South Bombay

The Flora Fountain lies at the centre of South Bombay. It is now known as Hutatma Chowk (Martyrs' square.)

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The Flora Fountain lies at the centre of South Bombay. It is now known as Hutatma Chowk (Martyrs’ square.)

South Bombay is a commonly used term, but the extent of this district is not commonly agreed upon. This article uses the term to denote the areas of Fort, Colaba, Malabar Hill, Nariman Point, Marine Lines, Kalbadevi, Pydhonie, Mahalaxmi and Tardeo.

This district contains some of the oldest parts of the city. For long, this was the city. One of the seven islands that were joined to form Bombay was called… Bombay. This is where the British started on their long quest to build the docks and the city. They built Fort St George, which no longer exists, but the area is still called “Fort”. The Fort area contains many corporate offices and most of the administrative offices of the city and state governments.

Paradoxically, this district contains one of the newest areas of the city, Nariman Point, which was built on land reclaimed between the 1940s and the 70s. This is Bombay’s downtown, where the offices of India’s topmost corporate houses are located.

Malabar Hill, the most affluent residential neighbourhood in the city is also located here. Most industrialists have their bungalows here, and here is where the official residences of Maharashtra’s chief minister and Governor are located. The other famous location is Colaba, which used to be an island by itself, till it was connected to Bombay by a causeway. This area contains a naval base.

Most of the city’s famous landmarks, including the iconic Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Hotel and Marine Drive (Queen’s Necklace) are located here.

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Get in

  • By Taxi is the best way to reach South Bombay whether you have arrived in Bombay by Air, Train or Bus. The Taxi should be able to get you straight to your hotel. It is also the terminating point for the central and western railway

See

The Gothic facade of the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway terminus, popularly known as VT (Victoria Terminus) station.

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The Gothic facade of the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway terminus, popularly known as VT (Victoria Terminus) station.

  • Gateway of India This was built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India. This arch is the most recognizable symbol of the city.
  • Elephanta Caves Elephanta Island, Mumbai  Check out these fine examples of rock sculptures dedicated to Shiva. Even though many of them have been vandalised by Portuguese invaders, their grandeur is hardly diminished. Every year around February, the Elephanta Festival  of music and dance takes place on this island in the backdrop of the sculptures. Take a ferry from the Gateway of India. The round trip costs Rs. 100 and will take 45 minutes one way.
  • Prince of Wales Museum 159-161, M.G. Road, Fort, Mumbai – 400 023. +91 22 2284 44 84, +91 22 2284 45 19 (fax: +91 22 2204 54 30 crescent@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in) [3] Now known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, the Prince of Wales museum is located near The Gateway of India next to Jehangir Art Gallery. Tue-Sun 10:15am. – 5:45pm.
  • Jehangir Art Gallery M.G.Road,Mumbai 400 023 +91 22 2204 4058 Entrance Free 11am – 7pm
  • Marine Drive Chowpatty is the city’s most famous beach. Situated at one end of Marine Drive, Bombay’s most famous promenade. This is not a place to sunbathe, however. Go here to watch the crowds enjoying themselves, and have Bhel puri, as a moderately famous Hindi song asks you to. Note that Chowpatty in Marathi means “beach”. So you may hear people referring to other beaches suffixed with Chowpatty (For example “Juhu Chowpatty”). But if they say “Chowpatty” without qualification, they are referring to this place.
  • Taj Mahal Hotel [4] The landmark hotel close to the Gateway of India, along with Oberoi is one of the oldest 5-star hotels in India.
  • Flora Fountain. Known as Fountain area which is prominent hub for commercial activity of Bombay as all the Major banks are located here. You may cash your Traveller’s Cheques here. Also country’s premier stock exchange Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) is situated here. This tall building is visible from anywhere in VT/Churchgate and makes an prominent part of the skyline of Bombay.
  • Victoria Terminus (V.T.). At the other end of Flora Fountain is Victoria Terminus, now known as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus. It is the disembarking station for Central Railway local Trains and Long-distance trains. Adjacent to V.T. station is General Post Office, a grand building which is open 24 hours. The road further goes up to Ballard Estate where a lot of Corporate Offices and Mumbai Port is situated. The V.T. station building is a fine piece of architecture.
  • Nariman Point: Located at the other end of Marine Drive, Nariman Point is the business hub of Bombay. However with the change in economic conditions, many companies have shifted to other areas of Bombay like Parel, Worli, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Andheri-Kurla Road and Powai. The top end hotel The Hilton Tower is located here along with a number of Airlines Offices. Don’t miss out the Air-India building.
  • Cuffe Parade is one of the high-end areas where the famous World Trade Centre and Unit Trust of India offices are located. The President Hotel is located here. Navy Nagar/Army cantonment area is located here which is the southernmost boundary of Bombay.
  • Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) Hornbill House, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, Mumbai 400 023 +91-22 2282 1811 (fax: +91 22 22837615 bnhs@bom4.vsnl.net.in) [5] This is a massive source of information for those intersted in flora and fauna.
  • Crawford market, Bhuleshwar, Chor Bazaar These are dirty, stinky markets which are nevertheless fascinating.
  • Khau gali – translates roughly as eater’s road.

