South Mumbai (also South Bombay or SoBo) is a commonly used term, but the extent of this district is not commonly agreed upon. This article uses the term to denote the localities of Malabar Hill, Marine Lines, Kalbadevi, Pydhonie and Tardeo. On the north, it borders South Central Mumbai and on the south, it borders Fort, Colaba and Churchgate.
South Mumbai is the one of the most affluent districts of Mumbai and home to Girgaon Chowpatty, Malabar Hill and Marine Drive. Since the place has been a hub of business activities for over a century, it has attracted business communities from far and wide. Business communities like the Parsis, Jews, Marawaris, and Gujaratis have made South Mumbai their home. This led to places of worship for each of the communities and South Mumbai does have its share of temples, Parsi fire temples, synagogues and even a Chinese temple.
Malabar Hill, the most affluent residential neighbourhood in the city, is also here. Most industrialists have their bungalows here. This is also where the official residences of Maharashtra's Chief Minister and Governor are.
This is the best way to reach South Mumbai whether you have arrived by air, train, or bus. The taxi should be able to get you straight to your hotel.
The Western Line is the major line serving South Mumbai, with stops at Mumbai Central, Charni Road and Marine Lines.
BEST serves this district exceptionally well. During peak times buses have standing room only, but at other times it is a comfortable option. Buses in the series 1-199 serve this district.
It is best to avoid getting your car here, especially on a weekday. While all highways terminate here and traffic discipline is better than almost anywhere else in India, the extraordinary amount of traffic and the near impossibility of finding parking close to your destination make this a bad option to take. Even if you drive down, it is a good idea to park your car at one of the paid parking areas run by the Municipal Corporation (look for "BMC" or "MCGM" on the streets) and then take other means of transport to your destination.
Since the district is not very spread out, walking is a good option. This allows the opportunity of admiring the architecture, interacting with locals and tasting street food.
- 1 Ferry Wharf (Bhaucha Dhakka), Malet Bandar Rd, Princess Dock (suburban: ). It used to be a harbour and the big and medium-sized boats were leaving for Konkan, Goa area. Now small boats, dinghies, barges, and ferries are operated and plying to Uran and its nearby area. Not only this but the Ganapati deity of Hindus is also immersed here. This is now especially known for its Wholesale Fish Market.
- 2 Girgaon Chowpatty (गिरगाव चौपाटी Girgāv Caupāṭī) (suburban: ). This is the city's most famous beach, located at one end of Mumbai'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. Chowpatty (caupāṭī) 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. The beach is famous for its Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations when hundreds of thousands of people from all over Mumbai come to immerse the idols of Lord Ganapati in the Arabian Sea. It is also one of the many places in the city where the Ramlila is performed on a stage every year. An effigy of Ravana, which is erected on the sand, is burnt by the end of the 10-day performance.
- 3 Hanging Gardens (Ferozeshah Mehta Gardens), Babulnath, Simla Nagar, Malabar Hill (suburban: 1.3 km W). 5AM–9PM. This terraced garden is visited on top of Malabar Hills. The park was laid out in 1881 by Ulhas Ghapokar over Bombay's main reservoir, probably to protect it from the contamination originating from the Parsi Tower of Silence. The park was renovated in 1921. The park is beautifully laid out with flower beds and hedges along with walkways. The park also provides a great sunset over the Arabian Sea. Free.
Museums and galleries
- 4 Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya (Gandhi Memorial), 19, Laburnum Rd, Gamdevi (from suburban: 0.5km SW), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Museum daily 9:30AM-6PM, closed on 2nd and 4th Saturdays and public holidays. Library: M-F 9:30AM-6PM. The house where Mahatma Gandhi often stayed when he visited the city between 1917-1934. The two-storeyed structure standing on Laburnum Road is the city's pride. Gandhi's Museum & Library: once you enter the place, there is a library with a statue of the Mahatma where people offer their tributes. Then a staircase dotted with Gandhi's pictures depicting his life leads visitors to the first floor which has a big photo gallery where photographs of his childhood till his assassination are displayed along with press clippings. The room that Gandhi used during his stay here is on the second floor - there is a glass partition and you can see through two of his spinning wheels, a book and floor bed still preserved. Right opposite the room, there is a hall where photographs and paintings of his life are on display. And finally, you reach the terrace where he was arrested on 4 January 1932.
