure is made up of black basalt rock, and its unique history of creation is credited to the eruption of molten lava squeezed from the earth’s cleft. Another quick fact to burst your minds – there are only three such structures in the world, the two other are located in The United States!
Two Hindu temples are situated on top of the hill – Gaondevi and Durgamata temples, but that’s not the catch. The real beauty is the breathtaking panoramic, 360 degree view that the hill top provides. The expanded Mumbai’s suburb – the massive buildings, clustered slums, green fields, endless roads, clear blue sky, and the sunrise or sunset depending on the time of visit are all captured by your eyes.
- Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sanghralaya:
A place that every Indian must visit! It belonged to Mahatma Gandhi’s friend Revashankar Jhaveri, where Bapu used to stay, during his fight for independence, whenever he visited Bombay. Many important historical movements like – non corporation, Satyagraha, Swadeshi and Khadi were initiated here. Now the place is a storehouse of pictures and memories of Gandhi, his family, friends and his personal belongings (books, biographies etc.). The beautifully designed 2 storied house will enlighten you about his life. In 2010 visit, Barack Obama had presented a Karl Marx stone to Mani Bhavan which is placed in the entrance.
- Global Vipassana Pagoda:
An angelic structure, dedicated to Buddhism, is a replica of Shwedegon Pagoda in Myanmar, which is the oldest pagoda in the world. This newly built, beautifully sculpted structure in Worli holds the record of being the largest hollow stone structure ever built without any pillars. The access to the site is free and has a meditation hall, library, food court, video room and a painting gallery. You may also join the 10 day meditation course they provide for devotees for free.
- Sahara Cricket Gaurav Point:
A country where cricket is a religion, this museum located in Andheri is no less than a fantasy land. The museum holds the memorable moments in the history of Indian Cricket and also gives an insight to the lives of legendary cricketers. Autographed balls, gloves, stumps, bats, caps and jerseys are displayed here. A life size wax statue of the cricket-god, Sachin Tendulkar, is the major attraction placed in the middle of the museum.