City Orientation Walk, Mumbai (Self Guided)

Mumbai (previously known as Bombay) is a thriving metropolis on the shore of the Mumbai Harbour, whose waterfront houses the iconic Gateway of India stone arch, one of the country's major landmarks. The city architecture is a colorful mix of Gothic Revival, Indo-Saracenic, Art Deco, and other contemporary styles. Among the most notable buildings of Mumbai there are some dating back to the British rule period, such as the Chhatrapati Shivaji (formerly Victoria) Terminus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To find out more about Mumbai's best attractions, follow this orientation walk.
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: India » Mumbai (See other walking tours in Mumbai)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Author: emma
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Gateway of India

1) Gateway of India (must see)

Built on reclaimed land of the Apollo Bundar, the Gateway of India was constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India in 1911, the first ever by a British Monarch. Later, it became a landing port for British governors and distinguished guests and also the port of exit for the British Empire when the country gained its freedom.

Designed by Scotsman George Wittet, the Gateway of India is a perfect example of an Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. With a signature central dome and largely Hindu designs and inscriptions, the monument is simply a gateway to the Indian society and showcases its unity in spite of its cultural diversity. Although the foundations for the building were laid in 1913, work did not start until 1920 due to the time taken for reclamation of the land. Built from yellow basalt sourced from local quarries, the structure was formally inaugurated in 1924 and cost the government 2.1 million Indian rupees to build.

Boats ferry from this point to the Elephanta Caves or one can just take a luxury boat around the harbour for a couple of hours. The famous Taj Mahal Hotel, which is twenty years older than the Gateway of India stands exactly opposite this monument and is also known for its architecture.
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Taj Mahal Hotel

2) Taj Mahal Hotel

The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower is a five-star hotel located in the Colaba region of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, next to the Gateway of India. Part of the Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces, this building is considered the flagship property of the group and contains 565 rooms. From an historical and architectural point of view, The Taj Mahal Palace and the Tower are two distinct buildings, built at different times and in different architectural designs. The hotel has hosted notable guests including The Beatles, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Bill Clinton, Jacques Chirac, The King & Queen of Norway, The Duke & Duchess of Kent, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, Roger Moore, Joan Collins, Mick Jagger, Deep Purple, Michael Palin, Hillary Clinton, Michelle & Barack Obama as well as professional cricket teams on tour. According to the BBC, after the Mumbai attacks of November 2008 by terrorists, the hotel serves as a symbol of Mumbai's resilience.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

3) Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (must see)

If you love visiting museums and artefacts from the city’s past, then the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai is a must visit. Set in the backdrop of the very busy and urban South Mumbai, the Museum manages to take its visitors away from the hustle bustle around. In the midst of a breathtaking garden, the Indo-Saracenic styled building looks enchanting.

Built in the early 20th century, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya was constructed in honour of King George V, who was then, the Prince of Wales. The foundation stone was laid by Prince of Wales on the 11th of November 1905. The building took 9 years to complete after which it was used by the military as a hospital. It was not until 1922 that the premises were finally declared a museum and opened to the public.

The Museum is one of the finest in the country and boasts a vast collection of artefacts right from the Indus valley civilization to relics from flourishing empires like the Rastrakuttas, Guptas, Mauryas, Chalukas and of course the Mughal era.
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Jehangir Art Gallery

4) Jehangir Art Gallery (must see)

The Jehangir Art Gallery is Mumbai (India)’s most famous art gallery and a tourist attraction. It was founded by Sir Cowasji Jehangir at the urging of K. K. Hebbar and Homi Bhabha. It was built in 1952. Managed by the Bombay Art Society, the entire cost of this mansion was donated by Cowasji Jehangir. This gallery is situated at Kala Ghoda, behind the Prince of Wales Museum, in South Mumbai near the Gateway of India and has four exhibition halls. The gallery was designed by G.M.Bhuta for G.M. Bhuta & Associates. A mammoth institution in itself, its history is linked with the renaissance of Indian art. The complex also has the popular café of Samovar, which is reminiscent of the 70s socialist culture. It also houses Natesans, the country's oldest licensed antique dealers. Entry is free.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
David Sassoon Library

5) David Sassoon Library

Mumbai is a large metropolis with a history that goes back several centuries. A long walk in South Mumbai will introduce you to the city’s brilliant combination of people, heritage and history. Although the city is crammed with urban styled buildings, residential complexes and skyscrapers, it still has its fair share of monumental buildings, heritage spots and architectural wonders. One such place you will come across while exploring the city is the David Sassoon Library.

