But if once you make up your mind to visit Dharavi, which is apparently one of the biggest slums in the world you would be paradigm shift. It really takes heart to visit a place like this. The narrow lanes, congested houses, dirty vicinity, children playing barefoot and other heartbreaking conditions prevalent in this place will not only make you to be grateful for what you have.However, a Dharavi Tour is not about witnessing how a lower class of the society lives amidst poor conditions so that one can be thankful for his life and facilities he has, but it is to understand how these people living with no amenities at all are hereos in their own way.
Prince of Wales Museum:
Also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, the museum is one of the most popular places to see in Mumbai. Prince of Wales Museum was built in the early 20th century and showcases several collections of ancient artworks, sculptures and artifacts in its galleries. Regular exhibitions and lectures on several topics are held inside here. The museum is done in Indi-Saracenic style of architecture and is bordered by lavish green gardens. There are three different parts of the museums: Natural history section, Archaeology section and Art section where innumerable forms of art and artifacts from India, Tibet, Nepal and other far eastern countries are preserved. Also, there are collection of 2000 rare miniature paintings from several art schools in India; decorative artworks made from wood, metal, jade and ivory; rare archeological artifacts dating back to the ‘Indus Valley’ civilization in the 2000 B.C can be seen in the museum. Remnants from the Mauryan as well as Gupta periods are displayed in the museum. There is a section in the museum that includes a collection of reptiles, mammals, amphibians, birds and fishes. On the other hand, another section in the museum displays Indian arms and armor, weapons, swords, shields. The museum has a section comprised of European oil paintings as well.
Every day, more than 20000 devotees throng the temple to offer their prayers at the temple and on Tuesday special ‘puja’ and ‘darshan’ takes place. When one visits this place, they can admire the temple’s ancient style of architecture and its many features. Perhaps one of the most beautiful temples situated in Mumbai, the Siddhivinayak temple is definitely a must see in the city. Bollywood celebrities too, visit Siddhivinayak to seek blessings.
One of the oldest markets in Mumbai, Chor Bazaar (Thieves’ Market) has a fascinating history that dates back to over 150 years. Located in South Mumbai, Chor Bazaar is a place to find stolen goods, just as the name suggests. You will usually find shopaholics thronging here as the goods can be bought here at throwaway prices. From antiques to Victorian furniture and fashion to electronics, a wide array of goods are available in this fascinating market.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park:
The national park is spread over an area of 104 sq km, andis popular among wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Located within Mumbai, Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) has the distinction of being a wildlife reserve in a metropolitan . The park was earlier prominent as Borivali National Park and was renamed in 1990 after Congress leader and late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s son Sanjay. Whereas, the View Point trail is the most ambitious which takes you to the highest point in the park and offers a panoramic view of Mumbai and Tulsi, Vihar and Powai lakes. Barking deer, Hanuman langur and Indian flying fox, birds like jungle owlets, golden orioles among many others can be spotted here. Ashok Van and Gaumukh are the trails commonly used by the trekkers.
Nestled in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park at Borivali, the Kanheri Caves also known as the ‘lungs of Mumbai’ is amongst the best places to see during your holiday in the city. Kanheri Caves premises offers a pleasing escape from the pollution and the bustling city life. It is saide to be the only place in the city with the maximum amount of greenery and consequently, a lot of fresh air. The caves date back to 1st century BC and are reckoned to be one of the oldest caves in India. Kanheri Caves are renowned for their natural Basalt formations, ancient Indian styled architecture and the 109 special entrances to the caves. These caves were once a distinctive Buddhist institution for congregational worship, study and meditation.
Mount Mary Church:
An ancient church, built in 1640 and then rebuilt in 1761, The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount is also an important religious place in Mumbai. What adds to the charm of this church even more is that it is sited on top of a hill known as ‘Sunderban Bandra’, which overlooks the mighty Arabian Sea. It is believed that the church has healing powers and for this reason, the church is often flocked by devotees. It is also said that those who sincerely pray at the Mount Mary Church often get their wishes fulfilled. The ‘Bandra Fair’ or the ‘Feast of Mount Mary’ is a week-long festivity held every September at the Mount Mary Church and is the best time to visit.
Kamla Nehru Park:
Placed at Malabar Hill, Kamla Nehru Park is named after the wife of first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. The park is spread in an area of about 4,000 square feet and provides a great sight of Chowpatty Beach and also Marine Drive (Queen’s Necklace). Kamala Nehru Park has widespread verdant green surroundings. It is one amongst the most commonly visited places by children in Mumbai. The park has a diverse range of flowers and is famous for a unique structure, called the Old Woman’s Shoe or Boot House, that majorly attracts kids.
Veermata Jijabai Udyan:
Formerly well-known as ‘Rani Bagh’ and ‘Victoria Gardens’, Veermata Jijabai Udyan is located in Byculla, which by the way isin the heart of Mumbai. The garden is also considered to be one of the oldest zoos of India. The garden is spread over 48 acres and also has a clock tower situated near the entrance. Another main attraction of this garden is the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, which is located in the same premises with the purpose of enhancing industrial as well as agricultural interests. There is an ancient statue of an elephant near the museum, which is supposed to have been found at the Elephanta Caves.