Mumbai, the busiest city in the entire country, is but a dream destination for many. The charm of this city has also enchanted me and overwhelmed me ever since I landed here. Anyone who visits this city knows mostly about or wishes to go to Juhu beach, Gateway, Marine Drive, Sea link and Bandstand.
But today I want to talk to you about Mumbai from a different angle. I want to tell my readers that Mumbai has much more than the above-mentioned spots which you must explore when you next visit this city of dreams. These are lesser known places but have so much to take back from. Even from the tourism point of view, these places have enough potential to be the next mainstream hot spots.
Nestled amidst Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Kanheri cave is a must visit site. Upon reaching the caves which are situated atop mountain hill, one is sure to be taken aback by its historical grandeur and pristine location.
These are mostly rock-cut Buddhist caves which were used mainly for meditation and study. There are all together hundred and nine caves in the entire complex. Once you start climbing the stairs from one cave to the other it will take you further up and you can see the entire national park that gives a fabulous view of the location below.
From the entrance of the national park, it is about 10 km inside which will take you through a narrow road covered by deep jungle on both the sides. It is a scenic sight all along the road and you can enjoy thoroughly nature amidst you.
The whole ambiance of the caves will give a majestic feeling of the bygone era. But yes, be careful of the monkeys around and if there is any eatable in your hand, be sure to hide it in your bag.
Global Vipassana Pagoda:
This is one place which I recommend everyone to visit in Mumbai. The Vipassana (meditation) center located in North – West of Mumbai is spread across a vast area between Gorai creek and the Arabian sea.
There is so much peace here that one cannot imagine that it is located amidst one of the busiest cities in the world. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the serenity in the air of this place is incomparable.
As you go climbing up the stairs, you will be greeted with a huge open space and the air here is filled with so much freshness that you wouldn’t want to come back. You will be guided to the main meditation hall which you can see from outside. There is another meditation hall for visitors and one can sit there and meditate.
The center also has a well-maintained canteen and a shop from where you may take away souvenirs.
The Vipassana center was built under the guidance of S.N. Goenka as a respect for his teacher Sayagi U Ba Khin of Burma, who helped bring back the glory of Vipassana to India again.
There are courses offered by the center free of cost and one can apply for the same through online registration.
You may reach the Vipassana Center from taking the Mira – Bhayander highway on the western express highway or reach it by ferry from Malad or Borivli west.
Gorai beach is one of the less populated and less polluted beaches in Mumbai. The calm atmosphere of the surrounding area makes it an ideal place for relaxation.
The beach is accessible from Mira Bhayander highway and one may also take a ferry from Borivli or Malad. While driving from Mira Bhayander highway, it is a beautiful drive away from the city. There are villages on both the sides which gives away a gothic feel and you can just feel the freshness around.
There are many small resorts in Gorai beach facing the sea. One of them is the pixy resort which offers a magnificent view of the Arabian sea and watching the sunset from here is a delight.
This is another beach which is less frequented by tourists and visitors. The Uttan village is mostly comprised of Koli (fishermen) families and you can buy a number of fresh fishes from here.
Approx 8 km from Bhayander, Uttan has a serene tranquility around its surrounding. It is also called by the locals as Velankini beach as the famous Velankini Church is located here.
Manori beach is comparatively famous among visitors. It is also less polluted and gives a very pleasant view of the sunset. The beach is surrounded by many resorts and hotels. Weekends are generally crowded in this beach. Manori too can be reached via Mira-Bhayander highway.
The overall surrounding of the beach somewhat gives a feel of Goa. It is a wonderful spot for leisure and to be with nature.
Though situated amidst plush high rises of Mumbai, Powai lake is one of the places where you will find peace and natural abundance. The whole environment is subtle and provides a very beautiful view of the lake. This is also a famous spot for angling.
It is easily accessible from Andheri East that links to Powai.
Aarey Colony walk:
If one is to witness real natural hub, then he/she must have a walk around Aarey Milk colony located in Goregaon East in the suburbs of Mumbai. The total area of the colony is spread across 3166 acres and is mainly covered with jungle and villages that mainly caters to milk production.
A drive around the roads of Aarey or a walk would take you to a different ambiance altogether and you will never realize that this is located amidst the concrete jungle.
The Aarey colony is also attached with the famous Film City which is another hub for tourists where most of the shootings of film and TV series take place.
So, next time you are in Mumbai, do not forget to visit these places and have a different experience of this dream city.
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