Built in 1870, it is one of the many sites in the city protected and deemed as a heritage spot. The Library is a fantastic Venetian Gothic style building, with a unique rustic appeal that takes you back to the era of black and white. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city, the Library stands out with its simplicity and modest look. The building was constructed after receiving assistance from a rich banker by the name Sir David Sassoon. His contribution of a sum of Rs. 60,000, gave the Library its name. However, the initial idea for the Library was the brainchild of a group of young mechanics and foremen, who wanted to establish an education centre displaying various mechanical models. Today, along with the Library that houses a collection of rare books, the building also boasts a museum which is worth visiting.
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Rajabai Tower

6) Rajabai Tower (must see)

On your visit to South Mumbai, one structure that has an overpowering presence in the region is the Rajabai Tower. One just cannot miss the glorious, ornate tower, standing poignantly, overlooking the High Court in Mumbai.

The construction of the Rajabai Tower was initiated on 1 March 1869. Financed by Premchand Roychand, the founding father of the Bombay Stock Exchange, the construction of this structure is believed to have taken a sum of Rs. 200,000 a great amount for any construction. The Tower gets its name from Premchand’s mother, Rajabai. It is said that Rajabai was blind and the Tower with its chimes every hour allowed her to keep time.

Flaunting a brilliant blend of Venetian and Gothic style of architecture, the Tower was designed by renowned British architect, Sir Gilbert Scott, who also worked on the Big Ben in London. Soaring at a height of 85m, the Tower took nine years to be completed and when the project concluded in 1878, it was the tallest building in the region. Constructed with the famous buff coloured Kurla stone, the Tower boasts some of the best stained glass windows in the country. The insides of the Tower are not open for visitors since like most tall structures around the world, the site became prone to suicide attempts.
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High Court

7) High Court

One building that just cannot be missed in Mumbai is the High Court. Standing tall in dark brown, this majestic building truly is a representation of authority, law and order. Located just opposite the Rajabai Towers, this impressive structure has an overpowering presence in South Mumbai.

Inaugurated in the mid-19th century, the High Court stands as one of the oldest structures in Mumbai. The construction of the building was completed in the month of November in 1878. Designed by British engineer Col. J.A. Fuller, the layout of the building is said to have been inspired from a German Castle. Boasting a brilliant English Gothic style, the High Court commands a degree of respect like no other in Mumbai.

The Bombay High Court had its first sitting in 1879, and for over a century now, it has stood as a pillar of constitution, law and justice. Although the name of the city changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995, as an institution, the court did not follow and is still regarded as the Bombay High Court. With a sanctioned strength of 75 Judges, the Bombay High Court asserts jurisdiction over states of Maharashtra & Goa, and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
8
Hutatma Chowk

8) Hutatma Chowk (must see)

Mumbai is the perfect place, if you love to go for long walks and explore the land and its diverse culture and heritage. One such area worth visiting on foot is the Hutatma Chowk.

Known for its bloody past, the Hutatma Chowk was the breeding ground for the idea of an independent state of Maharashtra. Commemorating this event is a statue of a martyr with a torch, which reminds the people of the bloody struggle in 1960 between the members of the Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti and the Government of India, which led to the independent state of Maharashtra.

The Chowk is also known for another monument, the Flora Fountain. Ornate, immaculate and timeless, the Flora fountain has overlooked this neighbourhood for over two centuries. Built in 1864, the Fountain was built in honour of the then Governor of Bombay, Sir Bartle Frere. Carved in stone, the fountain was designed by Norman Shaw and created by James Forsythe. Representing Flora, the goddess of abundance, the fountain was constructed by the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India. Apart from the statue and the fountain, the entire area is filled with buildings and structures constructed during the Britain’s colonization of the country. A must visit when in Mumbai.
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Fashion Street

9) Fashion Street (must see)

Mumbai's Fashion Street is located in the south of the city near Azad Maidan. Around 100 clothes and fashion accessory stores are located here. Here you can find everything from Indian sarees to modern chic clothes, as well as shops that sell shoes and accessories, all of good quality and at low prices.
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Victoria Terminus