- 5 Taraporewala Aquarium, Marine Drive, Girgaon (from suburban: 0.6 km SW). It has an exotic collection of marine and fresh water life. An interesting section demonstrates various stages in the growth of a pearl and also displays exquisite pearl, and mother-of-pearl jewellery.
Places of worship
- 6 Babulnath Temple (Babulnath Mandir), 16, Babulnath Rd, Charni Rd, Khareghat Colony, Malabar Hill (from suburban: 1 km SW), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a well-known temple in south Mumbai. This temple is close to the beach and there is a climb of around 100 steps. It is also possible to take an elevator up to the temple.
- 7 Mumba Devi Temple (Marathi: मुंबा देवी मंदिर Mumbā Devī Mandir, Gujarati: મુંબાદેવી મંદિર Mumbādevī Mandir), ~69, Shaikh Memon St, Mumbadevi Area, Bhuleshwar (drom suburban: 0.7 km W), ☏ . Tuesday is the main day of worship. Mumbai is named after the goddess Mumbadevi, the local incarnation of the Devi (Mother Goddess), the patron goddess of the city. The shrine dedicated to Mumbadevi is believed to have been originally built by a Koli fisherman in the 1st century BCE on the site now occupied by CSMT. The temple is about six centuries old, believed to be the handiwork of Mumbaraka, a sadistic giant who frequently plundered the city at the time. Newly married Hindu couples visit the shrine soon after marriage, seeking blessings from the goddess for a happy married life.
- 8 Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (श्री स्वामीनारायण मंदिर Śrī Svāmīnārāyaṇ Mandir). It has a tri-spire structure and the idols installed are that of Laxminarayan Dev with Ghanshyam Maharaj, and Radha Krishna Dev with Hari Krishna Maharaj. In this temple, Radha Krishna is worshipped in the form of Radha Golokvihari as they are the residents of Goloka. It is a Shikharband Mandir and comes under the Laxminarayan Dev Gadi (Vadtal).
- 9 Walkeshwar Temple (Sri Walkeshwar, Baan Ganga Temple), Banganga Cross Ln, Teen Batti, Malabar Hill. This is a temple dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. According to legend, Lord Rama came here on his way to Lanka to reclaim his consort Sita, who was kidnapped by the Demon King, Ravana. The temple also has a tank called the Banganga. A quiet place amidst all the bustle.
- 10 Jama Masjid (Jumma Masjid), Sheikh Memon St, Kalbadevi (near Crawford Market; suburban: 0.5 km (0.31 mi) W). It was constructed in 1802 on the tank. In the eighteenth century, this tank was situated in the midst of gardens and open land and belonged to a Konkani Muslim merchant trading in Goa, and Calicut, who, about 1778, agreed to the erection of a mosque on the spot, provided the tank was preserved intact. A one-story building was therefore erected over the tank and formed the original nucleus of the present Jama Mosque. The Jama Mosque is a quadrangular pile of brick and stone, encircled by a ring of terrace roofed and double-storied buildings, the ground floors of which are let out as shops. The chief or eastern gate of the mosque leads directly across an open courtyard to the ancient tank, which is now furnished with masonry steps and embankments, built in 1893, and contains about three meters of stagnant water, filled with gold and silver fish. From the depth of the tank rise sixteen black stone arches, constructed in 1874, which support the whole fabric of the mosque, the upper story being upheld by five rows of wooden pillars, each of which contains a receptacle for sacred books. The arches in the tank were built in 1874.
