Ezee Holiday: India Holiday Packages | Holidays in India

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Mumbai
Mumbai Tower, Mumbai Tour & TravelThe name Mumbai comes from 'Mumbadevi', the patron goddess of the Koli shermen, original inhabitants of the seven islands that make up the city. The old name, Mumbai was adopted in 1996, not without resistance and its share of controversy, but its use has gradually spread though the city remains 'Bombay' to lots of people.

Mumbai, or Bombay to call it by the name its better known by, was a swampy, mosquito infested, marshy island off the west coast of India with little or no potential, or so thought the Portuguese when they gave it to Charles II of England as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza. How very stupid of them! The British East India Company leased it from the Crown, and developed the small fishing villages and natural harbours into Bombay, the subcontinent's busiest port and the region's centre for trade, finance and industry.

Mumbai is not just India's largest city, it is also its commercial capital, industrial powerhouse, busiest port, fashion capital, home to 'Bollywood' (India's Hollywood), world's biggest textile market - the list goes on and on. Mumbai thrives on contrasts- the city is home to the richest and the poorest of Indians, sleek limousines jostle rusty cycles, red double-decker buses rumble past three-wheeler auto-rickshaws; impressive high rises soar above crowded ugly slums and shanty towns; glitzy shop fronts amid pavement stalls; glamorous film stars and homeless beggars demand attention at traffic lights and amidst all this are people, people, people everywhere, for Mumbai is home to some 13 million Indians.

Mumbai draws people from all walks of life - traders and artisans, musicians and movie stars, peasants and industrialists, entrepreneurs and executives, students and dropouts. In fact, any Indian with a dream heads for Mumbai and this pulsating, cosmopolitan, multicultural city of opportunity folds them all to its bosom. Mumbai is like little bits of India all rolled into one sprawling city. So, don't just pass through as you head for Rajasthan or Goa, but stay awhile in Mumbai. Explore its sights and soul - the promise of a heady experience awaits you.

PLACES TO SEE ::

The Gateway of India was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India in 1911, in the 16th century architectural style of Gujarat. The Prince Of Wales Museum was also built to commemorate the visit of King George V. Built in the Indo- Saracenic style, the Museum stands amidst a well-laid ornamental garden. The museum was opened in 1923 and is divided into three sections art, archaeology and natural history.
The National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai exhibits the works of Indian masters as well as modern Indian art. The Nehru Planetarium is just 8 km away from the city centre and screens exhibitions and film shows on the mysteries of the cosmos and outer space Elephanta Island is an hour away from Mumbai Harbour. Motorboats ferry tourists across to the island from the jetty at the Gateway of India. The boat ride, itself, is interesting as you go past fishing boats, anchored ships, yachts and little islands.
The Chowpatty Beach overlooks a bay, and turns into a magical brightly lit funfair at night with vendors, pony rides, fortune tellers, performing monkeys, fishermen and families out for a stroll. Ship lights twinkle in the distance, and Marine Drive, . Juhu and Versova beaches are some distance away. Amidst the concrete and congestion of Mumbai lie its lungs, its islands of greenery like the Hanging Gardens.

Parsis worship at Zoroastrian Fire Temples and lay out their dead in the Towers of Silence ; Christians celebrate their faith at innumerable churches and cathedrals across the city; important ones being Mount St Mary's, Aloysius Church, Mahim Church and St Thomas' Cathedral , in the heart of the Fort area; Jains pay homage to the tirthankaras at the Jain Temple on Malabar Hill; and Hindus throng to the Shiva Temple, at Bhuleshwar, the Sidhi Vinayak Temple at Worli and Mahalakshmi Temple near Breach Candy.

HOW TO REACH : Mumbai is well connected by National and International Airport, Sea port, as well as by roads and train.