The old world charm neighborhood in Mumbai that you will fall in love with: South Mumbai – Part I (INTRODUCTION)

Surprisingly I have been to Mumbai more than Goa or any other part of the city in India but I have been stayed longer days in Goa for sure. The reason is simple, Mumbai is closer from Ahmedabad with more trains running on and Double Decker train which have more number of seats making it more comfortable and easier to travel to Mumbai even in super tight budget and almost have few empty seats when you need to book at last moment. When it comes to Mumbai people are more exciting to bump on Bollywood actor/actress or hit the prime locations like Bandra, Juhu, Andheri, Lokhandwala and Gateway of India and not to forget how much everyone complaining about traffic jams. Three years back I visited South Mumbai, the Fort area (specific location: where CST [Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus] located AKA Victoria Terminus [VT] Station) for some official work and have learned about the old world charm of Mumbai beside the traffic jams. Can’t believe this is the same city I used to hate it when I was a kid. There is no other cheaper and best way to enjoy Mumbai than traveling in local trains, eating at not-so-fancy restaurant, walk along the Queen’s Necklace to spot architectural wonders, enjoy coastal views, sit on the seawall, feel the cool breeze in your face and watch waves crash gently upon the shore. 

If New York has Soho, Mid-town and Upper East Side; London has Mayfair; Dubai has Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah; Los Angeles has Bevery Hills; Paris has its 6th Arrondissement; Mumbai has South Mumbai☺ Striking landmarks, the fading grandeur of old art deco buildings, many of which date back to the 1920s and 1930s.  South Mumbai is (dangerous) auto-rickshaws free zone because its only active in the suburban parts of Mumbai, beyond Bandra Fire Station in Western Mumbai and Sion Bus Depot in Central Mumbai only taxis run the show.

Geographically, South Mumbai lies at the southern corner of Salsette Island. Most city residents use the term to refer to the stretch extending from Mahim to Colaba as South Mumbai. The area is delimited on the east by Mumbai Harbour and on the west by the Arabian Sea.

South Mumbai upmarket Kalbadevi, Mahalaxmi, Tardeo, Pedder Road, Grant Road, Nepean Sea Road, Kemps Corner, Altamount Road, Carmichael Road, Breach Candy, Walkeshwar Road, Hanging Gardens, Kemps Corner, Cuffe Parade and Malabar Hill.

Haji Ali Dargah (Mahalaxmi)
Altamount Road
Grant Road

South Mumbai is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (still many people refer it as VT station), and the city’s distinctive ensemble of Victorian and Art Deco buildings (Fort Area have majorly Victorian designs buildings).

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, formerly known as Victoria Terminus.
Elphinstone College: Established in 1856, it is one of the oldest colleges of the University of Mumbai.

South Mumbai is also the home to several of the city’s sporting grounds, including Brabourne Stadium, Wankhede Stadium, Cooperage Ground, Azad Maidan, Oval Maidan and Shivaji Park.

South Mumbai also has popular art galleries and museums like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Jehangir Art Gallery, Nehru Centre Art Gallery.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya MUSEUM

Mumbai’s most popular beach, Girgaon Chowpatty (nearest station: Charni Road) is located at the beginning of a 4 km stretch promenade – Marine Drive which is a popular hangout spot among the citizens.

South Mumbai hosts the Reserve Bank of India, Bombay Stock Exchange and oldest YMCA Procter. South Mumbai has primary business districts: Fort, Nariman Point, Ballard Estate and more recently Lower Parel and Mumbai Central. Many leading Indian and multi-national companies are headquartered here. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Churchgate are starting point for country’s Central Railway and Western Railway lines respectively.

David Sassoon Library: The building, completed in 1870, built using yellow Malad stone, much like the abutting Elphinstone College, Army and Navy Buildings and Watson’s Hotel

Churchgate Railway Station (Western Line)

The headquarters of the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation), the governing civic body of Greater Mumbai is located in South Mumbai (Opp. to CSMT Station). And The oldest Bombay High Court also situated in South Mumbai.

Bombay High Court, Rajabai Tower view from Oval Maidan

For as long as I can remember, when I was kid my aunt always tells me Mumbai is one of those iconic city around the world that can, and does, change lives. It will teach you to save more money than you can never even thought of. Mumbai teach you to adapt the changes overnight. Mumbai monsoon chaos will makes you hate rain forever unless you stay in Southern Part of the town. Mumbai teach you every second counts.

Being a gypsy soul, I definitely have had my own fair share about Mumbai at the very moment I explored South Mumbai. I keep traveling to Mumbai to explore more and found vintage gems in many corners. Sharing my side of story for Mumbai in next post!!

Till then, have a great day peeps!!

….to be continued

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