- 11 Raudat Tahera (Arabic: روضة طاهرة Rawḍatu Ṭāḥiratu), Raudat Tahera St, Ibrahim Rahimatullah Road, Bhendi Bazaar, Dhaboo St, Kumbharwada, Kamathipura, (from suburban: 1km NW, in the midst of Bhendi Bazaar). This is a white-marble Fatemi shrine. The marble used in the mausoleum was quarried from the Chosira and Ulodi quarries of the famed Makrana quarries in Rajasthan, from where marble for Taj Mahal was quarried. - The mausoleum rests on 92 piles. The number 92 is significant in that it represents the Arabic isopsephical value of the name of Muhammad. The complete structure weighs 5000 tons. The mausoleum rises to a height of 33m, which is the Arabic isopsephical value of the word Ḥaqq. The dome is 16m high as its crowning feature. The very first brick laid down for the construction of the dome was done by Mufaddal Saifuddin in the presence of his father. A 3.7m high gold finial stands sentinel over the dome. There are four smaller domes, one at each corner of the central dome, each with a gold finial to match its larger prototype, and perfect the setting against the azure sky. The dome and cornice are inspirations from the Juyushi Mosque, Cairo. The four walls of the mausoleum have a 1.2-m- and 15-cm-thick masonry wall, with 7.6-cm cladding on both sides, making its final thickness of 1.5 m, which reflects the members of Ahl al-Bayt. The outer walls are decorated with the names of the Ahl al-Bayt and the Fatimid Imams as well as the Duʿāt Mutlaqīn in the Kufic script. The four entrance doors to the shrine have been specially designed to match the entrance gate of Aqmar Mosque in Cairo built by Imam-Caliph Manṣūr al-Āmir bi'Aḥkāmi l-Lāhi. The entrances are adorned with four silver doors of Fatimid style and lead to the sanctum sanctorum of the tomb. There are five arches above each of these four doors, called Raudat Tahera; Bab-e Hakimi, so named after his ancestor, Abdul Qadir Hakimuddin, whose mausoleum is in Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh; Bab-e Zaini, so named after the 45th Da'i al-Mutlaq, Tayyab Zainuddin, his great-grandfather, whose tomb is in Surat. The entrance facing north is called Bab-e Fakhri, so named after his ancestor, Fakhruddin Shaheed, whose mausoleum is in Galiyakot, Rajasthan.
- 12 Tower of Silence, Dungar Wadi Rd, Simla Nagar, Malabar Hill (suburban: , 1.2 km west). This is where the Parsis practice their famous burial custom of leaving bodies out in the open to be devoured by vultures. However, as the name hints, the site is within a tower where non-Parsis are not welcome, so there is nothing to be seen. There are several other Parsi (Fire) Temples in Mumbai. These are located at Churchgate, Princess Street, New Queen's Road, Gowalia Tank and Bandra. The Agiary, located at Fort, was built in 1790 and is considered to be the oldest Parsi temple in Mumbai.
- 13 Shaar Harahamin Synagogue (Gateway of Mercy Synagogue), 245 Samuel St, email@example.com. The oldest synagogue in Mumbai. It dates back to 1796 and is a Bene Israel (Children of Israel) Synagogue. For the first few decades, the Bene Israel Jews carried out their prayers in private places and burrowed halls but with a growing number of members they need a proper synagogue. A proper synagogue, which not only will serve as a physical place for prayer but also serve as a spiritual, educational, and social centre for the Jews of Mumbai. The synagogue was constructed by the sole efforts of Jewish military officer Samuel Ezekiel Diveker of the Bombay Army. It came to be known as the Samaji Hasiji, or Samuel’s Synagogue. As members grew the synagogue was short of space and by the mid-19th century, they need a bigger synagogue. The old building was demolished and a was replaced with a larger building and it was consecrated as a new synagogue on 24 March 1860. During the centenary celebration of the Synagogue, it was renamed the Shaar Harahamin Synagogue. The two-storey synagogue is located in a very congested area of south Mumbai and two marble plaques on the walls and a couple of stars of David on the walls and gate are the only signs of a synagogue. The interiors have grey marble floors and large windows. The plans are the same as other synagogues with a central pavilion and first-floor ladies' balcony.