Do

  • Harbour Cruise, If you can afford it, rent the Taj’s private yatch(has 2 sun decks and 3 bedrooms) for a cruise around the Mumbai harbour. $300/hour(including drinks & meals)

Buy

  • Fashion Street, (close to Churchgate suburban station). This are actually street shops lined alongside the road starting from VSNL building. Decent stuff at good prices, bargains for clothes and accessories. Make sure that you negotiate well (prices can come down by as much as 50%). Look around the first few shops and try estimate the going price; If you decide to walk away (during a negotiation), sometimes the vendor will try hail you back; don’t go back to the same vendor, he will not discount it to the price you asked, or will sometimes humiliate you; just walk away, you find another shop with the same merchandise down the street.

You can also get a lot of branded stuff in the stores on either side of Colaba Causeway.

Eat

You can also eat from the various carts and hawkers if you feel your stomach can take it.

Budget

  • Leopold Colaba Causeway, requires no introduction and is a favourite with travellers. Serves a mix of India, Chinese, Persian and Continental Food. Also servers great breakfast round the clock; and is reknowned for it’s fresh fruit juices
  • Mondegar Colaba Causeway, has a live jukebox and functions as a bar cum restaurant. Food is a mix of Indian, Continental and Parsi
  • Britannia and Co, Sprott Road, Ballard Estate, Fort, Mumbai (next to New Custom House.), +91-22-2261-5264. 10 am to 3:30 pm. This rundown restaurant run by a partnership of geriatric brothers (by the name Kohinoor) is a South Bombay institution, having been in existence since 1923. The signature dish is berry pulav the recipe for which the Late Mrs. Kohinoor found in Teheran while she was working with Iranian Airways. The Parsi favourite dhansak is of course available and tastes great. Try the caramel custard for dessert. The waiter may con you into trying the Raspberry soda — the first sip is sweet, but the whole bottle is cloying. Rs. 180 will buy you a good lunch..
  • Swati Snacks, Tardeo. A safe way to try Indian fast food and street food.
  • Baghdadi Behind the Taj is frequented by every strata. Food is a mix of Indian and Mughlai. Don’t get put off by its looks, you go there to eat, not for the decor. No booze allowed.
  • Gokul Behind the Taj is frequented by anyone who wants a inexpensive drink served quickly
  • Martin’s Strand, Colaba Great Goan food, small and you better order quick or the stuff gets over. Not for vegetarians
  • Bade Miyan Between Taj & Colaba Causeway you eat on the road or in your car. Open till the early hours of the morning. The rolls are a favourite after a movie
  • Paradise, deep down Colaba Causeway, an old & quaint Parsi Restauraunt serving a combination of Parsi and Continental food
  • Kailash Parbat, Colaba Causeway, a basic restaurant, serving excellent Indian vegetarian food
  • Samovar, inside Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda near Colaba Causeway, a favourite with the Bombay art community, serving veg & non veg Indian food.

