Mumbai city Taj

Come February, and it brings its share of winter and a feeling to regale the spirit and body in the sun. Not to forget the charming Coldplay video. Wildnest brings you some places to visit in Mumbai; you could go with your friends, work colleagues or beau; now that Cupid day is knocking in the corner. Mumbai offers you such a cosmopolitan- Indian mix of crowd, a centrifugal force of contraries, the business capital of the country, and a fortified city. Welcome to Mumbai!

Sewri Jetty

Flamingo watching at sewri mumbai

Sewri is a hugely popular flamingo watching spot and you could be at the location after the low tide. During low-tide, although the whole of the bay is covered with pink flamingos,  they are quite far. As the water starts coming due to high tide, they are pushed closer to the shore and finally they fly away.  Similarly when water starts receding after high tide, flamingos are seen again wading through the mudflats and keep moving far. So the ideal time to see them from close would be around 2 and a half to three hours after high tide and 1 hour after low tide. Wildnest organises a tour here and the last tour took some children there. Some other birds you could see here are the Indian pond Heron, Little Egret, Black-headed Ibis, Greater Egret, Red Shank, Terns and Western reef Egret. Carry your own binoculars if you can and observe!

Flamingo watching at sewri mumbai

If you are coming by road, take the Imax Wadala road and turn for Sewri. If you are coming from the Chembur side ask for Godrej foods, take a right and go straight on Mahul road until you reach Sewri station. Ask for the jetty from here. Or click here to read the directions in detail. First tourist spot for you!

Elephanta Caves

If you are close to Pune or Mumbai, you’ll observe that Buddhist impressions are in galore (among places to visit in Mumbai).  One of the attractions of Mumbai is ‘Vipassana’ a Buddhist meditation technique taught by the late G.S Goenka, at a centre near J.N.P.T port.

Elephanta caves at Andheri, Mumbai

Picture credits: Google images

Elephanta Caves,  has two caves to offer: Buddhist and Hindu caves. The caves are located on Mumbai harbour at a distance of 10 Kilometre from Mumbai City. The Hindu caves have sculpture dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Buddhist caves are in the West wing. The architecture of the caves could be dated back to 5th to 8th century B.C and are solid basalt made. The tourist spot has also been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Folklore has it that the caves are not man-made. Go here if you have an archaeological-history-travel buff in you! There are some local groups that take you to sightings of birds and bats. Try them, if you see them around. Elephanta Caves is a must place to visit in Mumbai!

Marine Drive

Early morning sees Marine Drive filled with people doing their exercise, owners walking their cute dogs on the promenade; joggers, families and early risers fill the air.

Marine drive Mumbai during day

Picture credits: Google images

south mumbai at night, marine drive at night

Picture credits: Google images

Marine Drive is a 4.3 km long boulevard which touches the Arabian Sea. Early mornings and evening are the time to be. Street food and acrobats crowd the boulevard throughout the day. The promenade is found in countless Bollywood movies and a posh day out tourist spot. Pizza by the Bay is an eatery which is close by. Also, NCPA (National Centre For Performing Arts) is close by, which offers plays, dance and movie screening; one of the best venues in the city to do so. TEDx Gateway 2015 took place at the venue. Take a guitar, if you have one, and you could play through the evening, into the night close to the sea! Marine Drive is a must one-day picnic spot.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Kanheri Caves

The Sanjay Gandhi National park, also known as Borivali National park, offers greenery in the midst of a bustling city, is a sure place to visit in Mumbai. The flora and fauna of the park are what you could spend your time on, besides tigers and lions.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park entrance gate, Mumbai

Picture credits: Nitya Goel | Wildnest

Many local groups like to do a tree appreciation walk, which could be on your itinerary. Some flora that the park has to offer are Kadamba, teak, Karans, shisam, species of acacia, euphorbia, flame of the forest, red silk cotton. Some fauna to watch out for are spotted deer, rhesus macaque, bonnet macaque, black-naped or Indian hare, muntjac (barking deer), Porcupine, Asian palm Civet, Chevrotain (mouse deer), Hanuman or Grey-langur, Indian flying-fox, Sambar Deer, Leopard, Striped Hyena.

Saint Andrew's Cross Spider at Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Picture credits: Nitya Goel | Wildnest

Snink at Sanjay Gandhi national Park

Picture credits: Nitya Goel | Wildnest

common indian chameleon at sanjay gandhi national park

Picture credits: Nitya Goel | Wildnest

Bird lovers check out jungle owlets, golden orioles, racket-tailed drongos, minivets, magpies, robins, hornbills, bulbuls, sunbirds, peacock, and woodpeckers; quite an interesting tourist spot. In ancient times, the path across the forest was used for trade between Greece and Mesopotamia.

Kanheri Caves stand attached to the park and was a centre of Buddhist learning. It provides like a green lunge through the city. They are at 6 kilometres from the main gate and 7 km from Borivali railway Station. The caves are used as monasteries and have artwork on bodhisattvas. This cave may remind you of Carla caves of Lonavla. Enjoy your time here, a perfect one-day picnic spot.

Kanheri caves, buddhist caves, mumbai

Picture credits: Google images

Gateway of India

If you come to Gateway of India, and spend some time here, in the charming milieu; you may not want to leave Mumbai. The gateway was made to welcome King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder in 1991.

Gateway of India Mumbai

Picture credits: Google images

The Gateway faces the sea, so you have cool breeze blowing; pigeons are in plenty. Photographers, tourist, film crews, dignitaries; all come here. There is the sprawling Colaba market around where you could go shopping for clothes, books and Indian crafts. Many old restaurants like Cafe Leopold make a perfect eating destination. The colossal Taj hotel is also here. Close by you could walk to Jehangir Art Gallery and National Gallery of Modern art (NGMA).Gateway of India, Colaba is perhaps one of the most happening tourist spots in the world. If you are going to pick up anything from the shops or the vendors on the pavement be ready to bargain. The Starbucks cafe too is pretty spacious to while the time away. Some groups again conduct tree walks here. There is also a yacht club close by.

Mahalakshmi Race Course

Mahalakshmi Racecourse Mumbai

Picture credits: Google images

This could be another tourist spot in the middle of the city which could sway you away. If you are into race horsing and Derby, then this is the place to be. It is held on the first Sunday of February every year and the racing season runs from November to April. They have recently introduced night racing under floodlights. The venue is also popular for leisure activities like jogging and exercising in the morning. A regular training also takes place for the Mumbai Marathon.Yoga sessions also take place. The race course is modelled around the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne. If you want to end your tour of Mumbai, the Bombay-Velvet way, this is it!

These places to visit could give you a soulful February.

About Deepak Sinha

I act, dance, make friends and write . Theatre is what I teach to kids around me. Also, my interests lies in entrepreneurship; reading, discussing, TED, American Horror Story, Better Call Saul, Guru Dutt, Sonali Kulkarni