- 14 Shaare Rason Synagogue (Gateway of Desire Synagogue), 90 Tantapura St, firstname.lastname@example.org. Constructed in 1843, the Shaare Rason Synagogue, literally meaning the "Gateway of Desire Synagogue" is the second oldest synagogue of Mumbai and belongs to the Bene Israel Jews. It is near the older Shaar Harahamin and with the construction of the new synagogue Shaar Harahamin Synagogue came to be known as the Old Synagogue and Shaare Rason the New Synagogue. The New Synagogue was constructed by voluntary contribution raised by a group formerly affiliated with the Old Synagogue who have become dissatisfied with its management. This group set out to establish their own, independent congregation. The Sharee Rason Synagogue is in a congested area and is surrounded by high walls. The main gateway is detailed with a pediment with an inscription and a pair of wooden doors opening into the synagogue compound. The building's ornamentation includes simple modelling, unadorned pilasters, and a recessed panelled roof parapet crowned by a swooping feature that reflects the one atop the gate pediment. The projection includes a Hebrew verse, the name of the synagogue in Hebrew and a Star of David. The sloping roofs are framed with flat ceramic tiles. As the synagogue has only one floor the ladies gallery lies on the east. The wooden central pavilion is fitted with brass ornamentation corners fitted with a miniature menorah.
- 1 Kamala Nehru Park (opposite Hanging Gardens). The Kamala Nehru Park, named after the wife of Jawaharlal Nehru covers an area of 16,000 m² (4 acres) and is located atop Malabar Hills. The park has well-maintained lawns along with walkways. The shoe-shaped structure known as the Boot House is the park's prime attraction. The Boot House is inspired by the nursery rhyme "There was an old woman", where an old woman lived inside a shoe. The elevation of the park offers a great view of the Marine Drive and the Queen's Necklace.
- 2 Marine Drive (Queen's Necklace, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road). A 3.6-km-long C-shaped Promenade along the coast of a natural bay. The six-lane road connects Nariman Point on the south to Girgaon Chowpatty on the north. It is popularly known as the Queen's Necklace, because when viewed during the night, preferably from an elevated spot, the lights on the road resemble the string of pearls in a necklace. There are walkways and benches along the bay and is a favourite hunt for both tourists and locals. During weekend evenings the place gets very crowded. It is also the venue for several well-known events including the Mumbai Marathon and Indian Air Force (IAF) air show. Be careful and avoid this area during heavy rains.
- 3 Royal Opera House. Royal Opera House, or "Opera House", is the hub of social, artistic and cultural activity in Mumbai. The Opera House was inaugurated by King George V in 1911, but it was still under construction. It was finally opened to the public in 1916. It follows the Baroque style of architecture with a blend of European and Indian detailing. In 1917 it started showing films. The entire area near it came to be known as the Opera House. In 1993 the Opera House was closed down. In 2016 it was opened after a restoration that lasted 8 years.
- 1 Crossroads Mall (Sobo Central, Brand Factory), Tardeo Rd, Malviya Nagar, Tardeo (suburban: ). At the site of Crossroads, what used to be Mumbai's first mall. Nothing to write home about. Chinese Food: China Gate Restaurant (Heavily Indianized, spicy Chinese food. ₹300 per person).
- 2 Bhuleshwar Market, Kika St, Bhuleshwar (take the road to south "Babasaheb Jaykar Marg" from suburban: approximately 1.3 km (0.81 mi) East). for fruits and vegetables.
- 3 Breach Candy, Bhulabhai Desai Rd (from suburban: 1.5 km W). Home to Premsons and Amarsons department stores.
- 4 Chor Bazaar (Thief Market), Bhandarwada Ln (suburban: ). A colloquial term used to refer to a place selling stolen items. It consists of a number of interconnecting by-lanes with street vendors hawking a wide variety of items from antiques to shoes to car accessories etc. The place can be quite a surprise for the number and type of items on sale. A great place to spot bargains, and bargaining is a must. Shop with a keen eye: look out for fakes or second-hand items that are shoddily repaired and can be passed out for a quick buck. Don’t carry too many items like money, jewellery and watches on you when visit the market. Keep it to the bare essentials and keep an eye on your belongings. There is a very good chance that you may get robbed since locals are apt at spotting first-time shoppers.
