Gateway of India
Where: Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
Mumbai trip is incomplete without a visit to the Gateway of India. Among the most popular tourist hotspots in the city, the Gateway of India sits proudly on the Apollo Bandar (port) overlooking the Arabian Sea. Often touted as ?Mumbai?s Taj Mahal?, the foundation of the landmark was laid in 1911, though it was completed after 13 years in the year 1924 by the famous architect George Wittet to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai. The monument structure reflects a wonderful blend of Indian, Arabic and Western architecture and is thronged by tourists from all over the world on a daily basis. The spectacular structure is made of yellow basalt and solid concrete, ornamented with numerous Islamic and Hindu motifs. During the pre-independence years, the arch structure served as the entry and exit access to India via waterways. Owing much to its historical values, the gateway was the exit point where the last British ship left India for England after independence. The night view of the sea from the Gateway complex is ethereal and out-of-the-world. The statues of Swami Vivekananda and Chhatrapati Shivaji installed near the complex add to the elegance and importance of the place.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
Where: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
Also known as the Victoria Terminus, CST or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is a modern yet archaic railway station located right in the middle of the bustling city of Mumbai. The marvelous structure was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 for its amazing Victorian-Gothic style of architecture. It is a perfect illustration of how Indian Architecture gels with the Victorian Italianate Gothic Architecture to come up with the perfect amalgamation of the Victorian-Gothic display of art. The influence of Indian Architecture can be noticed in the skyline, on the intricately carved arches, in the ground plan and the turrets. The Students of Jamsetji Jeejebhoy School of Art also contributed to the artwork of the structure creating magic on the tiles, the ornamental metal railings, wood carvings and grills. The construction was built in 1878 and is still perfectly functional and a treat to the eyes, especially for those who have a soft corner for intricate artwork. It is among the busiest railway terminals of India and is among the most photographed monuments of the country. CST currents functions as the headquarters of the Central Railways which is very well-connected to all the parts of the country as it serves as a station of long-distance as well as short-distance trains.
Bandra Worli Sea Link
Where: Mahim Bay, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400030
More commonly known as the Bandra Worli Sea Link, the official name is Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link to this eight-lane cable-stayed bridge in Mumbai. Opened in 2009-2010 for general public, the foundation was laid by Bal Thackrey in 1999 as the first project initiated by Maharashtra Government that commences West Island Freeway System. Bandra Worli Sea Link is among the few bridges that are cable-stayed with pre-stressed concrete-steel viaducts to hold it in place. The bridge is an engineering wonder spanning across the arc of Mumbai?s coastline and reflecting the modern infrastructure of the city of Mumbai. Today, more than 37,500 vehicles are catered on the bridge per day providing an alternate route to the Mahim Causeway thereby reducing the time travel between Bandra and Worli by a huge margin. While the engineering and architectural marvel is worth every word, the scenic beauty of the bridge built over the sea is a visual treat to every eye. The construction overlooks the magnificent blue waters of Mahim Bay blending the natural beauty with man-made spectacle. It is bliss to roll down your car windows as you whizz past the bridge letting the salty sea breeze play on your face and hair. The full frame is worthy of few candid shots of the city to be framed as a memento.
Global Vipassana Pagoda
Where: Global Pagoda Road, Near Essel World, Gorai, Borivali West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400091
Counted among the quietest and most peaceful spaces of the city, Global Vipassana Pagoda is a dreamland of tranquility located in the middle of the busy suburbs of Gorai in Mumbai. It is a meditation hall constructed in the shape of a dome which has a capacity to hold 8000 devotees and practitioners of Vipassana. The serenity is added further with the ambience of the surrounding that is the calm peninsula between Gorai creek and the Arabian Sea. The Pagoda was built as a token of gratitude towards Sayagyi U Ba Khin. He was a Vipassana teacher and Accountant General of Independent Burma, and is credited for bringing Vipassana back to its country of origin after it ceased to exist here. The monument was created completely through donations from people who follow Vipassana and even of other spiritual institutes. People visit the Pagoda during their emotional turmoil and stressful phases of their lives, and they have claimed to achieve back total harmony in the chaotic times. Visitors are suggested to take a short 10-minute Aanapana Meditation session to experience the priceless and magical contribution of meditation. Often tagged as one of the seven wonders of the state of Maharashtra, a trip to the Global Pagoda is worthwhile.
Where: Kanheri Caves Road, Borivali, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400101
Kanheri Caves are a group of rock-cut monuments formed as caves near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivali. The caves are the illustrations of the Buddhist influence on the Indian art and culture. Famous for their 109 special entrances and several ancient sculptures, carvings, paintings, and inscriptions, Kanheri Caves stands in striking contrast to the verdant greenery of the surrounding hills. The ancient sculptures and other inscriptions date back to the 1st century to the 10th century adorning their basalt formations. These caves can be accessed through a series of rock cut steps which adds to its adventurous significance. The historical insight is evident from the fact that these caves were built over an extensive period of time. The older caves have more plain designs with less ornamentation unlike the newer ones with intricate works. What ties the design of each of these caves is an individual stone plinth on which they rest, which is common to all. Along with the caves, there is a congregation hall, several beautifully carved pillars, Buddhist stupas, and ingenious water channels carved out stone which add to the exciting aspects to witness and marvel. One of the caves has been modified as a monastery which holds religious and spiritual significance for the Buddhist community.
Where: Mahakali Caves Rd, Sunder Nagar, Andheri East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400093
Mahakali Caves are among the major tourist attractions of Mumbai which date back to centuries built between 1st and 6th century. Also known as Kondivite Caves, the Mahakali Caves includes a total of nineteen rock-cut monuments with the main one comprising Buddha figures and stupas as main attractions. There are several Buddha idols carved on the rocks too, and the entire complex is very efficiently maintained and clean offering a refreshing and tranquil ambience. These solid basalt caves are a favorite for history buffs, photography enthusiasts as well as for the archaeologists for the perfect touch of heritage and history. These caves are carved out of solid black basalt rock, and history says that they are in existence since the empire of Ashoka. The regular dwelling of Buddhist monks are proven by the Buddhist Stupa which has walls containing scriptures in Pali, which is an older language than Sanskrit. . A majority of the caves are on a low-lying hill, rising only a few meters above the surroundings. Several of the caves have been weathered away, mainly due to their shapes carved in volcanic trap breccias. Though small in size, the caves contain numerous rock-cut cisterns making Mahakali Caves one of the most beautiful specimens of the rock-cut monastery.
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