10) Victoria Terminus (must see)

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai was declared a UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Site in 2004 and is truly the icon of the city. Located in the Bori Bunder area it is the busiest railway station in India. Its edifice designed by Frederick William Stevens, a British architect was built over a span of 10 years starting in 1878 and was inaugrated on the silver jubilee of Empress Victoria in 1887. Formerly known as Victoria Terminus, the building was intended to house administrative offices of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway but serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways now. In order to honour the great Maratha warrior, Shivaji, the terminus was renamed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus by the Ministry of Railways in 1996. This terminus, used by over 3 million commuters everyday was one of the sites attacked by terrorists in 2008.

The terminus is a perfect blend of Indian and Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture. Pointed arches, turrets anchoring the 4 corner wings, railings of ornamental iron and brass, balustrades for the grand staircases, Neo-Gothic roof in the hall and a central dome with dovetailed ribs are some of the evident architectural highlights of this historical building. An interesting symbolisation of Britain and India in the form of a stone sculpture of a lion and a tiger is seen atop the entrance gate. A symbolisation of progress is seen in the form of a 4m high statue of a female figure holding a spoked wheel in her left hand and a torch in her right, on top of the octagonal ribbed central dome having animal shaped water sprouts.
11
Crawford Market

11) Crawford Market (must see)

No visit to any city is complete without touring its busiest and oldest markets, and if you are in a mood for adventure, there is no place like Crawford Market. Located in South Mumbai, Crawford Market is one place, bustling with life and infused with its own blend of sights, sounds and scents.

Spread across an area of 22,471 square metres, the market is filled with fruit and vegetable vendors along with upscale shops that sell imported goods as well as exotic pets. It is here that one can truly appreciate the essence of the city and the regular routine of its denizens.

Built in 1869, the main market was designed Lockwood Kipling, father of the renowned novelist Rudyard Kipling. Boasting a Norman, Flemish architectural style, the building acts as a brilliant example of the addition of western architecture to the Bombay skyline. The building marks the center of the market. An interesting fact about the Crawford Market is that it was the first building in India to be lit up by electricity. Named after the first Municipal commissioner of Bombay - Arthur Crawford, the building was donated to the state by Sir Cowasji Jehangir, 2nd Baronet, a wealthy Indian industrialist. Be well prepared, for this place is a market in every sense of the word.

Walking Tours in Mumbai, India

Create Your Own Walk in Mumbai

Create Your Own Walk in Mumbai

Creating your own self-guided walk in Mumbai is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Malabar Hill Walking Tour

Malabar Hill Walking Tour

Malabar Hill is the highest point in the south of Mumbai, and it's one of the city's most exclusive residential areas, being home to several movie stars and rich tycoons. It's also the location of the well-known Hanging Gardens and the Walkeshwar Temple with the Banganaga Tank. Take our tour to see the most beautiful and impressive places in Malabar Hill.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Mumbai's Places of Worship

Mumbai's Places of Worship

Mumbai is a city where modern and traditional lifestyles exist side by side. The city features many impressive religious sites where you can have a peaceful moment and detach from the hustle and bustle outside. Due to the presence of many different religions and sects in Mumbai, the city is home to lots of great temples, churches and mosques. Take our tour to see the most interesting places of...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.1 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Mumbai without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Mumbai, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Mumbai without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Mumbai, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km
Museums and Art Galleries in Mumbai

Museums and Art Galleries in Mumbai

The city of Mumbai is home to a number of interesting and unique museums and art galleries. The Nehru Science Center is especially popular with both locals and visitors, so much so in fact it has become one of the most visited landmarks in the whole city. The Mani Bhavan is another famous museum - it's dedicated to the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi. There's also plenty of great art...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Walking Tour in the Mumbai's Art District

Walking Tour in the Mumbai's Art District

The Art District of Mumbai is located in the south part of the city, next to the Gateway of India. This area has been some to several museums and galleries since the beginning of the 20th Century. Beside the well-known Prince of Wales Museum and National Gallery of India, this district is full of great galleries with many exhibits featuring both famous and emerging artists.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Mumbai for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Mumbai has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Mumbai, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.