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Mumbai, or Bombay, is one of the largest cities in India. The name Bombay is a remnant of British colonial rule, and the city’s current name of Mumbai reflects what it was traditionally called. It is located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, and is home to many industries such as the famous Indian film industry, nicknamed Bollywood. It is also home to the Marathi film industry, a more localized variety.
Mumbai is generally hot and humid with intermittent series of rain.
The best time to visit Bombay is in December as the weather will be the coolest. Between June and July you’ll experience intense heat and August and September generally have intense rain as it’s the monsoon season. If you can plan your trip between November and January you’ll have the best experience.
Visit the Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These caves and stone sculptures are located on an island and are a tribute to the Hindu god Shiva. There are many statues and stone sculptures depicting Hindu and Buddhist ideas.
If you’re traveling throughout India or out of the city for a while, you can easily travel by train. It is highly recommended that you purchase a tourist ticket that allows you to travel in the first class compartment which is much less chaotic. Note that the trains and stations in Mumbai are far busier and more crowded than you may have seen before.
Mumbai has many incredible food options that range from cheap and delicious street food to world-renowned restaurants. As far as easy street food goes, try Poha (a flattened flaky rice dish) with masala chai (a spiced milky tea drink). For a more luxurious experience, head to Masala Kraft at the Taj Hotel.
Stop by the Gateway of India. This impressive stone structure was originally built as a tribute to the British monarchs, King-Emperor George V and Queen-Empress Mary, who were the first British monarchs to come to India. Since India’s independence the archways’ meaning has evolved and is a significant gathering place for locals. It also has a strong meaning for the local Jewish community, who have used it as a spot for Hanukkah celebrations.
Mumbai is served by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM). The airport is a hub for Air India, but many major airlines land and take off from here daily. It opened in 2014 and is full of great amenities. You will need to take a prepaid taxi to arrive in Mumbai, which means you’ll be paying for everything at a service desk before you even get in the taxi.
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