Mid-range

  • Chetana Vegetarian Restaurant, Kala Ghoda, K Dubash Marg, Mumbai. Telephone: +91 22 2288 1159 . A great Gujarati and Rajasthani food restaurant. Service is OK, atmosphere decent. They also serve cocktails and beer. Rs. 450 ($10) for two.
  • Oh! Calcutta, Tulsiwadi, opp.A/C Market, Tardeo, Mumbai 400 034 (Nearest landmark is Crossroads Mall, M M Malviya Road. You have to turn left at a little lane a couple of blocks down from Crossroads.), +91-22-2496-3114 (), . A Bengali place which naturally means that it is big on seafood. But it also has a good vegetarian selection. A meal for two would come to Rs. 800..
  • Mahesh Lunch Home, 8-B Cawasji Patel Street, Mumbai – 400 001, +91-22-2287-0938, +91-22-2202-3965. The most famous seafood place in the city. Raves about its crabs. Rs. 90 upwards.
  • Gallops, Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mumbai (first entrance of the Mahalaxmi Race Course while coming from Haji Ali) Continental and Indian food restaurant, Expensive, but worth it for the ambience, service and food.
  • Rajdhani, near Crawford market serves excellent unlimited thalis. Strictly vegetarian, it has been rated as one of the best places to eat in Bombay. Rs. 250.
  • Bhagat Tara Chand, Kalbadevi. Great Indian Curry and ‘home food’. Must visit for Indian food lovers, but you have to walk a bit
  • Cafe Basilico, Colaba, off Colaba Causeway, near Strand cinema +91 22 5634 5670. This is not budget but not expensive either. Very popular with expats who live in the city. Offers non-alcoholic drinks and coolers, Mediterranean-inspired food and great dessert. Open all day. The rawas (local kind of fish) and the cheesecake is recommended.
  • Cafe Mocca, Churchgate, is a relaxed Sheesha restauraunt serving heavy snacks. Very popular for desert & coffee, its got a few branches all over now
  • Thrishna, Kala Ghoda, is famous for its seafood and patronized by locals as well as expats.
  • Jazz by the Bay, on the junction of Churchgate Road and Marine Drive. Serves a popular soup & salad buffet lunch. In the evening has live gigs and is a popular bar cum restauraunt
  • Royal China Sterling near VT, good Chinese food and a special Dim-sum Menu
  • The Bayview, Hotel Marine Plaza, 29, Marine Drive Mumbai 400 020, +91-22-2285-1212 (fax: +91-22-2282-8585), . 24 hours. This has a lunch, dinner and mid-night buffet worth trying. Also has a great view of Marine Drive and Malabar hill. Ask for the Cafe Viennoise and get extra chocolate flakes. It is not on the menu, so you have to pester the waiter for it. Rs. 222 for the midnight buffet.

Splurge

Olive Bar & Kitchen

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Olive Bar & Kitchen

  • Indigo located in a bylane of Colaba behind the Taj hotel, this is an upscale restaurant serving global food. It also has a bar that gets lively after 9pm
  • Henry Thams, Dhanraj Mahal, Colaba. A new upscale Chinese Restauraunt with a popular bar every evening.
  • Khyber Kala Ghoda, nice Indian food.
  • The Dome, Hotel Intercon, Marine Drive. Is an open air bar & snack restauraunt with a beutiful view of Bombay.
  • Golden Dragon, Hotel Taj Mahal, Colaba. The upscale Chinese choice for locals & expats.
  • Wasabi, Hotel Taj Mahal, Colaba. Brand new Japanese restauraunt.
  • Tiffin, The Oberoi, Marine Drive. A new addition to the restauraunts in The Oberoi. Very popular for lunch and inbetween meals.
  • Thai Pavillion, The President, Cuffe Parade near Colaba. A local’s favourite Thai resteraunt.
  • Olive Bar & Kitchen, Bandra, While this is not located in South Bombay it is a highly popular place with Expats & Tourists. It’s a 30 minute cab ride from any part of South Bombay. This is an upmarket, funky bar & kitchen with great ambience. Thursday night is the special night of the week there, but is also popular on other nights. But honestly you can get better food elsewhere for the price you pay to be seen there

If you know some one who is a member of the Willingdon, Bombay Gym or CCI beg her to take you there.

Drink

Sleep

Taj Mahal”(5 star) -expensive but great reviews Tel:22872711′The Oberoi (5 star)- Very lavishly renovated. Currently part of the Hilton Group. Close to Nariman Point Tel: 22041505 Ambassador (4 star) – Reasonable rates, central location. Famous for its revolving restaurant. Tel :22041131 Shalimar (3 star) – Little away from the tourist hotspots, but clean and efficient. Tel: 23631311 Diplomat (2 star) – Right behind Taj hotel, absolutely centrally located. Safe and clean but lacking major facilities. Has a noisy bar that the affluent locals frequent. Tel: 22830000 Bombay Luxury Apartments (Deluxe)- Mumbai’s first home concept hospitality. Very central, perfect for groups or family.Tel: 22845004

2 Responses to “South Bombay”

  1. Vivek Rathore Says:

    Thanks for giving Such a precious news regarding south mumbai. I am looking for World Trade Center, Cuffe Parade.

    Thanks a lot……

    With Regards,
    Vivek Rathore

  2. Saswat Says:

    Thanks for giving information abt the famous food joints…i belong to bombay n have been to most of the restaurants in ur list but was not aware abt few of them … U can also add TASTE OF KERALA & BOMBAY RESTAURANT both near flora fountain n serve wonderful south indian food but in a different style .. Affordable n great in taste ..


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