- 5 Dava Bazaar. Famous for medical and scientific instruments and lab chemicals.
- 6 Heera Panna Shopping Centre, Tardeo Rd, Malviya Nagar (near the Haji Ali Dargah), ☏ . 10AM–11PM. It's a popular shopping destination for locals and shops usually deal in imported goods and electronics.
- 7 Mangaldas Market, Janjikar St (0.5 km (0.31 mi) NW from CSMT). closed on Sundays?. for silk and cloth
- 8 Zaveri Bazaar (झवेरी बाजार Jhaverī Bājār), Bhuleshwar Rd (B of Crawford Market, suburban: approximately 1.0 km (0.62 mi) W). Best known jewellery market, all in one place.
You can also eat from the various carts and hawkers if you feel your stomach can take it.
- Crystal, Marine Dr (at Girgaon Chowpatty opp Wilson College). Crystal is famous for its Parathas and North Indian fare. The food is very affordable and one will always find a line outside waiting to eat at Crystal.
- Swati Snacks, Tardeo. A safe way to try Indian fast food and street food.
- The Bayview, Hotel Marine Plaza, 29, Marine Drive, ☏ , fax: . 24 hours. This has a lunch, dinner, and midnight 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's not on the menu, so you have to ask the waiter for it. ₹222 for the midnight buffet.
- Bhagat Tara Chand. Kalbadevi. Great Indian Curry and 'home food'. Must visit for Indian food lovers, but you have to walk a bit.
- Mahesh Lunch Home, 8-B Cawasji Patel Street, ☏ , . The most famous seafood place in the city. Definitely try the crab. ₹90 upwards.
- 1 Oh! Calcutta, Tulsiwadi, opp.A/C Market, Tardeo (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.), ☏ , email@example.com. noon-3PM and 7PM-midnight.. A Bengali place which naturally means that it has an extensive seafood menu. It also has a good vegetarian selection. A meal for two would come to ₹800.
- The Dome, Hotel Intercontinental, Marine Drive. It is an open air bar and snack restaurant with a beautiful view of Bombay.
- Kebab Corner in the Intercontinental Hotel - High class Indian food in a stylish restaurant with superb views over Back Bay
If you know someone who is a member of the Willingdon, Bombay Gym, Radio club, or CCI beg them to take you there for cheap, good food, and dirt-cheap drinks.
- Opium Den, ☏ . At Hilton Towers Mumbai. Serves a vast array of martinis, daiquiris, and home-infused vodkas. Quiet and convenient, this bar is a break from the ordinary. Open: 12:30PM-1:30AM.
- Prive, Behind Radio Club. open til 3 on weekends unlike most Bombay nightclubs. One of the poshest and most popular nightclubs where you can watch the swish set prance around in their Blahniks and Ferragamos. Beware of long queues to get in, and a strict dress code and guestlist. Fights in this nightclub are a regular feature. Get a drink at the more chilled lounge Tetsuma next door before Prive.
- Tetsuma. The bar and restaurant is pretty and has some nice cocktails. A great place to pre-drink before heading off to Prive, the only good nightclub in South Mumbai.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Mid-range||₹3,000 to ₹6,000|
- Anupam Guest House, V. Bhai Patil Rd. ☏ .
- Arya Nivas, Kalbadevi Rd. ☏ .
- Bentley's is a great budget hotel, but often booked up.
- Hotel Moti International 10 Best Marg, off of Colaba Causeway. Clean, safe and quiet.
- Hotel Rosewood, Tulsiwadi opp. A/C Market, Tardeo (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.), ☏ firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +91 22 2498 3567). The location is somewhat inconvenient, but has a good restaurant called Oh! Calcutta. ₹1750-4500 (exclusive of tax). , ☏ , ☏ -69 (